A Research Companion
Edited by Jawad Syed and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Chapter 17: Is Diversity Management Relevant for Turkey? Evaluation of Some Factors Leading to Diversity Management in the Context of Turkey
Olca Sürgevil Introduction Today, the changing workforce is one of the most significant challenges that many organizations face. According to Wentling (2000, p. 435), ‘Workforce diversity is a demographic phenomenon playing upon not only the US organizations but also multinational corporations and institutions in other countries around the world (Littlefield, 1995; Morosini, 1998). In addition, other business forces, such as global competition and the need to remain competitive, are driving diversity into organizations regardless of their geographical location’. Diversity describes the many unique internal and external qualities and characteristics that make a person similar to or different from others. Diversity means difference or variety, and diverse workforce refers to the workers with a variety of different characteristics such as gender, disability, culture, ethnicity, religion, experience, body size, sexual orientation, language, social class, skills and so on (Mujtaba, 2007, pp. 5, 13; Weir, ch. 18, this volume). Some scholars categorize these characteristics as surface- and deeplevel diversities (Harrison et al., 1998), readily detectable and less observable diversities (Milliken and Martins, 1996), and highly and less jobrelated diversities (Pelled, 1996; Pelled et al., 1999; Simons et al., 1999). Harrison and Klein (2007, p. 1200) state that the meaning of diversity is not very clear and use the term ‘to describe the distribution of differences among the members of a unit with respect to a common attribute, X, such as tenure, ethnicity, conscientiousness, task attitude, or pay’. Diversity management emerged as a management discourse and practice in the 1990s in the United...
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