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Managing Diversity: Managing Employees in Modern Organizations

Business success is achieved through a working implementation of a multi-dimensional stratagem that will harness the efficiencies of the entirety of an organization’s facets. Organizational fronts have to work together in synergy towards the accomplishment of shared and declared goals. Many organizations that have downplayed the importance of prioritizing diversity management and employees satisfaction have suffered dire consequences culminating in business failure. Various business management and leadership bodies of knowledge have various theoretical contributions that can and must be considered for application to champion business success through enhancing and sustaining the effectiveness and efficiencies of the human resources also achieved through the important aspect of diversity management particularly in growing business entities. The paper presents a research proposal for and deeper thrust into various theoretical tenets germane for ensuring business success through feasible human resource management models. Contemporary business organizations face mammoth tasks in curtailing diversity paradigm challenges posed by factors such as globalization, the implications of Information Technology advancement and limitations of mainstream leadership approach in handling the critical aspect of diversity. The challenges prompt various forms of reactions on the part of Human Resource Management. The paper also entails a business success case study outlining the merits of diversity management. The presentation will also feature a case study with illuminate cases of contemporary diversity management dynamics and solutions there.

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Organizational and HRM theory and studies focus on the systematic explorations of; and analysis of how people as individuals and as groups function within organizational operational frameworks. Robbins, Stephen P. adds that “In this view Human resource management is thus viewed as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s dynamic, versatile yet precious assets, the personnel who function within organizations both as groups and as individuals towards the accomplishments of organizational objectives.” From another perspective the theme of organizational culture which is crucial to employee satisfaction and production is defined as the aspect that entails the attitudes, values, beliefs as well as experiences of an organization.

Organizational culture is largely viewed as the particulate assortment of the values and customs commonly shared by the people within an organization, from personnel up to the top structures of management. Handy, C.B. notes, “These are perceived to the very influential in determining manners in which the people within the organization will interact with one another as well as with external stakeholders of the organization”.

The foregoing presents a feasible context within which personnel can be manipulated to have they’re enhanced for the effective functioning of the entirety of the organization towards the accomplishment of shared goals and vision. In this outlined theoretical and conceptual framework, this paper presents an extensive exploration of how the motivation of workers and the entirety of an employee satisfaction stratagem can enhance the productivity of an organization and enhance the accomplishment of its shared goals.

The foregoing is insight that has been gathered from preliminary studies and researches which have thus spurred the intention to take a deeper thrust at exploring the subject of diversity management for business entities. On the paradigms of leadership and satisfaction organizational culture and HRM motivation and theoretical concepts and tenets can not be explored in isolation of other organizational aspects. Bass, B. M. (1985) posits that in transformational leadership thrusts individuals will follow someone inspirational to them. This is noted as a vital aspect of modern leadership perceived to suffice in handling diversity management matters in contemporary organizational landscapes. The cited scholar notes that, “A team leader with vision and passion has a lot to achieve since the feasible way of getting things efficiently done is to infuse enthusiasm and energy to team members and the team will function effectively and a unit in cases where diversity factors pose a negative organizational culture”. Legge, Karen (2004) presents that transformational leadership which is largely inclined to the process and demands of organizational diversity management and regulation, makes the teamwork experience a great and uplifting experience. He notes, “Transformational leaders will ensure that team members function with their full support and that everyone operates with passion and energy in all tasks. Transformational leaders want their followers to succeed in what they are undertaking regardless of cultural pluralism within an organization”.

Various mainstream endeavors in the domains of employee diversity management and production have shown that aspects like teamwork can boost the morale of workers and thus impact positively on the company’s productivity. This runs with the understanding that teamwork has tremendous effectiveness in getting things done in organizations where diversity is a key phenomenon. This view is commensurate with McGregor’s X-Y Theory which is useful in illustrating the reasons why empowered teams achieve great results in their group undertakings even despite cultural pluralism.

In outlining nuances from McGregor’s theory Burns, J. M. (1978) states that empowering team members is about attitude and behavior towards the personnel than the essence of manipulating tools and processes. He adds that “Ways of enhancing the merits of teamwork border on fostering the aspects such as respect, enthusiasm and courage for personnel opposed to exploiting and driving people”. The diagram below illustrates tenets of McGregor’s X-Y theory in a way of demonstrating its applicability to the dynamics and merits of the explored teamwork experience.

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 Tenets of McGregor’s X-Y theory
Figure 1. Tenets of McGregor’s X-Y theory

McGregor’s model suggests that Theory X which represents that authoritarian and repressive personnel management models results in crippling control of an organisation’s personnel which results in a lack of development and thus produces a limited and depressed culture. On the contrary the model’s “Y” dimension holds that liberating and pro-developmental personnel management models are the feasible paradigms for diverse people management. One of the most important notions underscored by the theorist in the recognition of the diversity aspects as a complex factor. The theorist thrusts recognises diversity as a multifaceted variable which constitutes various forms of diversity such as culture, emotional disposition, career inclination, etc. These are the some of the key variables that compound the aspect of diversity management in contemporary organisational milieu.

The theory suggests in its core that much accomplishment is obtained through enabling, empowering and sharing of responsibilities across an organisation’s diverse personnel “This is true of team activities designed to afford personnel to share responsibilities in various steam building task and activities. This enables employees to feel enthusiastic about their work, enables workers to transcend their variances in various dimensions and translates to a significant boost on a business’ productivity” (Johnson, G. 1988).

Employees must be engaged in activities that will assist in developing their communicative and intercultural skills. This has been perceived to diminish the proportion of negative factors that can be classified in the McGregor’s theory as de-motivators. One of way of developing personnel in this dimension with the object of boosting and protecting their workplace morale entails the running of tram building exercise. These must be packed with various activities that will enhance personnel skills. One of the crucial components of the team building expeditions is the conducting of mind tasks. This is perceived to have significant bearing input on diversity management as it empowers personnel with social integration skills requisite for the weathering of potential antics of diversity in organisational settings.

The objectives no the mind task dimension are in tandem with the theoretical tenets of Frederick Hertzberg motivational theory. Hertzberg’s theory holds that key motivational channels in team work and individual performance in organisations is tied to the inclination of personal development or advancement that exists in individuals. Hertzberg’s work has largely been related to other insights coming from the psychology research work around domains of motivation. The motivational theory hinges on the proved inclination of personnel to various forms and degrees of desired Psychological development and diversity management.

The Case of UPS-Diversity Management and HRM choices

To effectively zero in o the nitty gritties of the issue under probe the paper will feature a case study of one identified company (proposed to be UPS) which has illuminate dynamics of diversity management for contemporary organisation landscapes.

UPS is a US based global leader in the parcel service industry and has business network coverage spanning over 200 companies. In 1990s UPS had grown way beyond people’s expectations. They were undoubtedly the best in the industry. UPS however aimed at making it to higher levels. They let the core business remain the distribution of goods whilst looking to branch out to different fields. They started acquiring already existing companies and tried to utilize these companies to serve their customers in better ways. By 1995, UPS had acquired a company called Sonic Air, and then was the first company to introduce ‘same day next flight out’ delivery.

The company’s HRM department’s has had to surmount dilemmas on its HRM policy. Challenges have been posed by factors such as globalisation, Information technology and change and Leadership modeling. HRM of the feature organisation has faced dilemmas on the aspects of IT change modeling and the implications for change stratagem in culturally diverse business networks. The company has also faced predicaments in managing diverse personnel across its expanse global networks. The following outlines the means that have enabled UPS to weather the outlined factors among other things.

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UPS Diversity Management and Production

The company’s remarkable record makes great case for the exploration of diversity management and business success. UPS has clearly adopted a multi-dimensional strategy towards the achievement of goals on the aspects of effectiveness and efficiency by focusing on employee divisors management as well as customer costumer satisfaction. An interview with one of the company branch manager Lisa Bradshaw has highlighted some ways adopted by the company’s HRM organs to retain staff and minimise the impact of staff turnover.

“Our employees feel appreciated because of the way we treat them and thus they feel motivated and loyal to the company. We offer a range of employee benefits including medical insurance (healthcare, dental etc) which also helps to reduce staff sickness, and other schemes such as flexible works, university scholarships and of course our employee shares plan that allows them to buy shares at a reduced priced which in turn gives them an interested in the company and how it performs’ (Lisa Bradshaw)

In addition to the foregoing the company has made use of meaningful ways of emboldening workers’ sense of belonging.

Dessler (1999) notes, “The expansive melting pot of cultures has lead to many accolades in the package service. They share a sense our ownership because they are offered stock options. United Parcel Service has recently been awarded one of Fortune magazine Diversity Elite 50 Best Companies for African American, Asians, and Hispanics. In addition, Fortune also recognized United Parcel Service as the World Most Admired Global Mail, Package, and Freight Delivery Company. These accomplishments have led to better customer satisfaction, employee fulfillment, and overall success.” Is notable that much to the reinforcement of company’s sustainability and competitiveness long term strategy, the HRM organ at UPS adopted various staff development programmes aimed at equipping workers for the evolving parcel service work landscape highly influenced by the surge of technological development.

UPS Leadership and Employee management

UPS has evidently thrust significant strides to convert itself from an operations-oriented business into a market driven industry. Contemporary research findings implied that there is need to achieve better external customer satisfaction leveraging on the merits of employee satisfaction. Senior UPS officer, “Corporate Strategy is Industry leadership and growth are contingent upon anticipating customer needs and market dynamics long before they occur; and then aligning our organization accordingly by motivating our persons in various ways to enhance delivery”. This has been the launch pad for the company’s embracement of transformational leadership styles which are comparatively pro-change employee-needs-orientated than the likes of structural and transactional leadership models.

Transformational leadership has a powerful influence on job satisfaction both directly and indirectly through its influence on a person’s intrinsic task motivation (empowerment). Transformational leadership tenets that emphasise the essence of flexibility are deemed feasible for the prospects of adopting and implementing customer oriented organisational culture as well as masterminding complimentary staff development programmes. Unlike transactional leadership, which has no effect on empowerment; transformational leadership model was adopted by UPS for the implementation of a paradigmatic shift process that enable the company to reorient its thrust towards employees and of course customer satisfactions above operation. The shift enabled UPS diverse personnel to move off traditional and typically product-pushing approaches to employee diversity orientated and customer satisfaction inclined approaches.

UPS service delivery optimisation has been done in cognisance of attested relationship between service quality and employee diversity management and satisfaction hence retention as well as the links between personnel communication and behavioral skills as well as customer satisfaction.

Sustainability requires business management and leadership to be clairvoyant in a way of anticipating future hurdles and formulating feasible pre-emptive ways of surmounting them. As competition started stiffening in parcel delivery industry, UPS strived to ensure employees would have the skills, knowledge, and the experience needed to function well in increasingly complex work environments. This attests to the pro-change and predictive merits of the transformational leadership style embraced by UPS. IT can be noted that UPS leadership style together with other factors and variables has championed the fruition of the company’s growth and sustainability strategies, a further testimony of the merits of the job satisfaction on part of the employees in direct relationship to their productivity.

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Reflection on the Writing Experience

While researching and presenting the research paper briefing on the aspect of diversity management particularly for growing and expanse business organisations I noted various areas of keen interests around the subject of diversity management in contemporary business landscapes. One of the salient aspects I took note of is the magnitude of HRM dilemmas posed by the phenomenon of globalisation for multinational business organisation. Challenges here are in form of the fact that diversity management differ from one culture context to another. As such, one solution would suffice in another and fail in other settings. What can be underscored from this is that multi-cultural organisations need to formulate dynamics diversity management models that will be customisable for individual settings dynamics and specifics.

The research conducted shows that organisational institutions must consider Andragogical approaches in running staff development courses as the foster social integration and the development as well as the enhancement of social skills. This has proved to be a working approach and consideration for multi-national establishments like the case company UPS which has replaced traditional pedagogical personal development thrusts with andragogical approaches feasible for contemporary diversity management challenges.

The success of this study is attributable to the both primary and secondary research methods that are being devised and administered to obtain authentic data from identified sources. The data processing and analysis were conducted for the data collected on particulate scenarios and companies with relevant nuances on the core aspects of the subject of diversity management. The ultimate objective of the study was to establish feasible and contemporary approaches germane for the championing of ultimate business success through diversity management.


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