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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Different kinds of diversity in organizational settings

Two major types of diversities is notable in an organizational setting, which every IT manager should take into consideration -

Surface level diversity are those differences that are easily noticeable such as age, gender, ethnicity/race, culture, language, disability etc. Surface level diversity is easy to be measured and managers/recruiters can fall into the wrong practice of discrimination based on these factors. For example, thinking that performance degrades with age, they might prefer younger workforce. Surface level diversity is often difficult to change. For e.g. racial differences cannot be scaled down to zero.

Deep level diversity on the other hand, are not easily noticeable and measurable since they are communicated through verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Examples are personal differences in attitudes, values, beliefs and personality. Deep level diversity usually starts with identifying surface level differences and when people gets to know each other, they starts noticing the deep level personal differences and tend to accept or dislike it. For e.g. a person belonging to a minority ethnic group may be treated differently by the others since his culture and language might be different. But as everyone interacts with him more, they seem to forget the surface level differences and then they begin to notice his differing values and beliefs and later on, his
personality differences.

Article Copyright - Deepesh Joseph (2003-2020)
Research Reference:

1. Williams C. (2007). Management (4th ed.). Thomson South Western.

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