Diversity in Organizations
February 15, 2012
Diversity in Organizations
Organizations of today are more diverse than ever. Diversity is defined as “the host of individual differences that make people different from and similar to each other.” (Kinicki and Kreitner, 2010) Organizations have to find ways of integrating the differences of the people that work for them into a “common objective” that represents the organization as a whole. Diversity is about the “individual characteristics” that identify the way a person will perform a particular task within the organization. Individuals encompass a myriad of dimensions that make them unique. ...view middle of the document...
An individual’s personality and skills weighs heavily on whether they are fit to take on a specific task. A person’s personality is made up of the other three layers and is witnessed in the initial interview. The way the person interacts with others is highly important. Organizations should not take away from a person’s ability but should enhance it.
Internal dimensions are characteristics of an individual’s that they have no control over. A persons age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, race are all considered the internal dimensions of an individual and an organization has to ensure that none of these factors are discriminated against within their organization. Internal dimensions of diversity strongly influence the attitudes and behaviors of individuals. In this layer of diversity many divisions among people can be recognized and forms the core of many diversity efforts. Stereotypes and prejudices about others can be recognized in this dimension.
An individual has significant ability in controlling their external dimensions and these exert influence on out behaviors, perceptions and attitudes. Organizations have to be innovative when thinking about the differences among people. Every employee makes a unique contribution to an organization. Managing diversity focuses on making changes to organizations’ culture and infrastructure to ensure that people are performing at their maximum potential. The organizational dimension deals mainly with the work setting. Aspects within this layer pertain to preferential treatment and opportunities for development or promotion.
To increase diversity in the workplace all barriers have to be addressed. Woman and minorities to often experience the invisible “glass ceiling” defined as a barrier blocking woman and minorities from top management positions. Too often these barriers are put forth because of stereotypes and prejudices that occur within the organization. Women experience being hired into low level jobs, without profit-loss responsibility; and those that lack visibility and influence. (Kinicki and Kreitner, 2010)
“As of 2006, women were still underpaid relative to men: women who worked full time were paid 81% of men’s median earnings.” (Kinicki and Kreitner, 2010)
Organizations have to insure these barriers do not exist within their organization by being fair and giving every individual the opportunity to reach their full potential. Managers who seek to understand diversity and manage diverse teams have to pay close attention to all the layers of diversity. Using similarities and differences to enrich the work...