Diversity Issues in Human Resources Term Paper

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If the right employee is chosen then the knowledge that they gain while abroad can be a valuable asset when they return home. They develop an intimate relationship with a different market than the parent company. This knowledge can help the parent company expand to meet the needs of a more diverse group of clients. There have not been many studies in this area at all. This study has a strong theoretical background based on a synthesis of existing knowledge in the field. It focuses on recent peer reviewed articles as the basis for its constructs. The study found that in order for repatriate knowledge to be useful, the company had to first have a sound knowledge management system in place. In addition, it had to have a strong multicultural knowledge management. This study used a study group of 16 expatriate employees to draw its conclusions.

The study focused on determine what comprise the key components of knowledge gained abroad were. It also addressed what expatriates consider to be their most important knowledge gain. The study concluded that knowledge fell into three main categories, market knowledge and personal skills, and job related management skills. Market knowledge was considered to be the most important knowledge that was gained. This study used a group of Austrian bankers, yet attempted to generalize the knowledge to the general public. This is a key flaw in the discussion and conclusions section of the study. The interview had to be conducted multiple times to gain consistent results. This would suggest that the results might not be as conclusive as first thought. However, it did consistently cite knowledge of other cultures as a key strategic advantage.

Griffin, L., & Sufhoff, M. (2004). Can Diversity Be a Strategy?. ABA Banking Journal. 96 (12), 59-62..

A diverse workforce can be a strategic advantage in the banking industry. Many companies treat diversity as a necessary evil. However, rather then simply being a requirement, diversity can mean a welcoming environment to a more diverse customer base. This can give the bank access to a market segment that might otherwise be missed in a less diverse workplace. This article was found in a peer-reviewed journal, but it did not present the information in a traditional academic format. It used a single case study analysis of diversity and the effects on the workplace at Wachovia Bank. It used qualitative analysis to address the issues presented in the case. It found that diversity was an asset at Wachovia Bank. The bank has a formal strategy to integrate diversity into its product offering. This case demonstrated how diversity could be applied to strategic management, but it is not conclusive as to how this information can be applied to other settings and institutions. It was an interesting read and presented diversity within the organization in a fresh perspective, but it cannot be considered to be applicable to other situations other than those closely resembling the case scenarios.

Kahnweiler, W. (2006). Sustaining Success in Human Resources: Key Career Self-Management Strategies. Human Resource Planning. 29 (4), 24-47.

This research study investigated factors that are associated with success in an HR career. It explores career self-management and the ambiguity surrounding how to self-manage an HR career. A qualitative research method was used to explore the topic. This study criticized the use of a survey as they did not feel that this type of data would help to overcome the problems being faced by those entering into the HR field. This study involved HR professionals with at least 10 years of experience in their field. The study group consisted of a diverse group of individuals. This was helpful in isolating the independent and dependent variables in the study. The HR setting served as the independent variable in the study. The dependent variable was the factors that they considered to be their greatest challenges. Responses were analyzed for thematic content. The research found that the most common challenges were a lack of power, walking a tightrope, dealing with a negative view of HR, vulnerability and feeling overwhelmed. A key criticism of the study is the small sample size. It only involved 25 participants from varying backgrounds. The sample population was diverse, yet there were no tests performed to make certain that there were no internal biases.

Schierman, W. (2006). People Equity: A New Paradigm for Measuring and Managing Human Capital. Human Resource Planning. 29 (1), 34-48.

In this article, Schieman coined the term "people equity" to reflect a change in the way organizations measure the capital resources in their human workforce. Human performance within the organization equates business performance. Companies spend thousands of dollars every year leadership, communications, diversity training; team-building exercises; rewards and recognition programs. This is considered to be an expense that realizes its return indirectly through increased productivity. However, when one considers the term "capital" it usually means and expenditure. Human capital typically goes on the expenditures side of the ledger. This is because many do not see the real benefit that expenditures on human capital have on their organization. This study found that diversity increases perceived value in human capital purchases. Diversity increases human capital.

Selden, S. (2005). Human Resource Management in American Counties, 2002. Public Personnel Management.34 (1), 59-90.

Many studies in human resource management have focused on the federal and state level. This study was unique in that it focused on the county level. It focused on county government issues rather than those dealing with the private sector. The study focused on structural and political changes. The purposes of the study were to provide data that could be extrapolated to the general population in America. However, it focused on Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This area has a unique political, social and economic landscape. However, the uniqueness of this area was not addressed by the study. This data is only applicable to areas that are identical, or substantially similar to the counties in the study. It does examine some of the topics and concerns that could effect county governments in the rest of the country, but further examination of these areas would have to be conducted to determine their similarities and differences to the counties examined in this study. It is useful to this research because it does bring to light several issues that might be of concern in other areas of the country as well. However, extrapolating the data from this study alone would lead to skewed conclusions about the other county.

This study found that there are several barriers to county governments that place a damper on their ability to function as efficiently as possible. One of the key constraints is a tight labor market. Other factors that effect the ability to operate effectively are uncompetitive county salaries, budget constraints, procedural constraints, residency requirements, slow hiring processes, background checks and collective bargaining agreements. Many of these factors would apply to any county government and would result in similar difficulties. However, the key complaint about this study is that it failed to recognize differences in counties. For instance, Los Angeles County has a high population center. This type of county could not be compared to a rural county with a significantly lower population and different industry profile. This was an excellent study on counties in Southern California counties, but is cannot be applied to all…[continue]

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