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Workplace Diversity

August 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Diversity Consulting

Workplace diversity refers to the extent to which an organization is culturally diverse. Cultural diversity includes the range of ways in which people experience a unique group identity, which includes gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic and age. An organization’s culture tends to determine the extent to which it is culturally diverse.

While diversity in the workplace brings about many benefits to an organization, it can also lead to many challenges. It is the responsibility of managers within organizations to use diversity as an influential resource in order to enhance organizational effectiveness. In the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, C.L. Walck defines managing diversity in the workplace as “Negotiating interaction across culturally diverse groups, and contriving to get along in an environment characterized by cultural diversity”.

In a journal entitled, “The multicultural Organization”, by Taylor Cox, Jr., Cox talks about three organization types which focus on the development on cultural diversity. The three organization types are: the monolithic organization, the plural organization, and the multicultural organization. In the monolithic organization, the amount of structural integration (the presence of persons from different cultural groups in a single organization) is very minimal. “In the United States, this organization usually represents white male majorities in the overall employee population with few women and minority men in management jobs”. “The plural organization has a more heterogeneous membership than the monolithic organization and takes steps to be more inclusive of persons from cultural backgrounds that differ from the dominant group”. The multicultural organization not only contains many different cultural groups, but it values this diversity.

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