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Institutional Racism, Organizations & Public Policy


James D. Ward and Mario A. Rivera

Institutional racism may be described as a self-perpetuating and opaque process where, either intentionally or unintentionally, barriers and procedures which disadvantage ethnic minority groups are supported and maintained. It is often the direct linkage and thus the underlying cause for the lack of diversity and cultural competency in the workplace. Yet institutional racism, as a research topic, has been ignored by scholars because it forces emphasis on the unseen and unspoken, yet culturally relevant underpinnings of the workplace and societal ethos. Studies touching on diversity in the public administration research often address the subject as education and training – especially with regard to the competencies needed by professional administrators. However, racism and discrimination, as underlying factors, are seldom addressed. Once specific examples of institutional racism have been identified in an organization, change agents may take prescriptive steps to address it directly and thus have a more cogent argument for change.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Ward, James D. (James Dale). Institutional racism, organizations and public policy / James D. Ward, Mario A. Rivera. pages cm. — (Black studies and critical thinking; vol. 46) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Public administration—Moral and ethical aspects—United States. 2. Political ethics—United States. 3. Racism in public welfare—United States. 4. Political planning—Moral and ethical aspects—United States. 5. Racism—United States. I. Rivera, Mario Antonio. II. Title.JK468.E7W355   305.800973—dc23   2013042388ISBN 978-1-4331-1969-9 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4331-1968-2 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1253-9 (e-book)ISSN 1947-5985

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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