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diversity in management?
Technological developments and the emergence of a universal, globalized economy have brought individuals from different societies closer than they have ever been. Hence, institutions like schools/colleges and corporations are seeking means to better cater to the entities constituting them. This encompasses the ability of attracting and retaining the finest and most capable workforce. Diversity deals entirely with difference. It implies: the presence of a broad array of different individuals; differences between them are on account of numerous variables including race/ethnicity, sex, religion, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability and ideologies (Rice, 2010). Companies capable of formulating and implementing requisite processes and strategies in this regard will enjoy a competitive edge over rivals, in addition to increased efficacy. Private sector models of competition are not exactly perfectly suited to public sector institutions as the latter lack a profit motive for existence. Nevertheless, public sector organizations ought to strive towards drawing in, hiring and retaining the cream of the labor force to accomplish their statutory goals, which constitute their bottom lines (Gore & National Partnership for Reinventing Government (U.S.), 2000). Evolving national demographics also impact its business sector and, successively, its economy.
For continued efficacy of governmental and commercial sectors, and motivation of citizens to play a part in constructing the abovementioned institutions, leaders should acknowledge and make the most of the diversity found across the nation. This is important because, for attaining success and maintaining a competitive edge, organizations should effectively draw on its most salient resource -- its human resources (Ardakani, Abzari, Shaemi & Fathi, 2016). The broadening of one's views and the utilization of creative approaches is imperative for success, given the increasingly rich global and workforce diversity now accessible to corporations. This research will determine best corporate practices with regard to harnessing a diverse workforce. All sorts of organizations can effectively implement such practices, and hence, top level executives need to pay heed to it. Managers have cultivated practice communities which accomplish and respect organizational workforce diversity. Such practices indicate that the firm is aware of the significance of appreciating and acknowledging diversity, to maintain an edge over competition. They are aware that the application of such practices improves productivity, sustained competitiveness, and efficacy.
With corporations' increased reliance on teams for generating solutions necessary to sustain corporate success, a flood of research works have been published with regard to team composition for promoting superior performance levels. Such research covers dispersion (for instance, demographic, personality or cognitive diversity) and average team member trait levels (for instance, average team skill, know-how, or personality) combined; however, a majority of authors have dealt with only one of the above (KEARNEY, GEBERT & VOELPEL, 2009). Through impacting the variety of task related resources on hand and how effectively team members interact and collaborate with each other, team composition, apparently, strongly influences team performance.
Management diversity is also vital to firms, from an internal as well as external standpoint. From the latter standpoint, executive diversity represents a valuable tool at companies' disposal, which brings about growth and innovation, and increases HR and overall company productivity (Jaworska, 2016). A few results and advancements linked to successful management diversity that have been thoroughly studied are as follows: increased team creativity; improved corporate commitment levels; reduced costs as a result of the attraction, recruitment and retention of the most capable candidates in the job market; reduction in number of discrimination lawsuits; reduced turnover rates; and increased HR productivity with regard to employee satisfaction, turnover intention, job involvement, and corporate citizenship behavior. From the aforementioned outcomes, it clearly follows that HR productivity will improve. Thus, company executives and supervisors should prove particularly efficient in integrating diverse age groups, cultures and genders, and strive to the best of their ability to organize multiplicity and diversity.
For ensuring an edge over rivals in the current globalized world, multinationals should be cognizant of the significance of a culturally- diverse, -sensitive, and -- competent staff, and apply strategies which make the most of associated benefits. Diversity is most apparent and crucial in multinationals. Nowadays, both markets and consumers are diverse in nature, thereby necessitating a diverse workforce. Cultural competency denotes an individual's or company's knowledge, skills and understanding which aids them in embracing diversity and collaborating effectively with individuals hailing from different backgrounds (whether cultural, linguistic, religious or economic) (O'Neill, 2016). Cultural competency indicates non-tolerance of discrimination as well as acceptance of, and respect to, all owing to their differences. Nobody is viewed as superior or inferior. It indicates an all-encompassing, dynamic company culture.
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The aforementioned introductory section, and consequently, the paper, is largely derived from Rice's 2010 work. The author has put forward a balanced, holistic summary of procedures and policies to achieve public organizational ethnic/racial diversity, focusing strongly on improving public sector diversity management. The book revolves around the subject of diversity, how to manage diversity, multiculturalism in public administration, role of diversity in public productivity, delivery of public services within a diverse society, and evolving demographics as well as public policy. The paper is further developed through the aid of additional literature relevant to this topic.
2. Diversity is a tool for productivity and competitive advantage
By means of individuals' collective and concentrated endeavors, material and financial resources are utilized to accomplish corporate objectives. However, there is a need to hone such efforts, capabilities and attitudes every now and again so as to optimize HR efficacy and help them tackle bigger challenges. No company can progress an inch without a workforce. Hence, HR management, which deals with handling companies' human component such that corporate aims and targets are attained and, simultaneously, personnel grow personally and intellectually and are satisfied with the company, constitutes a key organizational issue (Jaworska, 2016). Firms which employ HR hailing from diverse age groups, genders, religions, races, nationalities, and regions, and holding diverse beliefs and standpoints find it rather hard to manage such a workforce. The workforce also encounters difficulties in adapting to such a diverse atmosphere. Management of a diverse workforce constitutes a major organizational challenge.
Improving personnel productivity remains a key managerial and overall corporate challenge. As individual corporations possess their own distinctive aims and corporate structures, multiple approaches may be employed for achieving increased productivity. One such approach entails the successful espousal and management of organizational diversity. When managers sincerely work towards personnel welfare by providing them adequate compensation, healthcare amenities and an objective appraisal, employees develop a feeling of belongingness to the organization regardless of their different background. Thus, they stay loyal and work hard, thereby enhancing organizational efficiency and returns (O'Neill, 2016).
Of late, enterprises and institutions are supporting collaboration more than ever as a way to ensure improved job task outcomes and improved product/service delivery. One person carrying out several tasks will take longer to accomplish them all as compared to a team. Furthermore, individual team members have several individual ideas to offer and provide their own unique standpoints when seeking solutions to problems, facilitating effective achievement of the ideal solution in as short a period as possible.
A workforce hailing from different backgrounds will bring with it unique experiences and views which aid team-based tasks. Combining culturally diverse workers' different abilities, know-how, and understanding may greatly benefit the firm by bolstering team output and alertness when it comes to adjusting to evolving environments (Norman-Major & Gooden, 2012). All cultures possess their own unique fortes and failings, and hence, besides his/her individuality, each individual worker will possess unique culturally derived weaknesses and strengths. When individual staff members' distinctive characteristics are adequately and successfully managed, the company can harness their strengths and improve on their weaknesses; this will greatly impact personnel.
Corporate competitiveness and success rely on its capacity of accepting and supporting diversity and recognizing its advantages. Active company assessment of workplace diversity management and development and implementation of diversity strategies gleans several benefits: diversity fuels efficiency and innovation, developing a world class corporate culture capable of outperforming rivals. Multicultural companies are better able to serve diverse customers within the progressively more globalized market. These companies better realize the political, legal, social, cultural and economic requirements of other countries (Kellough and Naff, 2004). Within advanced technological and research oriented sectors, the huge pool of abilities acquired by ethnic- and gender- diverse firms becomes an invaluable advantage. After all, inventiveness flourishes with diversity in the environment (Virtue, 2010; Soni, 2002). Hence, multicultural firms are typically better problem solvers, are better able to derive broadened meanings, and will more likely exhibit various different views and interpretations when it comes to tackling complex problems. Companies that employ individuals from varied backgrounds are able to generate a larger range of resolutions to issues pertaining to resource allotment, service, and sourcing. Such personnel bring with them unique experiences and abilities, and may put forward ideas which prove flexible in adjusting to shifting consumer and market demands. Their assorted set of experiences and skills (like cultural understanding or sensitivity and languages) helps firms cater to clients across the globe.….....
Ardakani, M. S., Abzari, M., Shaemi, A., & Fathi, S. (2016). Diversity management and human resources productivity: Mediating effects of perceived organizational attractiveness, organizational justice and social identity in Isfahan's steel industry. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 9(2), 407-432.
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O'Neill, R. (2016). THE IMPORTANCE OF A DIVERSE AND CULTURALLY COMPETENT WORKFORCE. Busidate, 24(3), 9.
Rice, M.F. (2010). Diversity and public administration: Theory, Issues, and Perspectives, (2nd Ed). Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.
Soni, V. (2002). A Twenty-First-Century Reception for Diversity in the Public Sector: A Case Study, Public Administration Review, 60(5):395 -- 408.
Virtue, M. (2010). Advancing Racial Equity in Communities: Lessons for Philanthropy, Cornerstone Consultants