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2 Literature review and conceptual framework
2.1 Meaning of managing diversity
2.2 Labor movement and the economic environment in SA.
2.3 The dynamics of managing diversity in Southern Africa
2.4 An Integrated conceptual framework for managing diversity.
4 Limitations of the study and future research
This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the characteristics and complexities surrounding managing diversity in Southern Africa. With the advent of globalisation and the shift in employment policies in the region, a situational adaptability which affirms the value of diverse backgrounds has become an issue of strategic importance. Resultantly, diversity efforts targeted at ethnicity, race and gender have become critical features in successful capacity building in Southern Africa. It is against this construct that this paper explores on the dynamics of managing diversity among selected countries in Southern Africa. The methodology adopted for this study was the review of existing literature and online print materials. In order to determine the effectiveness and contribution of the contextual environment in managing diversity, an integrated conceptual framework is developed, which highlights the determinants and outcomes of diversity initiatives. The results of this study will inform policy and practice in terms of strategies, guidelines and tools for effectively managing diversity.
Key Words: Compliance, Equality, Managing Diversity, Southern Africa.
The advent of globalization in Africa has resulted in a shift of employment policies which have affirmed the value of a diverse workforce. As a result there has been a lot of research on African studies focusing on multiculturalism, diversity, traditional management systems and African values. Of particular relevance to the discourse of managing diversity is the fact that a lot of organizations in the region have operated along the lines of traditional administrative systems this has provoked serious debates on how we should effectively manage diversity in Southern Africa. However, the principal thrust of values such as ubuntu (humanism) should not only be seen as African values but also as human values that are important in establishing an enabling organizational culture, key skills and competencies (Van de Colff, 2003). It is therefore important for those involved in managing people to understand the African culture for at least two reasons. Firstly, in order to understand the way people behave it is quite useful to understand the legacy behind their behavior. For instance, the African culture is built along the lines of collectivism and kinsman ship and these qualities are often exhibited at the workplace. Secondly, it also helps international managers in their socialization process within an African organization. Shen , Chanda, Netto and Monga (2009 p. 235) posits that “ racial equality appears to be the predominant issue in both United States of America and South Africa where there has been a long history of systematic discrimination against blacks and other ethnic minorities”. This argument provides a strong justification on the need for research on managing diversity in Southern Africa (SA). This paper explores on the dynamics of managing diversity in SA where examples from countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition, a greater emphasis will be placed on equality and ethnicity. The paper first provides a brief account of the meaning of managing diversity and presents an overview of the labor movement and the economic environment. Secondly, the dynamics of managing diversity in SA is critically explored upon. Thirdly, an integrated conceptual framework which highlights the stakeholders, determinants and the outcomes of managing diversity is presented. Thereafter, recommendations are highlighted. Finally, this paper ends up with conclusions and provides suggestions on areas for future research.
2 Literature review and conceptual framework
2.1 Meaning of managing diversity
The literature on managing diversity stems from various disciplines such as psychology, sociology and anthropology. In approaching this issue it should be understood that managing diversity is best perceived as a social construction of reality where various ideologies and perspectives are applied to the management of people. It is of paramount importance to also note that social interactions are subject to misinterpretations and categorizations according to social groupings. As Kirby and Harter (2002, p.30) posit “we are symbolic animals who order our experiences by constructing linguistic frameworks that create, shape and constrain our actions and perceptions. As such, we can explore how people understand the world by deconstructing their linguistic choices”. In this social construction of reality four main actors are worth mentioning. Firstly, there are management sponsored diversity actors who are employed to manage diversity such as the human resource personnel; secondly, there are trade union sponsored actors who are responsible for fighting for workers rights; thirdly, there are national identity networks responsible for advocating for local citizens rights and fourthly, there are community networks which are mostly alliances of faith groups, educational institutions (Healy and Oikelome, 2007).
Another critical issue to the discourse of managing diversity is Equal Opportunities (EO), Affirmative Action (AA). Most authors have questioned on where the line should be drawn between EO, AA and managing diversity. Straw (1989) suggests a simple typology of EO from `equal chance` through equal access to equal share. This leads us to believe that EO focuses on the removal of discrimination which is true to a greater extent. On the other hand some authors have also highlighted that the business case for equal opportunities is often termed “managing or valuing diversity” but as, with most modern-day management issues, the underlying principles and interpretation of this concept is subject to mass misinterpretations and analytical criticism. Affirmative action refers to requirements, often legally mandated, to change organizational demographics and remedy past situations the approach of “valuing differences” is intended to be ethically and morally driven (Kirby and Harter, 2002). However, managing diversity is mainly focused on embracing differences and valuing pluralism. As Nel, Werner, Haasbroek, Poisat, Sono, Schultz (2008) highlighted diversity management is seen by more and more organizations as a means to achieve competitive advantage and a strategic necessity to survive in a globally diverse environment. As such, it involves an indispensable shift in attitude and behavior that is beyond the recourse of law. In the simplest terms MD can be perceived as a concept which indicates “do” and favors the positive, when EO indicates “don’t” and favors the negative (Tung 1995; Marvin and Girling, 2000).
Overall definitions and categorizations of managing diversity are neither absolute nor certain, while the context, the society and culture determines the uptake and nature of diversity efforts (Tung, 1995; Miller and Williams, 2008: Taylor, 2010). Thus, there is no universally accepted definition of managing diversity and there are varying perspectives which differ from one context to another. Moreover, the literature also reveals that the main tangible diversity indicators are age, marital status, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. At this stage, it is also very essential to consider the industrial relations individualism argument. According to the individualistic approach individual employees have peculiar strengths, weaknesses, abilities and needs. Therefore, classification of employees as a diverse group destroys the whole thrust of individualism. From these arguments, it may be concluded that it is a challenge to come up with a one size fits all definition or approach to managing diversity hence, the importance of contextualization. Managing diversity could therefore be defined as an inclusive managerial process where all individuals can work in an environment that facilitates development, encourages positive work ethic, releases potential, promote organizational citizenship behaviors, encourages individuals improve organizational efficiency, and effectiveness. In addition, diversity must therefore be seen as an asset and necessity for achieving vertical and horizontal integration among departments as well as, externally, in adding value for clients and customers.
2.2 Labor movement and the economic environment in SA.
Of relevance to the analysis of managing diversity is the fact that there is a dearth of consistent cross sectional and trend based labor market data for the continent. The data available is uneven both in terms of quantity and quality across individual countries in SA. According to Bhorat (2005) from 1980 to 2000 Sub-Saharan Africa’s labor force grew the third fastest in the world at 2.6 percent on average per year. This growth has implications for movement of labor across Southern Africa. For instance, the International Labor Organization (ILO, 2007) estimated that more than 20 million Africans live outside their countries of birth or citizenship. In addition, most of the migration is intraregional. Some of the triggers of this movement are the lack of decent work opportunities e.g. Zimbabwe, armed conflicts, mass violations of human rights and natural disasters. In a research on HIV/AIDS in 2005 involving countries such as Zimbabwe, SA, Botswana among others, it was estimated that an estimated 9 million men and nearly 7 million women of the working age between 15- 64 in the labor force were living with HIV/AIDS (ILO, 2005). These estimations have serious implications at the workplace as they influence management of migrant workers, labor productivity and heavy financial investments in awareness training sessions.
SA’s socio-economic environment is also another fundamental trigger to labor dynamics. Issues such as low economic growth, poor labor and capital productivity, an unskilled work-force and high unemployment have created imbalances and inequalities in most workplaces. Despite a year of global uncertainty in 2009, South Africa’s stable performance saw it holding on its position as the 45th most competitive country in the world according to the 2009/2010 World Economic Forum’s Global competitiveness Index. As such, South Africa has become the major attraction for job seekers as it offers better working conditions. Consequentially, South Africa has to cope with a highly diversified workforce (Human, 1996). However, equally relevant to this issue is the fact that some organizations have not yet fully embraced diversity initiatives in their strategic planning processes and human resource management systems
2.3 The dynamics of managing diversity in Southern Africa
In a study by Baliamoune-Lutz (2006) in Africa on the levels and changes in women’s share of the labor force and literacy rates from 1980 to 1999 it was found out that the association between the measures of gender inequality in literacy and income were negative and strong (-0.71 and -0. 56 in Sub-Saharan Africa), with the imbalances inclined towards women. Countries such as Botswana, Zambia, SA and Zimbabwe were considered in the survey. Furthermore, in Namibia and Zambia, over 70% of urban workers are informally employed and women constitute a greater percentage in the sector (Bhorat, 2005). Recent research efforts on gender distribution in Southern Africa continue to show that gender disparities still exists except for Botswana which has a high female labor participation rate. On the contrary, an interesting argument has been raised about the low labor participation rate of women in Southern Africa. The low labor participation rate has been attributed to the fact that most women work in the informal sector, such as street vending, cross border trading, marketing processed and semi processed agricultural produce (ILO, 2007). Women are more likely than men to be engaged in activities characterized by low earnings, low productivity, and a lack of security and benefits as in the case of Zimbabwe where women found themselves in jobs that do not have a positive contribution to their professional development as long as they can fend for their families. It is also quite clear to note how cultural biases, which in some instances are built into the laws of the society, have resulted in educational and labor market discrimination. Consequently, we have low female labor participation and this in turn distorts the proportion of women in the formal sector. Taken together, these combined data constitute an integral component that allows us to analyze and understand the impact of gender dynamics on managing diversity in Southern Africa. Colonial and post colonial societies are characterized by a duality of authority where both the modern and traditional systems have always co-existed; this dualism has continued to shape Southern Africa consciously and sub-consciously. This often translates negatively to the workplace. Therefore, when engaging in issues of diversity this is important, particularly due to the fact that traditional systems can prove to be more democratic than the formal democratic systems and also often hold greater faith in communities (Idea, 2008).
After independence many African leaders embarked on a homogenization process to ensure fairness, parity, and equity in most organizations in their countries (Human, 2006; Gbadamosi, 2003; Nyambegera, 2002). However, problems were encountered due to several factors such as authoritarianism, social economic crises, and inequities. For example, in South Africa, inequalities are the legacy of the apartheid state (1948-1994), which was characterized by racial discrimination, social inequality and oppression. During the early years of democracy the government instituted various pro-social policies and laws to redress past inequalities (Global Perspectives Institute, 2009). In addition, the Africanisation of the civil service has been a political imperative since 1980 in Zimbabwe (BMF, 1993; Strachan, 1993). This imperative required that black Zimbabweans be appointed particularly in middle and senior management positions. Strachan (1993) further notes that after independence in Zimbabwe, there was reluctance on the part of the private sector to accept the need to redress the historical discrimination of the past and that it took approximately eight years for the public debate for black empowerment to emerge. Zimbabwe is a success story in that the civil service has changed from being all white in 1980 to 95% black in 1993. However, a number of researchers on black empowerment have argued that the associated costs have been an increase in the number of civil servants and a sharp decline in efficiency. There were allegations of nepotism, tribalism, fraud and corruption especially in the public sector (Gatherer and Erickson, 1993; Bennel and Strachan, 1992). Moreover, in Mozambique, external shocks to the economy such as the structural adjustment programmes resulted in paternalistic employment practices such as the heavy reliance on personal networks for recruitment and the use of informal training structures (Webster and Wood, 2005). One lesson which can be learnt is that a pitfall exists when fundamentals of individual behavior such as gender or race are used as important factors in recruitment and selection. It is also very essential to focus also on competencies, skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform a given job. African values are deeply embedded within individuals, and despite decolonization over the years these values have been difficult to change. Consequently, despite considerable diversity practices the outcomes have remained somehow sub-optimal. It should also be noted that one major consequence of forced integration, fuelled by state authored systems of discrimination and inequality has been a long history of agitation over the right to self determination by marginalized or minority groups.
Thomas (2002) posits that employment equity must necessarily be embarked upon as a holistic process. There must be a focus beyond numbers to issues relating to training, development and competence transfer for those recruited into companies. Simply outlawing discriminatory selection, recruitment and promotion practices is insufficient in the long term if achieving high levels of competitiveness is the major agenda. Although the debate about managing diversity is and has continued to show considerable reform in most workplaces, this in turn has had the implication of new policies and procedures relating to affirmative action and equal opportunities (Winston, 2007). It is worth mentioning that managing diversity is sometimes referred to as managing culture and this has created problems in workplace as we seem to focus on one indicator of diversity and ignoring other indicators like race and age. In addition to that, national or ethnic culture tends to be stressed at the expense of other social variables like organizational citizenship behaviors (Human, 1996). Through programmes of affirmative action (often previously called in South Africa, black advancement programmes, equal opportunity programmes, amongst others), employers have made efforts since the early 1990`s to include, in management structures, people from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who were previously denied such access (Thomas, 2002). For instance, more than 30 major companies in South Africa in 2003 signed up to a charter of diversity and a pledge to fight racial discrimination in hiring practices and to boost ethnic minorities in the workplace (McGillivray and Golden, 2007). Nevertheless, the use of a quota system has its drawbacks, it merely implies compliance. There is a possibility that essential job aspects such as competency and experience are ignored. However, in spite of such efforts, the benefits of equality initiatives are still yet to be achieved as ethnic minorities are still under represented in SA. For example, the 2009 quarterly report on South Africa labor force indicated that the labor force participation rates where high among white South Africans (70.5%) with colored (mixed race) South Africans (66.5%) being the second highest, Indian /Asian South Africans (60.4%) as the third highest, and the least being black South Africans (54.6%) (See Shen et.al 2009). This analysis raises a very good point on the rhetorical nature of compliance using equality policies. A passive scenario is formed where organizations take the necessary steps to ensure steps to ensure compliance in AA policy and eliminate racism within the workplace on the promise that this will create equal opportunity. However, when targets are not met this is often attributed to lack of experience or eradication, but they fail to implement any form of remedial action as this regarded as constitution reverse discrimination or preferential treatment. The pipeline scenario moves beyond the intervention free approach to increase the number of previously disadvantaged groups by supporting development programmes. However, this approach is often derailed by the assumption that a poor educational background and inadequate developmental opportunities are the major barriers to upward mobility. As such the issues of inclusion and integration through AA policies in the workplace remains a challenge within the SA region.
When migration becomes public policy, debate over the potential displacement of local workers by migrant workers becomes a major issue. In addition, detoriating wages and working conditions imposes serious problems to the concept of managing diversity (Connell and Burgess, 2006). To illustrate this point one can refer to Mogalakwe (2008) who argued that the concept of managing diversity creates a labor aristocracy where only a small section of the working class benefits. The author states that foreign workers in Botswana have benefited more than local employees as they are paid gratuities, presumably in order to compensate them for the lack of job security, while citizens are locked in pension schemes. Furthermore, Ongori and Agolla (2007) highlighted that efforts to embrace diversity in Botswana and South Africa have not been assimilated by some of the locals. For instance “makwerekwere” refers to Africans of other nationalities, “Makola” refers to people of Indian origin and “Makgoa” refers to white people. Such classification or name calling which has been termed bashism by Rosaldo (2006) is very degrading and often makes others feel insecure, demotivated at work and undermines social cohesion in countries across the region. Take for example in May 2009, South Africa adopted a “Special dispensation” for Zimbabweans; unfortunately this dispensation was removed in September 2010. The dispensation allowed all Zimbabweans visa free entry into South Africa for stays up to 90 days; visitors were permitted to partake in casual work during their stay; Zimbabweans who were currently illegally resident in SA were allowed to apply for a special dispensation permit which allowed them to avoid deportation and formalize their residency. This type of permit was valid for 6 months and also allowed for casual work (TRS, 2009). As a result this has implications on the managing diversity as some locals have not been happy with the influx of foreign nationals. For example, the South Africa xenophobic attacks of 2009 were attributed to the fact that foreign nationals were taking their jobs. The arguments raised here raises very important issues to the discourse of managing diversity in SA. It can therefore be noted that even though countries in SA are complying with the contextual challenges by offering better opportunities to expatriate employees, the negative effects are often felt by local employees who feel prejudiced in terms of better pay and working conditions. Therefore, whilst politicians are concerned with matters of inclusion and equality but, the ability to make it happen practically through government systems and structures, is often faced with hurdles.
As highlighted earlier on, the movement of people who may be in search of work, escaping from oppression or simply wanting to make life style changes is ongoing (Connell and Burgess, 2009).Thus, efforts have been made to create a regulatory framework at the regional level. One such great stride is the formation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process. The APRM mechanism focuses on four broad Areas; Democracy and Political Governance; Economic governance and Management. As of 2008 only 15 African countries had launched the process of implementing the review and 9 have concluded on the broad areas (IDEA 2008). From this analysis, the role regulatory authorities’ play in providing a platform for managing diversity in the workplace becomes an issue of strategic importance. In SA, the ILO placed emphasis on the creation of greater employment and income opportunities for men and women by addressing inequalities through the development of new policies and through research. In Zimbabwe, the ILO has established a well functioning network with Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and United Nations organizations dealing with gender issues. Further, a project on the promotion of employment equity has been implemented for members of the Associated Mine Workers of Zimbabwe, who are trained in entrepreneurship skills, labor legislation, gender issues and HIV/AIDS awareness (ILO, 2003). Moreover, in Zambia links have been established with the Gender Development Division (GIDD) of the office of the president which ensures that the ILO inputs to the national gender policy are articulated at the national level. Another major initiative to tackle diversity has been undertaken by the African Union (AU). The AU has developed with the ILO a strategic framework for a migration policy for Africa (ILO, 2007). The policy agenda first and foremost recognizes that most migration is related to employment and the world of work. Hence, decent and fair treatment of migrant workers is very important. In spite of these initiatives, full equality between local and migrant workers in Southern Africa has indeed faced a lot of challenges. While globalization may enable access to new markets and new ideas that would enhance the welfare of migrants, men and women, to be beneficial it may require skills and capabilities that women in developing countries in particular those in Southern Africa may not have access to (Baliamoune-Lutz, 2006). This lack of collaborative efforts often hinges negatively on managing diversity research and practice. As such, a lot of initiatives have to be undertaken practically to ensure that migrant workers are assimilated and integrated within the countries they are residing.
2.4 An Integrated conceptual framework for managing diversity.
Based on the previous sections it is quite clear to note that there are complexities and dynamics that are inherent within the managing diversity discourse. Accomplishing positive diversity initiatives requires a situational adaptability that affirms the values of a diverse workforce. Fig 1 shows the integrated conceptual framework for managing diversity. The model identifies that prior to any managing diversity initiative internal and external stakeholders have to be identified. The rationale for addressing imbalances within the workplace will arise from these stakeholders. Firstly, the stakeholders may argue using the business case argument that embracing a diverse workforce has positive benefits for the organization; secondly the legal case legal justifies that proceedings within the organization are free from discrimination as perceived by the stakeholders; thirdly diversity issues have ethical considerations although perspectives may differ among the stakeholders but issues pertaining to morality and fairness will one way or the other arise. Equal opportunities and affirmative action matters will then influence the type of managing diversity initiatives an organization will take for example training initiatives on addressing gender imbalances. The outcomes are notably compliance, increased market share, amongst others as indicated in the frame work. One of the key aspects of this framework is that it acknowledges the fact that managing diversity is a context specific initiative which is affected by internal and external environment factors at all levels for example, economic factors, political factors, organizational culture, ideologies and philosophies.
Fig 1: Integrated conceptual framework for managing diversity. (Nzonzo, 2011) This model has been developed from the literature review.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
The findings of this review have significant practical and research implication for academics, practitioners and policy makers. It is very clear to note that in terms of managing diversity all employees have to assimilate and accommodate different beliefs and values. Given the fact that as individuals we construe meanings based on our values and beliefs the creation of an organizational culture which values diversity may rely on not only a shift in attitudes but an examination of underlying values. In addition, the literature reveals that most countries owe their internal conflicts to intercultural misunderstandings and these have negative spillover effects into the workplace which in turn, have serious implications for research and practice. It is also of paramount importance to go further and consider Gilbert, Stead and Ivancevich (1999) argument that if organizations are going to be committed to valuing diversity then dominant or traditional practices should not be allowed to interfere negatively in the workplace. As such Africans must develop the capacity to turn their ethnic, religious and racial diversity from a source of conflict and misunderstanding to a source of strength, mutual interdependence and synergy (Kiggundu, 1991).
Practitioners and academics should be vigilant of the fact that concentration on managing diversity can be derailed by an over emphasis on cultural differences at the expense of the broader contextual factors such as individual identity and power relations (Dessler, 2008 and Human, 1996). Culture needs to be placed within the broader context of diversity, flexibly applying our stereotypes to people and situations and by managing the communication we have with others and ourselves. Structures should be set up to clearly define the beneficiaries of diversity initiatives and a constant evaluation to ensure that diversity initiatives do not simply benefit an elite group but everyone in the organization (Thomas, 2002). Although organizations can change through the introduction of IT systems, processes, marketing and promotions those involved in management should deal with issues embedded in their local context and this will consequently lead to organizational effectiveness and harmony (Thomas, 2002; Nyambegera, 2002; Foster, 2006; Ongori and Agolla, 2007). An ideal state of affairs is where key issues that inhibit or hinder diversity are identified and effectively implemented using positive strategies. Managing a diverse workforce should be embarked on as a holistic process. It should lead to a wider range of ideas and abilities, offering greater scope for innovation and competitive performance in the future therefore enriching an organizations human capital. As Childs (2005) and Taylor (2010) posits if we are to address the complex issues of the twenty-first century, such as the continuing core issues of race, gender, multiculturalism, diversity of religious practices, and the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, then diversity professionals must be the driving force in ensuring that all diversity initiatives are a success. Thus, managing diversity requires managers to analyze their organizational environment; a conceited effort from the relevant stakeholders and an integrated management philosophy. The relevant stakeholders as identified by the framework in Fig 1 should fully participate in the execution, implementation and evaluation of international and regional policy initiatives.
Poorly articulated and practiced Human Resource Management policies and practices often result in a climate of legitimacy to challenge inequality in most organizations. In addition, where equality and inclusion are unmet, levels of employee enthusiasm is drastically reduced (Pollit, 2005). This applies to areas such as recruitment and selection, compensation, promotion, career development, performance appraisals and training and development. As highlighted in the previous sections these areas are the sources of the complexities that arise from managing diversity in the workplace. Despite a number of research papers on how to manage diversity in the workplace, implementation of diversity initiatives in a number of organizations within Southern Africa still remains a huge challenge (see for instance Human, 1996; Thomas, 2002; Webster and Wood, 2005; Ongori and Agolla, 2007; Shen et.al, 2009; Taylor, 2010; Price, 2010). Practitioners should avoid relying too much on the theoretical aspects of work taught in management and business schools. The key stakeholders in diversity should constantly evaluate HR and organizational practices. In addition, they should develop a keener understanding of the dynamics of diversity management. For instance issues pertaining to stereotyping and perceptual linkages to prejudice reduction and bias should be integrated within the organizational training curriculum (Shen et.al 2009).
Training and development represents a platform to sensitize employees to differences in race, gender, culture, religion, age, sexual orientation and abilities (Kirby and Harter, 2002; Wood and Webster, 2005). Yet, poorly articulated and conducted diversity training related programs may cause rifts between diverse groups instead of uniting them to effectively contribute to the organization goals. Managing diversity is a long term program, one that looks at the roots of the company’s culture and pinpoints the problems that are blocking the creation of an inclusive work environment for a diverse workforce. If the issue of disadvantage is to be addressed in a systematic and consistent way within an organization, then it is advantageous to have an overall policy that guides decision making and action. Increasingly such policies are being created, although the terminology differs from organization to organization: some will call them equal opportunity policies, others diversity policies and still others use both terms. The rationale for the policies can be based on a mix of justice, ethical and business case arguments (Gilbert et.al 1999; Beardwell and Claydon, 2006). These concerns should be effectively addressed in a concerted effort to ensure that employment equity initiatives are implemented in a holistic manner that is of benefit to both employees and management (Thomas, 2002).
4 Limitations of the study and future research
Some of the limitations of this study are that firstly, the study is a preliminary study which needs to be contrasted with empirical findings. Secondly, the study only focuses on countries within Southern Africa. The present work could serve as a useful guide for further research on managing diversity. It would be quite interesting to empirically research on whether managing diversity is a matter of compliance or a perfectionist ploy over a period of time. Time series models or panel specifications may yield important insights into the causes of these differences between Southern Africa and other world regions. Another area worth researching on is the impact of Asian cultures on traditional African values. The driving force behind the previous idea is the fact that due to globalization there has been a number of Asian firms operating within SA especially in countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It might be possible to measure the effects in terms of attitudes or changes in performance, but how can these changes be attributed to diversity initiatives? Winston (2007) argues that organizational efforts in support of diversity goals are often not undertaken on the basis of altruistic motives, regarding issues of fairness, equity or demographic changes, in most cases they have been drawn by economic motives. However, one should not nevertheless undermine the positive benefits of diversity initiatives. Diversity is a multifaceted concept. On the one hand, it constitutes a huge reservoir of knowledge, skills, and abilities. On the other hand, has the potential of breeding ingredients for insecurity. As we have seen from the examples cited from Southern Africa, countries and organizations deal with diversity initiatives in a contextualized manner. Though the principle may be similar but the uptake and application differs from one country to another. African countries attempts to manage diversity hitherto have been faced with challenges. Respect for diversity is not simply about the tolerance of conflicting primary loyalties. It extends to the notion of harnessing differing thoughts, patterns, lifestyles, mannerisms and mindsets. It is contented that in a genuinely representative democracy, recruitment and career development decisions should take into account one`s social origin or personality characteristics as well as qualifications and other job related criteria.
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- Quote paper
- Jennifer Chishamiso Nzonzo (Author), 2011, Dynamics of Managing Diversity in Sourthern Africa, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/180293