Managerial Communication Report
Diversity in work place: challenges and solutions
in view of telecom solution providers in Bangladesh
Homayara L. Ahmed
Course Instructor, Managerial Communication
EMBA 15TH Batch
Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka
Managing workplace diversity has become a priority concern among organizations in round the globe today. Bangladesh is one of the pioneers in the region for economic liberalization. It has adopted the best policies of South Asia to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). As Bangladesh is still not ready to produce telecom solutions, so all the suppliers of telecom equipments; e.g. Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, ZTE, NEC etc. have opened their business in Bangladesh and in those company people from different countries are working together. This cross-border mobility has resulted in the interaction of people with diverse language, customs and ethnic backgrounds. Although diversity has been shown to have a number of benefits, including enhanced employee creativity and competence, this recognition is often found more in theory than actual practice. Diversity can also lead to miscommunication, dysfunctional adaptation behaviors and the creation of barriers that reduce the benefits diversity can bring to the organization. Due to the nature of the telecom vendor workplace, which is dominated by a foreign workforce, this study critically analyzes the benefits and challenges organizations face in the diverse workplaces as well as some solutions to overcome those challenges. The study used a survey data from 50 surveys of native and foreign officials of those organizations. The research found a generally favorable view toward workplace diversity from the perspective of surveyed employees. However, when asked more detailed questions about company policy, a significant segment of respondents expressed reservations about their employer’s ability to implement successful intercultural communication and diversity practices.
The term "workplace diversity" can be defined as "the co-existence of staff from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds in a particular organization”1. Diversity is valued in organizations for a variety of reasons. Researchers have identified diversity as an important element in sustaining equality of access and opportunity in the workplace. The support for equal opportunity helps institutions gain the most benefit from an increasingly multicultural labor force. In this way initiatives supporting diversity are aimed at ensuring that a given organization does not lose or waste talent.
With the ever-changing business environment, business owners are adapting diversity policies and strategies that appeal to their employees, clients, vendors and suppliers. Diversity in the workplace brings with it a host of potential benefits, as well as potential conflicts for business owners to manage.
Telecom solution and service providers working in Bangladesh mostly have geocentric business attitude and having diverse workplaces. So, there are advantage, disadvantages for diversity and challenges to overcome those limitations. This study intends to find out those challenges and way to overcome those.
2. Literature review
Culture can be understood in various ways. In one sense, it is the product of many years of continuous history and civilization of a people – essentially what has grown from the minds and creativity of a group of people that share a common heritage.3 Culture has also been described as the schemes of facts shared by a relatively large group of people. LeBaron emphasizes that culture relates to manners, principles, values, and characters that a group accepts generally without thinking about them and that are passed along by...
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5 National Park Service, ―Workforce Diversity,‖ paragraph 1, retrieved May 1, 2013, from http://www.nps.gov/diversity/.
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