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Summery of key business arguments for and against diversity - Essay Example

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In the United States, there was a time when corporations could get away with ignoring issues of diversity while hiring employees who thought and looked alike, catering to one type of customer. Those days have passed, as has the myth that sought to perpetuate that diversity had…
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Summery of key business arguments for and against diversity
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Key Business Arguments For and Against Diversity In the United s, there was a time when corporations could get away with ignoring issues of diversity while hiring employees who thought and looked alike, catering to one type of customer. Those days have passed, as has the myth that sought to perpetuate that diversity had no effect on business. Giving opportunities to employees of different backgrounds is the correct thing to do ethically, as well as in business. Moreover, this is because the organizations are set to benefit from the expertise that a multi-cultural workforce can bring with it (Jackson 11). This paper seeks to provide arguments for diversity in the workplace, in addition, to arguments against diversity.
An organization can increase revenue by improving the diversity of its team, which in turn improves decision-making and problem solving. Diverse teams have a richer and broader base of experience, which they can draw on, to solve organizational issues and problems. The presence of views from the minority can create a higher level of critical analysis of implications and assumptions in decision-making (Thiederman 1). Additionally, it also provides for an increase of alternatives from which the team can choose. Problem resolution benefits from a diverse workforce with dependency on manager who is diversity-competent and utilizes key behaviors of diversity management. A properly trained and managed diverse team is more successful in resolving work-related difficulties than homogenous teams. However, diversity does not work out if this diversity is not utilized effectively (Thiederman 1).
Diversity also increases the ability of an organization to be innovative and creative (Jackson 1). These skills are best used in quality improvement, process re-engineering, advertising, and introduction of new products. Diversity can also help where an organization is serving a diverse customer base. For example, if an organization is serving Hispanic and Black consumers, then a diverse workforce will be better equipped to handle them on a personal level. Allied Sinai is a perfect example of this as they successfully negotiated the sale of wheels to China East Airlines, with the success put down to the presence of Americans of Chinese origin on their sales team (Jackson 1).
However, diversity does have its drawbacks. Diversity can act as an impediment to effective communication, which, in turn, can dampen the cohesiveness and productivity of small, work teams (Mayhew 1). Spending time together can act, as a gradual way of breaking down these barriers to communication in the long-term. However, orientation periods for the workers and first impressions can be cumbersome to manage in the event of culture clashes.
Another problem with diversity is issues with integration. Social integration in the workplace can only be influenced to a very small degree. Formation of exclusive social groups and cliques is a natural process, which can be difficult to control (Anderson & Hilary 32). From the above, organizations can go through informal divisions within their staff, which creates a culture whereby employees avoid each other after work and during work breaks. Although these scenarios are not fundamentally wrong, they can hinder the sharing of experience, skills, and knowledge, which could curb effectiveness and growth of teams (DiTomaso & Correen 22).
Diversity in the workplace, despite its drawbacks, can only be a net positive. The benefits to be gleaned from diversity such as improved innovation and creativeness, and the ability of serving a diverse base of customers can only be good for the organization’s bottom line. In any case, the drawbacks to diversity can be worked on over time while lack of diversity will act as a long-term handicap to the organization.
Works Cited
Anderson, Tracey. and Hilary, Metcalf. Diversity: Stacking Up the Evidence: A Review of Knowledge. London : Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development , 2011. Print.
DiTomaso, Nancy. & Corinne, Post. Diversity in the Workforce. Amsterdam : Elsevier JAI, 2011. Print.
Hubbard, Edward. The Business Case for Diversity. 2012. 14 Web November 2012 www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/metrics/The-Business-Case-for- Diversity.asp.
Jackson, Susan. Diversity in the workplace: human resources initiatives. New York: Guilford Press, 2012. Print.
Mayhew, Ruth. Disadvantages in Increasing Diversity in the Workplace. 2012. Web 14 November 2012
www.smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-increasing-diversity-workplace- 24337.html
Thiederman, Sondra. Why Diversity Counts: The Business Case. 2012. Web 14 November 2012
www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/metrics/why-diversity-counts-the-business-case.asp Read More
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