Diversity: Impacts on the Four Functions of Management

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Diversity: Impacts on the Four Functions of Management

Often when we hear the word diversity the first thing that comes to mind is ethnic diversity. There are actually many kinds of diversity; racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity are those most readily apparent. But let us not forget the diversity of skills, talents, experiences, age, and gender. There is even geographic diversity; the list goes on and on. All these types of diversity impact our daily lives and the organizations we belong to. Diversity even plays a part in each of the four functions of management.


When planning, management must have the foresight to consider issues of diversity. Dell Incorporated even incorporates diversity into their planning for supplier selections. They realize that they need to reflect the diversity of their customers in every aspect of their business. Women and minority suppliers, as well as many others, have the potential of becoming Dells suppliers, but in order to compete they must continue to innovate and improve quality to gain advantage over the other potential suppliers. By including diversity in their planning, Dell drives innovation and competition amongst its suppliers which ultimately means better products at better prices.


It is important to include diversity when developing the organization and structure of the company. Dell's commitment to diversity comes from the top down, starting with the Board of Directors. Their website states: "The Board should be compromised of a diverse group of individuals…" (Dell, 2006). Their Board members must be diverse in experiences, accomplishments, and background. Dell is building a strong foundation for continuing diversity in their organization.


Leading, in many ways, is an exercise in diversity management. Recognizing this, Michael Dell of Dell Incorporated hired Thurmond Woodard as Vice President of Global Diversity. Mr. Woodard was charged with the task of...
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