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date: 16 December 2017

Global Diversity

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management. Please check back later for the full article.

Broadly speaking, diversity refers to various dimensions of identity such as gender, ethnicity, religion, age, sexuality, and disability that may be used to distinguish individuals or groups from each other. Diversity management refers to organizational policies and practices aimed at recruiting, retaining, and managing employees of diverse backgrounds and identities, and creating a culture in which everybody is equally enabled to perform and achieve organizational and personal objectives. In a globalized world, there is a need for contextual and transnational approaches to utilize the benefits that global diversity may bring to Multinational Corporations (MNCs) as well as the challenges that organizations may face in managing a diverse workforce. In particular, it is important to take into account how diversity is theorized and managed in non-Western contexts, for example in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) countries and in the Muslim majority countries. The extant body of research confirms the need for organizational efforts to be focused on engaging with and managing a heterogeneous workplace in ways that not only yield sustainable competitive advantage but also are contextually and socially responsible. Organizations today are expected to take positive action, beyond legal compliances to ensure equal access, employment, and promotion opportunities, and to ensure that diversity programs make use of employee differences and contribute to local as well as global communities.