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Diversity And The Human Resource Debate

2868 words - 12 pages

The following paper is а discussion about how diversity is no longer the sole province of human resource but should be part of а separate diversity function to embrace equality across an organizations workforce, products and services. (Morrison, 1992, 42-48)Diversity is an increasingly important factor in businesses around the world as Globalization begins to take hold of the world market. As major organizations Internationalize, the diversity of the markets in the world poses many challenges and many have begun to realize that the challenges of managing diversity is not only difficult but must also begin from within. The challenge to remain competitive in the current global ...view middle of the document...

(Ellis, 1994, 79-110)Valuing diversity is an important element in organisations today and managing diversity is vital for success. Management of diversity can be defined as а managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees (Morrison, 1992, 42-48)while encouraging and enabling them to employ their talents and skills to the fullest.Why is diversity becoming an important issue?Previously, the diversity of an organization's workforce has mainly been due to legal compliance as in many countries, there are laws against discrimination. However, globalization of the world markets including the employment market is causing а dramatic change in the way businesses are run. (Ellis, 1994, 79-110) Globalizations means new open markets with new customers which requires products or services that are suited for these markets. It also means а new type of employment market which is extremely diverse. Limiting factors like geography are becoming less an issue as technology advances in travel and communication makes the world increasingly accessible. Diversity is becoming an unavoidable issue that must be addressed if the organization is to successfully adapt to these changes. Organizational goals of diversity today include creation of а positive organizational culture and deriving economic value from diversity (Hellriegel 1999 ).In recent years, the field of Human Resource Management has moved to consider not only micro but also macro relationships. The micro focus, evolving from industrial psychology, emphasized human resource policies and their influence on individuals. This focus was concerned exclusively with such outcomes as job satisfaction and employee participation. The macro focus shifts the level of analysis from the individual to the organization.Diversity Orientation: А Configurational ViewDiversity becomes а significant organizational objective and diversity management becomes particularly salient because of the natural tendency toward homogeneity in organizations. Schneider's (1987) Attraction-Selection-Attrition hypothesis (ASA) suggests that organizations tend to attract, hire, and retain similar types of people. (Ellis, 1994, 79-110) Thus, а diversity orientation serves as such а mechanism and should lead to increased diversity.Diversity represents bringing different backgrounds, cultures, and generations into the same organization. This variety of perspectives can foster creativity. On the other hand, this variety of perspectives generates inefficiencies in that diverse groups lack а shared understanding, potentially making communication slow and laborious. Thus, we propose that environments and strategies that demand innovation and creative solutions will benefit more from diversity than those environments that require efficiency. (Ellis, 1994, 79-110)One reason that configurations remain crucial for fostering diversity is based upon а notion termed "social...

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