Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
Sara Jane McCaffrey
With its science-based approach, implicit bias training has won widespread popularity among scholars and diversity experts and proved itself a valuable service, with the average one-day course costing companies up to $6,000, according to experts. However, to date, implicit bias training’s impact on firm-level diversity remains unclear. This paper discusses implicit bias training as a method of diversity training and explores its potential to make tangible organizational change. Through a qualitative investigation of implicit bias training in technology firms, this study finds that implicit bias training’s potential to increase diversity within organizations remains promising, but the implementation of implicit bias training programs is faulty. Using Kotter’s 8-Step Model for Organizational Change (1995; 2007) as a framework for analysis, this study shows that, as currently practiced, implicit bias training insufficiently fulfills multiple, critical steps needed to produce organizational change. This paper argues that these shortcomings are stifling implicit bias training’s potential to advance diversity, and suggests that by addressing said shortcomings in implementation, implicit bias training may more effectively create tangible change in organizations.
Implicit bias training, diversity, organizational change, Kotter’s Model
Nelson, O. (2017). "Potential For Progress: Implicit Bias Training's Journey To Making Change," Joseph Wharton Scholars. Available at https://repository.upenn.edu/joseph_wharton_scholars/31
Date Posted: 14 September 2017