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It has been argued that “diversity matters but concentrating on only one form of diversity isn’t enough.” Discuss this statement and provide examples to support your argument.

1.Use academic citation and correct reference format

2.Use appropriate academic English language.

3.Link argument with course concepts and frameworks

An excellent report using the recommended structure including table of contents, page numbers, headings and possibly diagrams.

Demonstrates an excellent link between theory and practice. Excellent use of key business terms. Clear evidence of relevant and perceptive application of theory, and/or research results where applicable.

Diverse Diversities

Diversity is an essential aspect of any organization (Brown 2015). In an increasingly globalized world, it is usual for organizations to operate in numerous countries and for their employees to hail from diverse backgrounds. This diversity has to be appreciated and understood in every aspect of its manifestation, and therefore, it is untenable to analyse and ascertain to the extent of diversity by using just a single lens through which to view diversity (Ghorashi and Sabelis 2013). Therefore, diversity as a concept is of immense significance, but its analysis cannot be limited to a single lens or axiom. This paper argues in favour of this assertion by showing how different forms of diversity exist and how they interplay with each other to determine the organization’s performance, culture and operations within the industry in which the organization exists. This paper analyses several axioms of diversity and how can one use these axioms to determine the exact extent and scope of diversity existing within an organization. The paper, therefore, shall go on to prove that imposing a single lens of analysing diversity is essentially detrimental to the objective of understanding and appreciating organizational diversity.

Diversity is defined as the phenomenon of the existence of people from a multitude of ethnic, social, cultural, gender and national backgrounds (Podsialowski et al. 2013). Such being the case with the issue of diversity, at the outset, it is impossible to impose a single, universal criterion of analysing diversity. In an organization possessing a diverse workforce, employees often band together based on the commonalities of their various backgrounds and each, therefore, contributes to the organization’s activities through their unique knowledge, skills and experiences (Martin 2014). A diverse workforce is an invaluable asset to the organization, lending it a competitive advantage in the context of a highly competitive market where the very survival of the enterprise depends upon the number of assets it possesses (Saxena 2014).

In order to truly determine the extent and depth of diversity existing within the scope of an organization, it is crucial to broaden the points of view through which managers and scholars tend to consider the notion of diversity (White and Rice 2015). By using a single lens to cover every facet and aspect of diversity, a lot of the nuances involved in the very phenomenon of diversity is lost and do not find a platform for it to be researched or analysed objectively (Matsumoto and Hwang 2013). Thus, there is a need to shed the notion of diversity as a single, umbrella term for the phenomenon of a diverse workforce and instead, it should encompass a heterogenous approach towards understanding and examining the role of diversity.

Culture

Although the amount of diversity that can exist within a workforce is significant, for the sake of simplicity and conciseness, this paper takes a brief look at three major axioms of diversity which would go on to argue that adopti0ng a single form of analysis for diversity is restrictive, and it hinders the ability of both the management and scholars to comprehend the importance and necessity of a diverse organization to the full extent. The paper shall look at culture, linguistic and ethnic diversity as examples of the parametres for determining the diverse nature of diversity and show how their existence can have a long-lasting impact on the internal dynamics and operations of an organization.

By far, cultural diversity is the most commonly encountered form of diversity within an organization (Rockstuhl and Ng 2015). Even in enterprises that operate within the territorial confines of a single country, the cultural diversity in its workforce is broad and wide-ranging (Crane, Kawashima and Kawasaki 2016). In the era of globalization, where most firms tend to operate across countries and continents, the amount of cultural diversity within the workforce is more staggering but not altogether surprising, considering that such organizations do need the experience and talents of employees who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. A culturally diverse organization is a symbol of inclusiveness and merit, as employees are not discriminated based on their cultural background.

As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, a multinational organization heavily relies on the cultural diversity of its employees since a diverse cultural background signifies the existence of broad opinions and suggestions which could emerge as a definitive aid to solve crucial and recurring problems of the organization. Using the diversity of knowledge as a result of a culturally diverse workforce the management can gain a lot of unique perspectives regarding internal administration, competitive strategies and operational activities through which the organization can gain a competitive advantage over its competitors (Hunt, Layton and Prince 2015). In a highly competitive market environment, such advantages prove to be highly effective in maintaining the efficiency and standing of the firm in the market.

Due to significant contributions that cultural diversity plays, there has been the growth of the study of cross-cultural management within the field of management as an attempt to understand and manage the different aspects of maintaining, organizing and motivating a culturally diverse workforce. Employees from culturally diverse backgrounds also provide important information about the social and cultural dynamics within which they have grown up, thereby allowing the firm to gather the necessary data beforehand so that in the event of expanding into a new base of operations, the cultural shock would be less and the organization can fine-tune its operations within that specific socio-cultural setting in order to ensure the smooth running of the enterprise within the context of those socio-cultural conditions. Therefore, cultural diversity has to be a part of the overall method through which diversity should be analysed and determined.

Language

Linguistic diversity also happens to be a commonly encountered form of diversity within an organization (Crilly, Hansen and Zollo 2016). This phenomenon is especially true in multinational firms, where employees are drawn in from diverse linguistic backgrounds. In some cases, linguistic diversity can exist even within a single country, where the extent of linguistic diversity is immense, such as India. However, linguistic diversity as a phenomenon is mostly restricted to multinational corporations, where employees belonging to different countries work as a part of the firm’s workforce. While cultural contextualizes a person’s identity, language tends to express their identity as a material force which sets them apart from another individual belonging to a different linguistic group (Massip-Bonet 2013).

Linguistic diversity comes as a challenge for intra-organizational communication, as a significantly large linguistically diverse workforce, poses a challenge for the management to communicate its policies and decisions to their employees (Mukherjee, Yaswi and Das 2018). Often, the common solution to this problem is the adoption of a common, standard language; in this case, this usually tends to be English since English is a globally recognized language. Generally, the use of a standardized, common language is not an issue as most employees tend to be literate in the use of the English language. However, with an increased emphasis on inclusiveness, organizations all over the globe now understand the need to have a grasp on all of the world’s major spoken and written languages.

With this newfound need in mind, determining and ascertaining the exact distribution of linguistic diversity within an organization has assumed greater importance. Classifying and categorizing the distribution of linguistic diversity among the employees working in an organization helps the management to determine what languages can they use to address various employees, thereby increasing the effectiveness with which they can communicate their decisions and policies to employees without encountering any linguistic or semantic barrier, by composing their messages in the most widely used languages in the organization so that every employee can understand its content and keep their activities within the directives of the management. For this very reason, assessing linguistic diversity is significant and doubtlessly forms another component for determining the overall diversity within an organization.

Ethnic diversity is often held to be a significant aspect of organizational diversity, given the history of discrimination and ethnic bias in the collective history of human civilization (Janssens and Zamoni 2014). An ethnically diverse organization is often held in high regard since it indicates the inclusiveness of its employment policy and signifies that employment is only determined on qualification and merit. Although every kind of organization in the present day are ethnically diverse, multinational enterprises are often the kind of organizations where one can find ethnic diversity to its fullest possible extent. Hence ethnic diversity is an essential parametre for determining an organization’s overall prestige and reputation within the industry.

Ethnicity

Given that the frequency of discrimination has not completely faded away, it emerges as an important task for the management to determine the extent of ethnic diversity in their workforce in order to monitor and prevent acts of discrimination to take place and thus, better conditions of employment for individuals who may hail from marginalized and oppressed ethnic backgrounds. In this way, the management can ensure equality of opportunity and abide by the laws of the country in which the organization operates. Preventing acts of discrimination and bias also benefits the enterprise by enabling it to acquire popularity and thereby gain prospective employees recruited into the organization. Hence, determining ethnic diversity for the sake of individual welfare and collective expansion is highly beneficial for the firm.

In this light, ethnic diversity assumes enough significance to be considered as a component of determining the extent and scope of diversity within an organization. Any organization practising ethnic diversity wins praise and maintaining ethnic diversity in multinational firms is not just an aspect of its multinational operations, but it also forms an implicit component of that enterprise’s corporate social responsibility scheme. Hence, when discussing or analyzing the existence of diversity in an enterprise, one cannot omit or ignore the question of ethnic diversity and the attitude of ethnic diversity that the organization’s management adopts into its organizational culture and employment policy. In many cases, given that discriminatory behaviour like racism is institutionalized, the amount of ethnic diversity and the intervention of the management to minimize incidents of discrimination can help to determine the extent to which marginalized and oppressed ethnic group have access to employment and employment opportunities and enable an observer to decide where do the organization and its organizational practices stand regarding the issue of ethnic diversity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is quite clear from the above discussion that there can never be any way in which diversity existing within an organization could be analysed or summarized through a single lens of diversity. Diversity has to be examined and investigated in its entireity, encompassing all of its different and broad aspects. By adopting a heterogeneous approach towards determining and analyzing the extent and scope of diversity within an organization, it is possible to appreciate the true diversity of human beings and how all of them come together in order to work for the common and collective goals of an organization. Determining the diversity within an organization with all of its aspects also helps the management to determine specific policies to maintain organizational cohesion and prevent the perpetuation of any discrimination within the organizational hierarchy.

References

Brown, A.D., 2015. Identities and identity work in organizations. International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(1), pp.20-40.

Crane, D., Kawashima, N. and Kawasaki, K.I., 2016. Culture and globalization theoretical models and emerging trends. In Global culture (pp. 11-36). Routledge.

Crilly, D., Hansen, M. and Zollo, M., 2016. The grammar of decoupling: A cognitive-linguistic perspective on firms’ sustainability claims and stakeholders’ interpretation. Academy of Management Journal, 59(2), pp.705-729.

Ghorashi, H. and Sabelis, I., 2013. Juggling difference and sameness: Rethinking strategies for diversity in organizations. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29(1), pp.78-86.

Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S., 2015. Diversity matters. McKinsey & Company, 1, pp.15-29.

Janssens, M. and Zanoni, P., 2014. Alternative diversity management: Organizational practices fostering ethnic equality at work. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 30(3), pp.317-331.

Martin, G.C., 2014. The effects of cultural diversity in the workplace. Journal of Diversity Management (JDM), 9(2), pp.89-92.

Massip-Bonet, À., 2013. Language as a complex adaptive system: Towards an integrative linguistics. In Complexity perspectives on language, communication and society (pp. 35-60). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Matsumoto, D. and Hwang, H.C., 2013. Assessing cross-cultural competence: A review of available tests. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 44(6), pp.849-873.

Mukherjee, B., Yaswi, A. and Das, A., 2018. Effective use of Language by Managers in Diverse Workforce. Journal of Social Science Studies, 5(2), pp.17-32.

Podsiadlowski, A., Gröschke, D., Kogler, M., Springer, C. and Van Der Zee, K., 2013. Managing a culturally diverse workforce: Diversity perspectives in organizations. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(2), pp.159-175.

Rockstuhl, T. and Ng, K.Y., 2015. The effects of cultural intelligence on interpersonal trust in multicultural teams. In Handbook of cultural intelligence (pp. 224-238). Routledge.

Saxena, A., 2014. Workforce diversity: A key to improve productivity. Procedia Economics and Finance, 11, pp.76-85.

White, H.L. and Rice, M.F., 2015. The multiple dimensions of diversity and culture. In Diversity and Public Administration (pp. 11-31). Routledge.

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