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The Concept of Managing Diversity

Discuss about the Managing Diversity at Work.

The fundamental role and responsibility of the human resource department is developing along with the continuous changes in the contemporary market. As the human resource management play a huge part in managing the diverse situations within the work places. Managing the diversity generally refers to the policies and processes that the organizations have for recognizing and managing the diverse situations for their human work force. However, diversity can be depicted in various ways. It can cover a huge range of genres including age, gender, cultural background, language, religious beliefs and so on. The concept of diversity can also refer to the key methods for differing amongst people because of their life experiences, education, marital status or personality.

According to Ferrell and Fraedrich (2015) the idea of diversity has the possibility for benefitting the organizations as it often leads to positive outcome in work. Over the course to time, several literatures have emphasized on the classifications of diversity. Therefore, this essay will deal with the moral case and business case for diversity with different organizations that can be observed to be deeply connected with the basic corporate variances. It will also emphasize that it is significant for the  management of the organizations existing in the contemporary business world to identify the inevitable changes and further adopting a particular thinking for developing the heterogeneous work force. In the idea of diversity management, three fundamental ideas are linked, such as, continuously increasing diverse work force with the organizations, equality and opportunities for the selected groups and the programs that are associated with the organizational reputation and performance. Therefore, this essay will discuss the base of moral case and business case along with their effectiveness within the organizational environment against this backdrop.  

The concept of managing diversity has developed in late 80’s. Soon it gained immense popularity in different countries all over the world due to the persistent economic and social climate. In recent times, it is an indispensable element in every successful human resource strategy as there is always continuous competitive pressure on the firms for sustaining in the market and improving their financial performances considering the fast changing aspirations and expectations of the business world (Lozano 2015). This increasing stress is also forcing to emphasize on the requirements for addressing the particular contexts which have been ignored so far. Managing diversity also implies that no matter the employee comes from which origin; he or she should be treated with appropriate respect for their respective jobs. When the concept of diversity is being described, the concepts of race and ethnicity come first along with gender. However, the idea is much bigger than this. There are several dimensions of diversity, as the idea is not only limited to ethnicity, race, physical qualities, education, ancestry, marital status, income, location, personal and work experience, religious beliefs as so on. It is also significant to understand that how these single dimensions can affect the motivational level, performance and success of employees within an organization. Some institutional practices and structures may provide barrier for some of these dimensions, but the rest needs to be identified and challenged for removing.

The Business Case for Diversity

Research shows that there is a broad range of understanding related to business case for diversity. According to Ferrell and Fraedrich (2015), the major aspects of the business case are: market place competitiveness and customer care; corporate images, ethics, brand and values; employment and retention of potential talents, design and delivery of service and products, increasing innovation and creativity, effectual development , complying with the legislation, and effective CSR policy. These are the major drivers for diversity considering the business benefits of the organization. The overall understanding of business case is not string yet. Therefore, it also calls for the considerable effort in raising awareness and education regarding the business case along with developing effective tools and necessary guidance for informing and influencing the organizational behaviour and good practice (Seierstad 2016). If an organization is moving forward with right usage of the business case, it is essential for them to understand and contextualize the general arguments for ensuring that the actions have taken the organizational visions, objectives and values into account. If the organization has been enabled to move forward with the business case, they need to emphasize on their role and responsibilities for being more effective within the diverse situations; such as, there should always be a right appreciation of the national diversity scenario and the drivers for change. There should also be familiarity with the essential national stakeholder interests for the diversity management; the knowledge for the evolving diversity management should also be up-to-date. In addition to these, there should also be proper access to the networks for sharing the understanding and knowledge for increasing the individual learning along with effective communications and skills along with willingness for sharing experience and knowledge about both the external and internal diversity scenario (Retolaza and San-Jose 2017). The business case within diverse atmosphere should be treated in a sophisticated and appropriate way for influencing the change within the organization.


The business case for diversity sometimes seems to be intuitive. Several surveys have shown that the teams of mixed ethnicity, age, gender, physical ability are more comfortable with the customers as they tend to offer a wide range of worldviews and experiences that may improve the problem solving and decision-making. As stated by Schaltegger and Wagner (2017), most of the business executives tend to agree with this view. They believe that inclusion and diversity can always boost the organizational outcomes. It can also be seen that the firms with the two-dimensional diverse situations are forty-five percent more likely to expand their share in the market and seventy percent more effective in capturing the new market than the others. Over the last few decades, a lot has been changed regarding the way unfair exclusion and discrimination were addressed. These changes have taken placed against the backdrop of the thought that each one is different in some ways and it is further changing the negative implications associated with the difference amongst people. However, diversity may have has both negative and positive implications on the organizational performance if it is not managed in a proper way. As suggested by Reiche et al. (2016), managing diversity along with business case is well developed, even though it tends to miss a fundamental focus on the organizational issues. It can also be found from the relevant literatures that the legal obligations cannot be separated from the business case for behaving in a moral way. If the organization is making sure that the legal issues are endorsed and the organization will only work ethically, this may cost a fortune for them (Carroll and Buchholtz 2014). However, the organizations need to be successfully influencing the progress with diversity and they also require being capable to show that the management is making a difference and it will add value. Therefore, it can be said that the organizations should focus more on the evaluation of approaches while they manage diversity.  Thus; more emphasis should be put on the wide usage of the performance indicators of diversity and the balanced inclusion of the diversity objectives in the business objectives and goals considering the delivery of services and product development should be made.

The Need for Evaluation and Performance Indicators


Many scholars think that the organizations should stop emphasising the business case for managing their work place diversity and focus more on the ethical and moral aspect of this particular debate. This is because considering diversity as a major business issue sometimes fail to consider the continuous tension between the collective and individual interests; therefore it makes it easy for the organizations that they do not require much change. Furthermore, diversity is considered with much lower priority over different aspects with the ROI or return on investments (Retolaza and San-Jose 2017). As an alternative, this case can also be looked at from a moral point of view or as a social case which can benefit the society collectively. While considering the issue of ROI in the diverse situations, it is expected that there may not be much return; therefore, it is justified for the organizations to reject the idea of diversity. In many firms, while the management looks at the issue whether there can be a business case for making diversity a mere strategic issue which may also include recruiting more women workforce in management (Komarova Loureiro et al. 2016). After a careful analysis if the management think that the business case is not very strong, they reject the idea if devoting anymore priority or resources to it. However, within specific ROI parameters, this idea may not be bad for business; mostly in short term, but it can bring a bad impact on the society. For decades, there is a continuous trend which decreases the connect between the business case and moral case which also led to face that the businesses are only responsible to their shareholders and themselves, where the politicians and government are responsible for making good for the society (Schaltegger and Wagner2017). This has also led to the thought that the moral issues are not the responsibility of business firms; the social justice is for the governments and the politicians to take effective measures. However, over the last few years, many scholars have stated that the society and business are not two separated ideas as their narrow economic concerns can be quite harmful for the whole society, therefore as a consequence to that, large sections of the economic service industry requires the government support which are also owned by taxpayers.

In the contemporary business world, there are several business firms that have taken the moral case into account, especially in terms of sustainability, diversity and social fairness. As suggested by Ferrell and Fraedrich (2015), taxation can also be based on the social and ecological metrics. Even considering the larger stakeholder approach, there should be changing models of government and organizational outcomes across particular boundaries which can be the answer for capitalism and diversity at the same time. However, some organizations are still uncertain considering the issue of diversity as a moral case. They are not even considering this issue, as there are no such effective legislations for forcing them acting on that. Reiche et al. (2016), has described it as a societal tragedy. If the organizations running business keep on thinking that their only responsibility is to do well to themselves and their shareholders, the entire society can be at risk. Consequently, the firms require supporting and promoting the work force diversity. The Australian legislation for women employment can be the instance for them. However, the legislation cannot be the only way for bringing the change. Each business should consider the employees as essential human capital, therefore there needs to effective changes in favour of them.

Conclusion

The case of Sainsbury supermarket, international food retailer based on UK, can be taken into consideration in this case. Around 8.5% of the total workforce of the organization represents ethnic minorities. There are around 40% of women managers in the organization along with 4.2% minority managers. The organization has implied a number of measures for bringing equality in the firm over the last few decades (Hockerts 2015). The organization is also making effective approaches towards disability with considers the increasing public interest that also ensures the free accessibilities for the customers having disabilities. Another Firm, Ernest and Young tend to be one of the leading diversity management organizations for developing talents and making innovative usage of people for connecting with global clients. The organization tends to align its organizational goals with every executive by developing their individual scorecard (Retolaza and San-Jose 2017). They have various diversity management and monitoring programs that connects to the individual cultural connections. There are also programs for cultural training.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that, diversity within work place only improves the organizational effectualness in long term through individual and organization innovation and creativity. Therefore, diversity management should cat as one of the significant strategic goals for interacting with different aspects of business. If the organizations emphasis more on the moral ground of their actions along with their business cases, it will help them to create a society, which will promote diversity in the near future. Without these, the potential benefits of diversity would not be able to come to right execution.

References

Albert, P.J., Werhane, P. and Rolph, T., 2014. Introduction. In Global Poverty Alleviation: A Case Book (pp. 1-11). Springer, Dordrecht.

Carroll, A. and Buchholtz, A., 2014. Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.

Coelho, S.L., 2015. Justice in business and the moral choices of consumption: the case of Fair Trade consumers. Sociologia, pp.15-40.

Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2016. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J., 2015. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Nelson Education.

Hockerts, K., 2015. A cognitive perspective on the business case for corporate sustainability. Business Strategy and the Environment, 24(2), pp.102-122.

Komarova Loureiro, Y., Bayuk, J., Tignor, S.M., Nenkov, G.Y., Baskentli, S. and Webb, D., 2016. The case for moral consumption: examining and expanding the domain of moral behavior to promote individual and collective well-being. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35(2), pp.305-322.

Lozano, R., 2015. A holistic perspective on corporate sustainability drivers. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 22(1), pp.32-44.

Reiche, B.S., Stahl, G.K., Mendenhall, M.E. and Oddou, G.R. eds., 2016. Readings and cases in international human resource management. Taylor & Francis.

Retolaza, J.L. and San-Jose, L., 2017. Single case research methodology: a tool for moral imagination in business ethics. Management Research Review, 40(8), pp.890-906.

Schaltegger, S. and Wagner, M. eds., 2017. Managing the business case for sustainability: The integration of social, environmental and economic performance. Routledge.

Seierstad, C., 2016. Beyond the business case: The need for both utility and justice rationales for increasing the share of women on boards. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 24(4), pp.390-405.

Shaw, W.H. and Barry, V., 2015. Moral issues in business. Cengage Learning.

Tan, D.Y., ter Meulen, B.C., Molewijk, A. and Widdershoven, G., 2017. Moral case deliberation. Practical neurology, pp.practneurol-2017.

Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A., 2016. Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.

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