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L. Jeff Seaton, PhD. Murray State University


Diversity and Business

The important similarities and differences among people.
Primary Dimensions:
Factors that are either inborn or exert extraordinary influence on early socialization

Secondary Dimensions:

Factors that matter to us as individuals and that to some extent define us to others

2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning


Dimensions of Diversity
Primary Dimensions
Age, race, ethnicity, gender, physical/mental abilities

Secondary Dimensions
Educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, military experiences, parental status, religious beliefs, work experiences

Sexual Orientation ?

2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning


Cross-Cultural Differences and Similarities

A set of shared values that help people in a group, organization, or society understand which actions are considered acceptable and which are deemed unacceptable

Types of Culture
National Regional Family Organizational Group
2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning 25

Cultural Differences
National Culture - The set of norms, behaviors, beliefs, and customs that exist within the population of a sovereign nation. Organizational Culture A system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. Microculture (Sub-Culture) - Cultures within a culture. (Generations, Values, Religions, Hobbies, Preferences)

Specific Cultural Issues

Geert Hofstedes Research
Attitudes and behaviors differ significantly because of values and beliefs that characterize different countries culture

Hofstedes Categories
Individualism vs Collectivism Power distance Uncertainty avoidance Masculinity vs. Femininity Long-versus short-term values
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Hofstedes Primary Dimensions

Individualism The extent that people in a culture define themselves primarily as individuals rather than as part of one or more groups or organizations The tight social frameworks in which people tend to base their identities on the group or organization to which they belong The extent to which people accept as normal an unequal distribution of power The extent to which people feel threatened by unknown situations and prefer to be in clear and unambiguous situations

Collectivism Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance


The extent to which the dominant values in a society emphasize aggressiveness and the acquisition of money and other possessions as opposed to concern for people, and overall quality of life
A focus on the future, working on projects that have a distant payoff, persistence, and thrift versus an orientation toward the past and the present including respect for traditions and social 28 obligations

Long-Term versus Short-Term Values


Work-Related Differences in Ten Countries

References: Adapted from Geert Hofstede and Michael Harris Bond, The Confucius Connection: From Cultural Roots to Economic Growth, Organizational Dynamics, Spring 1988, pp.5-21; Geert Hofstede, Motivation, Leadership, and Organization: Do American Theories Apply Abroad? Organizational Dynamics, Summer 1980, pp. 42-63. 2012 South-Western, a part of

Cengage Learning


Diversity Terms
The process through which members of a minority group are forced to learn the ways of the majority group


2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning 210

Encompasses all forms of differences among individuals: Cultural (Ethnic Diversity) Gender Age Disability Religion Personality Social Status Sexual Orientation

Gender Diversity: Women = 46% of the workforce Women = 49% of doctorate degrees 60% of masters degrees 58% of undergraduate degrees Glass Ceiling A transparent barrier that keeps women from rising above a certain level in organizations.


Americans with Disabilities Act: Qualified individuals with disabilities must be given equal treatment in all employment decisions; Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to permit workers with disabilities to perform jobs that they could not otherwise perform.

Managing Diversity
Attitudes Prejudices Bias Perspectives
Behaviors Discrimination Anti-Diversity Actions

Universalism Emphasizes universal principles of ethics that everyone should live by in all situations. Relativism Emphasizes that there are no universal principles of ethics and people should not impose their own standards on others.

Consequential Theories Emphasizes the consequences or results of behavior.

Utilitarianism states that the proper course of action is the one that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Rule Based Theories Emphasizes the character of the act itself rather than its effects. Character Theories Emphasizes the character, personal virtues and intent of the individual.


Organizational Justice Distributive Justice fairness of outcomes Procedural Justice fairness of procedures or processes that lead to the outcomes.

Ethics and Corporate Governance

Ethics (Subjective)
A persons beliefs about what constitutes right and wrong behavior

Ethical Standards or Code (Objective)

Are adopted by organizations to assist members in understanding the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and in applying that understanding to their decisions.

2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning