Workforce diversity and organisational excellence, Business Management

In today's fast-paced work environment a successful organisation is one where diversity is the norm and not the exception. It is the approach to diversity, not the diversity itself which determines the actual positive and negative outcomes (Henry and Evans, 2007). Emerging literature suggests that culturally diverse organisations outperform their more homogeneous counterparts (Cox 1994; Dreachslin 1996; Richard 2000). According to one study, culturally diverse groups relative to homogeneous groups are more effective both in the interaction process and job performance; these benefits occur after a diverse group has been together for a period of time (Watson et al., 1993). In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2001 it is found that human resource professionals from Fortune 1000 companies believed diversity initiatives benefit  a companies' bottom line. In  terms of the impact diversity
initiatives have on issues related to the bottom line, professionals believed the top five positive impacts were: improving corporate culture, helping recruit new employees, improving relationships with clients, higher retention rates, and decreasing complaints and legal action. In  the SHRM study, 91 percent of the respondents believed diversity initiatives assist the organisation in keeping a competitive advantage through improving employee morale and corporate culture (McCuiston and Wooldridge, 2004).

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