We had our wrap-up session today at TASMAC for the specialization module in Strategic HR for Feb-May 2010 semester. The IBM statement below triggered an interesting discussion on Diversity as a source of competitive advantage for MNCs. “At IBM diversity is seen as the ‘bridge between the workplace and the market place and it has become central to IBM’s ability to win in the global market place”.
A few of the issues that came up in our discussions are enumerated below. You are most welcome to comment on the points or add your own.
1. A MNC may be active in several countries as such it needs to be sensitive to accepted norms of behavior and culture in the different countries.
2. Easier to assimilate and incorporate worldwide learning and new developments, in MNC organizational practices.
3. Diversity will help organizations to develop a flexible mindset that rewards performance and merit regardless of nationality.
4. Organizations need to extend beyond the traditional sub sets of diversity – race, gender, religion and must become a way of life embedded in the organizational culture.
5. Leadership must express and communicate their belief in diversity through vision and mission statements.
6. Diversity campaigns must begin from the process of recruitment and reflect in all other organizational processes and decision making. Senior management must co-partner HR in diversity implementation.
7. Training programs must imaginatively highlight the benefits that will accrue to various units embracing diversity.
8. A management journal has it that inclusion of women at Board level changes the dynamics of meetings.
9. McKinsey Quarterly in an article states that while the developed world wrestles with falling birthrates and rising rates of retirement, emerging markets are producing a surplus of young talent; in fact, they graduate more than twice as many university-educated professionals as the developed world does. Many organizations have been eyeing this source of talent.
10. With baby boomers approaching retirement, organizations will fall short of experienced people. A particular demographic challenge comes from Generation Y—people born after 1980 who have a different value system. They do not want to work 100 hours a week. Their tenures range from 2 to 3 years and they believe in meaningful jobs, professional freedom, higher rewards and better work-life balance unlike their seniors.
11. The biggest challenge for diversity to take roots in MNCs will to break-away the inherent ‘ethno-centric’ mindset and transform to ‘geocentric’. Thus ideas and innovations will flow freely in the internal communications of the organizations who are present spread in different parts of the world.
Farewell my friends
Thank you guys for your cooperation, patience and keen participation in all our sessions. The lovely young folk are – from left to right Suod Taha (From Eritrea a country in the Horn of Africa), Rakesh Kotti, Supriya Dhende. Susmita Subba (Nepal), Ashish Mahato (Nepal) and Tarun Bulland. Wish you all the best. 🙂