This week you have looked at definitions of ‘diversity’ and considered the types of diversity that are part of some of the groups and teams you are familiar with, either in work or in your social life. You have thought about how society has changed over the years and thought about what this has meant for the workplace of today.
While numerous studies have shown that this increase in diversity within the workplace is a good thing and is linked to increased productivity and innovation, it is recognised that diverse teams can also have more problems because of difficulties in communication, and conflicting views and opinions. It is the differences in informational and value diversity that bring the greatest benefits to a team, but also provide the fertile ground for disagreement and conflict and these need to be managed well for a team to be successful. You met Joan and considered some of the concerns she might have in working with a team that is very different from what she is used to. Last of all, you looked at the reality of workplaces today and the kind of initiatives that they were engaging in to encourage increasingly diverse teams within their organisations.
You should now be able to:
- explain what ‘diversity’ means
- classify diversity as social diversity, informational diversity, or value diversity
- understand the factors contributing to increased diversity in the workplace today
- identify diversity in some of the teams that you observe or belong to
- understand what organisations are doing today to foster diversity.
In Week 6, you will consider the question of social identity and how cultural norms shape our expectations of individual persons and groups. You will consider one theory of social identity in particular (Tajfel and Turner) and see how it helps us to explain the so-called ‘them-and-us’ phenomenon. You will also learn about the concepts of stereotype, prejudice and discrimination.
You can now go to Week 6.