Evaluating supplier diversity development programs (SDDP) from the diverse supplier enterprise (DSE) perspective in the facility management industry
Hatcher, Michael B.
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Supplier diversity refers to the practice of creating opportunities for historically underutilized populations in the workforce and business arena. Supplier diversity encompasses initiatives specifically designed to increase the number of enterprises owned by people from ethnic minority groups who supply public, private, and/or voluntary sector organizations with goods and services (Ram & Smallbone, 2003). Supplier diversity initiatives were once driven solely by governmental policies focused on ethnic minorities. Also, minority vendor purchasing programs were designed to increase the volume of goods and services purchased by corporations from minority-owned businesses (Giunipero, 1981). Guided by the existing literature related to supplier diversity, this qualitative phenomenological study investigated the current state of Supplier Diversity Development Programs (SDDP) from the diverse supplier perspective. Primarily this research illuminated the (1) lived experiences of DSE Supplier Diversity Development Program participants (2) investigated the extent to which SDDPs eliminate or mitigate barriers/impediments to diverse suppliers previously identified in academic literature, and (3) evaluated the impact of SDDP participation on DSE business capacity development. This study explored and evaluated Supplier Diversity Development Programs to serve as a guide for (a) public and private POs in the facility management industry that currently utilize some supplier diversity development programs and (b) organizations seeking to implement SDDPs in the future. This research identified and posited a series of recommendations for the improvement of existing programs and the creation of new Supplier Diversity Development Programs. This research found that a Supplier Diversity Development Program that aligns program expectation with program delivery will result in greater levels of positive program participation outcomes. In addition this research study found SDDP mitigates DSE barriers/impediments and impacts DSE business capacity development, by way of building relationships, administering education, raising awareness, and creating platforms for access and engagement.