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Equality of opportunity for racial minorities in the UK Civil Service: the impact of organisational culture.

Willie, Charles 2007. Equality of opportunity for racial minorities in the UK Civil Service: the impact of organisational culture. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with organisational culture and its impact on equality of opportunity in employment for racial minorities, specifically in the UK Civil Service. It focuses on equal opportunities policies and practices in the context of organisational and cultural change, and attempts to understand better the relationship between culture and disadvantage. To provide this understanding the Civil Service is taken as a case study, using as a starting point the launch of The Programme for Action to Achieve Equality of Opportunity in the Civil Service for People of Ethnic Minority Origin (otherwise known as 'the Programme for Action on Race' (PAR)) in May 1990. From this starting point, the study compares and contrasts Civil Service statistical data and the perceptions of a sample of three respondent groups (Civil Service managers, racial minority staff and equality organisations) on career progression outcomes for white and racial minority Civil Servants. It seeks to identify what, if any, influence the Civil Service culture may have had on these outcomes. In order to do this, the study first draws upon theoretical perspectives around culture, race, racism and racial disadvantage, and examines the literature on the relationship between culture and racism (cultural racism) with particular regard to the UK Civil Service. The evaluation of the theoretical perspectives provides the basis for the selection of an exploratory research design methodology and to a mainly qualitative analysis of the responses from the three respondent groups (Civil Service Organisation Managers, Equality Organisations and Racial Minority Civil Servants) to the study's semi-structured interview schedules, and questionnaires. What clearly emerges from the study is that, both statistically and in the perceptions of those surveyed, there has been a lack of tangible progress for racial minority civil servants, particularly at the senior civil service level. Central to this lack of progress are the barriers still faced by racial minority staff, together with a lack of priority afforded to this issue. The evidential response to the study's two specific research questions clearly identify organisational culture as a key contributory factor to these barriers and the lack of priority Furthermore the study findings suggest that initiatives such as the Programme for Action on Race (PAR), whilst well intentioned, have failed to make a significant impact. The conclusion therefore reached is that a radical approach is needed if there is to be a proportionate level of racial minorities particularly in the higher echelons of the Civil Service.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
ISBN: 9781303181719
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2014 16:28
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/55649

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