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Harvard reflection paper making differences matter: a new paradigm for managing diversity

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Managing diversity Managing diversity Managers have been having assertion that business diversity is about discrimination. Recently, that notion has changed with the realization that business diversity is involves more than discrimination. Business diversity is very essential because it lifts the moral of workers, opens up the business to new markets, and enhances productivity. In most cases, businesses find it hard to implement diversity initiative because they tend to recruit and employ workers with diverse backgrounds. This cannot transform the business because employees’ difference does not help in management of business activities. Workers need to apply their experience, skills, processes and leadership strategies to make their business grow because this way they feel committed to their work and do everything to ensure that their organization grow (Thomas & Ely, 1996). Business managers need to assimilate and integrate workers from diverse background since this will make employees feel accepted at the work place irrespective of their different backgrounds. The attempt to diverse businesses has not been hard in that it has created friction and tension among workers and hampering the performance of the company instead of cooperation and efficiency.
It is important to understand business diversity in a new way. Managers need to understand that diversity in business go beyond financial gain to include learning, individual, and organizational growth, creativity, and the potentiality of the organization to adjust and adapt to growing market transformations. In order to get this change, organizational leaders need to change their behaviors and attitudes about how to manage their workforce. It is significant to note that diversity does not mean more racial, gender, national or class representation as this inhibits company’s effectiveness to grow. Managers have to change this assumption and try to understand diversity in a new way.
Discrimination and fairness platform has been used to explain the diversity in business because many managers view this as an equal opportunity, compliance with the employment law, and fair treatment of workers (Thomas &Ely, 1996). Therefore, in order to ensure equality and fairness, it is important to restructure the composition of organizations for it to reflect that of society. Organizations should treat their workers fairly and equally to ensure that workplace diversity thrives. Organizations thrive and improve by overcoming challenging basic assumptions about organizational roles, operation, practices, and procedures. Employees need to adopt these strategies to be able to identify with their work thus leading to better performance of companies.
Companies need to adopt assimilation or integration and differentiation approaches in order to diversify their business. This is because if workers are assimilated, they feel they are part of the working community and will do their best to produce results. Integration will also enhance open discussion of cultural differences among employees, will remove all forms of discrimination and dominance, and secure organizational trust since in diverse work people share ideas and feelings. On the other hand, differentiation will enable workers to celebrate their diversity. This will in turn help the company match diverse workers to distant markets. With this mechanism in place, the company will expand to new markets. It is human nature to discriminate against people from other demographic groups. Further, it is true that human beings are the same but with different backgrounds and abilities.
Reference
Thomas, D & Ely, R. (1996). Making differences matter: A new paradigm for managing
diversity. New York: Sage Publishers.

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