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Managing Diversity within the Organization

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Managing Diversity within the Organization Abstract Diversity within the workplace has certainly increased over the last decade, being a key issue among organizations of today. This paper will identify and discuss some of the important issues when managing diversity within the workplace. The paper will also document numerous key challenges that managers face regarding workplace diversity. Key strategies to overcome such challenges will be employed. Finally, some important opportunities and benefits that arise as a result of workplace diversity will be examined. Introduction Managing diversity represents both a challenge and an opportunity for management in an organization (Poole, 1997). Indeed, managing diversity is a challenge as it calls for organizational change. The challenge is about dealing with the situation of workplace where everyone is different and in turn valuing these differences to maximise the potential of all employees (Poole, 1997). Many strategies have been developed to tackle such challenges associated with diversity. Therefore, greater diversity within the workplace has changed the face of manager's job, requiring greater understanding, better communication, better conflict skills and additional responsibilities of promoting educational and training programs (Monica, 1995). Managing diversity allows greater opportunity for success. Organizations that recognize diversity have a competitive advantage resulting from greater innovation, better efficiency as well as increased attraction and motivation of high potential employees (Poole, 1997). ...read more.


Managers should not assess employees on the behavioural criteria. Failure to understand the different perspectives and experiences of diverse employees is equivalent to under utilization and wastage of human resources (Blank and Slipp, 1998). If managers fail to foster diversity, they are more likely to generate problems by creating barriers that stop employees from progressing as far as their talents and abilities could take them (Detert, Shroeder and Mauriel, 2000). A clear understanding and awareness of existing differences encourages open mind ness, respect and harmony in an organization. Thirdly, although many differences exist managers should be aware that there are common values and beliefs that cross all cultural and ethnic line. It is necessary for management to build on common beliefs, interest and goals that are vital for establishing success and trust in an organization (Ramsey, 1993). Moreover, greater understanding of such issues is likely to promote better communication within an organization. Fourthly, communication is definitely an important criterion that managers have to consider when managing diversity. An essential step is when managers encourage integration of minority groups at all levels of the organization (Fine, 1996). This allows organizations to establish smooth communication networks that promote interaction as well as sharing and generation of ideas between employees. Such an ideal diversity climate is likely to help in the reduction of problems such as prejudice and discrimination (Milliken and Martins, 1996). ...read more.


The marketplace is becoming a more diverse. Nowadays, there are customers who purposely buy from organizations that vigorously manage their diverse workforce (Coleman, 1994). Workplace diversity not only provides opportunities and benefits to the organization but it also helps in boosting competitive advantage in the marketplace. Conclusion Managing diversity is definitely a challenge and also an opportunity for management in an organization. The technique for managing diversity is a challenge, as it requires organizational change, adjustments and accommodation. Managing diversity is the organization's commitment to recruit, train, and promote a diversified workforce (Poole, 1997). The organizations mission is to value differences of the workforce and to capitalize on the potential of its employees. This can be indeed very difficult at times as people are often unwilling to move away from their traditional views and norms of proper behaviour. Training programs are conducted to increase understanding of differences, stimulate open mind ness, improve communication skills and improve conflict resolution skills. These training programs help to overcome challenges. Managing diversity is also a great opportunity to success. Organizations that foster diversity benefit from competitive advantage resulting from greater innovation, better efficiency as well as increased attraction and motivation of highly skilled employees. Organizations are becoming more and more exposed to diversity in their workforce. This trend is expected to continue in future years. This is why managers have to become more aware of the challenges, opportunities and solutions of workplace diversity. ...read more.

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