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By Raju Lama
18 June, 2014
HOW DOES DIVERSITY AFFECT
GROUP AND THEIR
EFFECTIVENESS OVER TIME ?
"The variety of experiences and perspective which arise from differences in
race, culture, religion, mental or physical abilities, age, gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity and other characteristics."
Diversity represents the individual differences and similarities that exist
Diversity is a group characteristic, not an individual characteristic.
Surface level diversity : Gender, age, race, religion, culture etc.
Deep Level diversity : Values, personality, ability, attitude, work
These dimensions directly or indirectly affect performance, motivation,
success, and interactions with others.
Set of distinctive personal characteristics, including
motives, emotions, values, interests, attitudes and
“Big Five” personality dimensions.
Being outgoing, sociable, assertive.
Being good-natured, trusting, cooperative.
Being responsible, dependable, persistent.
Being unworried, secure, relaxed.
Openness to experience.
Being imaginative, curious, broad-minded.
Individual capacity to perform various tasks in a job.
Two types of abilities
Intellectual : Needed to perform mental activities.
Such as : Number aptitude(accountant), verbal
comprehension(plant manager), perceptual
speed(CBI), inductive reasoning (Researcher),
deductive reasoning (Supervisor), spatial
visualization(interior designer), memory (scientist,
Physical : Capacity to do task demanding stamina.
Such as : dynamic strength, Body coordination,
balance, stamina etc.
Area : Teaching(long standing), labor(stamina,
- Basic principles and factor that guide persons
belief, attitudes & behaviors.
- Values can influence beliefs about money, social
interaction, importance of work etc.
For eg : people who demonstrate work ethic,
believes that they should “do a good day’s work
for a good day’s pay” and live simple life.
- Evaluative statements or judgment concerning
objects, people or situation.
- It is person statements about their beliefs and
feelings, what they say, what they do, and how they
- For eg :
Situation : promotion to less deserve employee.
Supervisor is unfair.
Attitude : I dislike my supervisor, I am quitting my job.
I am complaining to anyone who would listen.
ADVANTAGE OF DIVERSITY
Co-workers with diverse cultural backgrounds brings unique
experiences and perceptions in group, strengthening teams'
productivity and responsiveness to changing conditions.
Learning And Growth
Being exposed to new ideas, cultures and perspectives can help
individuals to be intellectual and gain a clearer view of future
providing opportunity for employees' personal growth.
Relationships with clients and customers
Builds competitive advantage
Understand and serve diverse customer base
More commitment to organization’s mission
- Conflicts: people often feel confused or even annoyed
by individuals with views and backgrounds from
different from their own.
- Bureaucracy: decision-making can be delayed due to
diverging views and opinions, thus corporate decisions
and actions take time.
- Un-productivity: Dis-similar cultural identities, values
lacks things in common and could negatively affect the
overall team spirit hindering productivity.
- Disunity: Different opinion from different background
effects unity. The company might have people doing
their own thing, especially if there is no protocol and
authority to ensure common practices.
Different levels of fluency in the dominant
Excluding those who don’t speak the language
Consequences of Ignoring
- Costs time, money, and efficiency.
- include unhealthy tensions; loss of productivity
because of increased conflict.
- inability to attract and retain talented people of all
- inability to retain valuable employees, resulting in
lost investments in recruitment and training.
“Planning and implementing organizational
systems and practices to manage people so
that the potential advantages of diversity are
maximized while its potential disadvantages
are minimized." - Taylor Cox
“Treat others as you want to be treated.”
It is assumption that how you want to be treated is how
others want to be treated.
Respect for individual and cultural differences.
a legal system that values equal opportunity and
nondiscrimination in the workplace.
realize that flexibility is a competitive issue and
flexible work arrangements (part time), parental
leaves(maternity), dependent care services (day care),
work family stress management(private counseling).
measure performance based on value added, not
meet business objectives by helping employees meet
Each employee in a diverse workplace possesses
unique strengths and weaknesses derived from
their culture in addition to their individuality.
When managed properly, diversity in the
workplace can influence the strengths and
complement the weaknesses of each worker to
make the impact of the workforce greater than the
sum of its parts.