I gained a lot of insights with regards to diversity management. Based on my understanding, diversity management infers to an intentional effort to build a work environment that permits differences to contribute equally to organizational objectives. The essential concepts I learned include the following;
Diversity incorporates all differences. There should be no limit to the definition to diversity. For instance, diversity should not be confined to visible differences as things can result in compromising opportunities to gain from a diversity strategy. As long as there are people of different backgrounds working together, there is always a higher opportunity for improved relationships, increased productivity and more fun working together (Mor-Barak, 2011).
I learned that for an organization to effectively implement a diversity strategy, it must be in a state of readiness.' Being ready denotes having a top leader that is vocal and committed to providing direction, having leaders that understand the strategic significance of diversity. Without such knowledge, they will be unable to manage diversity effectively.
I have also noted that when training is the only thing that is done to manage diversity, in most cases people lack proper context for the appreciating difference. Amidst training people naturally wonder why they are invited to training, have they done anything wrong or even after training some sounds like such training are same old stuff rather common preferential programs. However, such concerns can be averted by introducing diversity as a strategic initiative and explaining its significance to sustaining the organizational goals (Arredondo, 1999). Incorporating diversity into all HR strategies such as succession and mentoring planning programs can depict the success of the business.
Furthermore, I have also learned that the greatest impediments to managing diversity are mainly stereotypes, ethnocentrism and poor management skills that are the inability to appreciate, recognize and focus on individual differences.
To experience reduced challenges in managing diversity, it is important for the organization to make it clear that managing diversity is part of its strategic mix.
What key things did you learn about identity?
I have learned that a persons identity is greatly shaped by their personal traits, historical factors, family dynamics, political and social contexts. Our parts that are noticed by other people and reflect us are the main parts that capture our attention. Our identity simply infers to how we are defined (Bayart, 2005). I have understood that people can be defined based on gender, ethnicity or race, sexual orientation, religion, mental ability, socioeconomic status, physical ability or age (Friedman, 1995). Similarly, all of these aspects has some form of oppression i.e. sexism, racism, ageism, classism, heterosexism or ablest.
Discuss your pie chart
My personal pie chart is as depicted above.
My cultural intelligence pre-test score was a "52". The results were a true reflection of my cultural intelligence. From the results, I was able to identify my strengths. My strengths included;
I can adjust my cultural knowledge amidst interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds.
Having interacted with people from different cultural backgrounds I have come to understand the non-verbal behaviors of other cultures.
My cultural intelligence motivation is mainly driven by my confidence and excitement drew from interacting with people from diverse cultures.
Similarly, I realized there are areas that I need to improve on, the areas included;
I am not perfect at altering my facial expressions when the cross-cultural interaction needs it. Thus I need to improve in this area.
I tend to believe that my culture is superior to other thus in most cases base my arguments on our culture, this is not right as people are different.
With many employment legislations encouraging diversity in organizations and taking stern organizations to organizations that are biased, most organizations today are thriving to have diversity in their workforce and operations. However, with diversity both benefits and demerits have been accrued. Organizations with effective diversity management have experienced more benefits. Diversity and identity are essential considerations in organizations. Organizational identity is key in building a positive public image, good brand, develop customer loyalty and improve public relations with different stakeholders. Similarly, diversity is essential to an organization as it depicts being law abiding, improves innovation and creativity as different ideas are obtained from different people (Miner, 1956). Through this, the overall productivity is increased. Despite many organizations embracing diversity it has not yet been fully realized, there are still aspects of minorities in the workplace. The following chart depicts the minority in the workplace in the US.
How does our worldview cultural influence and inform our perception of people from other cultures?
Culture not only provides us with unwritten and written norms or rules for interacting with the entire world and shaping our perception and memory but it also influences how our brains are wired. Studies indicate that the American culture values individuals places a lot of precedence on individual objects from their contexts, on the contrary, East Asians values the collective thus emphasizes on the contextual interdependence of objects (Jones, 1980). The cultural scripts are given to us after birth impact how our brain is wired and influences how we perceive the world around us, interpret and respond to stimuli that we receive. Therefore, culture offers a lens through which to perceive and interpret the world. It, therefore, helps us generate our specific experiences. Languages also shape the way people think. There are certain languages that have various words for a single item. Similarly, other languages have a single word for multiple items probably due to lack of words.
Furthermore, people have been embracing other cultures in their way of lives. For instance, the Western culture is highly mimicked by the eastern cultures. A majority of these societies perceive their cultures as inferior and seeks to try out other cultures.
How does BodyRitual Among theNacirema help us understand our view of other cultures and how we are viewed by other cultures?
Nacirema makes us view other cultures as inferior in the sense that they are wrong for not embracing or believing in what our culture believes in or exercising the same rituals that we do practice. It brings a notion of us versus them dichotomy which has come up from our human or rather American inability to accept other persons differences. Other cultures seem to view our culture as influential, superior and relatively xenophobic. Overall, our incapability to understand other cultures that differ from ours makes us portray the other cultures in a more negative light. Furthermore, it also makes us understand that what might seem normal to our culture might be very strange or very different, and even others might not be able to understand why we behave the way we do and the vice versa can also be true.
Why do some of the practices and rituals of other cultures seem odd or foreign to us? How do our cultural norms affect our understanding and perception of other cultures?
Typically, people perceive their perspectives as the only one that is right,' while other cultures will appear foreign or odd to us. This is large because we have been largely influenced the world with Americanism. Americans think that the world revolves around them, and they perceive other cultures as odd simply because it is not American. However, this happens to any other culture because in our minds we only know about our culture. Normally, our norms influence our perception and understanding of other cultures as they affect our concept of what is wrong or right.
Hofstede (2011) postulated that national and regional components contribute to the culture of the organization and ultimately affect the behavior of the employees in an organization. In an organization such as a bank, the concepts presented by Hofstede very much manifest themselves. The cultural values model has six ideas:
This organization strongly relies on teamwork, and therefore collectivism is more evident than individualism. The employees come together to accomplish a common objective (Hannan, 2005). The management believes that when individuals pool their ideas, they are more likely to achieve more.
The power delegation in the organization is different. Junior employees are answerable to the senior employees, and this gives the junior employees the notion that there is an unequal distribution of power. They believe that the power conferred in these senior employees is excessive and makes them treat them badly. On the contrary, the senior employees feel that the delegation of power is fair since most of them have earned their position through hard work and sacrifice (Hannan, 2005).
The organization mainly comprises of employees who are caring, modest and very empathetic. The possess more of feminine values than the masculine value. It encouraged by the management because these are the values recommended in the banking industry. Policies have been set to ensure that the culture of masculinity to suppressed.
In this organization, the employees have long term orientation. The management put every effort to retain employees. In return, the employees strive to achieve the organizations goals but at a steady approach (Hofstede, 2011).
The tolerance level of the workers in both uncomfortable and comfortable situation is very high. The employees are trained to deal with any an expected event promptly and more efficiently.
The code of conduct in the bank is more relaxed as compared to most organizations. There are restrictions imposed only in sensitive departments in the organization.
In conclusion, cultural values affect the affect the behaviors and the relationship between members of an organization. According to Hofstede in Dimensionalizing Cultures (2011), the effects depend on the composition of the body.
Arredondo, P. M. (1999). Successful diversity management initiatives: A blueprint for planning and implementation. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.: Sage.
Bayart, J.-F. (2005). The illusion of cultural identity. London: Hurst.
Friedman, J. (1995). Cultural identity and global process. London [u.a.: Sage Publ.
Hannan, M. T. (2005). Ecologies of organizations: Diversity and identity. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), 51-70.
Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede model in context. Online readings in psychology and culture, 2(1), 8.
Jones, R. A. (1980). Myth and Symbol Among the Nacirema Tsigoloicos: A Fragment. The American Sociologist, 207-212.
Miner, H. (1956). Body Ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologist, 58(3), 503-507.
Mor-Barak, M. E. (2011). Managing Diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Los Angeles: SAGE.
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