Diversity's Impact on Organizations

Topics: Affirmative action, Discrimination, Affirmative action in the United States Pages: 5 (1641 words) Published: October 20, 2008
Abstract
Diversity must be created and maintained with in organizations. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of diversity onto an organization in addition to explaining the legally mandated and stakeholder driven explanations for mandatory diversity.

Diversity’s Impact on Organizations
Diversity within an organization is a blending of people from various cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity has challenged organizations to set realistic goals for its leaders as well as its employees. The organization must look at the moral, ethical and social responsibilities it has toward its employees and understand their legal obligations set by laws. It is important for organizations to have an affirmative action plan in place and support the plan with positive efforts to prevent racial and gender discrimination in education and employment. To compete in the global marketplace organizations must acknowledge cultural diversity and embrace it. Primary and Secondary

Various facets of diversity can be divided into primary and secondary dimensions. The primary dimensions include cultural, race, age, and gender differences. The secondary dimensions include educational, socioeconomic, marital status, and career status differences. Culture

Cultural diversity has influenced organizations; each cultural group has different values, behaviors, and personalities. One key area that has been impacted by cultural diversity is communication. When people from different cultures interact, communication difficulties arise because of differences in linguistic styles. Cultures also differ in terms of the physical distance between speakers and listeners deemed appropriate for conversations at work. According to George and Jones, people in Brazil and Saudi Arabia favor closer physical distances than do people in the United States. Americans may feel uncomfortable when Brazilians stand too close to them during conversation, whereas Brazilians may be wondering why Americans keep backing up and seem standoffish (George & Jones 2002).

To prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication organizations have implemented cultural awareness training. Cultural awareness training helps to create an inclusive workplace and is generally part of the organization’s diversity strategy. Cultural diversity has many advantages “ it contributes to the bottom line by: making it easier to retain good employees, lowering costs by developing skills in-house, and developing a corporate image and reputation that attracts the best employees (Alliance, 2008).” Race

The racial makeup of employees entering the workforce and advancing to higher level positions in organizations is changing. “Hispanic representation in the labor force is expected to increase by 33.7 percent between 2004 and 2014, Asian representation is expected to increase by 32.4 percent, and African American representation is expected to increase by 16.8 percent. In contrast, white, non-Hispanic representation in the labor force is expected to increase by only 3.1 percent between 2004 and 2014 (BLS, 2008).” Many organizations have instituted mentoring programs effectively to manage the diverse workforce. A mentor refers to someone in the organization whom is more experienced, that sponsors or supports another employee who is in a lower level position in the organization. “Mentoring can be beneficial for all employees but it may be especially important for minorities trying to overcome the effects of the similar–to-me bias, stereotypes, and potential discrimination (Robbins & Coulter, 2002).” Age

Organizations can no longer ignore the fact that the labor force is getting older. Because of the negative performance of the stock market and its effect on many retirement investment accounts, older employees are continuing to work. Organizations now offer training workshops that help to eliminate age-related bias, and educate managers about...
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