In order to provide a clear insight into this study, this chapter starts with the background of the study, problem statement, purpose of the study, research objective, research question, research hypothesis, significance of the study, study of framework, and the outline for chapter 2 and chapter 3. This chapter outline about an overview of managing cultural diversity among employees toward the effectiveness working environment in hotel industry in Malaysia. Subsequent sections deal with contribution of the study to the literature and discuss the structure and the research design of the proposal. 1.1 Background of the study
Cultural diversity has become a hot-button issue when applied to the workplace (Kimberly Amadeo, 2012). What is cultural diversity in the workplace? Culture refers to the values, norms, and traditions that affect the way a member of a group typically perceives, thinks, interacts, behaves, and makes judgments (Alpert, 1992). Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to ages, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status (Esty, 1995). Hence, cultural diversity is when differences in race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation are represented within a community. A community is said to be culturally diverse if its residents include members of different groups. The community can be a country, region or city (Kimberly Amadeo, 2012). Malaysia is one of the most culturally and economically diverse regions of the world (Fisher, 1996). Malaysia is one of the most diverse countries in terms of ethnicity, religion, spirituality, language, and culture (Malaysia Info, 2009). Ethnicity refers to shared cultural practices, perspectives, and distinctions that set apart one group of people from another (Cliffnote, n.d.). The population of Malaysia consists of three main ethnic groups—Malays, Chinese, and peoples of the South Asian subcontinent (Encyclopedia of the nations, 2012). Religion originates in an attempt to represent and order beliefs, feelings, imagining and actions that arise in response to direct experience of the sacred and the spiritual (Connelly, 1996). The official religion of Malaysia is Islam, and is practiced by the majority of Malays, and a portion of the Indian community. Under the constitution, other races are free to practice any religion in an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance. The other main religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity (Expatgomalaysia, 201). The essence of spirituality is the search to know our real self, to discover the true nature of consciousness (Russell, 2006). Language is a human system of communication that uses arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols ( Nordquist, 2012). Hence, managing diversity in the workplace is a challenge for any manager, but it can be accomplished using some basic tools. Managers need to go above and beyond their comfort level to develop knowledge about cultural difference and sensitivity to diversity issues. Take a leap and establish relationships at work with individuals who are different from them. The more natural thing is for people to surround themselves with individuals who are similar to them. By building relationships with individuals with different backgrounds, they will learn about the talent and knowledge they can add to the organization ( Noe, 2009). Cultural diversity is broad concept in hotel industry in Malaysia. Employing a diverse workforce give benefit in higher productivity, lower employee turnover, better understanding of client, and enhanced corporate reputation (Employing a diverse workforce: making it work, 2008). Managed well, diversity provides benefits that increase effectiveness in working environment. However,...
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