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Employee Perceptions of Gender and Diversity in India:Do Men and Women Think Differently About Diversity?


Affiliations
1 Adjunct Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, United States
2 Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, India
     

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Purpose: We seek to address a research gap by exploring individual (managers and employees) perceptions of a variety of issues surrounding diversity, in the Indian context. We focus specifically on how people perceive diversity and its influence on diversity management and its effectiveness. Design: The objective is to identify broad diversity issues and understand their organizational implications. We contribute by qualitatively exploring differences in perceptions of diversity by conducting in-depth interviews with 46 managers working in different sectors. Findings: We identify six broad themes: multifarious experience, mindset versus characteristics, managerial characteristics, prudent versus human strategies, few versus many challenges, and misconceptions about diversity that are likely to be useful in theorizing diversity issues, critical to organizations. Research Limitations: This study was conducted with one executive per company. Future research should include more employees of different age, gender, hierarchy, region, and religion from the same organization to crosscheck experiences and identify variances. Practical Implications: The discussion about broad diversity issues in India, and their analysis to understand organization challenges, facilitate management in developing diversity management strategies at workplace. Originality/Value: Although researchers have emphasized the value of diversity and equality management practices to firm performance, much of this research has been restricted to western nations. Despite its importance to organizational performance, very few studies have addressed diversity in India. This paper presents a specific approach that may be useful for top management to develop strategies to overcome challenges to diversity for better organizational performance.

Keywords

Diversity, Employees, Gender, India, Perceptions.
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  • Employee Perceptions of Gender and Diversity in India:Do Men and Women Think Differently About Diversity?

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Authors

Sangeetha Lakshman
Adjunct Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, United States
C. Lakshman
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, India

Abstract


Purpose: We seek to address a research gap by exploring individual (managers and employees) perceptions of a variety of issues surrounding diversity, in the Indian context. We focus specifically on how people perceive diversity and its influence on diversity management and its effectiveness. Design: The objective is to identify broad diversity issues and understand their organizational implications. We contribute by qualitatively exploring differences in perceptions of diversity by conducting in-depth interviews with 46 managers working in different sectors. Findings: We identify six broad themes: multifarious experience, mindset versus characteristics, managerial characteristics, prudent versus human strategies, few versus many challenges, and misconceptions about diversity that are likely to be useful in theorizing diversity issues, critical to organizations. Research Limitations: This study was conducted with one executive per company. Future research should include more employees of different age, gender, hierarchy, region, and religion from the same organization to crosscheck experiences and identify variances. Practical Implications: The discussion about broad diversity issues in India, and their analysis to understand organization challenges, facilitate management in developing diversity management strategies at workplace. Originality/Value: Although researchers have emphasized the value of diversity and equality management practices to firm performance, much of this research has been restricted to western nations. Despite its importance to organizational performance, very few studies have addressed diversity in India. This paper presents a specific approach that may be useful for top management to develop strategies to overcome challenges to diversity for better organizational performance.

Keywords


Diversity, Employees, Gender, India, Perceptions.

References