Summary Class notes - Cultural Diversity Management (IC/BDM) 2015-2016

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Summary - Class notes - Cultural Diversity Management (IC/BDM) 2015-2016

  • 1446505200 Lecture 1: Justice & Business Case of Cultural Diversity

  • Use the common email:
  • Globalization ----> Cultural Diveristy


    1) Policies;
    2) Workplace/labor market.

    Requires MANAGEMENT
  • There is no universal toolkit because cultural diversity is different everywhere. 
    Every organization is different ---> different context.
    Therefore, there should make tailor-made interventions (tailor-made approach) based on sound analysis ---> MANAGEMENT
  • What are the two types of interests of stakeholders?
    1) Aligned interests;
    2) Conflicting interests.
  • Stakeholders have a double identity (or even multiple identities).
    For example, one cultural identity and an identity in the organization.
  • The Cultural triangle between interaction(s), meanings and artefacts.
     Artefacts are material objects.
  • Interactions are central issue!
    - various interests;
    -various power positions.
  • Cultural difference relates to:
     1) Societal influences;
     2) Organizational influences.
    These two factors combined influence interaction between stakeholders.
  • A network exists between interaction, society, meanings, organizations and artefacts.
  • There are different kinds of diversity. When multiple kinds of diversity are linked, we speak about "intersectionality". 
    One example of intersectionality is when a black woman is discriminated because 1) she is black; 2) she is a woman. Here skin color (ethnicity) and gender are two factors (intersectionality) that work out negatively.
  • How are different kinds of diversity inter-linked with each other?
    1) Business case: focuses on the performance. Does diversity bring about a positive effect on the results?
    2) Justice case: equality. Is there fair assessment? Is cultural diversity implemented because it matters instead of boosting the performance? 
  • The literature argues that cultural diversity is good for performance.
    It brings new views of more and more different people, and it contributes to innovation.

    There are also negative effects.
    More cultural diversity produces conflicts. 
    When conflicts are task related, it brings about the discussion that improves the performance. But when there are relational conflicts, then this negatively affects the team. 
  • Cultural diversity has an effect on performance.
     There is a difference between short-term and long-term collaboration.
    In the short-term cultural diversity has a negative effect but in the long-term CD boosts performance.  
    Time is an important dimension.
  • What are the different approaches an organization can take towards CD?
    1) color-blind approach: no expression of cultural differences;
    2) multicultural approach: expression of differences.
  • Difference of task interdependence ---> responsibility
  • Various interests in cultural diversity at work:

    - group of (inter) acting people, just like a community, but with a particular aim, particular objectives;
    - Objectives: profit, non-profit, not-for-profit;
     - form: formal organizations and networks;
    - various aligning or conflicting interests.
  • Various interests in cultural diversity at work.
     Every stakeholder has at least a double identity.
  • Various interests in cultural diversity at work.
    Cultural triangle:
      (inter) actions ---> meanings ---> artefacts
  • Multiple types of interaction between stakeholders:
    1) work ---> production, service delivery, professional treatment;
    2) work related communication: team meetings, email, intranet, application interviews, assessment interviews, briefings, training, coaching, etc.;
    3) informal interaction: small talk, coffee machine talk, receptions, after work parties.
  • Cultural difference in (inter)actions:
    These (inter) actions take place between stakeholders with different languages, religions, lifestyles, identities, etc.
  • Cultural differences may also relate to:
    - Different meanings: views, opinions, interpretations, perceptions, emotions, norm, values;
     - Different artefacts: products, services, material resources, texts...
  • Cultural differences may also relate to:
    1) Societal influences: markets, government regulations, labour markets, discourses on migration, discourses on migrants and "integration"...

    2) Organizational influences: management style, communication policies, HRM policies, labour relations, how work processes are structured, relations between staff and line, prescribed bahaviour, power relations...
  • Cultural diversity as part of overall workforce diversity:
    - Also including diversity in terms of age, gender, ability, sexual orientation;
    - Linking: intersectionality.
  • Two basic challenges:

    1) The business case;
    2) The justice case.
    Business case: about performance of the organization/team/individual ---> what are the consequences of ethnic diversity for performance?

    Justice case: about equal chances and access to resources ---> do people with various ethnic backgrounds have equal chances and access to jobs, fair assessments, development opportunities, promotions...
  • The business case for diversity:
    Diversity is good for organizational/team/individual performance since it leads to innovation, creativity, new viewpoints and discussion.

    Not straight forward, ambiguous;
    It may also lead to harmful conflicts, misunderstanding, lack of communication.
    Differences in the kind of conflicts produced: relational or task oriented.
    ---> kind of conflicts.
    Differences in short-term and long-term effects. Time is an important factor.
    Difference in degree of task. Interdependency and in degree of shared responsibility ---> organization of work.
  • Findings Siebers study the Hague:
    CD in class is beneficial to study success in cognitive aspects;
    CD in class is a risk for study success aspects: conflicts and tensions between students harming e.g. team work in projects.

  • Business case: problems in literature.
    Positivistic approach: looking for universal and decontextual answers to simplistic questions. 
    Strong focus on meanings and artefacts disregarding many other aspects.

    When and why do cultural differences become salient and relevant? ---> need more case studies.
  • The justice case for diversity.
    Argument: people with different cultural backgrounds have unequal access to resources, that harms individual interests, and organizations are called upon to guarantee equal access.
    - jobs;
    - fair assessment;
    - development opportunities;
    - pay rise;
    - promotion;
     - ...
  • Approaches within the justice case:

    1) Distributive justice: focus on the outcomes:
    - affirmative action interventions;
    - target group interventions.

    Critique: violates merit principle;
    Reinforces biases among non-target groups;
    Target groups: wrong identification.

    2) Procedural justice: focus on the process:
    - equal opportunity interventions;
    - generic interventions.    
    Critique: does not change power relations;
    Only long-term effects.
  • Business case guarantee for justice? No:
    Tends to focus only on high potentials among minorities;
    Tends to focus on special expertise of minority employees,
    What if diversity is not beneficial for org. performance?
  • Arguments Siebers:

    CD serves both business and justice case in an organization unless it is not;
    Therefore, no need to intervene to make it work;
    Focus analysis and intervention on factors that spoil the business and justice cases.

    You cannot afford to miss out on justice:
    - Cultural diverse clients;
    - Culturally diverse labour market;
    - Internal conflicts may be very costly.
    Focus on factors that harm the justice case since they also harm the business case.
  • Literature: three types of diversity management practices:
    1) Establishing responsibility for diversity;
    2) Reducing stereotypes and bias;
    3) Addressing social isolation of disadvantaged groups.
  • Colorblind versus multiculturalism management approaches:

    Colorblind: ethnic differences should play no role at work, management should guarantee that;
    Multicultural approach: make ethnic differences visible, foment acceptance and make use of them.

    Critique:- limited scope;
    - multiculturist approach sounds progressive and humane, but its contribution for org. performance is not clear and may easily backfire;
    - Our research suggests that people prefer colourblindness.
  • Inclusionist approach
    Not focus on ethnic groups, but on individual uniqueness ---> no target groups approach;
    Focus on individual diversity in all aspects;
    Aim for individual inclusion in work settings, let each individual feel as belonging in the workforce.
    - limited scope;
    - ignores basis inequality and justice issues that are structured in terms of ethnic group inequalities.
  • Need for case studies and tailor-made interventions.
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Example questions in this summary

What are the two types of interests of stakeholders?
How are different kinds of diversity inter-linked with each other?
What are the different approaches an organization can take towards CD?
How can we describe positive action (Carol Bacchi)?
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