Prospects and Challenges of Workplace Diversity in Modern Day Organizations: A Critical Review

Helen Eboh Cletus 1 , Nor Asiah Mahmood 2 , Abubakar Umar 3 , and Ahmed Doko Ibrahim 4
  • 1 Asia Graduate School of Business, Unitar International University, Selangor D.E., Malaysia
  • 2 Asia Graduate School of Business, Unitar International University, Selangor D.E., Malaysia
  • 3 Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management, , Selangor D.E., Malaysia
  • 4 Department of Quantity Surveying, Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Abstract

Workplace diversity (WPD) is a holistic concept that denotes the differences that exist between people working within an organisation. It describes the complex physical, sociological or psychological attributes such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs that define an individual or group. Therefore, WPD transcends the recruitment, representation or preferential treatment of people within an organisation. The complexity of WPD has become one of the most challenging issues currently of critical importance in business and organisational management. Therefore, the paper presents the critical issues currently impacting on WPD in modern day organisations. It identified and highlighted the various prospects and challenges of WPD. The results revealed that diversity in the workplace enhances the critical thinking, problem-solving, and employee professional skills. Furthermore, it enables organisations to attract talent, improve corporate attractiveness, productivity. However, it is currently hampered by the hostility, disrespect and discrimination people with diverse background encounter in the workplace. Such behavioural attitudes as ascribed to prejudices and biases towards people with varied lifestyle choices, ethnic and cultural differences, disabilities, and generational gaps. These factors can stifle morale, teamwork, profitability and the attractiveness of the organisation. Consequently, modern day organisations need to address the causes of these issues to exploit the benefits of WPD. These can be addressed strategies that foster an empowerment culture, build communication and team spirit with organisations. These efforts will promote acceptance, productivity, and profits in future organisations.

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