Leadership and Diversity Management
The globalization in today's business environment has led to top management of corporate companies to be made up of diverse multi-ethnic and multicultural leadership teams. This is a representation of changing leadership style where the companies seek expertise and performance and do not mind the origin of the individuals. This has led current firms to consist of leadership teams that are from diverse regions such as United States, Pakistan, Africa or any other region in the world. This paper shall explain the relationship between organizational leadership and diversity management. Furthermore, we shall discuss how diversity is the source of organizational strength as well as examining how the organizational diversity can become a sustainable competitive advantage.
Relationship between Organizational Leadership and Diversity Management
According to Cox, in his revised model for work on diversity, the change to a multicultural will involve activities categorized in five components. There are leadership policies and procedures that must be changed so as to achieve multicultural arrangement within an organization. In addition to the component of leadership, there are research and measurement, education, alignment of management systems and follow up components that are related to organizational diversity. Thus the leadership of an organization must accept diversity and establish procedures that support its implementation. The Cox's model incorporates those activities that the management must do so as to enhance organizational diversity (Cox, 2001). This makes the leadership to be closely related to successful diversity management as well as achievement of organizational goals through diversity.
The Cox model identifies areas that must be changed in leadership so as to support multicultural diversity. The first area is the management philosophy that should recognize cultural diversity of entire organization's employees and ensure equal treatment. Moreover, the vision and organizational design should be covering the element of diversity. In addition, the leadership should ensure that there is personal involvement in ensuring that diversity is encouraged and people from diverse cultures offered equal opportunities. Furthermore, the management should communicate the diversity strategies and integrate within the organization (Cox, 2001). Therefore the leadership structure and policies will directly determine the diversity achievement in an organization.
Organizational Diversity as a Source of organizational Strength
When an organization is diversified, it is in a position to attract and retain expert employees from all over the globe. A multi-cultured organization usually attracts and retains the best talents in the market due to the training and teamwork earned through effective leadership policies. When an organization is not limited by culture boundaries, it becomes possible for it to find, recruit as well as retain the best employees regardless of their diverse backgrounds. With diversity within an organization, the personality traits of employees are geared towards tolerance and understanding each other which enable them to work effectively as a team thus giving strength to the organization (Cox, 2001).
The management of all the competencies of diverse employees creates a strong team of leadership which is capable of meeting all the demands of an organization. With the experience gained from recruitment to assessing their performance against models as well as rewarding appropriately creates strong management teams for an organization. The ability of any organization to have a strong team of leaders allows it to make relevant organizational decisions within short periods and meets understanding through all cultures making an organization to be very strong in its industry.
Organizational Diversity as a Source of Competitive Advantage
A workforce of diverse culture brings strengths and weaknesses from various people which indeed cause the organization to have a blend of experience that will enable it to have a competitive advantage. The development, training, and implementation of models for diversity as given by Cox is the initial step in ensuring that an organization becomes a high performing organization enriched with diversity. This means that diversity will enable the company to be viewed externally as belonging to all cultures thus attracting as well as retaining customers from diverse cultures (Cox, 2001). This will boost the competitiveness of an organization, especially in the global competitive environment.
It is evident that diversity can only be achieved through the management effort in policy and procedure implementation. Therefore leadership and diversity management are closely related and interdependent. The leadership depends on diversity to obtain and retain best-talented employees. On the other hand, successful diversity management will depend on the leadership commitment to implement diversity policies. The overall benefit of proper leadership and diversity management is a strong organization with a competitive advantage.