A Business Case For Diversity

Topics: Management, Strategic management, Discrimination Pages: 17 (2850 words) Published: November 7, 2014

A Business Case

By Paula Hutchings
Leornian Consulting

November 2006



1. Introduction 3
2. Types of Diversity 4
3. What is the Generic Business Case for Diversity Management? 4 4. The Business Benefits of Diversity Management 6
5. Some Success Stories in Managing Diversity 7
6. What is the Business Case for Diversity Learning & Development ? 9 7. Diversity Management Initiatives 10
8. A Summary 11
9. Next Steps 12

Appendix I – Successful Management of a Diverse Workforce 13 Appendix II – The Diversity Learning & Development Model 14 Appendix III – Research Sources 16

The purpose of this document is to give organisations an overview of the latest thinking around diversity management. It helps position the ever increasing need for employers to be pro-active in their approach to the diversity challenge. Hot issues identified by the CIPD at the moment include:

Delivering business benefits through diversity
Creating harmony at work by managing conflict
Changing mindsets on, for example, age
Discrimination and the law
Fairness and rewarding difference
Making recruitment and selection diversity-smart
On 1 October 2006, age discrimination legislation came into force. According to CIPD research 40% of workers experience discrimination. The two primary causes of this discrimination are:
Age stereotypes and attitudes
Policies, processes and systems
Beyond the policies, the number one tool for tackling issues on workplace diversity is line management behaviour. Yet over 45% of line managers still haven’t been trained in this area. This paper attempts to provide you with answers to some of the key questions being asked in organisations that are beginning to embrace the whole issue of Diversity Management for the benefit of business & performance improvement. It highlights the implications of quick-fix solutions to the diversity challenges within business. Organisations need to be more strategic in their thinking. Building a solid infrastructure for diversity will ensure that all diversity initiatives are linked to business objectives and therefore worth the investment. By focusing solely on the legal aspects of diversity, organisations face the cost implications related to low productivity, low staff morale & motivation, internal conflict & potentially expensive legal tribunals. Diversity cannot be ‘done’ to people. This will not create buy-in or result in a change in behaviours. Behavioural change requires a shift in mindset. Diversity initiatives, including Learning & Development solutions, help create this shift. Successful diversity management depends on the creation of an environment of inclusion and accountability. The development of this culture requires top level commitment. In essence, diversity needs to be strategic in order to achieve a return on investment.

2.Types of Diversity
There are three types of diversity. All three have an impact on people’s ability to work together successfully 2.1Social category diversity:
This relates to differences in demographic characteristics, such as age, race, ethics, gender. It has the potential to impact on group communication and cohesion. 2.2Informational diversity:
(Also known as organisational diversity) – This refers to diversity of background such as knowledge, education, experience and functional background. This category has the risk of causing higher task-related conflict, as well as to affect group communication and cohesion. 2.3Value diversity:

(Also known as psychological diversity) – This includes differences in personality and attitudes. It can impact communication and the organisation as a whole.

3.What is the Generic Business Case for Diversity Management? Independent research is increasingly proving that diversity can contribute...
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