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Understanding Leadership Strategies for Addressing the Politics of Diversity

Kezar, Adrianna J

The Journal of Higher Education, 2008, Vol.79(4), pp.406-441 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Understanding Leadership Strategies for Addressing the Politics of Diversity
  • Author: Kezar, Adrianna J
  • Subjects: College Presidents -- United States ; Diversity In The Workplace -- Political Aspects -- United States
  • Is Part Of: The Journal of Higher Education, 2008, Vol.79(4), pp.406-441
  • Description: Given the importance of moving diversity agendas forward nationally and the lack of understanding about how to address the politics that almost always emerge when institutionalizing a diversity initiative, I endeavored to examine the method by which presidents handled the politics related to moving a diversity agenda forward. I address two research questions: How and in what ways do presidents find that moving a diversity agenda forward is a political process, and what is the nature of the politics? What strategies do presidents use to negotiate a political environment and create change? The results reveal that college presidents found the process of moving a diversity agenda forward to be an extremely political process (mentioning three distinctive types of politics). Presidents mentioned six strategies as most important for addressing politics: develop coalitions and advocates, take the political pulse regularly, anticipate resistance, use data to neutralize politics and rationalize the process, ensure public relations and showcase success, and capitalize on controversy for learning and unearth interest groups.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0022-1546 ; E-ISSN: 1538-4640
  • Source: Project MUSE

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