Leadership Challenges in Diversity

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Leadership Challenges in Diversity

The article, “Challenges of Leading a Diverse Workforce,” by Janice R.W. Joplin and Catherine Daus, discusses research that suggests six challenging factors when promoting diversity in an organization, along with proposed solutions to those challenges. The six challenges include, the Change of Power Dynamics, Diversity of Opinions, Perceived Lack of Empathy, Tokenism, real and perceived, Participation, and Inertia (Joplin, Daus 1997). The challenges and solutions are discussed in relation to a continuum that consists of stages of intolerance, tolerance, and appreciation for diversity in the workplace. Each challenge is met with a solution involving required skills and attributes of a leader. The conclusion is drawn that due to different placement on the continuum, diversity initiatives are unique to each institution. The common emphasis resided in the solutions, which were based in developing new leadership skills to combat the rising challenges of new diversity, opposed to a uniformed leadership training.

I chose this article to help gain insight into leadership situations I have encountered in the past, and acquire new insight and solutions for the future. The first challenge that I identified with was the, Change of Power Dynamics. I worked in retail for eight years with the same company, moving from a part-time associate to management, then to Store Manager. Throughout my experience I was able to learn from numerous store dynamics and diverse teams. A promotion to Store Manager meant a new location and new team. Although it was for the same corporation, I was aware that each team held many differences in communication flow, processes, and priorities due to diversity in the ...

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...p roles and learn new ways to deal with various challenges in my behavior working with others. I would not say that it was a particularly difficult process, nor was it easy. In the end it took a lot of time and contemplating to understand the correct word combinations to display the desired result. The process helped me become more familiar with the online Library as I have not previously had to use the system. I learned to search broad topics to trigger more ideas for a subject, then once the desired subject is realized, to narrow the search. In the end I know I have a long way to go with utilizing the system to its fullest, but know I have many resources to help me along the way.


Joplin, J.W., & Daus, C.S.. (1997). Challenges of leading a diverse workforce. Academy of Management Executive, 11(3), 32-47. Retrieved fro EBSCOhost
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