Managing diverse human resource in multicultural workplaces


Managing diverse human resource is becoming more important than ever because globalization is pushing organizations to foster workplace diversity.  Multinationals all around the world have have been instrumental in promoting the trend of managing diverse workforce. People from different religions, ethnic groups, demographics and cultures work together under one roof with a shared organizational culture. Diversity in workforce usually exists based on demographics. Diversity of human resource can also be categorized as task oriented work group and relations oriented work group (Hogg, 2001). Research has showed that tasks and performance of same group differs from the tasks and performance of diverse work group (Barak, 2010; Cox, 1994; Esty, Griffin & Hirsch, 1995) for which effective management of people in diverse work group can be considered important for organizations. This is because diverse work group in an organisation provides many benefits to the firm such as builds understanding of different cultures, render equal job opportunities to everyone, build strong reputation across the world, and enhance organisation’s productivity. Management of diverse group of people can help in preventing conflict issues and give an advantage to use different skills and knowledge of different cultural group workers.

Human resource managers are responsible for facing these challenges and effectively cope with them. Besides these basic challenges in meeting the goals associated with strategic Human Resource Management and planning, management faces challenges in managing people from diverse cultural backgrounds and distinct demographics.  Business culture varies in every country. Every company adopts its own business culture according to the country in which it operates. Diversity of workforce exists in almost every country but internal business culture varies from firm to firm.


To elaborate the above mentioned perspectives of managing diverse human resource, an example of Indonesia is presented here. In Indonesia., there is a lot of diversity in the workforce , yet the business culture has its own norms, values and legal practices. Most of the companies register their selves with national regulations to avoid legal issues. Decentralization, leadership, motivational factors, compensation plans, employee benefits, meeting styles, business flexibility and adaptability etc. are often internal to the organizations. Different departments exist in companies and perform their respective tasks. Human Resource Management is one of the most important areas of diverse Indonesian business culture and in many organizations, the most important department is the human resource department. . Even small companies with diverse workforce might have of two to three specialized professionals for human resource management, though size and functions of human resource departments may vary at lot in internal details across different organizations.

  • Barak, M. E. M. 2010. Managing Diversity: Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace. SAGE Publications.
  • Cox, T. 1994. Cultural Diversity in Organizations: Theory, Research and Practice. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Hogg, M. 2001. Social Identity Processes in Organizational Contexts. Taylor & Francis.