Cultural Diversity

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 02/10/2011 09:14 AM

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| Cultural Diversity: An Organizational Perspective |


Diversity is an important subject for managers and organizations. Universal needs create strong pressure for a global strategy. Universal needs exist when the tastes and preferences of consumers in different countries with regard to a product are similar. Products that serve universal needs require little adoption across national markets; thus, global integration is facilitated. The role of culture plays an important role in this context.

In many ways, cultural issues represent the most elusive aspect of international business. In an era when modern transportation and communication technologies have created a “global village”, it is easy to forget how deep and enduring the differences among nations actually can be. The fact that people everywhere drink Coke, wear blue jeans, and drive Toyota doesn’t mean we are all becoming alike. Each country is unique for reasons rooted in history, culture, language, geography, social conditions, race and religion. These differences complicate any international activities, and represent the fundamental issues that inform and guide how an organization should conduct business across borders.

Demographic changes are resulting in an increasingly diverse labor pool and customer base. The organizations that have commitment to diversity and have active measurement of diversity management practices are labeled “multicultural organizations”. Research suggests that culturally diverse organizations outperform their more homogeneous counterparts. Though the culture of Multi-National Corporations has been increasing, still the sensitivity towards diversity at the corporate level has been moderating corporate decisions. Diversity management has been becoming ever more difficult. This paper focuses on the complex dynamics of ethnic, racial, gender, and other diversity in organizations as seen from the vantage points of organizational studies. Also, the...