Marquita Walker

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Reviewing State and Federal Policies on Reintegration of Displaced Workers

Dr. Walker's research seeks new ways of looking at the state and federal policies associated with the reintegration of workers into the workforce after they have been displaced or separated from their jobs. Currently, there exist hundreds of thousands of workers who are unemployed because their firm or corporation downsized or closed due to effects of globalization and economic downturns. The state and federal polices currently in place to help dislocated workers reintegrate into the workplace are designed to put the worker back to work as soon as possible without regard to the worker's human value, dignity, or wishes. Looking at dislocation from the worker's perspective, Dr. Walker's research will be able to determine the direct and indirect costs of job loss and assess the difficulty the workers had in moving through the current process of reintegration as outlined by current policy. This information will be helpful to policymakers, the business community, labor organizations, and academics interested in maintaining the value and dignity of the worker as well as reintegrating the worker into the workforce in a position most beneficial to the worker and the broader community.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
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    Gender Bias in Employment: Implication for Social Work and Labor Studies
    (IUPUI, 2020) Walker, Marquita R.; School of Social Work
    Gender bias in employment is not a new phenomenon. The historical devalued status of women and equity-seeking groups preserved in cultural and social gendered roles permeates the workplace and contributes to institutional structures which are fashioned by and reproduced through traditional norms and mores relegating women and equity-seeking groups to secondary status roles. The question then becomes is the continuation of these reinforced structural norms in the best long-term interest of all humanity? What are we giving up when we relegate over half of the world’s population to secondary and devalued status? What gains could be made if all workers were given the same opportunities, supports, and encouragements to reach their full potential.
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    Gender Dynamics in Midwestern Building Trades: Tokenism and Beyond
    (Lexington Books, 2020) Duggan, Lynn; Clark, Gracia; Walker, Marquita; School of Social Work
    Analyses of women’s experiences in building trades confirm that hegemonic male organizational culture continues to discourage women’s entry and retention. Theories of tokenism analyze the effects of race, gender, or other group proportions within organizations, suggesting that higher sex ratios in construction would foster a climate more supportive of women. Kanter’s (1977a) theory of tokenism is tested on 2002-3 interview data from women building trades workers in a central-Midwestern U.S. state. These findings support her hypothesis that skewed gender ratios generate tensions among women, as well as between men and women. The heightened visibility of tokens generates polarization between subgroups and promotes role entrapment, undermining solidarity across gender and among women. While tokenism theory predicts tensions between subgroups and among tokens, it must be supplemented by gender-, race- and class-based analyses of privilege for a fuller account of the complex gender dynamics in construction work. Pre-apprenticeship programs for women, mentoring, networking, and advocacy programs have been shown to contribute to increases in tradeswomen’s recruitment and retention.
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    Hospitality in jeopardy: Organizing diverse low-wage service workers
    (Sage, 2016-07) Walker, Marquita
    This article explores United Needle Trades and Industrial Employees (UNITE) and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE)’s strategic campaign to organize a diverse low-wage workforce of housekeepers in the hospitality industry in one Midwest city in Indiana. Organizers’ personal narratives provide examples of the challenges involved when creating relationships between low-wage workers from different racial and cultural backgrounds as part of a strategy to rebuff management’s continual efforts to exploit and undervalue its workforce, increase profits for the firm, and discredit the union as an effective intermediary for representation. The findings suggest UNITE-HERE’s organizing attempts realized gains for housekeepers in the form of wage and benefit increases and dismantled a covert blacklisting policy even though the hotel remains non-unionized.
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    Evaluating the Intervention of an Ethics’ Class in Students’ Ethical Decision-making
    (Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2011) Walker, Marquita
    In this pilot study, the author evaluated the impact of an ethics class in terms of students’ ethical decision-making. The research compares aggregate responses from scenario-based pre- and post-survey open-ended survey questions designed to elicit changes in ethical decision-making by comparing students’ cognitive and affective perceptions about ethical workplace behavior. Grounded in constructivist theory, which explains how individuals “know” and “come to know something (Reeves, 2003), this intervention encourages students to make better and more informed ethical decisions in the workplace based on their understanding of their value and belief system. The findings suggest increased positive cognitive and affective changes in student perceptions that inform one’s value and belief system, the student’s ability to remain open-minded and reconsider previous beliefs and actions from a 360 degree perspective, and the student’s ability to apply new information to ethical dilemmas in the workplace
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    Evaluating the intervention of an ethic's class in students' ethical decision-making: A summative review.
    (Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2013) Walker, Marquita
    This summative evaluation is the result of two years’ of data reflecting the impact of an ethics class in terms of students’ ethical decision-making. The research compares aggregate responses from scenario-based pre- and post-survey open-ended survey questions designed to measure changes in ethical decision-making by comparing students’ cognitive and affective perceptions about ethical workplace behavior. Grounded in constructivist theory, which explains how individuals “know” and “come to know something (Reeves, 2003), this intervention of an ethics class encourages students to make better and more informed ethical decisions in the workplace based on their understanding of their value and belief system. The findings suggest the intervention of an ethics class informed students’ cognitive and affective perceptions based on individual value and belief systems, strengthened student’s ability to remain open-minded and reconsider previous beliefs and actions from a 360 degree perspective, and increased student’s ability to apply new information to ethical dilemmas in the workplace.
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    Training for my life: Lived experiences of dislocated workers in an advanced manufacturing training program
    (Advances in Social Work Journal, 2013) Walker, Marquita
    This qualitative paper explores the lived experiences of one group of workers dislocated because of globalized trade policies who completed a hybrid Advanced Manufacturing Training Program (AMTP) by taking advantage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a federally-funded program for retraining workers dislocated because of trade policies. The research questions focus on how satisfied these workers are with the services and programs provided by TAA. Focus groups and survey instrument results indicate these workers found TAA services and processes cumbersome and time-consuming and actually had the effect of discouraging their education, training, and self-employment. The consequences of their dislocation as it relates to TAA experiences are increased frustration and dissatisfaction with the TAA program. Serious consideration for TAA policy changes should be deemed of utmost importance.
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    Workforce development through technologically enhanced-learning experiences (TELES)
    (International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice., 2015) Walker, Marquita
    Local and global economies face serious economic and social costs in lost productivity as a result of the mismatch between workers’ skills, employers’ needs, and cost effective training programs for workforce development. Direct investments in workforce development and training have declined while the need for skilled labor has increased (Holzer, 2008). The need for a skilled workforce requiring increased technical and people skills places groups of individuals disadvantaged because of ethnicity, race, gender, decreased education or poor basic skills at a double disadvantage because they now face the challenge of competing for jobs in a global labor market requiring some significant postsecondary education and training. This inability to function well in the labor market contributes to low employment and earnings thus placing these disadvantaged groups in distressed situations as family providers. Increased investments in workforce development and training will contribute to the reduction of unemployed workers. Technological Enhanced Learning Experiences (TELEs) provide a flexible learning solutions tool to address this disparity. TELEs are online training modules providing initial and long-term support for workers to upgrade their occupational and interpersonal skills to regain lost earnings, reintegrate into the workforce, and increase the supply of skilled workers employers need to remain competitive.
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    Parallel narratives: resistance strategies of low-wage female hospitality workers and nineteenth-century black enslaved females
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017) Walker, Marquita; Department of Labor Studies, School of Social Work
    This research explores control and gendered resistance strategies of female low-level hospitality workers and nineteenth-century black enslaved females by linking resistance patterns in historically documented slave narratives with oral narratives of current female hospitality workers. Emerging narratives document parallel stories of oppression, abuse, devaluation, and exploitation and focus awareness on the subordinate position of low-level workers in an oppressor/oppressed relationship. Functioning under two different economic systems, slavery and capitalism, these low-level workers’ narratives allow similar patterns of resistance to surface and help us expand our understanding of worker exploitation, female resistance, and narrative as possessing liberatory potential.
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    Hospitality in Jeopardy: Organizing Diverse Low-Wage Service Workers
    (Sage, 2016) Walker, Marquita; Department of Labor Studies, School of Social Work
    This article explores United Needle Trades and Industrial Employees (UNITE) and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE)’s strategic campaign to organize a diverse low-wage workforce of housekeepers in the hospitality industry in one Midwest city in Indiana. Organizers’ personal narratives provide examples of the challenges involved when creating relationships between low-wage workers from different racial and cultural backgrounds as part of a strategy to rebuff management’s continual efforts to exploit and undervalue its workforce, increase profits for the firm, and discredit the union as an effective intermediary for representation. The findings suggest UNITE-HERE’s organizing attempts realized gains for housekeepers in the form of wage and benefit increases and dismantled a covert blacklisting policy even though the hotel remains non-unionized.
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    E-learning is learning, too
    (Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, 2011-04-08) Walker, Marquita
    Abstract: Grounded in constructivist/cognitive learning theory, this paper explores the assessment of student learning in one learning module in one Labor Studies class in one Midwestern university using alternative assessment which integrates teaching and learning activities with assessment through writing activities, the prominent means of communication in an online environment. The purpose of this study, grounded in the most positive and powerful aspects of cognitive learning theory, social learning theory, and adult learning theory, is to assess student learning at the higher order thinking of the cognitive domain based on a pedagogy of learning-teaching-assessment (Speck, 2002). The study’s population is 29 students in one online class L100, Survey of Unions and Collective Bargaining in one large Midwestern university and focuses on one learning module, Federal Labor Law and Agencies. Speck (2002) suggests alternative assessment, which measures student abilities to use higher level thinking skills such as synthesis, analysis, and evaluation and includes team activities, peer evaluation, self-evaluations, and portfolios, provides instructors a more accurate measure of student learning. By providing students with alternative learning activities based on different learning styles and relating to subject content, the student shifts from passive to active engagement with the content, shifts from focusing on information to communication, and shifts from being an individual learner to a learner in a socially situated learning environment (Conole, 2010). The findings from this study suggest that students prefer a written lecture format or some combination of written, video, and interactive lecture format over a video or interactive format. These findings may reflect that students’ time on task is shorter when engaging with the written format versus a video or interactive format.