Global Management Expert Wins Award

09/21/07
USC professor Michalle Mor Barak is honored for her book about the importance of diversity in the workforce.
By Cynthia Monticue
In her book Managing Diversity, Michalle Mor Barak writes that the public has less patience for corporate indifference and unethical behavior.

USC social work and business professor Michalle Mor Barak has won the 2007 George Terry Book Award from the Academy of Management, making her the first USC author to earn the prestigious honor.

She received the accolade for Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace (Sage Publications, 2006), which judges deemed this year’s most outstanding contribution to the advancement of management.

The award, which was presented to Mor Barak at the presidential luncheon during the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, is given annually to one originally authored book selected from numerous nominations submitted by publishers.

“This is a great honor,” said Mor Barak, the Lenore Stein-Wood and William S. Wood Professor in Social Work and Business in a Global Society in the USC School of Social Work. “It sends a message that diversity management is taking center stage in an increasingly globalized workforce.”

Mor Barak, who also holds a joint appointment in the USC Marshall School of Business, said there is a growing recognition that businesses need to play a more significant role in contributing to the well-being of their employees and the communities in which they live.

“My research demonstrates that by doing so, corporations also benefit on several levels: Not only do they gain a more loyal workforce, they also improve their public image and become more profitable,” she said. “In short, by doing good, they do well.”

Mor Barak notes in her book that in recent decades the public expectations for corporate “good citizenship” behavior not only have increased but also have been redefined. The more the public hears of corporate greed, corruption and faulty procedures that result in exploitation and disaster, the less patience it has for corporate indifference and unethical behavior.

At the same time, she indicates, it is no longer enough for companies to conduct their business with integrity and responsibility toward their shareholders. The globalized public now expects businesses to add another fundamental quality integration with society.

Mor Barak’s book offers an innovative and original model for creating the “inclusive workplace” a practice-based model she originated for integration with society via expanding circles of inclusion at the individual, work group, organizational, community, state, national and international levels.

The book analyzes the accumulating research that demonstrates the benefits of implementing inclusive practices in the workplace and features vignettes and case studies from around the world to illustrate practical solutions for managing today's diverse workforce.

Mor Barak reveals the new realities of the workforce, including global demographic, legislation and social policy trends, and she explores the causes and consequences of workforce exclusion, showing readers how to employ the “inclusive workplace” model within their own organizations.

Managing Diversity which was named an Outstanding Academic Title in 2006 by Choice, a publication of the Association of College and University Libraries received accolades and favorable reviews in academic journals from several disciplines, both nationally and internationally.