The Paradox of Diversity Management, Creativity and Innovation
7 Pages Posted: 12 May 2005
This conceptual and discursive paper argues that diversity is a recognizable source of creativity and innovation that can provide a basis for competitive advantage. On the other hand, diversity is also a cause of misunderstanding, suspicion and conflict in the workplace that can result in absenteeism, poor quality, low morale and loss of competitiveness. Firms seeking competitive advantage therefore face a paradoxical situation. If they embrace diversity, they risk workplace conflict, and if they avoid diversity, they risk loss of competitiveness. The advantages and disadvantages associated with workforce diversity put organizations in a position of managing a paradoxical situation. To give support to this assertion, the paper considers what is meant by diversity, how it is best managed, what its relationship with creativity and innovation might be and how the problems created by the management of diversity, creativity and innovation might be resolved.
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