Diversity: What is your perspective?
The meanings attached to the word “diversity” tend to focus on the person as an individualistic description which identifies how the world is viewed, experienced and judged from one’s own
view (Konrad, Prasad, & Pringle, 2005). Hofstede’s (2001) and Trompennars (2004) cultural dimensions both classify business-related behaviours into categories based on country specific characteristics. The research conducted by both researchers are used as the basis of many diversity discussions, thus creating a defining link between country-specific behaviours and acknowledging individualistic differences as representing diversity. Diversity being classified by only one characteristic such as “country” can challenge the notion that what makes one individually different has to only do with a country. Addressing differences only from a country specific dimension can encourage behaviours that are not necessarily positive in the workplace environment. Extrapolating understandings about a “supposedly” encouraged behavior can garner negative outcomes, thus challenging the societal expectations that comes with being
This proposal addresses the need to discuss the different layers represented when discussing diversity. This means, outlining the individual, within the context of varying environments can demonstrate the true meaning of being diverse. As projects are managed, individuals can be seen as contributing units to the organisations goals and through team development, teams are viewed similarly. Here, each unit can draw on their own belief system which are influenced by themselves, their communities as well as country level considerations. Reflecting on how this
will affect project teams is key, as varying factors can influence behaviours and ultimately [project] outcomes.