Theories that Support Diversity

Theories that Support Diversity
There are diverse theories that can help understand and manage diversity in organizations. Most of these theories focus on individuals’ reactions and the analysis of the attributes/ characteristics of others. Competing perceptions and ideas try to elaborate on how diversity is either beneficial or harmful to an organization.
One of these theories is the Cognitive hypothesis approach. This theory explains that multiple perspectives originating from cultural differences among individuals or groups of individuals promote innovation and solving problems. Base on the cognitive Diversity hypothesis, some research indicates that diversity is not associated in any way with the performance of a group. Generally, cognitive diversity refers to the differences among members in areas of experience, expertise, and perspectives. However, it is argued that physical diversity characteristics such as sex, age, race influence performance positively since team members contribute unique and special cognitive attributes based on their experiences that originate from the diverse demographic background. According to the theory, diverse group benefits from a broader range of ideas when solving organizational problems. It is worth noting that these benefits stem from a diverse perspective facilitated by cultural diversity among the group members.
Another important theory is the social identity theory, which suggests that individuals’ preferences for relating with other people can lead to diversity, hurting organizational outcomes. This theory suggests the application of categorization to cope with huge information. Individuals are usually categorized by characteristics that are visible such as sex, race, and age. When an individual sees another person of a different race, a particular belief regarding that person is automatically initiated. Such perspective occurs due to the difference in the interaction we have with individuals from our groups and those from out-groups. Therefore, Social identity theory in the context of diversity can be generalized as a self-concept that focuses on an individual’s physical, mental, and social characteristics.
Importance of Diversity
Diversity in organizations posits various benefits. Firstly, it ensures a variety of different perspectives. This is because an individual in an organization will exhibit different characteristics and backgrounds. Therefore, they are likely to have a variety of diverse skills and experiences. For instance, employees in a company that exhibit high workplace diversity can access diverse perspectives, which is crucial when it comes to executing business strategies.
Further, more learning about other peoples’ cultures and backgrounds helps individuals to understand diverse perspectives in the world they live in. It eliminated the negative stereotypes and individual biases regarding different groups. Also, cultural diversity helps people acknowledge and respect the way of life that does not look like theirs. It makes a country a more interesting pale to live since people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds contribute new knowledge and experiences.