Diversity In Workplace Analysis

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Diversity management is an important area of human resource management both in domestic and internationally based in organizations. Diversity management is defined by Harris, Brewster, Sparrow in their book (2003, pp. 154) as “initiatives that capitalize on the diversity in a firm’s workplace, including such characteristics as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age and disability, as a strategic approach to business that contributes to organizational growth such as profits and productivity”.For an international organization the key challenge in diversity management is the extent to which an organization’s diversity programs should be standardized across various subsidiaries in different countries.

This also is the basis of the most criticisms of diversity management, because the ambiguousness of such methods have led to an absence of proper metrics which would illustrate the impact of programs on meaningful organizational outcomes.A main reason for this to happen is that the practice of diversity management rarely presents the opportunity to appraise an organization’s input-throughput-output system, since the practitioners are often restricted to working with only one or two elements of the system (Burke, Cooper, 2005, pp. 152-153). Two approaches of diversity management are as below: 1.

Macro or Organizational Level approach – This approach addresses the organizational designs for diversity and suggests organizational change processes towards the multicultural organization. Several models have been proposed to analyze the organizational approach to diversity management. One of the most popular models was given by Cox who analyzed the large organizations employing minorities and hence need a fair system to monitor their performances and offer proper training.Cox concluded that a bias-free HR system is the key factor in proper diversity management for such scenarios. Cox’s model was based on real-life scenarios and case studies.

Yet another popular model was given by Thomas and Ely focusing on the processes by which the diversity management affects the relationship between workforce diversity and organizational outcomes variables. They argued for three types of diversity perspectives: discrimination and fairness, access and legitimacy, and integration and learning.They proved the theories by conducting a qualitative research and found that integration and learning was the most positive approach (Stahl, Bjorkman, 2006, pp. 223-230) 2. Micro level approach – This approach draws on the psychological models of discrimination and inter-group relations thereby offering a platform to design interventions that reduce conflict and increase cooperation among the different groups.Dick and Petersen gave a model for this type of approach which was based on the theory that understanding and managing stereotypes and prejudices would help in diversity managing interventional from a socio-psychological approach.

Hence, human resource managers who are dealing with diversity issues need to be aware of the complex joint effects of stereotypes, prejudices, and the organizational context in order to design effective diversity managing interventions (Stahl, Bjorkman, 2006, pp.231-240) Human resource managers should also be aware of the fact the people management would vary widely, and hence there is no hard-ruled approach for dealing with situations concerning diversity. Managing diversity is both a very important, as well as a very difficult task. One thing is clear however, that no blind and rigid practices would help the situation and this would only lead to high risk of latent prejudice within the organization.

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