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Managing Diversity in Organization : Part I

An organization means a group of people working together under the leadership of Managers in order to achieve a common organizational goal. It also defines the relationship among positions and jobs built up for realizing common objectives. The achievement of common goal would be end-result of target achievement of various organs of Organization. The term Organization is derived from organism that means the structure of a body divided into parts that are held together by a fabric of relationship as one organic whole.

In a business organization the enterprise is divided into certain wings, sections and departments according to their specialization and functional categories. These are Integrated as one single undertaking by clearly defining the inter-relationships between the wings, sections, departments as well as the persons working in them.

Cherter I Barnard defines “Organization is the process of identifying and grouping the work to be performed defining and delegating responsibility and authority and establishing relationships for the purpose of enabling people to work most efficiently together in accomplishing objectives.” Oliver Sheldon puts it “The organization is the process of combining the work which individuals and groups have to perform with the faculties necessary for its execution that the duties so formed provide the best channels for efficient systematic positive and coordinated application of the available effort”.

Organization Structure
This gives a clear picture of the positions of authority and the extent of powers delegated. It also defines the degree of responsibility and accountability and influence of every person in the organization. The people working in different levels in different sections have different delegated powers. A classic example of the Organization Structure is Pyramid shaped; implies Centralization of Authority at the top, diversification of jobs by segregating the Divisions, departmentalization of work, hierarchy of command, narrow span of Supervision and intense division of labor.

Administrative Efficiency
The key factor in designing an Organization Structure is fixing the responsibilities and assigning duties on the principle of specialization. Specialization can be adopted in the narrow range of functions. This refers to the Organizational device of classifying the activities and administering them under one head. Modern enterprises are normally larger in size and more complex in technological operations. Therefore diversification of all major activities of the undertaking ensures administrative efficiency and better control within the range of specialization and the area of managerial convenience.

Nature of Diversity
Diversity can be in any of the following:
- Diversity of Industry in which the Organization is a player; for example Tata was in Aviation industry then diversified into Plantation Industry, Automobile Industry
- Diversity of Business Activity - a software vendor company entering into IT Enabled Services;
- Diversity of Product- basically FMCG company starting cement company;
- Diversity of Market - from regional to national and international;
- Diversity spanning different sectors – private and public
- Diversity in workforce - from different country, different culture, different ethnic background;
- Diversity in media - print, visual to online media.

The Organization Structure should be flexible to allow growth and diversification. For an example; Oil Exploration Company can enter into Refinery and Gas Distribution; A Banking Company can take up Investment in Equity and Derivatives Or even Insurance Business.

Diversification is mainly to maximize profit and utilize the resources to the optimum level and to undertake new ventures; this is done by achieving maximum turnover from each employee of each wing of the Organization. The Organizational policies are framed so as to achieve maximum productivity.

Sorting Out Conflicts
Conflicts would arise between the various wings, various Managers at different levels. This has to be tackled by clearly defining who is controlling whom and who is responsible for what and for whose actions. In addition to this, diversity in work force would also pose problem. Discrimination would lead to industrial unrest, non-cooperation, reduction in employee-turnover, frustration and decrease in employee-morale. In some countries there are strict laws enforcing equal wage for all, equal opportunity for differently able people, under-privileged community, socially backward community. People are different in their knowledge, skill, attributes, level of understanding, Sensitivity. Each employee’s potential has to be identified, properly trained, motivated appreciated to bring out the best from him. Each employee should be made to feel proud of his contribution to the Organizational goal.

The policy-makers of the Organization would also have diverse opinions, ideas, experience, skill, knowledge and experience. These diversities are integrated to bring out superior ideas and better policies. Better policies are framed for Managing Diversity so that the Organization survives in this competitive world and it is run with a concern on efficiency, economy and profitability.

Comments Listing
Posted: 19/01/2011 01:41:52

Very good Input. Thank you

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