Human Resource Management: Workplace Diversity Essay

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Introduction
Companies in the 21st century are facing fierce competition, economic and global challengers. In the midst of challengers organisations should have distinctive competences to resist it. Survival depends on the maintenance of market share by having a good image, cost leadership, sound technical or service superioty, committed employees and speed of market. Organisations success depends on how well the use of resource are utilised in achieving the core competences. Human assets are becoming the most important resource because of the rapid growth in the service sector. Human resources hold valuable knowledge and information, which sets them a part as the source in creating intellectual capital that sets a firm a part from its competitors (Kamoche, 2001) The most important resource for successful organisation is its human resources therefore firms cannot treat human assets as commodities. To create value, management should try to find ways to utilise employees efficiently. The importance of human resource management to align with the business strategy is fundamental to the firm’s achievement of competitive advantage. As Bratton and Gold (1999: 08) describes human assets have the characteristic of creating value to the firm, be unique, difficult to imitate and substituted. In the past decade diversity has been the forerunner in the argument of human resource management. Workplace diversity is about acknowledging differences adopting to work practices to create an inclusive environment in which our diverse skills, perspectives and backgrounds are valued (Nicholas, 2000:14). This article will examine the benefits and the issues the firms would have in capturing diversity. The article will also concentrate on the central issue of the importance of integrating the human resource strategy with business strategy. Finally the article would conclude the problems faced by the HR managers in implementing practices and policies.

Diversity has been a competitive tool for most organisation because of the development of technology that results in the relocation of resources and people, increasing globalisation, aging of workforce, continued ethnic diversification (Hudson, 2002). Diversity is commonly referred in relation to ethnicity gender and culture but its scope is widened as far as age, disability, language, religouis beliefs, life stages and education. Diversity is beneficial to companies as job satisfaction reducers cost on turnover and absenteeism (Hudson, 2002). With the increase in job satisfaction higher levels of production also can be achieved. This is similar to the Soft Approach of human resource management. The soft approach takes the view the benefits will accrue in the long run. Organisations persistence for good work practise will earn the reputation tag as a good place of work. All these are consequences in the long term reiterated by the theorist of the soft approach. Beer et al (1984) and Guest (1987) stated by applying...

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