Managing diversity within organizations is no easy task. The two assigned pieces from the books of Dr. Taylor Cox Jr., "Cultural Diversity in Organizations," written in 1993, and "Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity", written in 2001, gives insight into what organizations can do to successfully manage their diverse workforce and environment. The interesting thing is that they were written eight years apart, offering perspective of how organizations have changed in that time frame. Even so, although change is inevitable, many things have remained the same. First, I will discuss how managing diversity has remained the same. Then I will give my overall impression of what I thought about the two pieces.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it", I believe is how the saying goes. Obviously, this is in reference to things that are working fine, should be left alone. To some extent that philosophy applies to the common themes found in both pieces. Although there were quite a few similarities between the two pieces I have decided to focus on just a couple of them. Human Capital and Marketing Strategies, Creativity and Innovation, and The Direct Effects of Diversity, are the common themes that I will discuss further. Human Capital and Marketing Strategies
Organizations have recognized the importance of investing in their employees. They are realizing that in order to remain competitive in such a global economy they have to attract the best, brightest, and most diverse workforce. In the 1993 piece Cox states, "A major competitive factor for organizations is attracting and retaining the best available human-resource talent in the context of the current workforce demographic trends."(1)The other piece, from 2001, there is also a statement regarding human capital. "Given today's increasingly diverse labor market, organizations that are best at attracting, retaining, and using the skills of diverse workers will enjoy a competitive advantage." (2) This idea hasn't changed much in eight years. Organizations realize the importance of human capital, that the variety of skills are important assets to an organization. They contribute to the growth, success, and development of the organization. Human capital should be viewed as an investment, not as an expense. Invested time and resources, for effective training and preparation of a diverse work group within an organization, will offer a competitive edge in this ever changing fast paced world.
Another key feature of acquiring good human capital is the ability to attract and retain talent from nationalities outside of their own. This allows them to gain access to other markets that at one point were inaccessible or difficult to gain access to. The piece from 1993, gives the example of U.S. citizens gaining acceptance into Japanese firms operating in the United States. That is just an example of markets within the United States, with globalization and its impact on demand, firms need to be very diverse if they wish to gain access to those larger markets. As the piece states regarding globalization, "Globalization is forcing major companies from many nations to give more attention to cultural difference effects among consumers..... just having diversity is not sufficient to produce benefit. Organizations must also manage it in such a way that this potential advantage is fully realized." (3) It is interesting to see that even over eight years, the value of a strong, reliable, and diverse human capital has remained relatively unchanged. In both pieces Cox demonstrates the value of diversity and its potential to create the competitiveness required to capture larger markets. Creativity and Innovation
As with human capital, creativity and innovation, are also key components discussed in the pieces. It is stated in both articles that heterogeneous groups tend to have greater creativity and innovation than homogenous groups....
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