Benefits and Cost of Valuing Diversity Essay

629 Words Sep 8th, 2012 3 Pages
Introduction

Diversity has many meanings. Within the workplace, it can include differences in variables such

as gender, age, marital status, religious belief, work experience, ethnicity, and educational background.

In today’s global marketplace, managers are told that diversity should be valued in order to achieve the

greatest competitive advantage, improve business performance and to enhance the progress and growth of the company. Diversity does not only have benefits. It also has disadvantages such as increasing conflicts, detrimental work behaviors and communication barriers.

Benefits of valuing diversity

A company with workers from different backgrounds should be valued because it has a wide variety of talents
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(De Dreu & West, 2001).

Disadvantages of valuing diversity

One of the disadvantages of valuing diversity is increase in conflicts, It can be challenging when people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints start working together. Research shows that diversity leads to different types of conflicts such as task, socio-emotional and value conflicts. (Jehn, 2004).
Diversity also leads to counterproductive work behaviors such as discrimination and derogation. (Roberge & Dick, 2010).
Communication activities which include listening, speaking, reading and writing create inevitable barriers in diverse situations. ( Waltman & Wagner-Marsh, 2010).
Diversity also incurs cost such as costs of legal compliance; which includes cost to train staffs, record keeping and legal fees. Additional cost include opportunity cost such as diversion of top management time, and productivity shortfalls.(Lockett, 2003).

In conclusion, valuing diversity has its advantages as well as its shortcomings. But, if managed effectively the benefits of valuing diversity outweigh the costs. Therefore, diversity should be an essential part of a company.
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References

De Dreu, C., & West, M. (2001). Minority dissent and team innovation: The importance of participation in decision making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(6),
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