In the contemporary world, human diversity has become an important ingredient in organizational development. However, this topic has developed into another dimension that is very important to the business organization. In this regard, diversity is an important aspect of business management because it provides the executive with the basis of developing strategies that are effective for a particular location. Many parts of the globe like the USA and the UAE have continued experiencing a high rate of diversity in their demography. With the increased level of diversity, the workplaces have become very difficult to manage because people from different cultural backgrounds have contrasting perceptions about business philosophies. Therefore, it is vital to conduct a study to understand managing a diverse labor force. This study is useful to the reader, especially HR managers on the best strategies that can be used to manage a diverse workforce to achieve corporate goals and performance.
Workplace diversity within an organization is the extent of distinctness among the employees and the management especially in the manner they perceive the existing organization culture. Here, diversity can be used as a means of attracting, maintaining, and motivating employees across all discourse. Consequently, the organization will benefit from increased productivity because motivated workers will provide good services that promote customer satisfaction. This research has identified that workplace diversity is significant in promoting the organizational performance of any corporation. However, for the future research, it is important to research about the specific dimensions of workplace diversity that are very essential for promoting productivity in a more diverse marketplace.
In the contemporary world, human diversity has become an important ingredient in organizational development. Initially, concepts revolving around human diversity have been enshrined in various pieces of legislation. Here, the law limits organizations in their recruitment process so that no person is discriminated from the recruitment process based on sexual category, race, and age. However, this topic has developed into another dimension that is very important to the business organization. For example, workers diversity provides vital information for an organization to understand the similarities and differences of its workers based on age, race, belief, gender and physical challenges and abilities. In this regard, diversity is an important aspect of business management because it provides the executive with the basis of developing strategies that are effective for a particular location. This is an important strategy because globalization and internationalization has resulted into a diversified business population that is a major problem for management.
Many parts of the globe like the USA and the UAE have continued experiencing a high rate of diversity in their demography. With the increased level of diversity, the workplaces have become very difficult to manage because people from different cultural backgrounds have contrasting perceptions about business philosophies. As such, this makes the management process very difficult to achieve its corporate goals. Thus, managing diversity is ideal to create a suitable work environment that promotes employee productivity. Therefore, it is vital to conduct a study to understand managing a diverse labor force. This study is useful to the reader, especially HR managers on the best strategies that can be used to manage a diverse workforce to achieve corporate goals and performance.
This paper is based on revealing the workers diversity that affects the performance of an organization. Here, diversity is associated with age and cultural differences that are specific to an individual because of his birthplace (Jayne & Dipboye, 2004). Age and culture is very important to study under workers diversity because it determines behavior and attitudes that is common to workers within an organization (Bloch, 2008). Every organization has its own organizational culture that is strategic to the objectives of the organizations. However, the attitudes and behavior can affect the implementation of a corporate culture. Similarly, managing diversity is an important tool in promoting employees satisfaction through understanding their best management strategies (Poole, 2007). Consequently, this will result to increased morale of the workers in performing their duties effectively. This literature review will provide existing information regarding the factors of workers diversity and how they influence organizational management.
Defining workplace diversity
Workplace diversity within an organization is the extent of distinctness among the employees and the management especially in the manner they perceive the existing organization culture (Pitts & Wise, 2010). As such, diversity issues can be visible or invisible depending on which aspect of the diversity is being considered. For example, gender, race, ethnicity, and culture can be visible due to the perceived individuals from different cultural backgrounds (Rasmussen, 1996). Rasmussen (1996) defines diversity as “the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact” (274). This case definition of workplace diversity implies that all people are diverse and it is a desired asset that is acquired in the community. However, personal attributes, learning skills, information responsiveness, and strategic lifestyles are invisible, but sill affects the performance of an organization (Pitts & Wise, 2010). Another definition of diversity is based on collaboration at the workplace. Here, diversity can be defined as the manner in which people within an organization interact with each other and how the affect the organization environment through their associations (Pitts, 2009).
Workers diversity is an elaborate topic that is not confined about how individuals perceive themselves, but it extends on how they relate with others (Steorts, 1995). In this regard, a more diverse labor force is required to ensure that the needs provided by a culturally diverse society are achieved (Mathews, 1998). Issues of diversity are discussed in relation to discrimination of the minority groups and when there is a need for affirmative action Riccucci (2002). Conversely, diversity is not a new topic in management but it has been research for quite some time (Harris & Moran, 2006). On the other hand, the most difficult issue regarding diversity is that some employees are resistant to the perception that the diversity of the workplace is changing over time. According to Aronson (2002), diversity is directly proportional to organizational challenges and this can be a source of difficulties in managing conflicts resulting from diversity issues. Moreover, proper management of a diverse workplace will result to high levels of profitability for an organization (Aronson, 2002).
Diversity as a moral and ethical essential
People tend to think about diversity in relation to affirmative action, sexual or racial discrimination (Digh, 1998). However, this is not the case of complete workers diversity at the workplace because it should include elderly workers, physically challenged individuals at the workplace and people with dissimilar lifestyles (Poole, 2007). These types of diversity are understood to varying degrees among members of a society. In a workplace organization, diversity is used to imply the differences and similarities if individuals in articulating their responsibilities irrespective of their cultural background (Marshall, 1995). However, promoting diversity at the workplace cannot achieve its ultimate goal if the management does not institute strategic policies. According to a diversity study performed by Clarke (1995), he found out that organizations have a role to promote and encourage that diversity is achieved at the workplace. Currently, many organizations still regard diversity as an employment issues, but this has more to do with corporate performance than the former. On the contrary, successful organizations have identified diversity as an important aspect of improving performance of a company. This has led to the rapid development of diversity issues within organizations (Talbot-Allen, 1995).
Diversity at the workplace
Based on the case definitions of workplace diversity, it can be a source of both creating opportunities and establishing challenges for the management (Wheeler, 2007). On one hand, it is an organizational challenge because it forces the management to institute an organizational change because it requires promotion of a cultural working environment that values importance of differences. These differences can result to altering the potential of the workers in articulating their responsibilities (Cox, 2011). Similarly, it provides an opportunity for the organization because it is a source of competitive advantage through the diverse labor force. Here, diversity can be used as a means of attracting, maintaining, and motivating employees across all discourse (Wheeler, 2007). Consequently, the organization will benefit from increased productivity because motivated workers will provide good services that promote customer satisfaction. The first stage in promoting diversity as a tool for improving performance should start by identifying the existence of different cultures (Selden, 2006). This will serve as the basis for understanding the perspective of developing organization behavior. Here, assumptions are made regarding how a group can organize or defines its experience on the existence of a particular culture. According to Fine et al. (1990), they claim that men and women have different perceptions of organizing their life. Further, they argue that each single divergent group has its own definition, identification, and organization of experience (Fine et al., 1990).
Various researches have been conducted to determine the factors that cause divergent experiences. The first factor is organizational life, which is different fro each particular group or culture (Selden & Selden, 2001). For example, they claim that women tend to perceive the organization from the bottom because they are given low-level jobs that have less compared to men. On the other hand, minority groups are always very few within an organization and this result to their thought from an isolation point of view. Secondly, groups are diverse in an organization because they tend to be comfortable in communicating with individuals from the same groups. Here, the information flow from one group to the other is differentiated based ion the nature of the information they receive. As such, these divergent groups will hold different perspectives while viewing some aspects around the world (Wentling & Palma-Rivas, 1998). Lastly, the uniqueness of culture and sexual orientation result to different perceptions within an organization (Bassett-Jones, 2005). For instance, women and the minority groups in an organization view interpersonal barriers as impediments to obtaining their success (Gasorek, 2008). Contrarily, men perceive recognized structures and strategies as ideal mechanism of reducing obstacles. As such, men define the moral order based on hierarchy, division, and abstraction whilst women use interpersonal relationships (Digh, 1998).
In the contemporary world, business organizations implemented the issue of diversity at the workplace in delicate and structural ways. On economic terms, diversity is a major boost for corporate performance (Gasorek, 2008). For example, as the number of women and minority groups increases within an organization, it results to an upsurge to the number of customers for that particular organization. In this regard, a company that has developed a diverse workforce is more likely to benefit from this increased attraction of customers. However, a diverse workforce has very important implications to moral influence (Lester, 2005). This based on the fact that every group within a society has a fundamental role to play in the development process. The uniqueness of the social groups provides the basis of innovation that is very fundamental in promoting the competitiveness of the organization (Mueller, 1998).
The new advancing of the global economy through globalization and internationalization, a proper understanding of diversity is a strategic option (Morrison & Crabtree,1995). Whereas, diversity in a global perspective represents affirmative action, at corporate level it demonstrates the unique nature of the employees (Kluge, 1997). Conversely, the manner in which an organization can implement diversity remain a major puzzle. On perception of achieving diversity at the workplace involves embracing different styles that would develop the culture of diversity (Kluge, 1997). Contrarily, mostly organization believes that diversity can be achieved through creating special position for women and the minority groups. This is important because it will eliminate the necessity of suppression differences among employees and lead to understanding of value differences (Oubré, 2007). Thus, the organizations ought to ensure that their workforce reflects diversity as a mix of employees from different cultural backgrounds, race, gender and other aspects of diversity (Bassett-Jones, 2005). The basis of instituting the diversity policies within an organization should focus at considering the needs of the special divergent groups so that it is incorporated into the organizational structures (Newell, 1995). This will ensure that the talents and innovations of the employees provide a competitive edge for the company (Talbot-Allen, 1995).
Which side of the issue do you come down on?
Improving organizational competence and responsibility in a diversified workplace environment is very difficult. Developing accountability measures within an organization may go far away from achieving the objectives of an organization. There are two sides involved in developing a diversified workplace through the corporate social responsibility or through a establishing an appraisal system, based ion these two sides, I come down on implementing an appraisal system. Here, it is important to implement the accountability measures alongside the appraisal systems. In this regard, it is more advantageous for an organization that puts performance as a fundamental aspect of the general appraisal system. As such, the diversity issues will be incorporated into the mission and vision of the organization. Companies, with sufficient diversity mechanisms in their corporate strategies benefit from the competitive advantage that is created from the diverse workforce. This is significant to the company because diversity issues within the mission and objectives of the corporation explain the role of employees that establish an essential valuing and working environment for obtaining corporate success.
What does the “real world” look like?
Diversity at the workplace has become a common phenomenon in the real world because it provides the competitive advantage. Most organizations in the contemporary world implement the diversity approaches through a careful analysis of the dimensions of workplace diversity. The dimensions of workplace diversity are age, civilization, sexual orientation, physical capabilities and race. On the other hand, basic dimensions of diversity can be characterized by ourselves that is very constant for every employee. This source of dimensions is very significant because it is the perceived thought individuals develop before they interact with other people in the organization. During the implementation of diversity dimension, most executive managers do not consider the secondary dimensions into their structures. Examples of secondary diversity include religious values, education levels, previous work experience, family status, and demographic location. The major reason for failure for organizations to include secondary diversity issues in their structures because most believe that this can be changed with time. Therefore, the different dimension that exists among individuals gives the organization an opportunity to develop compatible structures that would suit the corporate culture .
The initial stages used in the real world in implementing a diversity mechanism within an organization is to ensure that current diversity problems are established, this is important for the management to ensure that only the areas that are weak within the corporation are changed to promote performance. Establishing the needs before initiating any mechanism is a proactive approach that defines the need of an organization in relation to the present diversity problems. Proper care should be maintained during the process of identifying the needs because it should be perceived as a punitive measure towards any of the employees. Here, the fundamental objective of the needs assessment is to be used as a self-check to ensure that a clear understanding of the internal organization operations is identified before any alterations inclined to diversity are implemented. An extensive analysis of the internal structure and other organizational policies is essential for developing a positive and a strengthening the work environment that is more focused on improving production.
Another approach in the process of implementing diversity issues is ensuring that the level of commitment by the management is maintained at high levels. In this regard, the style of leadership is critical in ensuring the diversity issues are addressed within the structure of the organization. This is the most important part of the organization to address the diversity issues because the executives have the power to change or alter the culture of the organization to ensure that it is consistent with the diversity issues identified in the assessment. On the other hand, performance of the organization depends on the ability of the top managers include all issues of diversity within their leadership style. However, the level of commitment in implementing the diversity issues is another important measure of promoting collaboration. Improved employee relationships, reduced organizational conflicts and effective communication are ideals that demonstrate the level of commitment of managers towards diversity issues. This indicates the success of a diversity program is based on the perceived position of the employees that the top management is totally in support of diversity.
To ensure that a diversity program is successful in an organization, proper solutions to the diversity issues should be developed. Here, the solutions should be consistent with an achievable strategy that is designed to provide results. Conversely, an ideal solution should be accompanied with performance assessments that reflect on the policy of promoting diversity for women and other minority groups. For example, it is vital to develop a performance evaluation measure that emphasizes valuing and analyzing the diversity issues. Lastly, the aspect in the implementation process is maintaining momentum for the process for a long-term. It is important to ensure that the momentums is created through a process that is consistent in evaluating and improving the diversity issues affecting women and other minority groups.
With increased economic activities across different marketplace, the issues of diversity are very important. Workplace diversity is very important for organization development because it promotes an effective coexistence. Here, employees learn how to communicate and interact within the organization to ensure that they are bale to achieve corporate success. Different cultural background s provides the major sources of diversity at the workplace that is manifested in race, gender, religion and other physical competencies and challenges. With increased globalization, the need to develop a diversified workplace is evitable, therefore, executive managers have no option, but to incorporate diversity issues into their corporate structures, this will help the organization to achieve success in a diversified marketplace that is the hallmark of globalization.
The process of implementing diversity issues requires proper procedures. Firstly, it is important to identify the diversity issues that are affecting the company at the moment. This will ensure that the organization is consistent in fixing the problem that is affecting its labor force. This will be followed by developing solutions to the diversity problems that are consistent ion achieving corporate success. These solutions should be consistent with the perception of the employees at to ensure that it ignites their morale and, motivation because they are valued for the organization. Lastly, it is important to develop appraisal measures that will determine the applicability of the diversity issues. This should be based on the viability of the diversity issue top promote organizational performance. This research has identified that workplace diversity is significant in promoting the organizational performance of any corporation. However, for the future research, it is important to research about the specific dimensions of workplace diversity that are very essential for promoting productivity in a more diverse marketplace.
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