Diversity Literature Review

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Strategies to Value and Manage Diversity The literature is both consistent and clear in demonstrating the power and potential of the culturally diverse organization. The key to tapping the advantages of multiculturism and avoiding its pitfalls is to create an organization in which members of all sociocultural backgrounds contribute and achieve their full potential. This strategy is difficult to achieve, as it entails maintaining a balance between meeting the objectives of the organization and retaining the individual cultures of employees. Leaders face a dichotomy. Gordon (1978, p. 158) describes the dichotomy facing future leaders when he writes: The presumed goal of the cultural pluralist is to maintain enough subsocietal separation to guarantee…show more content…
Diversity implies differences in people based on their identifications with different groups. But it is more. Current literature defines diversity as a process of acknowledging differences through action (Carnevale & Stone, 1994, p. 22). Schaefer (1990, p. 47), for example, argues that cultural pluralism implies ". . . mutual respect between the various groups in a society for one another’s culture, a respect that allows minorities to express their own culture without suffering prejudice or hostility." Geber (1990) agrees, writing that "sameness" is exactly what managing diversity is not supposed to be about. The goal of diversity is to treat people as individuals. Paying attention to differences is the antithesis of the melting pot philosophy. (Those who were different always had to do the melting). Organizations must value diversity before they can manage…show more content…
The multicultural organization not only tolerates diversity but values it. It uses pluralism in an acculturation process that emphasizes two-way learning, adaptation, interdependence, and mutual appreciation of different cultures. Unlike monolithic and pluralist organizations, the multicultural organization avoids (1) integration of new members emphasizing a one-way adaptation and the elimination of cultural differences, (2) separation of members of different cultures through mergers and selective removals, and (3) the deculturation of weak cultures of both the parent organization and new members. The multicultural organization does not significant cultural identities to degenerate (Cox, 1993). Several authors (Fernandez, 1993; Copeland, 1988a; 1988b; Rice, 1994; McEnrue, 1993; McNerny, 1994; Jenner, 1994; Gummer, 1994; Carnevale & Stone, 1994) research organizations successful in managing diversity. In general, these authors find several similarities held by successful, multicultural

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