Q. 1. Cultural diversity can be defined as the differences that exist in people in terms of culture. “Culture” on the other hand is refers to the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization. Also culture can be defined as an aggregate of ideas, values and customs passed down from one generation to another generation of a given ethnic group of people. On the other hand “Dimensions of cultural diversity” can be referred to as the attributes through which certain ethnic groups of people are distinguished with. These properties that can bring diversity in culture include: Knowledge or intelligence, religion, laws, customs or norms, language and moral values (Melkman and Trotman, 2005). They argued that the dimensions of cultural diversity can be divided into: Power distance; individualism; masculinity; uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation. Firstly, they argued that power distances refer to the extent at which equality and inequality is agreed upon by the powerful and the less powerful in the society. In addition, they argued that a low power distance ranking indicates that the society focuses on equality for every individual in that society while a high ranking power distance signifies for the presence of inequality in the society.
Secondly they defined individualism as being the second dimension. They argued that individualism involves the degree at which the society promoted individual or collective participation in communal development. The third dimension is masculinity. They argued and defined masculinity as being the extent at which the society emphasizes on the masculine communal role of men regarding control and power. They argued that a high masculine ranking indicates that a given country or society really holds high gender differences between males and females with males really dominating everything.
Fourthly, they added “uncertainty avoidance” to be another dimension of cultural diversity. They contended that uncertainty avoidance basically looks into the degree at which the society withstands or tolerates for uncertainty and ambiguity. Finally, they indicated “long-term orientation” as the final dimension of cultural diversity and it focuses on the extent at which the society covers long-term devotion to traditional values.
Q. 2. My ethnic group is Iteso. Iteso speaking community is a sub-group of the Nilotes situated in the Western part of Kenya. Members of my community have a commonality in the language they speak. In addition, we both are Christians since the colonial times up to date and we strongly believe in Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Therefore, most of our moral values are regulated by the bible. Moreover, our customs and laws strongly forbid homosexuality, abortion and child bearing before marriage. Homosexuality and abortion are regarded as evil and are strongly punishable. In addition, child bearing before marriage is regarded as a sign of a curse to the community and family of the victim. Also in my community women are not allowed to wear long trousers or any other wear intended for men while men too are not allowed to plait hair, pierce noses and ears. In case one goes against these norms of the society; one is compelled to face the board comprising of a council of elders.
Q. 3. According to Miller and Katz (2002), diversity can be defined as the scope or range of social identity groups that are contained in a certain organization. In addition, they also define diversity as being the difference that exists in terms of race and ethnic background, age, religion, economic status, social status, gender and intelligence in a certain organizations or groups of people. On the other hand, they define “inclusion” as that feeling of lying or belonging somewhere; that perception of being considered important to a certain organization by others which makes one committed to the organization. Moreover, Miller and Katz argue that inclusion basically involves participation of each particular individual by actually upholding the self esteem of each of these individuals. Also they argue that by doing this; individuals feel more essential and vital to the organization and really feel as part and parcel of the organization’s goals and targets.
Q. 4. According to Wildermuth and Gray (2005), workplace diversity training has several advantages and uses in an organization. First of all, workplace diversity training helps to eliminate racial and religious discrimination based on differences in ethnic and religious backgrounds. This actually promotes understanding in an organization hence increasing the overall output of an organization. In addition, this also makes it easy to enforce policies that are useful and fundamental to the organization. Secondly, through promotion of individuality, the training actually promotes informal employee relationships which generally boost the total output of the organization. This is achieved by the fact that every individual is actually motivated to work individually harder hence the total output is actually increased. Finally, workplace diversity training helps the employees to share and appreciate their cultural diversity which actually leads to eradication of chances of some employees undermining or pigeonholing other employees on the basis of cultural, political, social, psychological, religious and intellectual background. This actually boosts the total output of the organization.
Q. 5. My experience with workplace culture actually dates back to 2007 when I was employed as a banker after just my high school education. I actually worked in an environment dominated by people from different ethnic groups and tribes; from language, moral values and religious values to intellectual, social and political levels. The workers had an explicit diversity in the background upbringing which also affected their perceptions. On the contrary to the diverse cultural environment at which we had originated, there existed a strong working relationship and understanding amongst the employees which actually attributed to efficiency of the workforce in the bank.
There existed more inclusion in the organizational structure of the company. We were actually in most cases involved in decisions making regarding suggestions that were aimed at betterment of the company. In addition, individual workers were also assigned various duties and responsibilities within the bank through which performance graphs were drawn and used to reward the best performing employees. In conclusion, every one really felt part and parcel of the company.