Guide Cultural Diversity is a source of international competitive advantage.

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All Rights Reserved. What is the competitive advantage of having a diverse workforce? One of the things you have to understand is the history behind a lot of these diversity efforts. For many organizations, diversity efforts are rooted in equal employment opportunities and affirmative action programs. That was the precursor to the diversity and inclusion programs we see today.

However, EEOC and affirmative action programs and diversity and inclusion programs are related but not necessarily the same thing. Organizations that have recognized this difference have made better strides with helping people understand what diversity is and the role it should play in the larger organizational context. Diversity and inclusion efforts are really about what kind of experience people have when they get there. You have conducted research on diversity, leadership and management issues.

What Are the Advantages of a Diverse Workforce?

What are some new findings that students and working professionals should keep in mind? As organizations improve the way they hire people for cultural-add, the logical conclusion is that those people will remain with the company. Company loyalty is still very important in retention efforts.

And while it may seem obvious that using your authentic culture as a recruiting tool leads to increased retention among those recruited employees, these efforts can improve retention in other ways, too. For example, when company culture is clearly defined for employees, they develop a greater sense of purpose because they know where their work fits into the bigger picture of the organization. And when employees have a purpose, they are more productive and happy. When your culture becomes a pillar of your business, it can guide you to make other sound decisions that lead to improved retention.

However, be careful not to confuse the order of benefits and culture. Company culture should drive your benefits strategy, and every perk should be founded on your previously-defined culture.

Why cultural diversity matters - Michael Gavin - TEDxCSU

Not only does the benefit accomplish its design of improving the quality of life for Bamboo employees, but it helps to create a company culture of gratitude and loyalty. As you can probably imagine, this benefit is an excellent recruiting tool.


Company culture. There is a trust and respect that the organization has for its employees.

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It demonstrates this trust and respect by directing problem solving and opportunity development downward to those people who actually build and deliver the product or service and interact with the customer. Consider the ubiquitous Egg McMuffin.

Diversity as a competitive advantage

Instead, it was created by a single franchise owner in California who experimented with various breakfast items. At that time , McDonalds was only serving lunch and dinner. From that creative spirit of one individual, McDonalds was able to take this unique idea and parlay it into an entire breakfast menu — and business segment - focused around the Egg McMuffin. Each nation generates its own culture based upon its history and experiences. While difficult to describe, they exist and are powerful forces that must be understood. Concepts such as equal opportunity for all regardless of race, creed, gender and ethnicity are ingrained into the American psyche.

However, these concepts are non-starters in other countries that are governed by strict authority or theology. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are constitutional guarantees in the U. However, they are not found anywhere in Iran, Sudan, or Cuba. Furthermore, the U. However, where individual praise for a job well done in the United States would be seen as a positive motivator or reward, individual celebration and praise in China causes discomfort with most managers and employees because their society embraces collectivism or teamwork.

Concurrently, the U. It is neither right nor wrong — it is just normal. Concepts of diversity, as seen through the lens of the American experiences, embrace pluralism.

1. Benefit: Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation

Pluralism, for example, allows for all religions to co-exist together. Unfortunately, from the American perspective, this is not a global or universal concept. In the United States, we are blessed to have developed our awareness and appreciation of the strengths that ethnic, racial, gender, generational, and other communities bring to the social and professional fabric of our society. Resolving business and social issues is dependent upon an open and constructive sharing of diverse points of view. Yet as we become more enmeshed in the global community, we must also be aware that other nations might not see the issues from the same perspective as us.

Our perspectives are vastly different.

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  6. We must continue to develop our awareness and appreciation for the diversity contained in our world, embrace the positive aspects of such diversity, and establish a common ground upon which safe, stable and prosperous societies can co-exist. This is the basis for our competitive advantage.