3 pages/≈825 words
Managing diversity (Essay Sample)
It was a discussion on world affairs on questions issued in class.source..
MAKING DIFFERENCES MATTER: A NEW PARADIGM FOR MANAGING DIVERSITY
The advancement of the society and the effects of globalization have created increased differences in terms of economic backgrounds, religions, cultures, lifestyles, and political views among other differences. The idea of diversity is always associated with balancing gender, class, national, or racial representation. The mention of diversity always generates thoughts and opinions related to representation of the above identity groups. This aspect has made it crucial and necessary for companies to embrace the idea of accepting and acknowledging such differences within the workplace.
Over the years, companies performed poorly because of misunderstandings, disrespect, or mistreatment incidents because of the lack of diversity. Managers realized that a diverse workforce increases the level of effectiveness in the workplace and eventually, the level of productivity. As such, the idea of a diverse workforce was embraced in many organizations in efforts aimed at enhancing productivity.
Despite creating diversity, organizations were unable to reap many benefits from creating a diverse workforce with some even losing opportunities associated with the creation of a diverse workforce. Thomas and Ely (1996) argue that organizations failed to incorporate, understand, and leverage the benefits associated with diversity. According to their arguments, the benefits of diversity surpass the aspect of increasing profitability and productivity within an organization. They identified other benefits of diversity that include the creation of flexibility, enhancement of creativity, improving learning, and the ability of a company to adjust to the changing environment.
They defined diversity by broadening and explaining the diversity beyond the traditional definition of identity-group representation. Thomas and Ely's definition of diversity is advantageous because it captures the broader aspects and benefits of diversity, in addition to explaining how diversity, influences other productive aspects of the organization.
According to Thomas and Ely (1996), organizations failed to obtain many benefits from creating diversity thereby leading to wasted opportunities. Equally, tensions that hindered the level of worker effectiveness might have existed within organizations. For this reason, Thomas and Ely (1996) suggested that capitalizing on the influence of differences within an organization could create additional benefits than just depending on the diversity.
This lead to the creation of a third paradigm that was aimed at helping managers and organizations to capitalize on full and real benefits associated with the creation of a diverse workforce. This third paradigm involved aspects related to creating learning and effectiveness within the workplace. This third paradigm entailed incorporating differences among employees and using such differences to improve work processes. The consequences of learning and effectiveness is applied when measuring the progress of diversity. For instance, the overall performance and innovation can be evaluated among different groups within the organization. This paradigm is also notable because an organization is able to learn and grow by integrating employee differences while at the same time acknowledging differences in culture and promoting equal opportunities among workers.
The other two paradigms are the paradigm of discrimination and fairness and the paradigm of access and legitimacy. Discrimination and fairness entail restructuring the composition of the organization to reflect the composition within the society. These aspects include complying with the requisite legislation, providing equal opportunities, transparent recruitment, and treating all employees equally. The manner in which a company achieves the above objectives can be used to measure progress in diversity. However, Thomas and Ely argue that diversification of the workforce makes an organization to ignore diversity and hence, the outcome of working is not influenced. The other paradigm of access and legitimacy entails celebrating and accepting differences within the workplace. Legitimacy is clearly differentiated from fairness. The ability of an organization to capture the needs of a particular market or the ability of a company to expand its diversity helps in measuring diversity. Nonetheless, Thomas and Ely state that emphasizing on differences in culture alone is not enough to enable an organization to manage related implications.
Despite the mixed composition of the Iversen's management ...
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