Managing Diversity in Organizations


Today’s businesses are faced with the challenge of developing a multicultural organization that is handling the diverse nature of its employee’s culture. An organization that has employees from various national and cultural backgrounds must; enable the diverse workforce to work together towards attaining a common goal, maximize the effort of each employee who is part of the large team, and lastly ensure that it treats all its members fairly irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. In order for an organization to concur this challenge it has to put a lot of effort. Whether the different employees come from different countries or from the same country but from different ethnic groups, the organization has to ensure that they all work harmoniously together for the benefit of the company.

Defensive approach

An organization can decide to face the issue of cultural difference using the defensive approach. In this approach the organization treats the problem of cultural differences as a hazard. “The organization stops offering favors to a group of individuals from a given cultural background, avoiding harassments and managing grievances. The organization s also strives to avoid the dominance of one culture” (Mullins, 15).

Acknowledging the difference

“This approach entails the organization to recognize that; cultural differences have an impact on how people from different cultures approach daily issues of business and professional life, and also that an employee in the organization would want his cultural differences to be acknowledged” (Mullins, 17).

Developmental approach

The developmental approach is considered to be the best approach. The approach begins from a ground level with individuals or team of employees’ hard work to make better the relation between employees in the organization, or preparation for larger global responsibilities. “The developmental approach seems not to be concerned with rules or process, but instead it is business needs oriented and driven by actual situations faced by employees.

The developmental approach may involve training which is interactive, involving exchanges, and problems amongst learners” (Mullins, 20). It recognizes that foreseen cultural differences are essential as the already existing ones, because it is out of ones perceptions out of the others that give rise to every ones reactions. People training on how to handle the issue of cultural differences may learn even much better if they find out how they are culturally viewed by other people. Apart from awareness, informational briefings enable people become aware of the various differences that exist between different cultures.

This insight may enable people fin out how strange behavior has its own cultural logic. As employees in an organization become aware of the existence of different cultural behaviors, the case of mistrust amongst themselves become minimal and the issue of cultural dominance become of no importance to them.

Practical benefit of developmental approach

The developmental approach benefits in an organization can be seen by the change in management and team work of the employees” (Mullins, 22). Cultural diversities will be viewed as individual diversities that arise from their backgrounds. The different point of views of employees can openly be communicated; alternatives raised and group of individuals are selected to lead negotiations. The willingness of employees to openly talk about differences helps build trust, facilitate decision making and opens the way where appropriate to compromise (Mullins, 22).

The developmental approach needs a well designed management structure and well nourished organization resources that will be able to offer employees collective training on how to increase cultural differences knowledge and also extend the know-how on various business cultures that affect the goals and objectives of organizations.

Diversity truly valued

Organizations should not only provide a working environment that does not tolerate harassment and discrimination and also ensuring equal opportunities for all but should also value the contributions that diverse individuals can make. A developmental approach is considered to be the best approach to deal with cultural differences as compared to the defensive approach (Mullins, 23).


Cultural differences that exist in an organization are known to negatively impact the performance. There are three known approaches that an organization can adopt to tackle the issue. One of the approaches is known as the defensive approach and in this approach the organization looks at the issue as a hazard and stops giving offence to any group of employees from a given cultural background. The second approach is the acknowledging approach and in this approach the organization recognizes that cultural differences exist among people and they have impacts on the business world. The third approach is the developmental approach.

The developmental approach entails the organization to make an effort to improve the relation of its employees. The approach also involves the provision of training services to employees on how to handle cultural problems that may arise. For an organization to handle the problems raised by cultural differences it should adopt the developmental approach seems it is seen to be the best.

Works Cited

Mullins Laurie, “Management and organizational behavior” Prentice hall, pp 15-23.

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