Yaro Fong-Olivares and Mateo Cruz
Syllabus: MG3900 Sus Dev in SA - UPDATED 10.3.22.pdf
Tenative Itinerary: MG3900 DEIJ in SA - DRAFT Schedule.docx
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices have become ubiquitous in US businesses since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019 murder of George Floyd. Though implications of both crises resonated worldwide with organizations and their members, DEI interventions continue to be developed and implemented from a US-centric lens. Consequently, US business students and scholars alike are less familiar with what effective DEI consultation may look like from a cross-cultural perspective. This includes how a country’s history, demographics, values, norms, and customs shift what we know about DEI and change – particularly from a non-White/non-Western stance. Thus, the purpose of this course is to (re)introduce students to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEIJ) concepts from a cross-cultural lens in effort to better inform effective cross-cultural consultation to organization change.
This course focuses on DEIJ & change in the context of a non-Western culture, South Africa, thus providing students the opportunity to understand how culture influences inclusive leadership and change in terms of positive impact on people, place, and profits. The course will focus on how culturally conditioned values, attitudes, beliefs, and norms of behavior influence leaders and their ability to advance inclusive organizations that promote gender equality, reduced inequalities, and peace, justice and a strong institutions for inclusion – three sustainable development goals (SDGs) identified by the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand what barriers organizations in South Africa face regarding DEIJ and what unique strengths South African leaders and their members possess to facilitate inclusion in a context of rapid economic development, historic social unrest and imbalance, and a mosaic of cultural diversity.
This course offers students the opportunity to be part of the positive changes in South Africa by engaging in a team-based project with a local organization. Students will learn about the mission, objectives, opportunities and challenges from organization leaders and stakeholders. Through site visits, interviews, focus groups, survey data, collaborative work sessions, and personal interactions with stakeholders, teams will work with organization leaders to create solutions to real DEIJ challenges they face.
In addition, students will visit other businesses – from large corporations to small local entrepreneurial ventures. They will learn the history and legacy of apartheid through visits to the Apartheid Museum, Robben Island and engage in conversations about Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). The natural wonder of Africa will become real through an overnight excursion to a big five game park, including sunset and sunrise game drives. The experience is capped with the last two nights in Cape Town, including a visit to one of South Africa’s most iconic landmarks i.e Table Mountain (weather permitting).
Please contact Professor Mateo Cruz for any questions.
Office Hours Mondays & Wednesdays 5:30 – 7:30pm (in person or Zoom)