With the increased globalization and competition, workforce in all industrialized economies has become more and more heterogeneous. Advances in technology and the advent of a global economy have brought the people closer to each other. In the global and competitive environment, organizations that capitalize on diversity are likely to perform better. Thus, diversity plays a central role in organizational life, owing to increased globalization, greater workforce diversity, and the increasing complexity of jobs. Workforce diversity refers to all the differences that exist within people.
It includes differences in gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief, family responsibilities, educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status. Workforce diversity recognizes respects and values the differences between individuals. It enhances better decision making, higher creativity, innovation, and greater competitive advantage.
With the increased globalization and competition, the workforce in all industrialized economies has become more and more heterogeneous. The modern workforce is far more varied in its composition due to demographic factors, such as immigration and economic factors like globalization.
Workforce diversity includes differences in gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief, family responsibilities, educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status. Workplace diversity refers to all the differences that exist within people with respect to age, gender, sexual orientation, education, cultural background, religion, and work experience. Workforce diversity refers to the division of the workforce into distinction categories that have a perceived commonality within a given cultural or national context, and that impact potentially harmful or beneficial employment outcomes such as job opportunities, treatment in the workplace, and promotion prospects irrespective of job-related skills and qualifications.
Workforce diversity refers to organizations that are becoming more heterogeneous with the mix of people in terms of gender, age, race, and education background.
Significance of Workforce Diversity
Diversity improves the quality of management’s decisions, and provides innovative ideas and superior solutions to organizational problems. Diversity brings a source of competitive advantage, increase the quality of organizational life and ultimately be good for business. Respecting individual differences can increase marketing opportunities and business image and bring down the possibilities of law suits. In current competitive and global situation, valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity. Organizations with a diverse workforce can provide superior services because they can better understand customers’ needs.
Statement of the Problem
Demographics, competition for talent, marketplace demands and the changing environment call for a diverse workforce. When diversity is not managed properly, there will be a potential for higher turnover, difficult in communication and interpersonal conflicts. Workforce diversity creates open conflict and chaos if there is mistrust and lack of respect among groups. The major challenge in implementing diversity in the organization is the confusion between functional diversity and types of non-functional diversity. Diversity does not fare as well under conditions of uncertainty and complexity which may lead to confusion and frustration. There are increasing number of foreign workers taking up jobs in India, especially in software, pharmacy and other sectors. In addition, the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions that take place make Indian worksites more multicultural. Hence, managing interpersonal relationships within a diverse workforce environment presents a number of challenges related to changes in the social, legal and economic landscape, individual expectations and values as well as the inevitable change in organizational culture. In this perspective, the study was undertaken.
Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objectives:
1. To find out the factors responsible for workforce diversity in the select software companies in Bangalore.
2. To study the existence of workforce diversity in the select software companies in Bangalore.
3. To examine the impact of workforce diversity in the select software companies in Bangalore.
4. To offer suitable suggestions for the effective workforce diversity management in the select software companies in Bangalore based on the findings of the study.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is to examine the workforce diversity in the select software companies in Bangalore. The study will be confined to only 5 software companies. Workforce diversity is a vast subject; therefore, the proposed study will focus its main attention only on four key areas namely, factors responsible for workforce diversity, existence of workforce diversity, and impact of workforce diversity, in the select software companies.
This study is confined to the employees of the select software companies in Bengaluru. In this study, the sampling involves two stages. In the first stage, five software companies were selected. For the purpose of the study, the employees were grouped into three categories: systems and software engineers; system developers and programmers; and software architect and project managers. In the second stage, by adopting simple random sampling, 250 employees were selected. This study is empirical in nature based on survey method. The study is mainly based on primary data. Taking into consideration the objectives of the study, a questionnaire was prepared after perusal of available literature. The questionnaire was constructed based on Likert scaling technique. The secondary data will be collected mainly from journals, magazines, government reports, books and unpublished dissertations. Analysis of variance, student t test, co-efficient of variation, multiple regression analysis and percentage analysis were employed.
1. There is an insignificant relationship among the acceptance levels of the respondents belonging to different genders, age groups, educational status groups, monthly salary groups, cadres, and work experience groups towards factors responsible for workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies.
2. There has been a low correlation (0.167) between the overall acceptance score of the respondents towards factors of workforce diversity and the selected personal variables. Further, gender, age, education, monthly salary, cadre, work experience, family pattern and marital status of the respondents have no significant effect on the factors of workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies.
3. 10. Out of 566 respondents, greater part of the respondents indicate that they neither agree nor disagree (30.04%) with the personal factors responsible for workforce diversity, followed closely by agree (27.74%) and disagree (21.02%).
4. 11. The best part of respondents point out that they neither agree nor disagree (28.80%) with the organizational factors responsible for workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies, followed by agree (27.56%) and disagree (25.80%).
5. 12. There is no significant relationship among the acceptance levels of the respondents belonging to different genders, age groups, educational status groups, monthly salary groups, cadres, and work experience groups towards existence of workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies. On the other hand, a noteworthy relationship is found among the acceptance levels of the respondents belonging to different ITeS companies and type of companies towards existence of workforce diversity.
6. 17. In regards to the existence of workforce diversity, greater part of the respondents (30.57%) disagree, followed by agree (26.33%) and neither agree nor disagree (23.32%). It is evident from the mean acceptance score that the respondents have a higher acceptance level (3.52) towards cultural diversity among employees, followed by low self-esteem at work due to ethnicity (3.45).
7. Male respondents, respondents in the age group above 50 years, respondents having Diploma/ITI qualification, respondents belonging to monthly salary upto Rs.20000, non-executives, respondents with work experience 6-10 years, employees of Scope Technologies and employees of Indian companies have higher acceptance level towards problems in management of workforce diversity.
8. Consistency is found in the acceptance level of female respondents, respondents of above 50 years, respondents who have PG and above qualifications, respondents drawing salary Rs.20001-30000, executives, respondents having 6-10 years of work experience, employees of Scope Technologies and employees of foreign companies towards problems in management of workforce diversity. Respondents’ gender, age, education, monthly salary, work experience, family pattern and type of company have no significant effect on their acceptance towards problems in management of workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies. On the other hand, cadre at 1 per cent level and marital status at 5 per cent level has significant effect on respondents’ acceptance towards problems in management of workforce diversity.
9. Respondents ranging from 33.39 per cent to 49.12 per cent suggest that recognition of international character, formation of support group, effective retention strategies, voluntary affirmative action programs, conduct of mentoring programmes, conduct of employee attitude surveys, employee education program, use of communication networks and equal access to women and minorities will make certain effective management of workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies. Commitment of the top management, equal treatment of employees, equal employment opportunity, equal opportunities and leadership commitment are also suggestions of the employees ranging from 51.06% to 58.66% for the effective management of workforce diversity in the select ITeS companies in Chennai.
1. Business organizations should start realizing the need to tackle such demographic categories in order to stay ahead of its competitors. Jayne & Dipboye (2004) pointed out that the increasing attention given to diversity management reflects the inevitable consequence of a global economy and demographic changes.
2. Furthermore, workforce diversity is closely related with Human Resource Management to attract and recruit the most talented people from a large pool of diverse workforce.
3. According to Soltani, diversified human resources contribute to determining and realizing strategic objectives of the organization, and a systemized approach for making a linkage between organization excellence and effective people management is critical to organizational continuity (Berger and Berger 2003).
4. A global economy requires that organizations have a diverse workforce so that they can effectively deal with an increasingly diverse customer base. Thus, a diverse workforce can lead to an increased market share, whereas lack of diversity in the workforce can lead to a shrinking market share.
5. Demographic diversity also unleashes creativity, innovation, and improved group problem solving, which in turn enhances the competitiveness and the level of performance in an organization.
Since variability is part of the natural world, diversity has been an evident and crucial part of life. Both internal and external occurrences should experience diversity. All the qualities and aspects possessed by each individual have its own unique charms and significance that need to be celebrated. Building an inclusive diverse culture is a difficult task that requires long-term commitment. Diversity subjects are not fixed, but they will change over time according to the local and global dynamic conditions. Diversity programs are essential to cope with rapid demographic changes in the global market (Harvey and Allard, 2012). An inclusive diversity implementation must start from top leaders in any company to be effective.
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