BUAD 801: Management Theory and Practice
Discuss the concept of organizational diversity and state its relevance in achieving organizational objectives.
Dawari Ete Akobo – DP17MBA0967
Philip Chijioke Annie – ABUMBA02015004371
Salau Diekola Shakiru – ABUMBA02015001243
Lawal Ayinde Abdulfattah – ABUMBA2017010723
Maryam Kasimu Ibrahim – ABUMBA2017008531
Diversity management is the function of planning, organizing, directing and bolstering the entire managerial talent for enhancing an organizations environment, where forth all diverse workforce regardless of their similarities and differences, contributes competitively to the effective goals and objective of an organization (Dike, 2013). Primary and secondary dimensions in diversity management include age, gender, sexual orientation; religion, education, geographical location and income (Ashton 2010). Globalization and workforce diversity differ as the latter addresses differences among people in a country. Workforce diversity has implications which are significant in management practice. Managers require a shift in their philosophies by responding positively to the differences and similarities in employees, without discrimination which is detrimental to the output levels and employee retention (Dike, 2013; Robbins, 2002). Managing workforce diversity is significant in harnessing the differences and similarities of employees for meeting organizational goals and objectives, including shareholders interest (Krietner and Kinichi, 2004). Although organizational diversity is relevant in achieving Organizational objectives in the diversity management discuss, this essay will argue that organizational diversity is relatively deficient due to lack in management capacity in diversity management orientations.
The relevance of Organizational diversity in achieving Organizational objectives cannot be overemphasized. Organizational diversity provides organizational development which includes a wide array of employee backgrounds. The implication of workplace diversity on organizational targets means that an organization would on a whole have more experience and expertise coverage in critical areas which affect the company. The organization can rely on diversity in talents, skills and experiences, innovation creativity and language skills. Nonetheless, below are some more elaborate pointers on how relevant organizational diversity is in meeting organizational objectives and goals.
• Various opinions and perspective
In an organization with varying experiences and background the tendencies for opinioned perspective abounds. This hence creates opportunities for solving different problems or issues. When managed properly the strengths and insights of multiplicity contributions produces heightened productivity with far better results. Claudia Cadena, Strategic human capital management director at Sapurakencana Petroleum Bhd acclaims that success is determined by the composition of the team.
Mixing capabilities is essential in strategic planning, execution, and communication followed up by conflict resolution. For cadena limited resources in diversity hinders organizational objectives since individuals of similar backgrounds and ideas fail to actualize potentials a diverse work force brings. Nevertheless, differences in culture enables employees to experience and test new cultures, opinions and ideas.
• Growth of employees
An employee’s personal growth sows in an environment of different ideas, opinions and culture. There is need for employees to adapt new diverse environmental circumstances, where working with different personalities, culture and background improves employee growth. This confronts ethno centric traits when work is undergone in a different style and culture.
• Unity of diverse strengths
Diversity in strength helps the organization to enjoy different levels of power and skills in unison of diverse strength. The strength of a diverse work force is such that the strength of one party in management remedies for weaknesses in sales, or still, the sales strength will be matched with the technical strength of another proffering unity in diverse strengths. Also the cultural diversity of the workforce in terms of expertise can be enjoyed by the company, most especially for global organizations whose operations transcends national borders to meet the needs of segmented markets. Representative of same demographics would be paired with clients of such origins to create a sense of bonding with the company through the diverse employee.
• Company appears attractive
A company that employs workforce diversity in an inclusive work environment is attractive to consumers in the marketplace. The younger generations are attracted to such work force adopted by an open minded employer who explores culturally new ideas and styles. If it is the capabilities, skills and talents in an employee an organization seeks, rather than socio-economic background, ethnicity and more, then there is the possibility of a huge range of diverse applicants.
• The schedule advantage
The practical advantage in a diverse workforce is that workers despite their unique time commitments are able to complete organization task all year round. For example Siti Hajar Mohd Dahlan, AVP human resource in Malakoff Corporation Bhd a power generation company, suggests that a diverse work group in terms of race, religion and ethnicity ensures that there is a steady workforce available during every festive period during the year.
However the complexity of management diversity requires managers train for handling diversity through a multicultural setting to be passed on to lower cadre in other to accommodate the diverse workforce. Since diversity is an enormous challenge to the management cadre, when workplace diversity increases an organization economic operation becomes more global (Peoplematters, nd). In Nigeria organizations equate uncertainty with managing diversity, partly because the significance and need of organizational diversity are recent for top management. It is thus necessary for the development of appropriate frameworks to organizational performance which researchers and practitioners have already begun to develop (Ogbo, et al, 2014). Managing diversity for achieving a company’s goals is strategic and surpasses the similarities and differences of a workforce or its set human resource policy. The global political economy is taken into consideration, so also is the demographic functions of population changes (diversity). The process of managing diversity to attain company objectives are in four stages as follows:
• Recognizing the business economic consequences
• Manage diversity through an effectively developed strategy
• Implement an organizational change through an action plan
• Evaluate the diversity management strategy
Furthermore diversity is encouraged by organizations via employee involvement in the formulation and execution of any diversity initiative at the workplace. Initiating an attitude of openness in the organization is also compulsory. Diversity policy can be sharpened through training in diversity as a tool. Leaders and managers of organizations should enact diversity policies into every area of the organizational functions and objectives (Peoplematters, nd). Stereotype and prejudice are some common barriers in managing workplace diversity. Some workforce differences equate diversity hiring with compromising quality and competence. Secondly there is lack of political will on the part of diverse employees due to inexperience in lobbying favors and promotions in an organization. Women and colored workers excluded from networks of organizations revealed these findings (Ely and Thomas, 2001:229, cited in Ogbo, et al, 2014). For example a comparative research on diversity for 5 companies including Coca cola, Ford Motor, Miljoy Group, Dabboussi International company limited and Dastia siivious Oy discovered that diversity management tools and techniques applied by the 5 companies succeeded, even though there were some challenges such as discrimination or nepotism, communication problems and resistance to change by coworkers; and racism (Dike, 2013).
Consequently most of the problems diversity manager’s faced in achieving organizational goals were the following:
• The nature of a company and its operations limited the ability of the managers to overcome diversity
• The work force is ineffectively managed by managers for lack of knowledge
• There is limited openness in communication between the employees due to mangers poor communication skills
• Resource Employee Groups created by management of large firms were not adequate to direct employees through challenges of diversity management (ibid).
Managers and existing employees could be oriented through cultural mentoring to blend in with their schedules and environments. Mangers can shuffle company strategies were diversity management turns ineffectual. Notwithstanding before the execution of the vision of change there must be prior communication. Moreover managers should apply to some form of change management principles before the adaptation of change (ibid).
Diversity management pulls together a heterogeneous network of characteristics from human resource engagements including but not limited to age, gender, sexual orientation, education, and race. Organizational performance is the extent to which organizations meet laid down objectives. Attaining organizational objectives through organizational diversity are advantageous, though the characteristic of a company and its set operations have a role in diversity management, however mangers at all levels must be enlightened to fulfill such diverse goals in organizational development amongst its employees in as much as workers themselves are ready to accept change. In all, where management lacks the capacity to deliver diversity management, then organizational diversity will be as weak as the circumstances which limit it and thus irrelevant for achieving organizational objectives.
Dike, P. (2013). The impact of workplace diversity on organizations. Arcada
Ashton. (2010) The dimensions of diversity. Accessed 5/11/[email protected] http://ashtonfourie.com/blog1/2010/05/18/the-dimensions-of-diversity/
Kreitner, R., and Kinichi, .A. (2004). Organizational Behaviour . Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Ogbo, A.I; Kirfordu, A.A; Ukpere, W.I. (2014). The Effect of Workforce Diversity on Organizational Performance of Selected Firms in Nigeria. Accessed 25/06/[email protected] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263138665
Peoplematters. (nd). Effect of workplace diversity on organizational goals. Accesed 23/06/[email protected]://www.peoplematters.in/article/diversity/effect-of-workplace-diversity-on-organisational-goals-14588
Robbins, S.P. (2002). Organizational Behavior. San Diego State University: Prentice Hall International, Inc.