Decision Making and Diversity

Topics: Decision making, Organization, Management Pages: 6 (1996 words) Published: November 9, 2013
With reference to the article (Waleed Aly) select an aspect of diversity (gender, religion, culture, etc.) and explore it in detail to explain the ways in which organisations utilise a diverse workforce in order to create a competitive advantage. Today, all businesses must function as part of a global economy. Nearly all businesses will have forms of relationships with many different demographics. The most successful businesses around today are able to market their goods and services to many different of these demographics. They have developed a business model that allows them to function in the global economy; to deal with the uncertain environment better than their competitors. Their products are able to move seamlessly from one demographic to another. As the textbook demonstrates (reference), Google is an example of one of these successful global entities, an example that will be used throughout this essay. Their workplace aspires to reflect their markets. They have successfully utilised diversity to develop a competitive advantage in their field. This has helped make them the leading search engine provider in the world in a highly competitive industry. National diversity has allowed them to deal with the complexities of their environment for a number of reasons. Primarily, it has been shown that national diversity can increase the function of a team as it increases creativity and prevent some of the negative aspects of team work such as groupthink. Moreover, national diversity that reflects the market has also shown to help with the decision making process of top level management. Waleed Aly’s article (reference) discusses how our societal structure prevents this from happening though. He talks of the “polite racism” (reference) that engulfs our society. His evidence suggests that there is a perception that diversity is too difficult to implement. Empirical studies have shown that even small steps to encourage diversity have strong positive implications. However, when it comes to implementing diversity, it is not as simple as setting a quota for the number of different demographics employed. An evidence based approach must be taken to successfully implement it. Ultimately, diversity should be seen as a specific tool to get ahead in the competitive global market; a tool that encourages team performance, creativity and helps op level management understand their demographics.

Differences in nationality can be used to increase creativity and team performance in small teams. It allows these teams to increase productivity and lead to a competitive advantage in an organisation. A study of small teams in the video games industry undertaken by Tobias Scholz led to the conclusion that cultural diversity in small teams has a positive influence on performance. He determined a positive correlation between the levels of diversity and the outputs from the team. Scholz determined that differences in cultural characteristics such as individualism or uncertainty avoidance led to overall better performance by teams. He suggests by selecting teams “most fitting” (reference) to the task will increase performance. Google’s constant ability to come up with new ideas that help make it a more efficient search engine are a result of this attitude. By looking across cultural dimensions, Google is able to look at a standard problem with different cultural assumptions and thus different angles. Moreover, in having no single dominant culture in a team, the study found that it prevented the development of groupthink. Groupthink is the process of making decisions as a group without individual creativity and influence. Even at a more basic level, practicing anti-discrimination simply allows the talent pool that an organisation draws from to increase. As acknowledged in Beth Brooke’s article; organisation’s must accept “the idea that talented people come from all backgrounds, genders, ages and experiences.” Google...
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