While diversity has enjoyed considerable popularity in the business world over the last two decades, researchers continue to put conflicting results with regard to the business benefits of diversity in the workplace. Some say diversity in the workplace is good for business, others argue it is a company full of challenges, and still others claim that it does not really matter. In this sense, we have tried to synthesize the research that evaluates the effects of workplace diversity on the organization … Read more »

While diversity has enjoyed considerable popularity in the business world over the last two decades, researchers continue to put conflicting results with regard to the business benefits of diversity in the workplace. Some say diversity in the workplace is good for business, others argue it is a company full of challenges, and still others claim that it does not really matter. With this in mind, we have tried to synthesize the research that evaluates the effects of workplace diversity on the organizational bottom line. We find an over-emphasis on demonstrating the business case for diversity in economic denominations that connected to a certain degree, has limited our understanding of the complex dynamics of diversity. We identify a lack of attention to institutional forces as one of the reasons that our focus has been limited to mere economic gains. Overall, we recommend expanding our definition of objectives that companies have in adopting diversity initiatives by including “strengthening the legitimacy” and “creation of goodwill” as part of the main consequences of diversity programs.
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M. Ronald Buckley,
Maria Riaz Hamdani
Source: Business Horizons
8 pages.
Release Date: 15, January 2011. Prod #: BH416-PDF-ENG
Diversity goals: Reframing the debate and enabling a fair evaluation HBR case solution

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