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Management And Diversity In The Workplace

1762 words - 8 pages

Summary:
In setting the stage for culturally competent practices, managers must understand that the “emerging organizational workplace contains employees with many diverse cultural characteristics that create a new cultural context”. One of the recurring issues within current organizations is that the “successful management techniques and practices” used to manage this diversity, “were developed when organizations were less culturally diverse”. It is now evident that for managers to be successful at handling this diversity they must see these “practices in a cultural context”. These outdated practices gives rise to problems in an employees’ perception of equity. Equity theory in an organizational setting is a theory that “attempts to explain relational satisfaction in terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of resources within interpersonal relationships” ("Equity theory,"). For example; “an individual who became a manager when the organization was less diverse had a long time to develop working relationships with employees who are the most culturally similar to him or her”. The preceding example also ties closely to employees having developed a similar culture founded on needs and policies of the organization. Subsequently, as diversity undoubtedly increases through both the internal and external environment a “manager may spend more time with, give more recognition to, and assign the most important assignments to culturally similar employees”. The manager may be administering these practices unintentionally due to his familiarity in doing so and a subordinate’s efficiency in doing their job. Nevertheless, some of these practices can be detrimental to the long-term success of both the organization and diverse new entrants. These diverse new entrants “may see that the manager spends more time with and rewards culturally similar individuals more so than individuals from their different cultural groups”. Needless to say the preceding example can have tremendous negative effects on that individuals moral. This can also negatively effect a manager’s relationships with other individuals within the same cultural group internally and externally within the organization.
A good start in setting the stage for diversity is defining its meaning. Diversity, no longer consist of “race, ethnicity and gender”, but should also include “secondary dimensions like communication, style, work style, organizational role/level, economic status and geographical origin”. The numerous dimensions, although vast, should all be focal points by modern organizations in achieving cultural competence. Setting the stage, closely relates, and takes from formulating a cultural competence foundation for organizational success. Additionally, in understanding diversity, managers must acknowledge that “work style and communication are influenced by monochronic and polychronic cultural characteristics, as well as social status”. This means that organizations cannot take a...

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