Sunday, January 24, 2010

Managing Diversity

"In contrast to the approach being used by Goldman, Bank of America is trying to target the Hispanic market by offering credit cards to illegal immigrants (see the Real World/Real People feature above)" (Kreitner 40).

This feature and statement captured my interest the most. As a fellow Bank of America client, I was surprised to discover the Bank's current marketing tactic. Is this an ethical way to go about growing a business? The full article in which the Real World/Real People feature mentioned offered two opposing views:

On one side of the spectrum, those whom argue against this strategy say that the Bank is "knowingly making a product available to people who are violating U.S. immigration law" (Jordan, et. al.). In light of the recent attacks on September 11th, security and identity verification has tremendously increased; giving a credit card and transaction power to those without social security numbers nor little or no credit history seems to be taking a step backward.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Bank defends itself by stating that it is complying with both U.S banking laws and anti-terrorism laws. With a higher interest rate, upfront fee, and subjective review of the client, the Bank makes sure that they are providing opportunities to those who deserve "somebody to give them a chance to achieve that quality of life" (Jordan, et. al.). Furthermore, the growing number of illegal Hispanic immigrants gives the company a way to tap into the needs of a potentially profitable market.

So is this ethical? After taking into consideration both sides of the argument, I believe that it is. What dissenters fail to see is how the working demographic is constantly changing. Although I'm not saying that we should let all of the immigrants into our country, I believe that the ones that have made it through have become part of a more modern U.S culture. Like it or not, they DO impact our workplace. According to Dr. Pikay Richardson in Managing Cultural Diversity:

"diversity management must be seen as celebrating the individual similarities and differences that each person brings to the workplace. The requirement to manage diversity, therefore, reflects the need for an organisation to adapt to significant cultural and sociological changes with a view to operating successfidly in the culturally diverse global marketplace" (Richardson).

This initiative is part of what makes the Bank of America the second-largest U.S bank. This diversification is what makes this tactic successful.


Jordan, Miriam, Valerie Bauerlein, and Ann Carrns. "Bank of America Casts Wider Net For Hispanics." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 13 Feb. 2007: A1+. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.

Richardson, Pikay. "Managing cultural diversity for competitive success." Engineering Management 15.2 (2005): 24-27. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting controversy. I think you come to a well-reasoned judgment assuming that B of A is communicating clearly the terms, interest rates, penalties, etc. Otherwise it could be exploitive, like happened with the sub-prime mortgage debacle.