Title: A note on the value of diversity in organisations

Authors: Terry L. Howard; Evan A. Peterson; Gregory W. Ulferts

Addresses: University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, Michigan 48221, USA ' University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, Michigan 48221, USA ' University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, Michigan 48221, USA

Abstract: Diversity's value lies in recognising the potential opportunity and capitalising on it by preparing for a new organisational context. Diversity in the workforce provides benefits that have resonance with the globalised market including the interaction between new and different points of view that can result in innovation, differentiation, and a competitive advantage. Further, diversity is unavoidable as demographic factors converge to increase the diversity of the labour pool. While a prepared labour pool is critical, this paper investigates what leaders must do to prepare the organisation. Diversity can represent a new competitive advantage as confirmed by research, but so is the potential for adverse impacts. Adverse effects can occur given the potential for diverse teams to fail to mesh, but they can be mitigated or even avoided altogether with planning. The analysis shows that human resource professionals have a critical role in preparing organisations for this new reality by ensuring that the organisation and resulting workforce recognises the value of diversity and knows how to embrace it. Organisations who are not proactive in planning for diversity, or alternately implement diversity strategies without understanding the underlying factors may not reap the advantages.

Keywords: diversity; human resources; diversity value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2017.085629

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2017 Vol.16 No.3, pp.187 - 195

Available online: 28 Jul 2017 *

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