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The Importance Of Workplace Diversity And The Associated Challenges

1254 words - 6 pages

According to McCormick (2007), the first form of workplace diversity happened in 1948, when President Truman approved Executive Order 9981 whose main purpose was to advance equal treatment and opportuities in the armed forces. Therefore, scholars cite it as the origin of workplace diversity because President Truman the committee tasked to implement the executive order, used it to pursue desegregation in the armed forces. In the business world, many companies long held the belief that the assimiltion of new recruits in an organization required their socialization to adapt to the organization’s existent culture. However, over the last few decades, business organizations have realized that ...view middle of the document...

However, the use of diversity consequences in the definition limits their use in diversity research as outcome variables.
Taylor, et al. (2009), states that workplace diversity has attracted huge attention from strategic human resources managers because of possible influences on workplace results. This is because SHRM focuses on aligning human resources with organization’s strategic objectives and initiatives. Generally, workplace diversity is beneficial to organizations because it brings varied persepctives and values to a workplace. The benefits associated with workplace diversity include an improved organizational reputation because of the “diversity employer” tag, enhanced recruitment when an organization can match the labour pool with its employee profiles, and broader marketing insights that become available from different employees. The diverse experiences and backgrounds bring about the different perspectives and insights, which contribute to increased innovation and creativity, better ideas, and a wider range of options in a diverse workplace. The diverse employees may also generate distinctive alternatives and challenge status quo, which brings about constructive conflict in the organization and leads tp higher quality decisions.
Green, et al. (2012), state that the benefits from workplace diversity depend on the level with which employees working on difficult tasks have discretion in their decision-making and the organization’s expectation and value for new ideas, especially in planning events, development of policies and market strategy. The benefits should increase when diverse employees work interdependently on tasks that demand collaboration and interaction. Therefore, diversity can be more or less beneficial at different instances. It is expected to be less beneficial and less harmful where employees engage in simple and standardized tasks, or there is no need for interactions with other employees, or both. The possible benefits associated with workplace diversity come at a cost. Research also indicates that a diverse group takes longer to complete a problem-solving task than a homogenous group. However, a diverse group is expected to produce superior results in terms of decision-making and idea generation. Therefore, effectiveness could take priority before efficiency in a diversified workplace.
However, the management of diverse workers presents various challenges. This is because it involves more than just acknowledgement of the differences in the employees. It involves the recogntion the significance of their differences, prevention of discrimination, and the promotion of inclusiveness. An organization’s management may also be faced with employee turnover nad productivity losses because of discrimmiation and prejudice as well as legal suits and other complaints against the organization. Negative behaviour and attitudes among employees can form obstacles to organizational diversity because of a breakdown in work relations,...

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