Describe in one sentence the contents of the four functions of prejudice and apply it in your work place?
a) The four function of prejudice encompasses the various attitudes that people hold and the uses thereof, which are; i) the utilitarian or adjustment function;
ii) the ego-defensive function; iii) the value-expressive function and, iv) the knowledge function .
b) First describe n one sentence what each concept means and then you can apply (see question 2 above)
First and foremost, it is imperative that a leader manages a diverse group of employees so that individuals within the group respect and accept that not everyone is the same. There will always be certain types and forms of prejudice in the work place which invariably leads to perceptions and negative attitudes regardless of what management interventions take place. Hence it is important to provide an environment where individuals feel, 'at home' and comfortable with their surroundings. I manage a diverse group of young people from different backgrounds, religions and cultures. Hence we as a team decided that in order to understand other cultures and to try and minimise stereotyping and prejudice we first need to know what the differences are and why.
We decided to embark on a 'cultural day' or 'co-creation' exercises whereby all the different represented cultures or groups displayed their beliefs, values, nutrition, religion, etc. The team went as far as dressing in accordance to their respective cultures. The outcome of the initiative was the following:-
a. Respect and tolerance;
b. Knowledge and understanding regarding cross-cultural differences;
c. Emotional experience of cross-cultural differences;
d. Open, honest and constructive communication between the different groups;
According to Brislin et al . (1986), it is important to provide people with information on cross-cultural differences in order to allow them to engage in thought processes that will help neutralize potentially negative emotional reactions. Most importantly all organisations should embark on Transformation and Diversity training which should be compulsory for all employees. In addition the act of 'co-creation' exercises the deep belief that when we have to create transformational change we have to abolish the tyranny of prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping.