jin12kim

Diversity in the Orgnization

Posted on: May 16, 2011

Whether we like it or not, we are living in a globalized world. Thanks to technology, the other side of the world is only a few clicks away. When we are at home or work, we are easily able to meet or experience different cultures and customs. It is almost impossible to find homogeneous societies that cleave only one value, culture and belief. Unconsciously, we adapt or accept diversity of others.

DIVERSITY. What is diversity?

When we try to define the word, diversity, we think “difference”. In the article, Doyle and George (2008) illustrates that understanding diversity is beyond ethnicity and race-based differences. It is extended toward the sexual orientation, disability, and age. Each individual has different characteristics and personalities depending on his or her backgrounds, cultures, customs, and beliefs. Those differences make the individual more unique and rare. Now we know that people are all different and SO WHAT?

We attempt to define and understand diversity because it is an important issue in an organization. In an organization, we are pursuing a common goal or set of goals with a group of individuals (McNamara, n.d.).  Because there is at least one overall, common mission to accomplish, it is important for members of group to cooperate to contribute their efforts to success. Therefore, it is necessary for each group member to understand the diversity within group. Also, because of current trend of globalization, the organizations should understand the diversity of customers in order to succeed in business. It is essential for an organization to accept and apply the diversity in workplace.

What are the benefits for a workforce? In the article, Jo Causon (2008) suggests that the diversity brings an important business benefit: innovation. New people bring new ideas that others did not think of. Then, the company could consider and review in different perspectives.

The time I had a first job interview is my closed diversity experience.  I thought I aced it with polite and professional attitudes. However, the interviewer thinks differently. There were confused and frustrated. When they gave me feedback, they considered me as too shy and timid a person to take a job. I did not understand where that impression came from. Then, it hit me. Cultural difference! It took me a while to understand the Western interview style. In Eastern culture, it is not polite, in fact rude, to look directly at the interviewer’s eyes. Also, in the culture, instead of handshake, we bow. After years, I am now in a position to hire employees. I start to notice the differences and importance of individuals. With the same situation, people’s reaction vary. Yes! We are all different.

Before I can understand diversity, it is important to admit each individual is different and unique. We are all from different backgrounds and cultures. The diversity in a workplace could create conflicts and frustrations, but we should remember that there is a great benefit, a new perspective. It is important for a manager to bring out the differences of employees and corporate them to achieve the best results for the organization. It will be a great homework for the manager to learn how to apply and collaborate the diversity in the workplace. Maybe it is not only for the manager. We should think about it because we are a member of any part of organization.

Source

Causon, J. J. (2008). The diversity advantage. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 3(18), 78-81. doi:10.1049/et:20081816. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Doyle, R., & George, U. (2008). Achieving and Measuring Diversity: An Organizational Change Approach. Social Work Education, 27(1), 97-110. doi:10.1080/02615470601141235. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

McNamara, C. (n.d.). BASIC DEFINITION OF ORGANIZATION. Free Management Library. Retrieved May 15, 2011. from http://managementhelp.org/org_thry/org_defn.htm#anchor424230

Image source

http://www.cartoonstock.com

http://www.glasbergen.com

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2 Responses to "Diversity in the Orgnization"

As you have mentioned that conflict and frustration may inevitably spawn from diversity, therefore organizations must accommodate its staff and promote understanding.

Training on conflict resolution should also be a priority. Many times a minor communication issue can developed into a class-action lawsuit. (Walmart?)

Anyways, great write up Kim! Awesome images too

Cheers

Ray

Definitely, there are conflict and frustration because of the diversity in the workplace. I also believe that training would be a great solution for understanding each other’s differences. I found the article about the Walmart lawsuit. It is about the sex discrimination. Hope this is what you are referring to. Thanks you for the comment !!!

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  • Jory Grunlund: Hey Jin. Similar to what I told Chris, people are usually resistant to change at first. Like you mentioned, when your accountant changed the accountin
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