JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT POLICY AND PRACTICE
Managing Diverse Organizational Environments for Strategic Advantage: Exploring the
Value of Developing Business Diversity Curriculum in Higher Education
Author(s): Roxanne Helm Stevens, Emmanuel Ogunji
Citation: Roxanne Helm Stevens, Emmanuel Ogunji, (2010) "Managing Diverse Organizational Environments for Strategic Advantage: Exploring the Value of Developing Business Diversity Curriculum in Higher Education," Journal of Management Policy and Practice, Vol. 11, Iss. 4, pp. 72 - 85
Article Type: Research paper
Publisher: North American Business Press
This paper examines multiple perspectives on how and why diversity as a strategic business advantage has gained momentum, and explores the relationship between diversity and organizational performance. Through the review of numerous studies, the authors argue that effective management of diversity in organizational environments can used by companies for achieving competitive advantage and gaining strategic advantage in an increasingly global economic setting and market place. Additionally, this paper analyzes demographic trends and considers the potential challenges for future leaders in managing diverse work environments. This paper further explores the proposition that global business organizational workforces of today are blended and that managing those groups effectively will benefit the bottom line as noted in Esty, Griffin, & Hirsch (1997). The authors note that while there are a variety of benefits from having a diverse employee workforce, simply embracing the concept of diversity does not guarantee success; unless it is nurtured and integrated in a way that motivates employees and allows them to bring their specific skill sets and innovative ideas to the table, the organization is limited in it’s ability to capitalize upon those benefits. They also argue that it is not enough for business leaders to increase their awareness of diversity or to think critically about issues of diversity; but that business and management programs have a unique responsibility to equip future leaders and managers with integrated diversity competencies to effectively leverage a diverse organizational workforce that can create value and benefits for business firms. The authors explore diversity competencies needed for future leaders to leverage a diverse workforce to create tangible benefits for their organizations. Finally, the authors propose diversity curricula as a component in graduate business school programs to equip students with the skills necessary to leverage diversity capital and the resulting cultural dexterity for strategic advantage.