On the other hand, the critical theory asserts that diversity in the workplace should go beyond the aims of productivity and efficiency and should include the need for the organization to be instruments in order to empower the workers in order to provide a long-term growth for both the individuals and the organization (Alvesson and Wilmott, 1992).
Consequently, within this theory, Jacques (1997) argues that there should be a deeper insight on the issues that surrounds the organization such as the issue of marginalized groups in the organization, communication among the employees, social engineering, autonomy and culture and the likes. These according to the critical theorists are essential in order to emancipate the organization from the negative and the potential conflicts that can be experienced from the organization (Deetz, 1992).
Indeed, the need for employee development amidst diversity also propels the need for human resource managers to adjust their roles in order to respond to the more challenging needs of international firms. The changing trend in human resource management propels managers to reshape their roles not as the person to whom everything is directed but rather as motivators and facilitators for individual workers to manage their own careers and in the process develop skills that can cope up with the changing trends in the global marketplace (Kahnweiler, 2006).
The ability of workers to enhance their competencies through self-management therefore sits at the core of the strategic HRM literature because of its ability to promote organizational and individual productivity and at the same time lessens the burden that used to be carried by HR managers (Strickland, 1996). To a large extent both theories places diversity as an important construct in the HR literature- and the ability of the organization to exploit this construct is recognized by both theories as important for the development and growth of the organization.
First, as Richards (2000) posited, diversity awareness and promotion of the organization should focus not just on the leadership but also on the diversity training and integration within the system in order to alleviate the work environment of discrimination and prejudice (Caudron, 1999). However, while weaknesses of training and integrating strategies exist in the literature (McKee and Schor, 1999), it is generally accepted that once this barrier is crossed, workplace diversity provides a rich area for growth and the building of competitive advantage.
Using an organization in the hospitality industry, we will examine the concepts of diversity management in Pakistan. Karachi Sheraton Hotel and Towers (2007) sitting in one of the busiest commercial districts in Karachi, Pakistan is considered as the only internationally managed five star hotel amidst the cultural differences of management between international human resources managers and Pakistan management style. Being a renowned international chain of hotels, Sheraton Hotels which works under Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has branches in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and in Asia.
Karachi Sheraton Hotel and Towers is managed by its Sheraton Hotel’s Asian Division Manager Miguel Ko who works under the supervision of its Executive Officers as well as its directors and trustees (Sheraton Hotels, 2007). Karachi Sheraton Hotel and Towers is managed under Sheraton Hotels and Resorts- the biggest and luxury full service hotels and resorts that cater to international travelers and businesses around the world (Starwood, 2007). Karachi Sheraton Hotel operates under a central management that is known to be a worldwide leader in diversifying their brands and the in catering the diverse group of sub-market.
Karachi Sheraton Hotels similar to its parent company Starwood Hotels and Resorts has been built based on the human resource management core of diversity- being a multinational company operating in 95 countries in the world, diversity in the workplace has been one of the foremost issues that needs to be dealt with the company (Starwood, 2007b). This is particularly true because of the international managers that are assigned to the countries and the lack of local managers that are assigned to Sheraton Hotels such as that in Karachi Sheraton Hotel in Pakistan.
Following the propositions of the functional theorists, Karachi Sheraton Hotel has instituted several programs in order to enhance organizational performance amidst diversity. First, in managing diversity of workers at Karachi Sheraton Hotel, the company has capitalized on the diversity of its employees and sought to maximize the potential of the organization by instituting the Diversity Council which aims to drive the strategy of global branding amidst local staffs. This program has resulted to local Pakistanis being promoted in the hotel at a faster rate.
The training provided using the Western type of management has also oriented the Pakistani as well as other Asians in coping up with the management of their Western managers. For one, since the Diversity Council has been instituted, Pakistanis have been lining up for promotion to management levels. This together with the sustained competitiveness of the hotel shows that the Diversity Council has not only resulted to sustainable growth for the company but also that of the employees.
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