Title

Playing the Zero‐Sum Game with Diversity: Who's the Worthiest of Them All?

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

3 p.

Publication Date

2007

Publisher

Emerald

Source Publication

Journal of Consumer Marketing

Source ISSN

0736-3761

Abstract

Purpose

– This article confronts the contradictory ideas surrounding diversity and the inconsistent efforts at embracing it. It aims to explore the reasons why marketing, recruitment, and philanthropic efforts differ for various groups, particularly African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans.

Design/methodology/approach

– This article examines data from published research, personal interviews, and government statistics to have a clearer picture of the myths and facts surrounding each group.

Findings

– Some groups can be reached more efficiently by marketers than others. Some groups are more likely to receive support motivated by affirmative action efforts than others, particularly those that have been historically underrepresented. Still others may draw greater support from philanthropic organizations. A complex set of factors including stereotypes and misplaced thinking may make some groups appear more “worthy” of support than others.

Practical implications

– Marketers, employers, recruiters on college campuses, managers of philanthropic organizations, and members of diverse groups can gain a better understanding of the different motivations for support, which helps set more realistic goals and strategies, and subsequently may increase levels of support.

Originality/value

– The article calls for an end to misplaced thinking about diversity efforts as a zero‐sum game in which the support of one group takes something away from another.

Comments

Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24, No. 5 (2007): 261-263. DOI.