Managing diverse workforce

Topics: Management, Business, Affirmative action Pages: 6 (1856 words) Published: March 20, 2014

Modern Management
MGT500- 2012
Managing Diverse Workforce

Workforce diversity includes the obvious differences we see when we look around: race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, religion and ethnicity. But it’s also the less obvious traits, the subtle differences that often register with us unconsciously, such as socioeconomic status, marital status, educational background, language, accent and appearance. We all have something that makes us unique, some special talent or ability that we bring to the table that differentiates us from our colleagues. That’s diversity at its best. Sourcing and managing people from a diverse background have become a critical part of an employment and management strategy. Workers who vary in age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background or culture, ethnicity and language, make a positive contribution to an organization’s workforce — they’re an asset to organization culture and the bottom line as companies and managers are realizing every day that passes. There is a common belief that a diverse workforce brings innovative and creative solutions to an organization from ‘outside the box’. An effective corporate diversity program is a powerful way to gain a competitive advantage and stand apart from competition. It can’t be overstated that diverse workforce brings real bottom-line value to any organization. Diverse workforce allows organizations to break barriers, attract new customers and build customer-base and help form strategic alliances with partners across the globe by having better knowledge of the target markets and establishing better communication capabilities and having ability to communicate in a variety of languages including understanding of cultural differences. Just over half of the employers polled in Canada said they anticipate a shortage of qualified workers in the next five years and approximately 67% believe they currently have a more diverse workforce than 5 years ago. These forward-thinking companies are not only placing an emphasis on making a positive contribution to their workforce – but on their bottom line.


Despite Workforce diversity is becoming common phenomenon across Canada, managers of today are increasingly facing the challenges of handling a diverse workforce and being sensitive to this diversity (Tjosvold, 1985).The rationale behind this research is to understand challenges organizations are facing as a result of managing diverse workforce. Additionally the research would try to look into various ways managers can overcome these challenges and make managing diverse workforce a real success. The concept of managing diversity originated in America following the growing need to manage cross-cultural and individual differences in an increasingly diverse demographic workforce (Cox & Blake, 1991). In Canada, immigration and large numbers of women entering the workforce promoted diversity management efforts since the 1990s, although the workplace composition differs from that in the USA (Miller & A. Rowney, 1999). Experts (Fernandez, 1993; Rice, 1994; Carnevale and Stone, 1994) indicate that business owners and managers who hope to create and manage an effective, harmonious multicultural workforce should remember the importance of the following: Setting a good example: This basic tool can be particularly valuable for small business owners who hope to establish a healthy environment for people of different cultural backgrounds. This is because they are generally able to wield significant control over the business basic outlook and atmosphere. The leaders must exhibit strong commitment to addressing issues like myths, stereotypes, and real cultural differences, as well as organizational barriers that interfere with the full contribution of all employees. Communicate in Writing: Organization policies that explicitly forbid prejudice and discriminatory behavior should...

References: Chatman, J. A. and Spataro, S. E. (2005). Using Self-Categorization Theory to Understand Relational Demography-Based Variations in People’s Responsiveness to Organizational Culture. Academy of Management Journal, vol. 48, pp 321-331.
Cox, T. H., & Blake, S. (1991). Managing cultural diversity: implications for organizational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executive, 5(2), 45-46.
Galagan, Patricia A. (1999, April), Navigating the differences. Training & Development, 47(4), 28-30.
Hill, C. W. L. and Jones, G. R. (2001). Strategic Management. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Jenner, Lisa (19949 January). Diversity Management: What does it mean? HR Focus, page 11.
Jorgensen, B. (1993) "Diversity: Managing a Multicultural Workforce", Electronic Business Buyer, September
Managing Diversity (1999, July)
Miller, G. E., & A. Rowney, J. I. (1999). Workplace diversity management in a multicultural society. Women in Management Review, 14(8), 307-315.
Nelton, Sharon (2000, September). Winning with diversity. Nation 's Business, 80(9), 18-24.
Thomas, R. (1992). Managing Diversity: A Conceptual Framework. In Jackson, S. E. (Ed) Diversity in the Workplace: Human Resource Initiatives. New York, NY: Guilford, pp. 306-318.
Tjosvold, D. (1985). Power and Social context in Superior-Subordinate Interaction. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 35, 281-293.
Fernandez, J.P. (1993) 1he Diversity Advantage: How American Business Can Out-perform Japanese and Companies in the Global Marketplace, New York: Lexington Books.
Goffee, R. (1997) "Cultural Diversity", “The Complete MBA Companion”, Pitman Publishing
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Successful Management of a Diverse Workforce Research Paper
  • Diverse Workforce Essay
  • Diverse Workforce Essay
  • Managing a Diverse and Virtual Workforce Essay
  • Managing a diverse workforce Essay
  • Diverse Workforce Essay
  • Diverse Workforce Essay
  • Managing Workforce Diversity Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free