Human Resource Management on Diversity


Discuss the current issues and interests in human resource management.



Human Resource Management faces challenge when the teams are formed with people from diverse culture and setups. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how the human resource management should handle the diversity in the workplaces. Moreover, inclusion of people from various cultural background give raises to issues such racism and others. The paper discusses the initiatives that should be taken by the organizations to handle such diversity. There are certain initiatives that can be suggested to be taken. More people from such races can be hired that are lesser in number to increase the participation incidences and eventually empower the whole group in a similar manner. The direct empowerment of the workforce that consists of various sets of races can help the organization in maintaining harmony.

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Moreover, the diverse workforce can be included into the decision making of the organization. Such participation will make them feel valued and they will be willing to contribute to the organization (Kossek and Lobel, 1996). 
Various strategies related to Human Resource diversity is not constrained to only certain functions. It links various human resource management processes together, for instance, recruiting and selecting the right diversity, and then developing and retaining them for longer period.
These are done together and the goal of the workforce is aligned with the goal of the organization. As per Yakura (1996), such strategies are linked with consideration of the impact of globalization on the current and future workforce, and the shift in the labour market. 
The data gathered from the United States Department of Labour states that there exists less diversity in the workforce in the companies operating in the country. There are more whites in than the other races. The data of the year 2004 showed presence of almost 88% management jobs with the whites and only 5.7 percent with the blacks and 5.9% with the Hispanics. 
However, if the total population of the country is taken into picture, then it can be stated that the total number of white employees should be 75 percent and the rest should be from other ethnicities. 
Another study in 2002 stated that women were occupying almost 47.5% of the management and other professions. However, most of these jobs were more female oriented jobs and were underpaid. Some of those professions were teaching, and other jobs. Most percentage of the men was into high paying jobs such as engineering or higher management fields. 
ILO asserted that on one hand where the globalization has brought significant positive impact on the opportunities related to jobs and economy, on the other hand, the same factor has led to increment in the social inequalities. If the worldwide data is considered, then only 54% of the women are employed in comparison to the 80% of the population. Moreover, most of the women are indulged in care giving professions such as domestic work that are low paying. The same report asserts that the countries that have significantly developed on the economic front helped its women to work on high paying jobs, while the economies that are still developing can observe their women employed in low pay care jobs. Moreover, the global data suggests that women receive 20-30% less wages in comparison to men and only 1% of the total women are working as the chief executives. 
There are certain steps that can be taken by the organizations. For instance, firms can put effort in attracting wide pool of eligible candidates for the interview that not only represent the right fit, but also the need for diversity. The attracted wide pool then can be used to select the candidates as per the requirements of proper diversity ratio. 
There are various principles that deal with the management of the diversities at the work place. The purpose of using such principle is to increase the mix of various races and ethnicities that will help reduce the conflicts that generally arise when one race dominates over others. 
The paper is poised to discuss three research processes. The first process tries to understand the factors that lead to certain human resource practice to impact the diversity of the employees in general. The second process tries to understand the impact of diversity on the organization’s overall growth. The third process tries to understand the human resource practices and its direct impact on the outcomes.

Impact of HR Practices on the Presence of Diverse Employees

The practices that are concerned with diversity with the organization have moved beyond the general human resource activities like AA and EEO. Now the effort is to bring committees that can take care of the employee diversity among the organization. The effort not only includes recruitment and selection, but a whole range of processes, like training and skill development that can increase the chances for their retention (Jackson, 2002).
A survey conducted by Blum (2003) of the various human resource managers in Georgia, and identified that there exists affirmative relation among the growth of the employees and presence of women and employees from different races and ethnicity.
Another study conducted by Konrad and Linnehan (1995), asserted that organizations whose human resource structure are more concerned with demographic representation saw better proportion of diversity. A similar study by Reskin and McBrier (2000) found out that the firms whose human resource practices are more structured saw the presence of higher percentage of women and people from other races and ethnicities in the management roles than the organizations with less or no formal presence of human resource structures. Both the studies concluded that the opportunities are less given to the employees after stereotyping their ability and characteristics in the human resource systems that not formalized. However, in the formalized systems, it is opposite.
A study conducted by Leck and Saunders (1992) in Canada to understand whether the companies in the country follow the CEEA that advocates about the proper opportunity for women, differently abled persons, and those who are from minor races and ethnicities. The study realized that the company with formal HR system was more likely to hire women. The compliance with the EEP saw greater correlation with the women on the management functions.
A study conducted by Burbridge et al (2002) of the Ford Foundation found that if a change is induced in the top then it relays a cascading effect top-down and the processes of hiring sees a drastic change in line of the same. It has been observed that bringing one or more females or candidate from other minorities on board or in the employee group is followed by other similar hires without effort. Somehow it increases the access to the large pool of talents and networks. This lead to the easier change in the culture of the organization and also the candidates are retained more in comparison to previous phases.
Few of the research have not construed that the practices in human resource management are associated with bringing diversity. A study conducted by Rynes and Rosen (1995) identified that there is less correlation between the support of the management of idea of having diversity within the company and the actual presence of employees from diverse background within the company.
Another study conducted by Konrad and Linnehan (1995) identified that there rarely exists any relationship between the formal structure of human resource management structures and the number of minority employees at upper strata of management.
A similar study by Blum et al (1994) asserted that if the companies allow extreme orientation towards diversities then it creates issues such as lower salaries and increase in employee turnover. Moreover, it worsens the situation of employee training and retention and, therefore, diversity in the people cannot be imitated to the initiative related to diversity.
Most of the academicians realize that though the initiatives in diversities have affirmative outcomes, sometimes the same initiatives leads to poor results. The initiatives that go wrong are seen as the result of poor treatment towards the women and the minor races and ethnicities. According to Cox and Blake (1991), the firms that consider initiating the process of diversifying the workforce can ably use its marketing techniques in diverse culture and ethnicities. 
Therefore, it can be stated that bringing diverse people on board helps the organization increase its span from limited customer reach to large customer base due to the increased ability to communicate with them. 
Another research conducted by Collins (1997) asserted the similar views through her research that was focused on interviewing 76 executives who were black and were living in Chicago area. The study found that most of the executives were in the role that was imperative for the organization to have in the system. For instance, if the company is involved in marketing their product to the black people or if the law requires having a black opposite to a white, then the blacks were hired. Those blacks, who were hired due to some racially focused roles, saw less growth in their career on the contrary to those blacks who had main stream history in employment and were not dependent on the profiles that intend specifically for blacks.
Most of the companies have seen increase in women candidates and minorities that has also helped them in replicating the success of the other market to the minorities market and bring in more customers (Perlman, 1992). However, these companies rarely promoted such minorities or became successful retaining them for longer period. 
The researcher, Thomas (1990), stated that companies should focus on accepting the diversity within the company and not only in the action. Until the employer will not accept the minorities holistically, the minorities will keep facing the problem. 
He argued that minorities do not require confirmation ticket from the majority for entry into any job profile. As per Cox (2001), companies should focus on having the ratio of the employee percentage in line with the total population of specific minority group. Moreover, the minorities should be allowed to be in the position of high importance such as those that directly impacts the profitability of the organization. 
Moreover, they should be allowed to handle the major profiles such as engineering and instead of keeping them only at less threatening profiles, companies should address the racial barriers by allowing the minority candidates to advance in their career as other eligible candidates.

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Impact of Diversity on Organizations’ Overall Growth

This section discusses the presence of minority employees within the organization and the impact of the same on the performance outcomes at various levels, be it individual, team or the whole company. 
The three levels have been considered. The first is at individual level, where the diversity -within the organization has been looked upon and the individual performance. It focused on personal attitudes and ratings. 
The second level is the relationship between the presence of diversity and the team outcomes. It looked upon the cooperation with one other in a group. The third level is the relationship between the presence of diversity and the organizations’ outcomes. It looked upon the total rate of turnover and the overall productivity of the staffs and profitability of the organization.

Diverse workforce and Impacts on Individual 

The individuals in the contemporary age believes that the racism has been the thing of past. Now the individuals see misbehavior against women and minor sections to be not acceptable within the society. These individuals believe that the organization they work for holds similar beliefs. Now they have started to believe that the women and minorities are unnecessarily crouching into the system and demanding advantages at workplace. These individuals do not see that demand based on merit. This seems to be the other form of racism.
A study conducted by Kossek and Zonia (1993) found out that the individuals who work in groups that are more demographically diverse, then it can be observed that their attitude is favorable towards the diversity. However, the individuals who have not spent their time within the group with diverse culture show just the opposite attitude towards the women and minorities.
A study conducted by Kanter (1997) asserted that when minorities are included within the group and the organization, then it leads to the reduction in the stereotyping behavior of the individuals at all levels. 
Another study conducted by Tsui and Gutek (1999) stated that there are more similarity on the ground of demographics between the senior managers and their immediate juniors. Moreover, Leck et al (1995) concluded that placing women at the higher management reduce the wage gap but gap in wages of disabled women and other minority still stayed in picture.

Diverse workforce and Impacts on Group 

The studies have concluded that impact on the group by development in the diversity can be mixed. A study conducted by McLeod et al (1996) identified that the groups that are more diverse can effectively brain storm for certain solutions to problems in comparison to groups that are more homogeneous. 
A study conducted by Elvira and Cohen (2001) of the Fortune 500 Company, stated that if the minorities find people similar to them are less at certain level, than they prefer to leave the job. Such cases have been found evidently in the women. When women see less of them on certain position, then they prefer to leave the job for the next companies with better presence of women at their level.

Diverse workforce and Impacts on Organization 

A study conducted by Richard et al (2002) found that the companies, who are involved in having diverse workforce, generally attract customers from diverse backgrounds for its products and services. 
Similar studies have concluded that the organizations with diversity can better handle their marketing effort for the diverse culture and can effectively reach the market that were not easily reachable due to complex culture.
A study conducted by Catalyst (2004) of the Fortune 500 Companies identified that the organizations that have more diversity at the top management can see increased percentage of profitability in comparison to the organizations which does not have that level of diversity. Thus it can be stated that diversity brings better reach and organization profitability.

Human Resource Practices and its Direct Impact on Outcomes

According to a study conducted by Cox and Blake (1991), the organizations that have diverse cultural presence can have better quality decision making ability and has increased level of creativity in approaching certain problems. It also leads to increased level of flexibility within the organization due to the presence of variety of thinking patterns and in general attracts and retains higher number of talent. It also leads to their increased level of ability to market their product to different cultures and groups. 
It can be stated that such improvements within the organization and the positive impact on the overall growth of the organization can be brought through the effort of creating diverse culture within the organization which requires interventions at the strategic levels. 
The interventions can be varied. The process of the selecting the candidates can be changed. Management can spend more of their time on resolving the conflicts between the groups. The top management can commit to improve the culture mix of the organization. All these changes can contribute to the improvements of the overall organization. 
The interventions should be used only at formal processes that lie at the bottom of the organizations. It can also bring in the informal processes also. On one hand bringing change keeping in view the turnover and productivity will help the organization in short term, on the other hand keeping the focus on informal process such culture and quality of interactions among the individuals will have long term positive impact on the organization.
Thus it can be stated that if the company is focused on bringing certain change within the diversity of the organization to gain greater market share and strong workforce, then embracing all the above strategies can be helpful to a certain extent. 


The contemporary period has seen different response level in bringing the change in the diversity within the organization. Certain organizations focus on fostering the diversity because local law compels them to do so, while few others do as an obligation to the society and there are others who do it because they feel the need because of their increasing marketing activities and desire for profitability.
While this study was conducted to understand the relationship between the inclusion of the diversity within the organization, its impact on the elements of racism, and inclusion of minorities within the organization and the benefit of the organization in terms of profitability and future growth. 
However, this study cannot be construed as sole material and further study must be conducted to understand the relationship in the stronger light. Some more variables should be considered such as time period and others to better understand it.


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