Impact of Workplace Diversity on Employee Performance: A Case of Some Selected Private Universities in Ghana

Impact of Workplace Diversity on Employee Performance: A Case of Some Selected Private Universities in Ghana

Juliana Serwaa Andoh (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana), Benjamin Ghansah (Data Link Institute, Ghana), Joy Nana Okogun-Odompley (Data Link Institute, Ghana) and Ben-Bright Benuwa (Data Link Institute, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJRDIS.2019070103


The authors explore how the milieu of workplace diversity affects the relationship between employee and performance. In particular, we theorize and empirically examine the moderating effects of four (4) categories of diversity context variables: age, gender, ethnicity, and educational background. The authors perform analyses on 175 out of 320 respondents consisting of academic and administrative staff of four selected private universities in Ghana. The results showed, for example, that workplace diversity has an overall influence on employee performance, however, educational diversity has more effect on employee performance in the universities compared to the other competing variables used in this study. Age and educational diversity had a significant impact on employee performance in the universities whilst gender and ethnicity diversity had no influence on their performance. We discuss future research directions regarding diversity, workgroup context, and performance outcomes and outline some recommendations for administrators and university leaders.
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2. Literature Review

2.1 Concept of Diversity

According to Green, López, Wysocki, and Kepner (2002) citied from Esty, Griffin, and Hirsch (1995), diversity is defined as recognizing, accepting, accommodating, appreciating, and celebrating differences among people with reverence to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status whilst Naqvi, Ishtiaq, Kanwal, Butt, and Nawaz (2013) defined diversity as the existence of a workforce in which personalities come from different socio-cultural and religious backgrounds.

Workplace diversity is similarly defined as intergroup relations, which play out alongside one another in communication and interaction. It develops a host of complexities related to diversity (Brouwer & Boros, 2010). Lee and Gilbert (2014) further clarified that workforce diversity based on age, gender and ethnicity cannot be viewed in a similar way as workforce diversity that is based on organisational roles and individual aptitudes.

Roberge, Lewicki, Hietapelto, and Abdyldaeva (2011) was of the opinion that managing a diverse workforce is complicated and thus needs organisations’ total attention in terms of implementing proper and clear practices that will enhance the performance of the organisation in the short and long term. In addition, Mahadevan, Primecz, and Romani (2014), explained that dysfunctional workforce diversity management arises due to lack of communication between management and employees on how workforce diversity benefits the organisation.

2.2 Concept of Employee Performance

According to Okoro and Washington (2012), employee performance is the effective discharge of duty for which one is hired. That is, how well an employee is fulfilling their requirement for the job. In the words of Tinofirei (2011) as citied by Zhuwao (2017), employee performance is the “successful completion of tasks by a selected individual, as a set and measured by a supervisor or organisation, to pre-defined acceptable standards, while efficiently and effectively utilising available resources within a changing environment”.

Mwatumwa (2016) sees employee performance as a self-perceived performance of an employee in doing their day to day activities

2.4 Workplace Diversity Challenges

Embracing diversity solely cannot help organisations achieve success; organisations need to manage it well (Farrer, 2004). According to Oyewunmi (2018), a major challenge of the diverse workforce is the omission of certain individuals or groups grounded on differences such as, gender; age; ethnicity or cultural affiliation; religion; social class; disability etc.

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