The Impact of Diversity on Individual Behavior Essay

1268 Words Apr 2nd, 2007 6 Pages
The Impact of Diversity on Individual Behavior
The concept of diversity has broadened in scope in the recent past, evolving from the concept of mandated quotas and affirmative action, to the reality of a diverse workforce being capable of providing quantifiable business value. A variety of external factors have influenced the conceptual evolution of diversity within the workplace. For example, globalization of markets has provided the concept of diversity with an opportunity to demonstrate a clear competitive advantage. A native understanding of the cultural values, norms and business practices of a foreign market can give an organization a clear advantage over their competition. Another area where diversity offers advantages is in the
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An organization that emphasizes diversity as a core value is more likely to have team members that exhibit similar traits, both on and off the job.
A healthy corporate policy of gender diversity allows an organization the luxury of significantly expanding the pool of qualified resources at any given position. However, application of gender diversity is more than an easy way to expand the talent pool. Studies indicate that organizations with the most women in top leadership had a 35.1 percent higher return on equity and 34 percent higher total shareholder return than those in the bottom quarter (Feeney & Lewis, 2004). Further, it has been recognized that organizations with more women in leadership positions tend to be more open-minded and creative. Interestingly, these same organizations appear to exhibit the ability to resist the tendency to surround themselves with people "like" them. It can therefore be argued that an organization's perception of diversity affected individual perceptions, which in turn, made the organization stronger.
Interaction with resources of differing socioeconomic status can cultivate an uncomfortable environment. Those that reside in a perceived "higher level" may feel guilty about their good fortune, and those that

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