Interculturalism in Practice 2. Culture and Organizations



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

Aim of the course is:

to analyse the effect of stereotypes, prejudices and ideologies on career of women and minorities. We will discuss the social psychological mechanism that have been introduced to understand women’s experience in organizations and apply them to analyse the situation of members of minority groups in the work place generally. The course will analyse how stereotype threat and self-fulfilling prophecies determine career choices in school context and career progress in work. Phenomena like the glass ceilling, the glass escalator, the glass cliff, the backlash agains agentic women, and the importance of token status will be discussed as well as their consequences creating and maintaing unequal opportunities for women and members of minority groups on the labour market and in politics. The course will offer an overview of diversity issues in organization development and in developing policies for promotion of equal opportunities.

Learning outcome, competences

  • is aquainted with the most important theoretical approaches in the field of social psychology of discrimination
  • is familiar with the different research paradigms on culture and organizations
  • is familiar with the basic criteria of programs and trainings aiming at promoting diversity


  • understands the different individual and social experiences resulted by social inequalities and prejudices
  • is able to critically analyse mechanism resulting and maintaining unequal opportunities in organizations


  • is able to differentiate between essentialist prejudices and stereotypes and their consequences
  • is able to reflect at own privileges and social disadvantages
  • is able to develop an intervention plan for organizational diversity

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  • Introduction
  • Prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination
  • Stereotype threat and self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Perception of status and competence
  • Stereotypes and organizations: glass ceilling, glass escalator, glass cliff, token status
  • Stereotypes, prejudices and the organizational culture (traditional companies and startups)
  • Diversity as a competitive edge
  • Policies promoting diversity
  • Human resource management and equal opportunities
  • Work-life balance and conflict
  • Diversity trainings and the inclusive work place climate
  • Discussing the intervention plans

Learning activities, learning methods

  • small group discussions
  • student presentations
  • lectures
  • intervention plan development

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:


  • 30 % oral presentation
  • 30 % test
  • 40 % development of an evaluation-intervention plan focusing on diversity

mode of evaluation: complex (written and oral)

criteria of evaluation:

  • adequate knowledge of the literature
  • the evaluation-intervention plan is based on discussed concepts and research


Compulsory reading list

  • Roberson, Q. M. (2013). The Oxford handbook of diversity and work. Oxford University Press.

Recommended reading list

  • Ridgeway, C. L. (2011). Framed by gender: How gender inequality persists in the modern world. Oxford University Press.
  • Williams, C. L. (2013). The glass escalator, revisited gender inequality in neoliberal times. Gender & Society, 0891243213490232. (1-21)
  • Kulich, C., Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2014). The political glass cliff: understanding how seat selection contributes to the underperformance of ethnic minority candidates. Political Research Quarterly, 67(1), 84-95. 
  • Rosado, C. (2006). What do we mean by “managing diversity”. Workforce Diversity, 3, 1- 15.
  • Trawalter, S., Richeson, J. A., & Shelton, J. N. (2009). Predicting behavior during interracial interactions: A stress and coping approach. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13(4), 243-268.