Handbook of Human Resource Management in Emerging Markets
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Handbook of Human Resource Management in Emerging Markets

Edited by Frank Horwitz and Pawan Budhwar

Bringing together a diverse set of key HRM themes such as talent management, global careers and employee engagement, this remarkably wide ranging work on managing human resources in more than 20 emerging markets is written by world-leading experts in HRM in emerging markets and based on leading-edge research and practice.
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Chapter 9: Diversity, employment equity policy and practice in emerging markets

Stella M. Nkomo, Yvonne du Plessis, Rana Haq and Francois du Plessis


This chapter focuses on employment equity and diversity management in BRICS given its prominent emerging market status. The BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa represent four of five continents with a collective GDP of close to 25 per cent of global GDP (UNDP, 2013). Forty per cent of the world’s population resides in these five countries. The level of demographic diversity within the populations and workforces of these countries provide a fertile platform for understanding the contours of employment equity and diversity management issues within emerging markets. Emerging market economies are generally characterized as transitional economies as they are in the process of moving from different levels of being closed to open market economies (Lenartowicz and Johnson, 2007). This is clearly the case of the BRICS nations. China’s transition requires moving from a centralized command economy to a decentralized market economy which is similar to the one faced by the Russian Federation in its rejection of socialism after the break-up of the Soviet Union. For South Africa, its transition challenge focuses on integration into the global economy after emerging from a long history of market isolation because of its practice of institutionalized racism through apartheid. For Brazil and India transition is about transforming from poverty stricken developing countries to growing, thriving nations. Economic growth, nation building and erasing inequalities are inexorably linked in all of these countries, although in different ways (de Haan and Thorat, 2012).

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