Why the MCOD approach?

Part of developing multicultural capacity is establishing equitable practices. Discriminatory policies and practices result in inequities. Institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized racism are all factors that contribute to disparities at organizations of all kinds.

Multicultural Organization Development Approach (MCOD)

MCOD developed in response to limitations of traditional organizational development models and diversity initiatives, which organizational change practitioners saw as inadequate to address race, gender, class, and other aspects of discrimination and oppression.

In the 1970s, many workplaces became more diverse in response to social movements, civil rights laws, and demographic changes. However, these organizations remained essentially monocultural. Organizational cultures did not change to accommodate increased diversity in staff.

Prejudice, discrimination, and institutionalized oppression persisted. In addition to violating civil rights laws and causing pain and suffering, this situation undermined the potential of individuals and organizations.

During the 1970s it became apparent that diversity models focusing on individual consciousness-raising and training did not result in meaningful change because organizational systems reinforced the status quo. As a result, strategies were broadened to encompass entire organizational systems.

In a multicultural organization, multicultural principles are integral to all aspects of the organization, starting from its mission, vision, and values. From this foundation, organizational participants strive to integrate multicultural principles in all aspects of their work. Rather than a sidebar, add-on, or separate initiative, the values and practices of MCOD become part of the organizational norms.

What to expect of our approach

Basic Assumptions

Multicultural principles are incorporated into the organization’s mission, vision, value, and strategic plan.

Programs and Services

Data on different social and economic groups are collected and evaluated to evaluate outcomes and identify disparities in service delivery.

Structures

Structures and processes are developed for accountable and inclusive decision-making.

Organizational Culture

Guidelines are utilized for multicultural communication in all staff meetings

Personnel Policies

Multicultural criteria are used for hiring and performance evaluation, and reviewing salary structures to ensure equity in compensation.

Our Commitment

Multicultural organizational development addresses issues of bias, discrimination, and social divisions that impact health care and workplace interactions. MCOD starts with the assumption that oppression is institutionalized, systemic, and entrenched in public and private organizations. The separation of diversity and equity is characterized as “akin to trying to cure cancer solely by adopting sound nutritional practices”(Jackson and Hardiman, 1994:252). A key characteristic of MCOD is its focus on structural power or oppression. MCOD involves questioning, and if necessary, dismantling existing patterns of power within the organization

The most successful and genuine multicultural initiatives occur when participants are willing and active participants. Resistance is a characteristic of any major organizational change effort and a major reason why organizational change efforts fail

Multicultural organizational development stresses the importance of valuing differences, including cultural strengths, experiences, and ways of knowing and understanding reality.

Multicultural organizational change is a human activity, which requires that people change as they change their organizational environments. It requires new ways of thinking and interacting with others.

 

Diversity is broadly defined to include multiple differences so that everyone belongs to and has ownership in the process (Hyde 2003). These differences include social categories such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, religion, age, and mental and physical ability, as well as differences in beliefs and personality styles.

The success of multicultural initiatives is influenced by a variety of factors in organizations and their broader institutional and social contexts. Some of those factors are driving forces, which can be utilized to move the initiative forward.

Leadership development is crucial because leaders (both formal and informal) are responsible for guiding the organization to a new vision