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Research Proposal On Workplace Discrimination

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Autor:   •  March 11, 2012  •  2,110 Words (9 Pages)  •  954 Views

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Research Proposal

1.0 Research Topic

Workplace Discrimination

1.1 Research Question

Does workplace discrimination affect the health of employees?

2.0 Literature Review

The Oxford English dictionary defines discrimination as "the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex". Workplace discrimination as the name implies is a discrimination that takes place in the work environment. Workplace discrimination can come in form of racial, sex, age discrimination etc.

2.1 Workplace discrimination can occur in structural ways through various work practices, spoken or unspoken work policies which create, encourage and perpetuate inequality among employees in the workplace. These inequalities may manifest in such things like unequal pay or barriers to promotion which could hinder chances for an employee to improve his/her social economic status (Williams D R. 1999).

2.2 Research equally found that inequality in the workplace could have an influence on job assignments in a way that the ethnic minorities are given seemingly unpleasant and hazardous job tasks (Robinson J B. 1985, 1987). Another research found that increased exposure to occupational hazards as a result of racial inequality leads to increased risk for work related injury and illness among particular groups of workers (Friedman-Jimenez 1989).

2.3 Furthermore, a different study found that illness or injury can threaten employee's job security, ability to return to work and future employability, and all of these factors have implications on employee's social economic well-being. Also racial or ethnic minority workers typically dominate the most dangerous and hazardous work in the workplace (LaVeist TA. 2005).

2.4 More so, research suggests that social factors relating to racial or ethnic status could influence health or bring about difference in health condition. Among these factors is racial discrimination, which is an important correlate of health. (Williams DR, 2003) In the United States, a wide range of health outcomes, including but not limited to depression, high blood pressure and substance use are associated with self reported racial discrimination ( Paradies Y, 2006)

2.5 Previous studies on discrimination and health have mostly focused on the experience of discrimination at a global scale. For instance, Krieger and Sidney (1996) researched on how blood pressure was associated with a measure of discrimination at school, in getting a job, at work, in acquiring housing, in getting medical care, on the street, or by police. In the same line, Williams et al. (1997) found that everyday discrimination, a measure capturing general experiences of routine unfair treatment of people was associated with poor mental health. Also Gee et al. (2006) reported that chronic health conditions among Filipino Americans were associated with everyday discrimination.

2.6 Other studies have in one way or the other linked discrimination with numerous other health problems such as coronary calcification, depressive disorder, low birth-weight and alcohol dependence (Collins et al, 2000). Although all of these studies as well as others have contributed immensely in the understanding of how discrimination in general affects health, there is still need for the study of discrimination in specific areas or contexts. One of the areas that needs more research and study as far as discrimination is concerned is the workplace.

2.7 The workplace is one of the places in which cases of discrimination are reported regularly, however there are just few studies of workplace discrimination and its health effects. Discrimination has been linked with job stress among working African American Women (Mays wt al, 1995). Another study found that a particular type of discrimination in the workplace which is known as tokenism, was linked with depression and anxiety (Jackson et al, 1995).

2.8 Discrimination in the work place has equally been linked to alcohol use among public transit operators (Yen IH. et al, 1999). Also self reported workplace discrimination was linked to increased health conditions among Filipino Americans (Arnold B et al, 2008). These studies have shown the importance of discrimination with regard to the workplace. However, these studies did not show a measure of workplace discrimination and that of generic experiences of discrimination. The studies also targeted the US mainly and so they did not show whether the link between workplace discrimination and health could arise from more global workplace discrimination experiences. Accordingly my research will focus on how workplace discrimination affects employees' health in a more global point of view.

3.0 Research Methodology

Research methodology has to do with the theory of how a research should be undertaking (Saunders et al, 2007). It helps researchers in making choices about methods to adopt in pursuing their research study. Methodology is part of the research onion which incorporates philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon, and techniques and procedures (Saunders et al 2007).

3.1 The research philosophy on its own refers to developing of knowledge and the nature of the knowledge, and it could be epistemology, ontology, or axiology (Saunders et al, 2007).

I will be using epistemology philosophy in my research.

3.2 The research approaches enable a researcher to select the theory to adopt for a research. Two approaches are available; the deductive and inductive approach. Deductive approach involves generating of hypothesis and collecting data to test the hypothesis, while inductive approach involves collecting data first before generating theory (Saunders et al, 2007). The methodology I will be applying in my research is chosen in order to enable me to acquire information and deduce conclusions about how workplace discrimination affects employees' health. Therefore my approach is deductive.

3.3 Research Objective

The main purpose of my research is to examine the relationship between workplace discrimination and employees health from a more global point of view. In line with the purpose of my research, I will be taken an explanatory approach. An explanatory study establishes causal relationship between variables (Saunders et al 2007). Research objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time tabled (Saunders et al 2007). My research objectives are:

* Understand how workplace


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