Institutional racism may be described as a self-perpetuating and opaque process where, either intentionally or unintentionally, barriers and procedures which disadvantage ethnic minority groups are supported and maintained. It is often the direct linkage and thus the underlying cause for the lack of diversity and cultural competency in the workplace. Yet, institutional racism, as a research topic, has been ignored by scholars because it forces emphasis on the unseen and unspoken, yet culturally relevant underpinnings of the workplace and societal ethos. Studies touching on diversity in the public administration research often address the subject as education and training--especially with regard to the competencies needed by professional administrators. However, racism and discrimination, as underlying factors, are seldom addressed. Once specific examples of institutional racism have been identified in an organization, change agents may take prescriptive steps to address it directly and thus have a more cogent argument for change.
Institutional Racism, Organizations, and Public Policy is cutting-edge in that it seeks to close the gap in public administration scholarship within respect to its lack of attention to the effects of institutional racism...Therefore, Ward and Rivera call public administration to the task for acknowledging diversity and cultural competence only superficially and practicing them regressively." PUBLIC INTEGRITY
"Their book constitutes a clear call to action intended 'to explore how long-standing norms and traditions, and inertial historical and organizational forces, may mask discrimination and function as obstacles to the realization of social equity, justice and fairness in the United States.'" JOURNAL OF RACE, ETHNICITY, AND POLITICS