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Is diversity critical to a business' financial success? Show more Show less

Research proves that diversity (gender, ethnic and social) can improve work place culture and productivity. Some argue that workplace diversity can increase growth or revenues, by increasing the comfort of workers and ensuring different views are represented. But diversity really have that much of a baring on a business' success?

Diversity has no bearing on a company's financial success Show more Show less

Many companies have thrived with a homogenous workforce, indicating diversity is not critical to a company's profitability.
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Many companies thrive with a homogeneous workforce

There are many examples of highly successful companies with homogenous workforces. Furthermore, members of a homogeneous team will have an easier time comprehending each other's verbal and nonverbal communications, and will have more shared experiences in common.
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Context

The Argument

A homogeneous workforce offers employers a pool of potential employees that share cultural and social norms. It is much more common for an employer to draw from a heterogeneous workforce that features differences in race, gender, age, disabilities and sexual orientation. However, companies still encounter regional conditions that provide a remarkably homogeneous workforce. Knowing the advantages of this can help a company prosper.[1] According to the Encyclopedia of Small Business, how employees view the importance of saving face can offer advantages. If a business owner encounters a collectivist tradition, discipline can be geared toward encouraging the employee to fit in better with the group by avoiding disruptive or destructive behavior. The owner can take advantage of an individualist workforce by framing discipline in terms of the employee's personal responsibility.[1] Members of a homogeneous team will have an easier time comprehending each other's verbal and nonverbal communications, and will have more shared experiences in common. The similarities can, to some extent, avoid misunderstandings, prejudices and, arguably, speed up work processes and the completion of tasks.[2] The similarities between employees will increase their ability to communicate effectively as a team, which will improve the business’s innovation, quality, responsiveness and efficiency. By excelling in these vital areas, this will increase the financial success of the business. For example, there is a famous milk tea brand called Chayanyuese, which only sells unique milk tea in Changsha. This company consists of people typically from regions near the Hunan province, who share similarities. This tea is known all over the country, and people travel there just to drink it. The brand is highly localized, so the homogeneous team could have a deeper understanding of their regional culture. Therefore, by having a team of employees from the area, they will have the expert knowledge of the tea to improve the brand, which will increase the financial success for the company.

Counter arguments

Many studies--including one on "Cognitive Effects of Racial Diversity" published in "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology"--show that the lack of diversification in a homogeneous group stifles creativity and information processing. It is very difficult to form homogeneous teams without causing feelings of exclusion to minorities, be those racial or gender.[2] Diversity within a company is vital for maintaining an edge in a competitive business climate. While often underestimated, the benefits of incorporating a team comprised of women, minorities and underrepresented communities is a game-changer. For example, one's diverse perspective can help one understand customers better, it can can reduce one's risk of incomplete data, and one can redefine merit and problem set, etc.[3]

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-working-homogeneous-workforce-18936.html
  2. https://bizfluent.com/info-8210884-benefits-challenges-teamwork.html
  3. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/313805

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 9 Jul 2020 at 11:45 UTC