GRA 2246 Managing Workplace Diversity


GRA 2246 Managing Workplace Diversity

Responsible for the course
Laura E Mercer Traavik

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction


Managing diversity is a central challenge in organizations today. In this course we examine the role of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age, people with disabilities, and sexual orientation in national and international organizations. This course will provide the students with a theoretical, analytical and experienced based foundation for understanding the challenges involved in managing a diverse workforce.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • define the construct of diversity and it importance in today's organizations
  • critically describe and assess theories and research studies related to diversity and organizational behavior
  • critically describe and assess theories and research studies related to diversity policies in an organisation
  • evaluate a company's diversity policy or initiatives
The student should also be better able to understand themselves in relation to societal categories, their own assumptions, and others in the work place.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Mor-Barak, Michàlle E. 2014. Managing diversity: toward a globally inclusive workplace. 3rd ed. Sage

Collection of articles:
2014. A collection of research articles will be made available before the course starts. Students will be given a list.

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading

Course outline
Topics covered:
1. Examining the construct of diversity in a national and international context
2 .Central theories for understanding the emergence of social categories and the impact of these processes on organizational outcomes
3. Diversity and organizational behavior
4. Managing diversity: theoretical and practical approaches for organizations

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

Please note that it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
Participation and in-class activities 40%
Term paper 60% (groups of 2-3 students)

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Class participation 40% Individual
Term paper 60% Group of max 3 students

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 22461 continuous assessment accounts for 100 % of the final grade in the course GRA 2246.

Examination support materials

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.