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Cultural Diversity Essay

3271 words - 14 pages

Palich, L.E. and Gomez-Mejia, L.R. (1999) admit that their claims... "regarding the deleterious effects of cultural diversity for global firms clearly diverge from the "value-in-diversity" perspective that dominates contemporary theory."Through a detailed review of the relevant literature, examine the arguments supporting the view that cultural diversity can have a positive impact on global firms.Throughout the following pages I will explain the reasons why there is support for cultural diversity within the workplace even though it has been exploited as having a detrimental affect upon domestic and international companies. Having examined the literature there are a number of key topics which ...view middle of the document...

According to a study held by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Fortune magazine called Impact of Diversity Initiatives on the Bottom Line, which was based on the responses of human resource professionals at 121 Fortune 1,000 companies,diversity initiatives bolster the bottom line in a number of ways. Respondents indicate that diversity improves:1.Corporate culture.2.Recruitment of new employees.3.Client relations.In addition, diversity results in:1.Higher retention of employees.2.Decreased complaints and litigation.3.The organization's improved ability to move into emerging markets.Effectively managing the challenges and implications of a diverse workplace has been on the radar screen of many major corporations for at least the last eight years. Programs and policies have been implemented, personnel appointed and resources allocated.But as the economy slows and company leaders review costs with a high-powered magnifying glass, it is the ideal time to analyse which company expenditures provide value added, and which do not. Prioritising budgetary items is a tricky business and only the most adept can manipulate their way successfully through an economic downturn.Can diversity initiatives provide the necessary value added at your company? The benefits listed below can help determine their importance for a particular business. However we must keep in mind that only those companies who can proactively manage their diversity will be able realize the benefits described. Taking advantage of a diverse workforce is a learned skill, not unlike practicing the principles of time management or process improvement. Without understanding and applying the necessary skills, studies show that organizations do not see bottom-line change.Benefit 1: Marketing.Marketing is a major factor when building international business. How the marketing effort interacts with a culture determines the success or failure of a product. Advertising and promotion require special attention because they play a key role in communicating product concepts and benefits to the target segment and also people in different cultures often have different ideas about the same object and what is acceptable in one culture may not necessarily be so in another. So an understanding of the culture is central to successful marketing. Therefore a diverse workforce is a great benefit to the company as to develop a successful marketing strategy the marketing manager must have knowledge of the needs and wants of potential buyers. For example Campbell soup lost $30 million in Europe before it accepted the idea that UK & US soup consumers were different in 3 ways---UK consumers have difference taste preference, UK consumers had not been educated to the condensed soup product and they also did not respond in the same way to US advertisement. So we need to understand the beliefs, values, customs and rituals of the country in which the product is being marketed in order to adapt the product...

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