Discuss about the Diversity Issues in Human Resource Management.
This assignment takes into consideration a detailed study on managing diversity in human resource management (HRM). This paper mainly includes the issues along with objectives of managing diversity based upon the various practices of human resource management (HRM) in the organization. Organizational behavior has been referred to as an important aspect of HRM. It refers to the study in which the people communicate with one another. Diversity management in organizations has been referred to as the sub topic under organizational behavior (OB). It refers to a interface between humans and organization.
Diversity in workforce can be viewed, in many ways that is on the basis of age, sex, gender, religion, ethnicity, region & culture. Whereas, the main issue for diversity in every country is different. But, the main type of workforce diversity can be seen in regards to gender inequality which is being faced worldwide especially in India & Middle East. Multi culturalism has also been referred to as a pre-dominant diversity pertaining in the Western countries i.e. Australia, New Zealand & Europe where large number of people from different cultural backgrounds work together (Chen, 2011). Racial equality is predominant in USA & South Africa where discrimination can be seen against blacks & ethnic minorities. This paper critically examines the various diversity practices as an important aspect of organizational behavior which can be used by the organizations so as to manage diversity (Dickie & Soldan, 2008). With rapid industrialization & globalization the significance of workforce diversity has been enhanced. It has been seen that, people from all over the globe come together and work as a team in the organization and therefore diversity in workforce has become an important topic amongst the corporate & educational areas.
It shall be seen that, proper diversity management strategies shall be adopted amongst the organizations in order to provide a position against workforce discrimination. There has been a detailed debate over certain areas such as equal opportunity (EO) & affirmative action. Diversity management not only takes into consideration values but also harnesses differences within the workforce faced by the employees such as cultural background, religious beliefs & individual characteristics so that the goals of the organization are met in a most effective and efficient manner. It shall be taken into consideration that, diversity management starts internally by creating an atmosphere as well as practicing equality amongst the workforce (Wrench, 2007).
Diversity Management refers to a study in HRM which helps the organizations to overcome various workforce issues as well as take into consideration the inequalities on the following basis i.e. race, gender & class. Diversity management in the organization also takes into consideration the individual differences in order to maximize their potential EEO. It shall be seen that, there are range of objectives which the organization wishes to achieve with the help of effective HR diversity management (Dickie & Soldan, 2008). Some of the objectives are employee retention, creativity, employee flexibility and better marketing capabilities. With the help of diversity management, the diverse teams will aim at achieving greater innovation & creativity which will help the organization to outperform homogenous teams. According to Robbins & Judge, 2007, the benefits of diversity management will help in practicing equality, absenteeism & attracting the best workforce/ highly qualified employees.
There are various diversity management practices which are followed by the organizations so as to attract, direct & maintain human resource within the enterprise. It shall be seen that, the role of HR in the organization has increased substantially. It covers the entire management process of the organization. Recruitment & selection refers to the first diversity management practice which is followed by the employees and managers to provide an equal chance for any person to enter a particular organization. It has been seen that, many organizations have been recruiting women and people from the minority/ lower middle class so as to attract the new customers (Robbins & Judge, 2013).
Some of the big corporates i.e. IBM, Xerox & JC Penney are working towards increased work force diversity. Alcoa recruits as well as retains high caliber people to increase the creativeness of its employees. Based upon a survey conducted by Allen, Dawson, Wheatley & White 2004, 400 employees were questioned from various Australian companies so as to practice more than 15 diversity practices. It was seen that, more than 93% of companies were reported with zero level of tolerance due to discrimination within the organization. Before the 1979, amendments i.e. ICA accesses to skilled positions were controlled by well-established white trade unions. In the last 30 years, the weightage of black population as well as other minorities in management has considerably increased. Training and development (T&D) refers to the second HRM diversity management practice which is being given importance by the various organizations and its management (Dickie & Soldan, 2008). Robbins & Judge, 2009 states that, the skilled white labor union denied access of training & development (T&D) programs for the South African Blacks. It has been seen that, some of the big companies have not been successful in training as well as retaining the women candidates & the minority class. Evidences reveal that, training and development (T&D) programs are not provided to women staff which leads to barrier in career development for the same. Women are also kept away from informal networks as they might have problems in maintaining relationships with the group (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Such incidents prevent the women class not to attain top positions and have an upper hand over the working men. The third diversity practice which is being adopted in the organization is performance appraisal. It has been seen that, majority of the companies such as Westpac, Esso, etc take into account AA & EEO in their performance appraisal account. The Australian companies tend to draft as well as implement objectives which are fair in nature. High levels of discrimination is seen where women get lower ratings from the top officials as compared to their male counter parts (Robbins & Judge, 2007). The last diversity management practice which is followed by organizations refers to pay scale of the employee. It has been seen that, inequality in pay leads to dissatisfaction & demotivation amongst the employees working in an organization. Based upon the report by Robbins, 2003, it is witnessed that most Australian organizations practice diversity in remuneration. A strong union in the Australian organization has helped and prevented wage discrimination amongst the employees (Dickie & Soldan, 2008). Various studies have been implemented in this regards but inequality remains a global problem. To cite an example, in France, disparity between male and female workforce was more than 20%. Inequality in terms of gender ranges from 10% - 50% in the urban companies and 20% - 45% in the rural sectors (Bennington & Wein, 2000).
According to Allen, Dawson, Wheatley, & White2004, there has been high levels of disagreement and lack of consensus amongst the HR managers on the diversity principles. It has been seen that, global organizations shall promote diversity in different forms. There are many authors who have suggested different techniques in order to improve diversity management. Within an organization, effective diversity management requires a culture i.e. cohesiveness, teamwork & participation of all the employees. Furthermore, diversity culture emphasizes on the vision, mission and business strategy. Formalization of the organizational behavior (OB) practices within the organization is a vital part of the organization as the number of firings of women workforce is greater than hiring of the same. A critical analysis of the various diversity practices mentioned above i.e. recruitment & selection, training & development, pay scale and performance management shall be done by each and organization. Such type of analysis will help to overcome unfairness as well as eradicate tokenism. Periodical audits regarding the diversity practices in the organizations shall be performed so as to manage diversity in an effective manner (ACIB, 2000).
Hence, it can be concluded that diversity management practices have gained momentum due to high pressures on business as they have become competitive internationally (Storey, 1999). This literature review takes into consideration three main diversity issues. Firstly, the levels of discrimination in the employment are very high. Secondly, HR is restricted to hire by numbers. It has been seen that, people from the lower sections or the minority class are retained for less popular positions and given less opportunity for a better future. Unequal pay is another major HRM diversity issue being faced by the employees. Ineffective diversity management practiced might lead to demotivation of the employees leading to poor organization performance. Hence, diversity management has been referred to as a hot topic and organization behavior has been influenced with variety of decision making concepts.
ACIB (Australian Centre for International Business). (2000). The International Business Case
forImmigration and Multicultural Affairs in Cooperation with the Australian Center for International Business.
Allen, R., Dawson, G., Wheatley, K., & White, C. (2004). Diversity practices: Learning responses for modern organizations. Development And Learning In Organizations, 18(6), 13 – 15.
Bennington, L. & Wein, R. (2000). Antiâ€discrimination legislation in Australia: fair, effective, efficient or irrelevant?. Int J Of Manpower, 21(1).172 – 192.
Chen, S. (2011). Diversity management. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Dickie, C. & Soldan, Z. (2008). Diversity management. Prahran, Vic.: Tilde University Press.
Diversity Management, Program for The Practice of Diversity Management. Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Cooperation with the Australian Center for International Business.
Klarsfeld, A. (2010). International handbook on diversity management at work. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Robbins, S. (2003). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2007). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2009). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational behavior. Boston: Pearson.
Wrench, J. (2007). Diversity management and discrimination. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.