Managing Diversity at Workplace: The Hewlett-Packard Case Study

Topics: Multiculturalism, Hewlett-Packard, Discrimination Pages: 21 (4669 words) Published: October 23, 2013
ASA University Review, Vol. 3 No. 2, July–December, 2009

Managing Diversity at Workplace: A Case Study of hp
Yousuf Kamal*
Most. Moriom Ferdousi**
Diversity and diversity management in multicultural workforce is increasingly becoming an important issue for the business in the era of globalization. It affects the productivity and efficiency of the workforce in general. The purpose of the study is to encompass the dimensions of diversity management in a practical company. Particularly, the study shed light on the diversity management issue of a multinational organization. We have analysed the diversity management journey of Hp from the beginning till now giving particular focus on diversity dimensions and strategies. The paper also highlights the theoretical aspect of ‘paradigms of diversity management’ and its application to Hp. We have analysed Hp’s diversity inclusion model and its own way of managing diversity in multicultural workforce. The findings of the study will be beneficial for the Bangladeshi organisation as it provides some guidelines and recommendations of diversity management. We find strong multicultural workforce diversity in the Hp operation and a variety of workforce diversity within the company.

Key Words: Diversity management, Cultural synergy, Paradigms of Diversity Management, Multicultural Work force, Inclusion Model.

In recent years, diversity has come to play a central role in organizational life, due to increased globalization, greater workforce diversity, and the increasing complexity of jobs (Williams and O’ Reilly, 1998). The term diversity has many interpretations. Different scholars have defined it in different way. Cox (2001) defined diversity as the variation of social and cultural identities among people existing together in a defined employment or marketing setting. While, William and O’Reilly (1998) defined diversity as the degree of heterogeneity among team members on specified demographic dimensions, their theory aims to explain how such heterogeneity affects team processes and performance. Thomas and Ely (1998) argue that diversity should be understood as the varied perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups bring. Similarly the management of diversity is also perceived differently by different scholars. The paper provides some in-depth understanding of diversity, its strategies and paradigms in the multicultural environment. The paper is divided into six sections. Section one presents a brief overview of Hp, section two focuses on dimensions of diversity management followed by cost benefits of diversity management, section three discusses the strategies and paradigms of diversity management. Section four provides an analysis of Hp way of diversity management followed by its diversity management inclusion model. Section five provides an understanding of how Hp managed its diversity in multicultural workforce and how it managed *


Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems, University of Dhaka Lecturer, Department of BBA, University of Development Alternative (UODA)


ASA University Review, Vol. 3 No. 2, July–December, 2009

gender non-discrimination in the workplace. Final section provides some recommendations which could be effective for any multicultural organization and particularly for Hp.

An Overview of hp
Originated by two class mates of Stanford University Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Hp was established on the 1st of January, 1939 (Menke, 2007). Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company has long been admired for its products, ethics, business innovations, and competitive spirit (Connolly and Burnett, 2003).

Today, Hp is the world’s largest seller of personal computers and the 5th largest software company in the world employing over 172,000 employees worldwide with a Revenue of $104.3 billion ( Hp, 2008). It has great management; great product lines...

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