MANAGING DIVERSITY - CHALLENGES FOR INDIA INC.
By: ESHA GHOSH
“Diversity has fast become the master key for unchaining the growth lock, for any truly global enterprise to reach stupefying capacities” Globalization powered by the information technology revolution throws a hue of possibilities and challenges that did not exist before. This phenomenon has not only made borders porous, but also shrunk the world into what is called a global village. Any nation big or small is increasingly getting affected by the happenings in any other part of the world.
The tremendous growth in international business in the last two decades propelled by globalization has encouraged an enormous mobility of workforce or rather work around the world than ever before thereby, bridging the distances of geographies. In the process tastes, food habits, cultural productions, consumer goods and consuming habits and political ideas float and wander the almost contour less world without any hindrance. Although globalization has closed down on the physical distance between the people of the world, there is still a wide chasm of cultural differences that is there in the workforce of every global organization. Every organization functions within the cultural system of the society in which it is located and when organizational operations transcend geographical borders the cross cultural environment affects and shapes its organizational culture.
Diversity is “the ways in which we differ as individuals or organizations and the commonalities and similarities that justify and motivate diverse people and entities to work collaboratively together, in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.” Diversity is the variation of social and cultural identities among people existing together in a defined system.
An aspect of cultural diversity which refers to looking at differences between people inside the work organization is called workforce diversity. With the advent of globalization in India, having a workforce that closely mirrors the marketplace enables organizations to better understand and serve the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base. A diverse workforce also allows a broader view of the world and to identify issues that truly matter. And the unique perspectives that diverse employees bring to the organization enable creative approaches and innovative solutions for its customers and communities besides helping themselves.
Customer is supreme in total business strategy and with business shifting its focus from domestic to global arena the challenges to succeed in business have multiplied. Not that these challenges did not exist for businesses of yester-years, these have become very intense due to diverse markets and global competition. Either we perform (serve diverse market better than competitors) or we perish. The business therefore has to be done differently today keeping eyes and ears open to the diverse markets and global competitors.
The customer today is better exposed, better informed and hence more demanding. Due to the very exposure, he takes no time to shift his loyalty. This exposure can be half-baked truth. Most of the time, customer really does not understand what he wants. Maybe, he is clear (to a large extent) as to what performance to be expected from the product or service that he is looking for. How, when and at what quantity and cost, are not easily answered questions. Business leaders have to obtain it from the customers with due deliberation. For this purpose, a very detailed and elaborate market research, analysis study, innovations and pro-active actions will be required.
Managing Diversity is the ability to effectively “inspire” people to appropriately do what’s needed, where needed, when needed, and make the most of the resources available. It is an initiative which recognizes the links between effective people...
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