Year of Award
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
College of Business & Professional Studies
discrimination, civil rights, minorities, quotas, women
Affirmative action emerged during the 1960s as a government-mandated strategy for rectifying the effects of past discrimination. Although the goal of providing equal opportunity for all citizens regardless of race or gender has never been questioned seriously,) controversy has swirled around affirmative action with claims by non-minorities of "reverse discrimination" and complaints by employers of coercion to hire unqualified job applicants.
The original intent of affirmative action was clearly a moderate, even conservative, enhancement of equality of opportunity for individuals. The policies were intended to open up competitive selection processes. However, the aims of the policy have moved from a "conservative" emphasis on non-discrimination to a more "radical" policy aimed at achieving ethnic/gender equity through the means of affirmative action quotas.
The Supreme Court's Bakke decision in 1978 was a partial victory for the open emphasis on race - and - gender criteria to achieve proportional group representation. While the Bakke decision ruled out explicit use of quotas, the use of race as one of several criteria was declared legally permissible. Proponents of the affirmative action program hold that affirmative action is necessary to ensure equality of employment and education opportunity for women and minorities. Opponents contend that government programs involving quotas or goals constitute outright discrimination against non-minorities and males.
The feasibility and legality of trying to arrange educational and occupational outcomes with policies based solely upon two irrelevant factors (race and gender) out of many relevant factors (education, skill, experience, etc.) deserves re-examination.
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Douglas, Denny L., "The Affirmative Action Program and its Implications on Business Performance and Employee Relations" (1994). Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects. 236.
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