Social Identity Theory: The Challenges Of Organizational Culture And Diversity

2226 Words 9 Pages
There is a reason there are still so many cultures in today’s small world. One would think that because today’s hyper-communicative world is so small, that the world would become a single, homogenous culture. But that is not the case. Despite the smallness of today’s world, culture and diversity thrive. The simple reason is that when people are different from each other, they struggle to get along. This reason is true for organisations. Diversity means people who are different from each other work together. Their differences and incongruences show and cause challenges that can bleed or benefit an organisation. Diversity within organisations creates issues that directly affect the health of the organisation.

Diversity refers to dissimilarities
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To begin with, people often do not understand the benefits of diversity. For this reason, people may not make an effort to change. Additionally, changing organizational culture is difficult because many diversity issues perpetuate themselves. Because “cultural conflicts between majority and minority group members are usually resolved in favour of the majority groups” (Mazur, 2010, p. 10), it is very difficult to change the organizational culture to accept and appreciate diversity. Social identity theory could help explain some of the difficulties of organisational culture change. Social identity theory states that “people define themselves by the groups to which they belong or have an emotional attachment” (McShane, Olekalns, & Travaglione, 2014, p. 74). An individual is less likely to become positive toward diversity if the group with which she/he identifies is negative toward diversity. In this case, to become positive toward diversity could mean a partial abandonment of her/his social identity groups, and this potential outcome can cause resistance to organizational

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