ESSAY: Diversity: Article Comparison

Please see the attached two articles on diversity, and the rubric.

Briefly summarize the articles including each author’s purpose and
conclusion(s); reasons or evidence offered to support the conclusions, and any assumptions made.
Analyze similarities and differences between the articles including how each supports, provides a different
perspective and/or contradicts the other; and discuss three insights you gained into the topic.

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ANSWER

In the competitive world of business, each industry player seeks to be unique and appealing to the target market. One strategy that has so far worked for most organizations entails embracing diversity. Diversity in most of the companies takes the form of gender, ethnicity, religious orientation and even sexual orientation. Despite the proven benefits that come with diversity, there is a notable challenge on how companies implement diversity in their business settings. The debate as to whether to use quota systems or allow competitive recruitment forms the basis of two articles, as explained in this task.

Summary of the Articles

The articles seek to expound on the role that diversity plays in an organization. The first article by Thomas, (2004), critically evaluates the value that IBM, through its executives, placed on the need to embrace diversity. The company’s diversity program saw it improve its customer base, especially after Gerstner took over the company’s CEO. Since its establishment, IBM defined its operations based on civil rights and equal employment, and workforce diversity was not the main point of concern for the company. However, Gerstner understood the value that comes with IBM embracing diversity.

IBM achieved its diversity programs by using eight task forces spread across different areas of concerns as far as diversity is concerned. The task forces focused on areas such as Asians, gays, the LGBT society and women. The main aim of the program was to uncover the existing differences between the groups and then establish ways that could appeal to both employees and the target customers. The different task forces had specific goals targeted at particular populations. For instance, the women’s task force helped the company establish a market development organization that emphasized on growing the women-owned businesses in the US. By focusing on the different strategies of embracing diversity, the company was able to attract a customer base that is also diverse. All the established taskforces recommended that diversity should not be reflected only at the executive level but rather at all levels in the structure of the organization.

Additionally, this article contends that for IBM to be more culturally competent, it has to engage employees, identify the key pillars of change and ensure there is support from the leadership. The assumption made in this article was that the findings of the different task forces depicted the needs of the general target population. The company’s investment in diversity saw it tap into new markets and allowed the company also get closer to its markets. Additionally, it needed to emphasize recruiting, retaining and developing new talent for its long-term growth.

The second article is by Davidson (2012), and it also expands on the issue of diversity in organizations. The question of how hard organizations should push diversity reflects on why organizations need to be diverse and whether they should use all possible means to achieve it. The article looks at the different perspectives that the top management level has towards embracing diversity in Globe Bank. While the CEO remarks that little progress has been made for the company to achieve diversity, the deputy directors argue that a lot of headway has been made to ensure diversity in the company. The company’s deputy director has been given the sole responsibility of ensuring the bank achieves remarkable levels of diversity. He thought of filling the company with women, African Americans, Hispanics and other people of colour. Together with his staff, the deputy director went great lengths to recruit a workforce that could reflect this diversity. The issue, however, is that despite the pool of talented employees, some are underutilized. Their potential remained untapped leading to unsatisfaction and complaints.

The assumptions made in this strategy was that diversity at the top management level presents a picture of an organization that fully embraces diversity at all levels. The use of financial incentives to promote workplace diversity was also explored. To this effect, some expert responses were sought and the conclusion made was that achieving diversity in an organization is a process that may take time and leaders must be at the forefront in setting up programs and procedures that can enhance the attainment of diversity.

Similarities and Differences Between the Articles The two articles are similar in several ways. Firstly, both authors bring out the fact that diversity is an essential aspect that companies have to embrace. Both articles emphasize the need for diversity to be achieved across gender, colour and ethnic orientation. According to the two articles, the essential requirement for attaining diversity is to improve the company’s reputation and brand. Stakeholders perceive diversity as a social responsibility, and hence customers can enhance the level of confidence they have towards such companies. Furthermore, a diverse workforce makes it easy for many…

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