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DeREE – the AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE|
Managing Diversity|
Zafeiria-Sotiria Fournaraki|
|
MG 2034 B1 L5 - Human Resources Management|
Dr. Eleni Patra|

October 26, 2012
|

Table of Contents
I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………..3 II. Diversity: Positive and Negative Effects …………………………………………3 2.1. Diversity Effects on Individuals………………………………………….3 2.2. Diversity Effects on Groups……………………………………………...4 2.3. Diversity Effects on Organizations………………………………………5 III. Implications of Management……………………………………………………....5 IV. Case Study: Google………………………………………………………………..6 V. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………...…….7 VI. References…………………………………………………………………………8

I. Introduction
In many organizations around the world, the workforce has become increasingly diverse. Employees with different socio-economic status, sexual orientation, cultural background, gender, race, age, physical abilities, ethnicity, political beliefs or other ideologies share the same working environment. Workforce diversity means understanding and accepting “each other’s individual difference” (Patrick, 2011, p.38). Patrick also adds that managing diversity entails the comprehending of the uniqueness of each individual thus creating a productive environment that motivates and “empowers” employees. According to IBM’s vice president Childs Jr. (2005), any business that attempts to be successful, should have a “borderless view” and an enduring devotion to assure that workforce diversity is part of its daily operational plans. Okoro and Washington (2012) also report that due to the globalization age we live in, organizations will be successful only if they will “embrace and encourage workforce diversity”. In order to have a successful business in the current global competitive environment, effective communication among employees should be achieved (Okoro & Washington, 2012) but the heterogeneousness among employees, increases the challenge of organizations to manage workforce diversity (Patrick, 2011). This paper will examine the positive and negative effects of diversity on individuals, group and organizational performance, as well as the way organizations should manage diversity in order to use it as a competitive advantage and for the general good of the organization. Finally what will be examined is the way Google manages diversity.

II. Diversity: Positive and Negative effects

2.1. Diversity Effects on Individuals

According to Ho (2007, p.75), “differences between workers have been shown to influence many areas of the workplace relationship”. Also there are many theories which can be examined in order to understand how individuals are related to each other, like the theory of the “individual’s awareness of the self” that explains how individuals compare themselves with other people similar to them. As indicated by Ilmakunnas et al. (2011, p.224), diversity influences the well-being of the individual employee, because 1) they might find it “pleasurable to work in plants that are comprised of heterogeneous workforce” (men working with women) and 2) one might expect that wage effects of diversity go together with the effect on productivity. If, for instance, age diversity is good for productivity at the firm or plant level, this impact is likely to be reflected as a positive effect on individual wages, too. But on the other hand individuals “differ” on how open they are with each other which affects their effectiveness to communicate with dissimilar individuals (Hartel & Fujimotor, 1999, p.C4). As is explained by Gladstein and Caldwell (1992, p.322) individuals from dissimilar mental sets might find it “difficult to develop a shared purpose and an effective group process.”

2.2. Diversity Effects on Groups

As stated by Dougherty groups consisting of individuals with different mental sets might find it hard to develop a shared goal and an effective group progression (in...
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