David A. Thomas

15 Results

 

Taking the Fear out of Diversity Policies

Workplace policies regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation often are borne of studies that focus on the problem of discrimination—rather than on the benefits of a diverse workforce. HBS professors Lakshmi Ramarajan and David Thomas argue that focusing on the benefits of a diverse organization will lead to workplace policies that embrace diversity, instead of grudgingly accepting it or dancing around it. Open for comment; 20 Comments posted.

Reversing the Queue: Performance, Legitimacy, and Minority Hiring

While there has been a steady rise in the number of black executives in corporate America, the fact remains that white males have a persistent advantage in terms of access to managerial positions. This paper sets out to find out how a company's performance influences the hiring of minorities into management positions, and whether the presence of minorities in senior management positions affects the racial composition of the subordinate management team. Research, which focused on the corporate structure of the National Football League, was conducted by Harvard Business School doctoral candidate Andrew Hill and professor David Thomas. Read More

A Positive Approach to Studying Diversity in Organizations

Considering that the topic of workplace diversity often garners unhappy discussions of prejudice, isolation, and conflict, it's not surprising that many researchers avoid the topic altogether. Only 5 percent of articles published in management journals from 2000-2008 included race or gender in their keywords. In this paper, Harvard Business School professors Lakshmi Ramarajan and David Thomas propose a positive approach to studying diversity, with hopes that this will lead managers to feel more positive about adopting diversity policies in the workplace. Read More

Business Summit: Managing Human Capital—Global Trends and Challenges

Human capital needed for globalization is lacking. Progress is required in important areas such as elevating more women to leadership positions, according to panelists at the HBS Business Summit. Read More

Racial Diversity Initiatives in Professional Service Firms: What Factors Differentiate Successful from Unsuccessful Initiatives?

What organizational factors are needed for racial diversity initiatives to succeed? While diversity continues to grow in importance in organizations, very little research has focused on the processes that underlie diversity management. Modupe Akinola and David A. Thomas propose a study intended to explore management initiatives that focus on racial diversity in professional service firms. Given that such firms rely on the high level of skills, expertise, and diverse perspectives offered by their professional staff, these firms may be ideal laboratories for examining diversity initiatives. Read More

Unfinished Business: The Impact of Race on Understanding Mentoring Relationships

Race is a critical component of relationships in organizations, particularly in the United States and, due to shifting demographics, particularly for the future. As a socially embedded phenomenon, race also provides a lens for research on mentoring. This paper discusses why race and mentoring are important, how race has been studied or omitted in research to date, and what is known about the intersection of mentoring and race in organizations. The authors then discuss their own model, which aims to guide future research. Read More

Writing the Case for Public School Reform

Professor David Thomas discusses his case studies on how the School District of Philadelphia is recruiting and retaining teachers and improving its human resources department. From HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

IBM Finds Profit in Diversity

Former CEO Lou Gerstner established a diversity initiative that embraced differences instead of ignoring them. In this Harvard Business Review excerpt, professor David A. Thomas describes why IBM made diversity a cornerstone strategy. Read More

Racial Diversity Pays Off

Diversity has been a buzzword in organizations for at least fifteen years. How much is really known about its effects on performance? HBS professors Robin Ely and David Thomas investigate. Read More

Tales of the Newly-minted MBA

One moved back home. Another said his career subscribed to "chaos theory." The career paths of new Harvard Business School MBAs have wandered, some very far, from where the young executives had anticipated. Read More

Manager or Mentor? Why You Must Be Both

In a frank discussion on diversity with a large group of Harvard University managers, HBS professor David A. Thomas explains why managers need to do more than just mentor. Read More

Race Does Matter in Mentoring

In studying the different career paths of whites and minorities, HBS Professor David Thomas finds one characteristic of people of color who advance the furthest: a strong network of mentors and corporate sponsors. Read More

What Makes a Good Leader?

Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes, and often from entirely unexpected quarters. In this excerpt from the HBS Bulletin, five HBS professors weigh in with their views on leadership in action. Read More

What It Takes: Minorities in the Executive Suite

For diversity to take hold in America's corporate boardrooms, companies need to find new ways to develop more conducive environments for minority advancement and opportunity. But minority executives who want to move up can't simple wait for their work environment to be perfect. HBS Professors David Thomas and John Gabarro are studying what it takes — on both sides — to make corporate diversity a reality. Read More