Your topic must come from one of the following three areas:
1. The environmental context of management
2. Ethics and social responsibility
3. Managing diversity/ Workplace diversity (I choose this one)
Managing workplace diversity:
World’s increased globalization has called for a need of managing the diversity in workforce comprehensively and in order to do so profit and nonprofit organizations needs more interaction among people on the job who belong to different culture, age, gender and backgrounds. Maximizing and capitalizing on workforce diversity has become a very imperative issue in front of globally competitive companies today. Workplace diversity is any kind of diversity relating to gender, age, linguistic, cultural background and many others in an organization. Diversity also refers to any other kind of difference between one or more employee of an organization like educational background difference, economical status difference, and geographical area difference etc. managing diversity well means realizing the need for stability and integration of the diverse workforce and working towards achievement of the same. [Cornell, 2008] This piece of learning and research has tried to research and study the core reasons behind workplace diversity and differences in leadership styles in case of managing diversity. While linking workplace diversity with business strategy one can fetch highly improved results because better management of diversity means happy employees, high productivity, integrated workforce and competitive advantage over competitors. [Metcalfe,2011]
Issues at a glance:
The issues relating to workplace diversity which needs to be covered under this study and evaluation of the results needs to be on the following major areas.
• Are men and women equally competent in leadership and management?
• Does a geographical/social difference affect leadership techniques and effectiveness?
• Can a good communicator be a good manager of workplace diversity?
In the process of identifying differences in the way men and women communicate; a small survey of men and women on work was done which gave some important facts relating to diversity and gender differences. Out of the total workforce near about forty percent of senior executive service positions were seemed to have been taken by women rest occupied by men. There were remarkable differences in the way by which they both communicated their goals to their teams and also in the way they both extracted results out of their subordinates. In case of women employees in top official positions the way they managed their work and personal life balance was remarkable. In terms of personal commitments and timely delivery of duties, women employees are competent enough despite of their increased workloads. During the survey, women as well as men both recognized their commitment towards work with equal zeal and pleasure. In the research when we tried to find out unique obstacles and challenges, it was found that both men and women insisted on departments to be workplace of their choice by different ideas targeting towards same goal. In the process of evaluating my own personal evaluation of the self both at work and home, I came across several important loopholes as well as strategies which I would like to implement in personal life so as to maintain healthy communication and qualitative life.
Diagnosis of requirement for managing diversity:
In the process of diagnosing the areas to be worked on, I researched my own self and my wife together with other men and women on work with the help of questionnaire and personal interviews and several important facts came into focus. Both men and women communicate in different ways, men seemed to be more affirmative while discharging duties to their subordinates, also the communication of work and reward in case of men top officials were more clear and straight as compared to women. Most of women employee seemed to follow polite and generous discharging of duties to their subordinates depending upon the degree of sincerity the subordinate is possessing. Women were seen to be more concentrated for work to be done by themselves rather than assigning it to subordinate while men do assigning of work immediately despite of the seriousness of work. While talking about my personal self, I came from family of four where I am one of two brothers. I completed the first four years of primary school by school of the air (correspondence) and was then sent to a boy’s boarding school for the last eight years of my schooling. After leaving school, most of my working life has been spent working either on the family farm with my father and a number of different casual employees (mostly male), or in other male dominated occupations. As a result I have had very little experience living with or working alongside women (that is, until I met my wife).
I believe the greatest strength of my marriage is the fact that my wife and I communicate very well. By that I mean that we talk openly and unashamedly about anything and everything and respect each other’s opinions. I have noticed that when we do have arguments, nine times out of ten it will be the result of misunderstanding. One of us has completely misunderstood what the other person has meant. This showed the ground reality that communication should primarily be very subtle and transparent whether it is man or woman. For clear communication, it is very important to have unity and integrity and sense of belongingness which bring gender sensitivity and minimizes potential issues of diversity.
Managing the diversity:
Thus I can say that while deciding upon the actions to be taken in order to manage workplace diversity what is of utmost importance is analyzing inner strengths and weaknesses as a communicator which in my case is lack of understanding of seriousness of matter personally and professionally, act of delaying the conversation in order to avoid current consequences of it. Strengths can be considered to be my stability during any conversation, easy moving ahead attitude which helps me to think less on any issue and concentrate on important work. In the survey I came to diagnose one issue that is lack of influencing power in case of women managers as compared to men managers who had good influence over their subordinates and also that men managers were friendlier to their subordinates rather than women managers. While talking of strengths of women managers, it was timely delivery of work and more commitment and target achievement rather than men managers. Due to changes in family structures and inclination of families towards nuclear family structure, women have increased their involvement in professional life also. Another reason for increased women participation is changes in human resource strategies nowadays. Today is a world of globalization where it is very important to retain employees so that cost effectiveness could be reached out of lesser training and expenditures recruiting new employees under such circumstances, women can add to the stability of the firm which was also seen during research and interview process. Most of women workforces were involved in the parent company for not less than four years which shows the level of stability in women employees is more than that of men. Women were found to be more organized in terms of their workstation, relationship with immediate senior, effectiveness in organization and presentation profile of themselves as corporate dressing, time management, language proficiency on duty and pleasing attitude was higher. Men on work are less active to leave early as compared to women, it was seen that men workforce leave later and women workforce leaves their workstations early in office closing time. This shows that number of working hours invested by men is more than that of women which can be an added advantage to a certain extent. In terms of leadership, both had some pros and cones therefore diagnosis was balanced and some important facts came out which could be evaluated and implemented well for further betterment of workplace diversity.
Geographical and social differences also affect leadership attitude, one important reason for the same is economic and political background of the place where the employee belongs to. The employees and managers of U.S.A., Australia will be more affirmative and influencing than leaders of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Bulgaria. The reason for this can be considered to be economic stability, ignorance, lesser development, internal pressures and family issues etc. [HSE] Out of various popular faces in the world some of the people I admire most as leaders is Barrack Obama for his abilities to address a wide group of people effectively. The important traits of Barrack Obama includes integrity which implies an act of keeping personal moral or ethics, fairness in all the actions taken by him and higher level of confidence while giving speeches. Another person in this race would be Steve jobs for his enthusiastic and passionate approach in performing all the tasks, highly oriented towards bringing new features by way of innovations, and he was also known for a good motivator, as he often encourages his team members to do well. [McInerney, 2011] There were some similarities and differences in their traits; the similarity as identified includes the passion to achieve higher growth by all these personalities. Another major similarity in their traits as identified is that they have higher level of confidence and determination in all the major activities performed by them. Apart from having similarities, there are certain differences as well. The major difference is that the Steve Jobs believes in motivating others so that innovations can be encouraged among the workers, whereas Barrack Obama aimed at convincing their target audiences. This is because of the different nature of jobs performed by these different classes of leaders. [Barack Obama’s Leadership and Character Traits, 2012]
In the process of reviewing my own actions according to Kolb’s learning cycle [Kolb, 2010] I came across following chart:
Leadership lacks effectiveness, Observation of misunderstanding
Intricate communication, lowered comfort with each other
Need for better understanding lack of leadership
Doing implementation of transparency must remove misunderstanding
Friendlier and healthy conversations must increase comfort level and peace
Evaluation of what to do:
Evaluating all above researches it can be said that workforce diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It accounts for understanding the need for change in accordance with the difference in people and their socio economic needs. Other than that in order to effectively managing diversity relating to gender it is very important to have high level of communication with the managers of their subordinates so that they can adjust with and understand the way of leadership of their first level supervisors. Men and women differ in ways of communicating their ideas and thoughts and also leadership methods which can be minimized by creating pool of ideas together, higher open discussions and involvement of whole team together with the managers in any goal setting or decision making. [Green et al] Another vital requirement is proper maintenance of safe atmosphere of work for female workforce in terms of increased compliances, higher security and better reach to top officials. This may increase the mental peace level of female workforce and they can be easy and highly involved in working and may dedicate better time in organization. Another vital issue is communication gap between management and employees which can be decreased if managers timely organize mentoring programs wherein employees will be told about the ideas and future goals of the company and may be asked to put further their necessary suggestions which can be further involved in strategic decision.
Concluding it can be said that unfortunately there is no single recipe for success therefore, all imperative points of considerations should be involved and then implemented on ground level. Discussing ideas and implementing on genuine level is very different and it has been increasingly found that people talk about new ideas but work pattern never changes to a high level. This is a major drawback which must be decreased, companies must abide legislative obligations, they must have healthy and safe work environment, easy reach to compliance and its spontaneous action is very important for wholesome growth and workforce diversity management. Managing diversity is a comprehensive method of creating a workplace that includes everyone. It can be through equal employment opportunity to everyone, considering flexibility and creativity as key to competitive development, recognizing the value of differences, narrowing the gap between manager and their subordinates and recognizing the need for training and developmental programmes for managers also relating to workforce diversity.
1. Cornoll, Robert 2010, What is workplace diversity, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, <http://www.ag.gov.au/Documents/Workplace%20Diversity%20Program%202008-2010.PDF>
2. Metcalfe, Andrew 2011 , workplace diversity strategy, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, < http://www.immi.gov.au/about/plans/workplace-diversity/workplace_diversity_strategy_2011-2013.pdf>
3. HSE, gender, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, < http://www.hse.gov.uk/diversity/gender.htm>
4. McInerney, S. 2011. Steve Jobs: an unconventional leader, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, <http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/management/steve-jobs-an-unconventional-leader-20111007-1lcmo.html>
5. Barack Obama’s Leadership and Character Traits, 2012, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, < http://jcsd-cl-obama.weebly.com/obamas-leadership–character-traits.html>
6. Kolb, David 2010, Kolb’s learning cycle, viewed on 3rd April, 2012, <http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/history/kolb.html>
7. Kelli A. Green, Mayra López, Allen Wysocki, and Karl Kepner, Diversity in the workplace, viewed on 3rd April, 2012,
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