Diversity is when people come together from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, including different genders and sexual orientations. Companies across industries are adopting diversity in their workforce as they see great opportunities with financial gains in their organisational operations. The benefits could out-weight the challenges which companies endeavour to achieve. Figure 1. Illustrates the benefits that these companies with workplace diversity attains (Alexis 2020).
Psychologist Dr Geert Hofstede identified 6 cultural dimensions to the cultural tendencies in various societies. Figure 2 illustrates a comparison between 4 countries namely Singapore, Germany, China, and Japan (Hofstede-Insight 2021).
The power distance in China is very high which is reflective of their culture being more susceptive to power. This inherent in their culture where ‘the boss is always right’. Contrarily, German society have a low power distancing and will challenge the status quo. As Singapore is a very communal and sharing society it is lower than as of Germany where it is high on its individualism. In Japan, the male dominant roles are reflective of the Masculinity index to be high as compared to Singapore, where gender equality is emphasized culturally.
Singapore society are risk takers thus the uncertainty avoidance is lowest as compared to the others. Almost all the countries compared have long term plans and orientation such as savings for a ‘rainy day’. Not surprisingly, Singaporeans will tend to indulge in the pleasures of life such as travels, fine dining, and recreations.
Cultural Iceberg Model
In 1976, Edward Hall, a cross-cultural researcher developed the concept of cultural and social cohesion (Edward 1989). Companies operating in the countries that they operate in attempts to understands the society. Leaders are compelled to understand that there is a larger understanding of the society that is hidden beneath the surface as illustrated in figure 3.
The McKinsey 7S model as illustrated in figure 3, examines the results of future transformations within organisations. For instance, THX Ltd expanding and opening a new office in Beijing in 2014 (Associated Press 2014).
The strategy, systems, skills, and style are aligned with the headquarters which is in San Francisco. Shared values, staff and organizational structure may misalign, but this is where the leadership facilitates the transition in new geographic regions. Motivation and reward systems also must be adapted to cultural differences (Ovidijus 2013).
Leading Diverse Workforce
Reed Hastings of Netflix accredited its success to the diverse and inclusive organisational culture. The organisational culture embraces varying communication style to fit different societies, employees are fairly treated irrespective of gender, ethnicities, or language. Teamwork and cooperation are upheld with honesty at the highest level of the organisation. Netflix’s inclusive strategy catalyses innovation whilst driving accountability and reassures employees to express prejudices. Feedback and opinions are championed, criticism and alternative solutions to be given anytime and anywhere. Effective communications are essential at the Netflix leadership team. Much consideration is given in mutual perceptions, diversity, and respect (CBS 2020).
At Apple, diversity takes centre stage as the leadership campaigns it. Tim Cook strongly believes that diversity can lead to the production of best outcomes. A scarcity of gender diversity in the industry is because women aren’t given enough opportunity in the sector, but leaders have not done enough to motivate them (John 2015).
In the Audio encoding/compression and noise reduction Industry, the main players such as Dolby, THX, DTS, Apple and Barco have global presence. Although the major players are limited. Its outreach is vast, instilling diversity and inclusiveness into its corporate culture giving a competitive advantage. People with diverse backgrounds and cultures provides a balance of voices and minds to the business whilst increasing in innovative and creative ideas.
In an inclusive environment and without restrains employees share their ideas with others freely. Thus, creating a singular ‘voice’ for the company. This also opens to a whole range of skills available to the company. Thus, enhancing the company’s capabilities, capacity and problem-solving. A happy employee will induce a healthy working environment thus they will want to excel in their jobs whilst thriving the business. With the positive work environment and motivation from the leadership, the employees will achieve increased productivity.
Alexis, R. (2020) How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace. [Online]
Available at: < https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/manage-diversity-workplace–cms-34496 > [Accessed 15 April 2021].
CBS (2020) Netflix and the management style behind its success. [Online]
Available at: < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7wtNb5iRvg > [Accessed 13 April 2021].
Edward , H. (1989) Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Books.
Hofstede-Insight (2021) Compare Countries. [Online]
Available at: < https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/ >
[Accessed 15 April 2021].
John, K. (2015) Apple’s CEO Tim Cook: Diversity is ‘the future of our company’. [Online]
Available at: < https://fortune.com/2015/06/08/apple-ceo-diversity/ >
[Accessed 13 April 2021]. Ovidijus , J. (2013) McKinsey 7s Model. [Online]
Available at: < https://strategicmanagementinsight.com/tools/mckinsey-7s-model-framework.html > [Accessed 13 April 2021].