Human Resource Management for Managing Cultural Diversity

Human Resource Management for Managing Cultural Diversity

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia & University of Pune, Windhoek, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMSE.2020010104

Abstract

Manager awareness of culture and cultural diversity is subjective and as such, managers use their own cultural knowledge to make judgments on issues that relate to cultural diversity. Human resource practitioners are not championing the practices that empower managers to manage cultural diversity due to overbearing administrative procedures. This results in favoritism, leading to high turnover and poor morale. Managers are also unable to associate organizational strategies and policies to cultural diversity, indicating cultural diversity knowledge and skill gaps. Hence, adopting a qualitative approach and descriptive design, the aim of this research is investigating the role of human resource management in managing cultural diversity at the correctional service organization. The sample size consists of 24 managers selected through non-probability purposive sampling from 42 managers' population of head and regional office.
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Introduction

Organisations are with the primary objectives of survival, profitability and growth. The fundamental inputs are financial, capital and human resources that employed and used to produce outputs in the form of products and services (Nangombe, 2016, p. 1). According to Nels, Van Dyk, Haasbroek, Shulz, Sono and Werner (2004) the effective utilisation of assets regulates the production in terms of output, which in turn leads to survival, profitability and growth of the organisation. The main input resource among the three is the human resource, which is very critical. This is due to the fact that the work behaviours of human beings as employees in organisations is the function of the perception of the content of the psychological contract entered into with the organisation (Buttner, Kevin & Billings-Harris, 2010). Human beings are different in terms of their culture, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Literature further states that these differences expression is as racial or ethnic, age, language, religion, disability, culture, gender and sexual orientation (Kossek, Lobel & Brown, 2005; Milliken & Martins, 1996) and these differences are known as cultural diversity in the workplace.

According to Robbins and Judge (2015, p. 25) before a group or team is developed, there is an individual who needs to experience or realize his or her personal culture with its dynamic process. Such a process is influenced by many various factors and it can shift with time and context. A diverse workforce is considered record thought-provoking human resource and managerial dispute of this period (Ehimare & Ogapa-Oghene, 2011). The issue is not about the presence of diversity but the inability of managers to manage effectively workforce diversity. Through the positive perceptions and strategies to manage cultural diversity in any organisation, positive outcomes such as cost cutting; advancement of teamwork; creativity and invention; enhanced problem-solving skills; and liveliness in the work environment are achievable (Cox & Blake, 1991; DeNisi & Griffin, 2001). In terms of negative outputs, organisations experience: high rate turnover; absenteeism; conflict; lawsuits and poor performance (Amaran, 2007). Positive outcomes are associated with management theories of managing cultural diversity. At the present day’s business settings, organisations around the globe aim to attract and retain a broader talent of pool. This phenomenon is workforce diversity, which is recognizable in three dimensions: the visible; invisible; and the functionality (Faist, 2010; Kreitz, 2007; Loden, 1996). Theories in literature reveal the significance of managing diversity. The attention of managing diversity is noted on social identity and social categorisation theories of intergroup relations (Easley, 2001; Taifel & Turner, 1986) such as ethnicity and nationality. The emphasis is on the significance of surface-level characters (Harrison, Price & Bell, 1998) such as culture and ethnic group. Nevertheless, both social identity and categorisation take concern for intergroup relations at socially diverse places of work. These can negatively lead to discrimination, employment inequalities, categorizing and clashes whilst on the other hand this can be positive through adopting inspiration, innovation and better problem solving (Krell & Wächter, 2006).

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