While diversity is often a term used to refer specifically to cultural differences, diversity applies to all the qualities that make people different. From a management perspective, the key to diversity is to understand how different types of diversity and different demographic characteristics can impact human behavior. The four types of diversity that will be examined are: occupation, differences in skills and abilities, personality traits, and value and attitudes. For each type of diversity, the impact on individual behavior will be described.
One type of diversity is occupation. For example, an individual in a professional occupation is more likely to make his or her own decisions and is also more likely to reject being managed too strongly. The case of a medical doctor is one example. A medical doctor considers themselves an expert on their area and is also likely to consider that nobody else has the same expertise. Based on this, the individual is likely to make his or her own decisions and to act independently. The same also applies to other professional occupations such as lawyers and scientists. This can be contrasted with positions that are generally considered as requiring less expertise. For example, a salesperson or a secretary would be more likely to accept that their role is a support function, with this meaning that they are less likely to act independently and more likely to take direction. Another important aspect of occupation is that a person's behaviors will change based on the role of that occupation. In short, most people will adapt their behavior to match it with what they consider expected behavior for that role. For example, an individual in a supervisory role ...
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...ive for the organization and negative for themselves. This shows how values and attitudes influence individual behavior.
From this paper one can see that diversity is much more than just cultural differences. Occupation, differences in skills and abilities, personality traits, and values and attitudes are just a few of the types of diversity that impact individual behavior.
Diversity is everything that makes up a person from birth. All life experiences play a part in the make up of diversity.
Daft, R.L. (1997). Management. Fort Worth, TX: The Dryden Press.
Kandola, R., & Fullerton, J. (2000). "Diversity: More than just an empty slogan."
The Effective Manager: Perspective and Illustrations. Ed. Jon Billsberry. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications: 287-294.
Seamon, J.G., & Kenrick, D.T. (1994). Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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