Workforce Diversity at the Lagos Business School, Pan-African University, Nigeria

Workforce Diversity at the Lagos Business School, Pan-African University, Nigeria

Kemi Ogunyemi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1812-1.ch005
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The School has a fair distribution of people from different ethnic groups. It also has a mission that identifies expressly with the Christian view of human nature and yet is open to people of all religious inclinations. As an academic environment, there is also the inevitable risk of distance between academic staff and administrative staff and between lecturers and students. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the positive practices at the LBS that help them leverage workforce diversity and to make a few suggestions for improvement. This chapter will also highlight how the school reflects the importance of leveraging diversity in its academic curriculum.
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Diversity is a given phenomenon of human existence. It can be viewed as an enabler or as an inhibitor in the workplace. Individuals in groups, because of their diversity, bring different experiences, knowledge, and information to the table when they come together, and also provide different validation sources and mechanisms for the information they bring (Phillips, Northcraft, & Neale, 2006). In this way, they enrich the organization and are potentially able to create great synergies. Numerous studies have shown, however, that diversity can lead to innovation and enrichment if it is understood, embraced and properly managed. This chapter discusses how the leveraging of workforce diversity is practiced and promoted in the Lagos Business School, a tertiary institution in Nigeria. In this chapter, the Lagos Business School will be interchangeably referred to as the School.

The chapter will: 1) define diversity and explain the importance of and the ways of leveraging diversity in the workplace; 2) present a case-study of the efforts to leverage diversity in a business school in Nigeria; and 3) draw conclusions and offer suggestions to management practitioners that are interested in leveraging the diversity of their workforce.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Demography: The composition of the human population of a particular social entity, e.g. a country, a state, an organization.

Leverage: Gain some advantage from a possessed characteristic that might ordinarily be taken for granted.

Workforce: All the people employed by an organization.

Functional Diversity: Variety along the lines of the professional roles assigned to different people and in which they may have gained work experience.

Ethnicity: A set of cultural characteristics that distinguishes a group of people from others proceeding from another geographical origin.

Diversity: The level of variety and inclusiveness that characterizes a group of people.

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