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You are required to write an essay on one (1) of the following four (4) topics.

1. Workforce diversity is one of many challenges that organizations face. What is workforce diversity and what are its implications for organizational behaviour?

2. In recent decades, increasing changes in the content and organisation of work have resulted in an intensification of work, which is regarded as a cause of stress. What are the effects of this job stress, in particular, on job satisfaction? And how can these effects be prevented?

3. The organisational consequences of work-life balance satisfaction have become an important issue for organisations today. It is believed that balancing a successful career with a personal or family life can be challenging and impact on an individual’s satisfaction in his or her work and personal life’s roles. Please discuss these statements.

4. Over the years, there has been an evolution of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). What is the current interpretation of CSR? Discuss the adoption and development of CSR practices within a business.

Discussion

Workplace diversity refers to the situation where people with different cultural and traditional belief works together. Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) also depicted that this difference can be based on age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and social status. The main concept behind the workforce diversity is to identify best people and retain then for the betterment of the organization (Martín Alcázar et al. 2013). Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) moreover stated that in order to attain business ethics, managing authorities of a business implements the concept of workforce diversity. The prime reason to incorporate workforce diversity is to accomplish a business objective with multiple perceptions, which enhances the chances of an organization to become globalized. However, the real facts show that workplace diversity is one of the most challenging approaches to implement (Barak 2016). Problem like workplace discrimination and others arises from a diverse workforce. Thus, this essay highlights the concept of work force diversity along with the details of the implications of workforce diversity on organizational behavior.

The significance of the workforce diversity can be witnessed through high productivity, enhanced creativity and increased loyalty of employees, improved decision- making ability and satisfied diverse need of the customers (Martín Alcázar et al. 2013). In simple words, workforce diversity refers to a situation where people from diverse background work together irrespective of the differences they have in terms of their culture, tradition, age, gender and ethnicity. Workforce diversity moreover has two dimensions- primary dimension and secondary dimension. Barak (2016) depicted that primary dimension of diversity refers to the differences that is inborn and cannot be avoided; whereas, differences that is not inborn is termed as secondary dimension of diversity. Differences based on age, physical ability and sexual orientations are the example of primary dimension; on the other hand, differences on marital status, education, cultural beliefs, religions and family background are the examples of secondary diversity (Patrick and Kumar 2012).

Jonsen et al. (2013) states that the benefits of workforce diversity management is adopted for strengthening the cultural value within the workplace, retaining the best candidate, enhancing corporate relationships, improving the efficiency of the staffs and increasing the service level and customer satisfaction. Patrick and Kumar (2012) also provide other reason regarding the fact why workforce diversity matters. Barak (2016) represents that diversity results in better financial performances and can lead to innovation. Workforce diversity not only creates brotherhood in the community among different people but it also boosts groupthink and collective intelligence. The history of the diversity planning was started from the 60s and the first concept was to provide equal employment opportunity.  In the 80s, affirmation action was considered while in 90s the concept of workforce diversity was incorporated. In recent times, the global diversity was considered.

                                                     

                                                                          Image 1: History of Diversity Value Chain

Implications of Workforce Diversity through Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions

                                                                              (Source: Humanrights.gov.au 2017)

In Australia, nearly 20% of the people speak another language other than English in their home (Humanrights.gov.au 2017). Moreover, Australia is the home for oldest continuous cultures as significant percentage of people comes to Australia from their native states. 5.3% of the people from UK migrated to Australia; whereas the percentage from the nations New Zealand, China, India and Vietnam is 2.6%, 1.8%, 1.6% and 0.9% respectively (Humanrights.gov.au 2017). As a result, 60% of the total Australian population are from overseas as per as the survey of 2013 (Humanrights.gov.au 2017).

However, there are challenges in accepting the diverse workforce by some home country’s employees in the workplace and 1 out of 5 Australian witnessed race-hate talks in their workplace (Barak, 2016). One of the major challenges of diverse workforce is conflict related to the difference among them. Patrick and Kumar (2012) highlighted another challenges is that people with different language take much time to understand instructions that might hamper the productivity of the organization. In addition to that, resistance to change is another big challenge where employee failed to adopt new changes in the business procedures as they are conformable with the prior approach. Lastly, workplace discrimination is the mostly occurred adversity of the diversity. Jonsen et al. (2013) furthermore stated that all these aspects results in high turnover rate and absenteeism that on the other hand affect the performance of the organization. Legislation has been formulated to overcome these adversities but the problem of harassment and discrimination rises exponentially. In the year 1975, the legislation of Racial Discrimination Act comes into force so that the problem of discrimination can be avoided (Jonsen et al. 2013). Other discrimination laws are also there is Australia like- “Age Discrimination Act 2004”, “Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986”, “Sex Discrimination Act 1984” and “Disability Discrimination Act 1992”. These legislations protect both younger and older Australians and also the people having disability, physical disfigurement, illness or disease.  

The implications of the workforce diversity can be discussed through Hofstede's cultural dimensions that comprises of six factors- power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertain avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence (Geert-hofstede.com 2017).

                                                 

                                                                     Image 2: Dimensions of National Culture

                                                                          (Source: Geert-hofstede.com 2017)

Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) depicts that the power distance discusses the degree to which the less powerful members expect and accept the power of the host nations. The nation with high powers shows that higher authority has more power; while, the low power nations strive to equalize the distribution of power (Geert-hofstede.com 2017). On the other hand, individualism and collectivism refers to the state, where people emphasize on self-dependency and group or collaborative work respectively. Thus, when a person from collectivism dimension goes into individualism- oriented state, their performance gets affected. Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) moreover depicts that masculinity versus femininity highlighted the heroism-&- assertiveness and cooperation-&- modesty respectively. The fourth aspect of the Hofstede Model is Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) that refers to the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with problematic solutions. Some people develop the nature to avoid the problem; while some believe in overcoming the problem by finding our possible solution to the problem. Patrick and Kumar (2012) moreover highlight that the firth aspect of the concerned model compares the nature of long term orientation versus short term orientation. This depicts the ability of the organization to maintain time-honored traditions or they take more pragmatic approach to prepare for the future. (Patrick and Kumar 2012) stated that the sixth and the last aspect of this model is Indulgence versus Restraint (IND) that shows whether or not a nation enjoys their life.

The implication that can be said based on the organizational behavior that these differences in the culture affect the ability of an individual to perform in the organization. Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) also depict that the performance of the employees is also dependent on the internal and external factors of the organization that is encouraged through diversity management practices and diversity and equality management system. Thus, according to these factors the framework that is developed by Martín Alcázar et al. (2013) is illustrated below:

                                                   

                                                                                       Image 3: Art in Diversity

                                                                              (Source: Martín Alcázar et al. 2013)

Moreover, discrimination also occurs especially to minority group of the community. In Australia, the Newly Emerging African Communities (NEAC) come to Australia under the refugee and after that they stayed in the host nation (Abdelkerim and Grace 2012). These community faces problem in getting employment in Australia as 74% of the NEAC lacks in English proficiency, 44% of the people from this community suffered from pre- and post-migration trauma and 34% of the community does not have any knowledge of the local employment context (Abdelkerim and Grace 2012) (See Appendix, Figure 1). In addition to that women face more challenges as they have facility responsibility and still have to work for money.

In addition to that, the organization has to formulate strict workplace rules against discrimination are that no employee can be affected by any kind of discrimination. Podsiadlowski et al. (2013) moreover suggested that two-way communication should be developed in the workplace so that the lower end employees can communicate with the higher authority people regarding the problem they are facing in the workplace. Abdelkerim and Grace (2012) furthermore suggested that the managers should also conduct formal and informal gathering for the enhancement of the interpersonal relationship among the employees. All the employees are allowed to share their experience and knowledge and thinking to promote the knowledge sharing approach that can improve the problem of workplace discrimination.

Conclusion

Australian nation is considered to be a diversely cultured nation as 60% of the people of this nation are migrants from other nation. The government of Australia also initiated legislation against workplace diversity adversity from 1975. However, problem of discrimination, harassment, resistance to change and conflict occur due to difference in cultural belief, traditional principles and other aspects. The reason for this difference is illustrated through Hofstede model of cultural difference. It is thus concluded that not all nation possess similar ability to understand and perform certain job. Some nations deploy more power while some nation focuses more on peaceful business approach. In addition to that, it is also found that difference in adaptability and also the organizational culture affects the performance of an individual when they went to other nation to work. In Australia there are some minority groups, who face problem in getting employment and equal opportunity in workplace. Thus, the implication of the organization behavior that is concluded in the assessment is develop a two-way communication between employees and managers, establishing strict regulation against workplace discrimination and conduct regular meeting for the employee to enhance their interpersonal relationships.

Reference List

Abdelkerim, A.A. and Grace, M., 2012. Challenges to employment in newly emerging African communities in Australia: A review of the literature. Australian Social Work, 65(1), pp.104-119.

Barak, M.E.M., 2016. Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.

Geert-hofstede.com., 2017. Dimensions - Geert Hofstede. [online] Available at: https://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].

Humanrights.gov.au., 2017. Face the facts: Cultural Diversity | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/face-facts-cultural-diversity [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].

Jonsen, K., Tatli, A., Özbilgin, M.F. and Bell, M.P., 2013. The tragedy of the uncommons: Reframing workforce diversity. Human Relations, 66(2), pp.271-294.

Martín Alcázar, F., Miguel Romero Fernández, P. and Sánchez Gardey, G., 2013. Workforce diversity in strategic human resource management models: A critical review of the literature and implications for future research. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 20(1), pp.39-49.

Patrick, H.A. and Kumar, V.R., 2012. Managing workplace diversity: Issues and challenges. Sage Open, 2(2), p.2158244012444615.

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.

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