Academic Master

Human Resource And Management

The Role of Diversity in the Organizational Performance


Diversity incorporates the act of accommodating a variety in the organization. Diversity relates to various aspects in addition to the human diversity. Diversity proves to have been not popular in the early days of business. Most people lived and worked in their places of birth, leaving the aspect of diversity as a minimal issue. However, the world is changing and so is the business field. Organizations are taking up the responsibility of enhancing a diverse organization. Also, globalization cultivates for the economic diversity. Demographics changes lead to the increase in the level of diversity in the organizations. Even though the trend has faced fierce opposing in the past, it has recently gotten much support. This is after the realization of the many advantages that come with diversity.

Diversity serves the intentions of the organization well and creates a positive reputation in the eyes of the world. However, it attracts various negative aspects of the organization as well as for the outside world. Change is inevitable for all organizations (Hubbard 2004). Therefore, none of the firms can afford to ignore the real need to accomodat6e diversity in their system. The advantages brought about by diversity surpass the disadvantages that come along. Therefore, there is a need for all organizations cultures to induce diversity ion the organization. Diversity also has an impact on the overall performance of the employees. This is mainly because different minds have a chance to take part in the organizations. For instance, different leaders from different parts of the world have various forms of experiences. Therefore, they offer the same ion the decision-making processes.

This leads to an effective decision that favors all the operations of the firm. It is better to have employees with different opinions rather than a group of people with a similar sentiment. Diversity sets the organization in a growing motion enhancing it to attain the set strategic objectives. Some of the disadvantages include an increase in conflicts among the various individuals. A cultural war also taints the diversity process as negative. However, it sails the organization through various miles towards the desired goals. This literature review, therefore, looks into the role carried out by diversity in the organizational performance. Also, the various benefits, as well as the shortcomings of diversity, are also tackled. The literature review considers the various gaps that exist in the study and thus require to be filled up by further studies. The research question, therefore, is “what is the role of diversity in the performance of the organization?” The question is aimed at fulfilling the main objective of the research objective.

First, diversity in the organization enhances a better form of leadership. When the organization is led by the same group of people with similar traits, there is less progress attained. This is because they have similar ideas at all times. Also, there are fewer objections to the ideas offered by one person. However, diversity brings different leaders on board from different cultural backgrounds. Due to globalization, organizations can tap leaders from all over the world. The various leaders come with varying forms of experience as well as skills. This offers a good opportunity for the leaders to share multiple skills and knowledge. What is not known by one of the leaders is certainly known by the rest. As such, the decision-making process becomes more involving. Decisions made are subjected to lots of scrutiny regarding their viability.

This is because all the leaders have their version of thinking. After all, the best decision is made for the benefit of the firm. In the past, decisions could be made by the topmost leaders. However, time requires the teamwork paves the way for the organization. Therefore, consultations allow the rest of the leaders to take part in the major decisions. As such, the quality of decisions made keeps on improving from time to time. The level of creativity is also enhanced among the leaders. Each of the leaders has a different form of ideas on how best to work in the organization. The various leaders get the chance to share what they know and learn what they don’t know from the rest. This leads to better ideas that attract a high level of creativity (Langer 2002). There can be no progress where creativity is hindered. In this regard, diversity enhances an all-time form of development for the organization. They also learn from each other, therefore sharpening each other’s leadership skills. When one idea from one of the leaders fails to work, the opinion offered by another leader works effectively. Therefore, the entire organization performs better along the way.

The leadership of the organization also portrays a positive reputation to the world. This is because it portrays the face of the world as opposed to one form of people. All genders and ethnical groups are well represented at the top of the organization. The men and women take their positions in the major decisions making. The men feel represented by their male counterparts. On the other hand, the women feel; that they are well represented by their female counterparts in the top levels of management. In the past, the top leadership positions were considered to belong to the men. Women were considered as being o the weaker gender. This brought about various challenges in the performance of the organization. Many of the women felt that they were left out in the making of the major decisions. In the same way, having a biased form of top leadership that accommodates only the majority ethnical groups demotivates the employees (MOON 2000). This is because they feel alienated from the overall organization. When one group takes up most of the top positions, it seems to have a better hand in the decision-making process. As such, the majority groups tend to be favored in most of the case. As such, the minority groups feel left out in the primary decisions. Including them in the leadership positions increases the ability to induce fairness feeling among all people. People feel motivated to work in an organization that appreciates their role in the management.

In the case of the employees, diversity enhances a great role. Diversity allows the employees to come from different regions and backgrounds. They bring about different knowledge, skills, and expertise. This is not possible in an organization that accommodates people from the same areas. Therefore, the employees get the chance to exchange notes regarding the best way of enhancing performance on their jobs (Hullfish & Smith 1978). In this regard, they get the chance to compare various working criteria and select the best of all. Working gets more exciting when the employees have various issues that they learn from each other. As they keep on learning from each other, their levels of knowledge also increase. In the same manner, they can understand more of what the organization expects of them. Working becomes fun when people interact and exchange new ideas. Therefore, diversity brings about growth for the employees. Learning is the primary process that allows the employees to learn more and therefore sharpen their ability to work better.

Diversity also increases motivation among the employees. This applies especially to the employees that feel they have been alienated for a long time in the past. A culture that appreciates diversity enables the organization to balance different groups of people. As such, the male workers are balanced with the female workers. In the same manner, the minority are given positions in the organization. None of the various groups can stand against the rest unfairly. In all cases, the employees want to feel that they are treated fairly with no biases. Biases break the ties among the employees. They feel that some are favored than others. Therefore, diversity eliminates the possibility of some of the employees feeling that they are important than the others. The self-esteem of the minority groups is also boosted. An improvement in the level of motivation of the employees leads to better productivity. As a result, they perform better for the benefit of the organization as a whole.

The teams are well balanced in the workplace where diversity prevails. In this regard, the team members compose of people from different backgrounds. Having a balanced working squad promises better performance for the organization. This is because the employees tend to be more united. On the other hand, the teams could be divided if they composed of some groups having more representation than others. Such unbalanced teams create sort of conflicts and look down upon the minority. Therefore, the decisions made reflect the wish of the majority and not the entire group. As diversity cultivates for the unity of the employees, they can work hand in hand for the benefit of the organization as a whole. The team leader finds it easy to lead a team that is united as opposed to one that is full of conflicts and misunderstandings.

Diversity also places the organization at a positive reputation in the eyes of the global community. Globalization requires that all organization adore and take in diversity as part of their culture. Therefore, the organization that has the diversity program gets a good reputation from the outside world. As such, the organization receives praises for the good job it does. Therefore the organization attracts more qualified employees from all over the world (Kreitz 2008). This means that the workforce that comes to the organization is highly skilled and experienced. An organization with a positive reputation attracts highly qualified employees. Well, eligible employees allow the organization to serve its customers better and in a respectable manner. A good reputation also works as a source of motivation to the leadership as well as the employees. A motivated team works harder to attain more recognition from the world. In the process, the level of productivity increases, boosting the performance of the entire organization.

Indeed, diversity contributes a good deal to the enhancement of better performance of the organization. However, diversity has the negative side of it, both at the management levels and at the lower levels. First, diversity increases the time taken in the making of decisions. In the case of leaders, diversity provides that they come from different regions and therefore have various backgrounds of experience. Consequently, they take more time trying to understand each leader’s opinion in the best action to take. As the discussions take place, the decision-making process takes more time than sometimes it is stipulated for. The delayed decision among reflects a slower rate of performance for the organization, thus leading to a slower rate of development. The level of conflicts among the leaders also increases. The different ideas presented by the different leaders provide a loophole for the leaders to try and have his or her opinion heard. As such, conflicts arise leading to a slower decision-making process. Such leadership struggles work against the strategic objectives of the organization.

Diversity also tends to increase the rate of competition among the employees. Each group of the employees tends to try and outdo each other in the workplace. In many cases, the competition of such kind is not healthy. The organization, therefore, spends much of its time trying to resolve problems related to employees conflicts. This time could otherwise be used in enhancing the better performance of the organization. Other times, diversity does not represent the equal representation of people as it is taken to mean. This is because some of the groups have more qualified people than others. Diversity, however, would prefer having in place two women and two men working in one organization, even though two other men were better positioned concerning their skills. In such a case, some of the most qualified people are left out of the positions for formality. In such a case, the performance of the organization is affected negatively as diversity does not mean that the best skills are in the organization as well.

The primary intention of the organization is to make a profit. However, diversity attempts to change the main agenda of the organization. The leadership tends to concentrate more on enhancing that diversity is attained in the organization as opposed to enhancing that productivity is improved. Diversity, therefore, becomes a distraction for the management. Such concentration could be directed to more significant aspects such as attracting more customers.

Technical diversity proves to be quite expensive. This is because the organization requires having in place different forms of the production method that are available on the market. Having various types of production in the organization needs the management to spend quite an amount of money. This is not always present in the organization. The resources that are available are mainly targeted at maximizing the level of productivity (Brawer et al, 2002). Also, attracting and enabling a well-diversified environment requires more resources. For instance, the organization has to advertise broadly to attract employees from all over the world. This is quite costly and cannot hold for the small organizations. The money used in enabling such could be used in promoting other more essential businesses.

Various management practices are essential in enabling a productive diversity in the organization. First, the top leadership needs to be committed to the core. Every change in the organization starts from the top. Therefore, the management has to be committed from the beginning to the end. This could be seen from the policies placed at the top as well as the assessment carried out determining how successful diversity has been. Also, the leaders ought to develop the goals that need to be attained by diversity. This gives the management process a direction against which to assess success.

Diversity, as a strategy, need to be aligned with the strategic plan of the organization. The strategic plan determines the major goals of the organizations well as the strategies to be applied in attaining them, therefore, aligning the diversity objective to strategic plan makes it more real and attainable.

Diversity needs to be linked to the improvement of productivity and performance. The ultimate goal of the organization is to maximize profits. As such, every other strategy formed along the way ought to match such requirement. Diversity motivated by the personal intentions of the top leadership officials could not be objective at all (Langer 2002). The only effective form of diversity ought to reflect that the diversity brings about better performance of the employees as well as the leaders.

It is also necessary to induce some form of measurement to the diversity program. Applying the diversity program blindly could fail to attain the intended objectives (Schectman 2010). As such, there is a need for the organization to devise the mechanisms to use to determine how effective the implementation process is. Determination of the success level allows the organization to determine the strong and the weak areas in the implementation level. As a result, better mechanisms are put in place to fulfill the main objectives.

The recruitment process also needs to be connected to the diversity program. It is through recruitment that the organization attains new members of staff (BEMILLER 1987). Therefore, diversity needs to start way from the beginning to the end. As the employees are taken into the workforce, they need to be diverse in their ideas, gender, backgrounds, ethnic orientation and even educational levels. Otherwise, it would be hard to try implementing diversity later after selecting employees from the same background.

Training is fundamental to the enhancement of diversity. Most of the employees may not understand the need for diversity in the organization. A continuous training process allows such employees to appreciate the need for diversity (ABBAS & GILMER 1997). Therefore, they take it as their responsibility to ensure that diversity is cultivated for and retained. Training induces the aspect of diversity into the culture of the organization.


Considering the literature review covered, a research gap exists regarding the remedies to the negatives resulting from diversity implementation. Therefore, the future researchers need to consider researching about the most suitable ways of addressing the shortcomings of diversity. Diversity is a sign of change caused by the change in the global competition platform. It is therefore expected that firms will consider having a diversified form of a workforce as well as technology and other forms of work-related diversity. Diversity brings about better performance of the employees due to increased creativity as well as unity among the employees. On the other hand, diversity causes conflict among the employees if not effectively checked. To counter the negative effects, continuous training on the same need to be put in place to create a diverse culture. The benefits of diversity surpass the negatives arising from it. All organization needs to exercise diversity to attain better performance.


ABBAS, A. & GILMER, P.J. (1997) The Use of Journals in Science Teaching and Learning for Prospective Teachers: an active tool of students’ reactions, Conference Paper (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 409 182).

BEMILLER, S. (1987) The mathematics handbook, in: T. FULWILER (Ed.) The Journal Book (Portsmouth, Heinemann).

Brawer, P.A., Anthony, N., Roberts, R., Wadja-Johnston., Fabricatore & Handal, P.J. (2002). Training and Education in religion/spirituality within APA-accredited clinical psychology programs. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 33 (2).

Hubbard, E.E. (2004). The Diversity Scorecard: Evaluating the Impact of Diversity on Organizational Performance. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Hullfish, H.G. & Smith, P.G.(1978) Reflective Thinking: the method of education (Westport, Greenwood Press).

Kreitz, P.A. (2008). Best practices for managing organizational diversity. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 34(2): 101-120.

Langer, A. M. (2002). Critique of Reflecting on Practice: using learning journals in higher and continuing education. Teaching in Higher Education, 7(3), 338-351.

Langer, M Arthur.( 2002). Reflecting on Practice: Using Learning Journals in Higher and Continuing Education, Teaching in Higher Education, Columbia University New York, Vol. 7, No.3 of 2002

MOON, J.A. (2000) Learning Journals: a handbook for academics, students and professional development (London, Kogan Page Limited).

Schectman, N. (2010). Investigating Links from Teacher Knowledge. Cognition and Instruction, 28 (3), 112-124.



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