Workforce Diversity

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An organisation is said to be a "social arrangement for achieving controlled performance in pursuit of collective goals" (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2010, Seventh Edition). The social arrangement referred to the group of people who interacted with each other as a result of their membership in the organisation; whilst collective goals meant that the members shared the same goals and objectives. These concepts, especially collective goals, were the major arguments advocated by classical management theorists to explain the nature of economic and social life within the organisation. For example, Weber (1964) stressed the importance of rationality and impersonality, and argued that, "managers and employees behaved and interacted in a stable and rational way." Henri Fayol (1916) also advocated for the subordination of personal interests and preferences because "ignorance, ambition, selfishness and all other human passions tend to cause the general interest to be lost sight of..." However, as a result of modern growth and expansion of businesses in a globalized economy, corporations became more complex, providing manager with the problem of controlling and organising economic activities. It also resulted in the re-examination of using classical management theories in explaining the new social arrangement, as classic writers focused on rationality and impersonality as it improved organisational efficiency and tended to neglect what McGregor (1960) described as "the human side of the enterprise." In other words, there was need to examine the social interaction amongst members of the organisation, as well as recognize that there were differences that existed that prevented a homogeneous workforce. It was these differences that are part of the 'workforce diversity' concept.

Workforce diversity, then, is the "concept of accepting that the workforce consists of a diverse population of people. The diversity consists of visible and non-visible differences which will include...
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