Diversity in organization
One of the key features of globalization is the interaction of people from different backgrounds having diverse cultures, beliefs, traditions and values. People differ in many aspects like age, gender, ethnic group, skills, ideas, religion etc. These differences influence the way they behave, make decisions, and organize work and how they communicate. In an increasing competitive environment, diversity in work place is very important. It helps an organization to better utilize their resources, achieve specialization and efficiency and enhances creativity and innovation.
In an organization when people from diverse backgrounds acknowledge and value each other’s differences, it increases productivity and gives an organization a competitive advantage as the organization becomes more flexible and easily adapts to the changing needs of the customer (Green et al, 2002). Moreover the workforce is motivated when they know that they are being treated fairly. However diversity in reality poses some challenges for the organization. People do not easily value the differences among themselves.
This results in discrimination and negative attitude which greatly hampers the productivity of an organization. Moreover people in a workplace may speak different languages. This creates a major communication problem within the organization. Yet organizations need to manage their diverse workforce as diversity is an asset for any organization. Therefore diversity management has become an important goal that managers of any organization must accomplish. Diversity management is the full use of workforce with different background and experiences (Diversity @ work).
Managers must be equipped with required skills to be able to achieve benefits from their diverse workforce. First of all they must understand the differences and biases. Secondly they should create an environment where everyone works together as a team rather than in isolation. (Kelli, Mayra, Allen, Karl, 2002) In addition to that employees must be given an equal chance to express their ideas and opinions. They must be given equal learning and growing opportunities. Therefore managers should work towards bringing unity in diversity to enhance their business opportunities.
DIVERSITY IN US AND INDIA Due to limited access to education and less progress in career development in India, the workforce in India is less skilled and there is a mismatch between the required and available talent. In contrary the workforce in US is more professional and diverse. In US the legal structure is more developed than in India. Any kind of discrimination is strongly challenged. Moreover in US there is no quota system. There are equal opportunities for people from different backgrounds. Women, disabled and minorities are given equal chance.
In India, however, the caste system in deeply rooted within their culture. The selection and recruitment process is highly discriminated (Schomer, 2007). Besides this in US the organizations do not follow a strict hierarchical constitution. Everyone is expected to take responsibility and take decisions and employees do not like to be delegated. Conversely Indians organizations follow a more top-down approach. They need a leader to follow and who could take the over all responsibility of delegating tasks to his employees.
Moreover Americans are very stringent about deadlines and punctuality. In India the situation is relatively flexible. In addition to that, the communication among people in US in more direct and straightforward where as, Indians tend to have a vague communicational style. (Karine Schomer, 2006) However in India English is widely spoken. Lastly there are huge cultural and religious differences between the two countries. Indians are more strict about performing their religious practices where as Americans are more liberal in this case.
To create cross – cultural and cross – functional teams comprising of Indian and American workers, there is a need for good diversity management that assures that the differences are valued by all members of the work team. The management should be willing to invest in cross cultural training so that the diversity issues among the members do not affect the business objective of the team. The diversity management plan below will discuss some of the essential elements that can help the American CEO and her company entering into the Indian market to utilize the differences between the US and Indian workforce.