MBA 513– Organizational
Behavior and HR Management
Dr. Theresa Poussaint
January 31, 2018
Organizational behavior (OB) is a field of study that
investigates the impact individuals, groups, and structure have on behavior
within organizations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward
improving an organization’s effectiveness (Robbins & Judge, 2017).
first article “Diversity as Strategy”, is about how Gerstner, CEO (1993) of IBM
focused more on diversity task-force initiative even though IBM was already
engaged in workforce diversity as strategic focus. According to Thomas (2004), each focused on a different
group such as Asians, gays and lesbians, and women (p. 1). Every group had
assigned seniors to discuss their experiences and perceptions about diversity
and bringing difference in the company. It helped IBM understand about their
diverse employees and customers. Targeting more on the talented people in the
market (selecting), attracting, retaining, developing, and promoting them is
what made IBM reach where it is now. According to Robbins
& Judge (2017) also these attributes are the key steps in implementing
diversity management strategies (p. 60). Qualification will be prominent rather
than demographic characteristics when non discrimination policy is applied when
hiring (p. 61).
One of the greatest challenges and opportunities in Organizational
Behavior (OB) is workforce diversity, adapting to different cultural and
regulatory norms (Robbins & Judge, 2017). IBM definitely overcame this
challenge and adapted to greater need of diverse workforce. It became clear
that workforce diversity was the bridge-in other words, greater diversity in
the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set (p. 7). After all
customers matter and diverse customer will help any business attain their goals
and objectives. Managing a diverse set of customer requires diverse employees, which
then requires diverse supervisors and top level executives. This is exactly what
IBM understood and made its way to the top.
In the article “How Diversity Can Drive Innovation”, to what extend diversity affects a firm’s
capability for innovation and growth in sales is discussed. There are two kinds
of diversity, the inherent which we are born with such as gender, sexual
orientation and ethnicity. The other one being the acquired diversity, which is
the attributes attained from experience. The authors referred to companies whose
leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as
having two-dimensional (2-D) diversity (Hewlett, Marshall and Sherbin, 2013). Companies
with 2-D diversity have higher innovation and performance rate because it
allows “outside the box ideas” (p. 1) to flow in the company. Adapting to the
nature of diverse workforce, giving everyone equal voices will lead to full
innovation the company. Innovation is something that comes with innovative minds
regardless of everything else.
Robbins & Judge pointed out determining and challenging our stereotype beliefs
increases objectivity. Intellectual and Physical abilities are what a company should
look for in an employee regardless of who, what they are and where they come from.
Both these articles have satisfactorily discussed of how diversity in workplace
has and will always be the greatest challenge and alongside the most important factor
Hewlett, S. A., Marshall, M., & Sherbin, L. (2013). How
diversity can drive innovation. Harvard Business Review : HBR, 91(12), 30.
Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2017). Organizational
behavior (17th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Thomas, D. A. (2004). Diversity as strategy. Harvard Business
Review, (9), 100.