Challenges Faced in Managing a Globally Diverse Workforce

Challenges faced in managing a globally diverse workforce

Introduction

Globalization is transforming the way business is done in the world. The enterprises are finding avenues in international markets either through the online platforms, or setting physical premises where they can do their business. It is as a result of globalization that diversity happens. Diversity is infiltrating into the society, and leaders of industry face the employees of different ages, races, and speaking different languages (Sukalova and Ceniga 2020). Knowledge gap and changing demographics are among the fundamental problems facing management.  Despite there being the need to have a diverse workforce as possible, this has become a challenge, especially where specific skills are required. In any organization, the human resource department aims to attract the best talent that suits the job role. Although the policy of diversity exists in several companies, it has proved a challenge to stick to the requirements due to the existence of skill deficiencies in particular areas. In the same vein, the demographic changes are happening so fast. The employees are demanding for more, rather than better remunerations.  For example, workers ask for an employer who can understand both their physical and emotional statuses, instead of someone who cares less about their wellbeing.

Research question

The diverse labor force poses a challenge to human resource management. Currently, organizations can source labor comprising of different ages, gender, and talents. The main question remains to be how can the management mitigate the challenges of the dissimilar workforce to foster productivity?

 

In a perceivably competitive market, it is instrumental in understanding how to tap the best skills in the market. The competition has shifted from the one controlled by supply and demand to that of innovation and creativity. The customers relate more with individual companies, that can solve their needs, and provide quality products and services. As such, the achievement of the desired quality is possible by having onboard highly qualified employees. The companies have resorted to the recruitment of the employees, based on geographic orientation, culture, or age. Therefore, the scenario has resulted in a pool of workforce, that comprises of people with different ideas and perspective of executing tasks. Beaverand and Hutchings (2005) envisage that an age-diverse workforce increases the competitiveness of a company and helps the organization to deal with 21st-century problems. Similarly, the adoption of this strategy imparts more pressure on the human resource department, due to the demands for training. The significance of the laid down research questions will reveal the loopholes in policies, and internal operations of a business, that would form the cornerstone to amplify competitive edge.

Research Methods

Research is an art of systematically searching for information regarding the topic under study. It entails collecting, organizing, evaluating, and deduction of the collected data (Kothari 2004). The process of conducting research ends by, making the conclusion of the collected information, and assessing if it assisted in answering the set questions. Choosing the right methodology determines the success of the research. The current work will use different methods. One of them is content analysis, which relies on descriptive data extracted from the secondary sources of information. Data from disparate secondary sources sare compared and contrasted to asses if the information answers the research question. Content analysis happens through classifying the different arguments of the primary authors into themes. The process begins by familiarizing with the articles, screening the abstracts, and then including or excluding the articles. The process is based on the relevance to the topic under consideration. This approach of research is considered qualitative since the investigator classifies information in the form of themes and codes, which later helps in forming the conclusion of the problems under study (Erikson and Kovaliainen 2001). For example, to investigate the challenges of managing a global, diverse population, the research would collect information from the previous journals, and books. The abstracts and titles would be screened to evaluate the contribution of the sources towards answering the research question. Reading through the literature, consequently, would give an in-depth understanding of the strategies and policies that can be employed to assist in managing the issue. According to Kvale (1996), content analysis supports the research by establishing the extent of the problem through the description.

Additionally, the study could adopt the use of questionnaires as a way of data collection. The questionnaire is a set of questions, which the participants are expected to respond to. They are designed in line with the research objectives, and therefore serve to help the researcher gain an in-depth understanding of the issue under study. The questionnaire can collect both categorical and continuous data (Hendra et al. 2019). According to the author, this data is subjected to statistical analysis to test the relationship between variables. The technique is reliant on numerical data to test the hypothesis between variables (Shekhar et al. 2019). Also, the author noted that this kind of approach is suitable for quantitative research and can be either collected by the first approach or secondary approach. As opposed to content analysis, a questionnaire approach is devoid of expansively covering the topic under investigation (Bryan and Bell 2015). If the quantitative method becomes part of this study, therefore, questionnaires will have to be developed. The process would begin by determining the number and content of the questions to be included and how the primary participant would be selected. After acquiring enough items for the study, the dissemination of the questionnaire follows through emails or one-on-one participation. Also, the author would develop the hypothesis to be tested using statistical tools such as SPSS, STATA, among others. The table below compares qualitative and quantitative methods.

An interview is another appropriate approach to complete the present study. Interviews are considered interpretative, as they seek to collect information directly from the participants. The interviewer prepares for the questions to ask the participants, aiming to understand more about the phenomenon under study. In this method, the participants are guided on how to respond to the questions (Johnstone 2004). apart from the direct answers received, the researcher can learn more about the participants by observing body movements. Therefore, it is possible to tell if the respondent is telling the truth or not. The credibility of interviews is higher compared to the use of questionnaires. The study conducted by Molina-Azorina et al. (2018) revealed that questionnaires are subject to biasness, especially in instances where emailed to the respondents. It becomes difficult to establish who filled the questionnaires and if the answers were honest or not. For interviewers, it is easier to ascertain for the validity of the responses by engaging the participants beyond the set questions. Interviews are a widely used method in conducting qualitative research in the areas of social sciences. According to Rowley (2012), novice researchers decide on the interview as a way of collecting data to inform their studies, because of its validity. The author notes that an interview is a face to face interaction, where the interviewee is invited to speak about their beliefs and experiences. Therefore, the method is widely used to gain unfiltered information about a phenomenon.

 

Interview method(Selected)

The interview is used to conducting qualitative research, where the researcher wants to gain facts about a particular phenomenon. The researcher aims to understand the truth behind the attitudes, beliefs, opinions, or behavior of why things happen the way they are (Mutalik et al. 2019). For example, interviewing human resource managers to establish the challenges they face in managing a diverse workforce. The facts like how they motivate the employees, the challenges they encounter in equalizing the employees, would be of importance to understanding the current topic. According to Queiros et al. (2017), interviews can be conducted with one person, a group of people, or a focused group. Either way, the option is dependent on the nature of the research the person is engaging in. In the present case, the interview will be conducted in person. This means that the researcher will engage the participants individually and compare the reports to answer the research question.

Interviews are classified in the form of structures. At one spectrum, structured interviews have fewer questions, expecting short answers. The items are arranged in a particular format and are posed in the same way to all participants (Tetnowski and Damico 2001). This kind of interview resembles the questionnaire because of the way the questions are organized. However, the significant difference is that the researcher does not leave the issues with the interviewee, as the case observed in questionnaires. Therefore, it is possible to increase the response rate, hence the credibility of the collected data (Mackey and Bryfonski 2018). Structured interviews are fast, and most of the participants find it easy to answer the questions.

Nevertheless, they limit the extent to which the interviewer can investigate an issue of concern. The other form of interview is unstructured. In this case, the researcher has a limited number of themes or topics to cover. The interviewee is allowed to talk around the subject under consideration, which can be extensive. In unstructured interviews, the interviewer adapts the order of questions based on what the participants respond to. There is no specific sequence of asking or answering the questions. It is considered more of a conversational, rather than question and answer format. According to Rahman (2017), unstructured interviews require skills and experience. The last type of interview is semi-structured, which is widely adopted by several researchers. The approach varies questions, and the respondent controls the degree of adaptation. The current study would take a semi-structured interview, because it is flexible, and allows probing of the problem without wasting much time.

One of the advantages of conducting interviews is that there are no significant delays in the responses. The participants provide the answers immediately, as the researcher asks them. As noted by Eyisi (2016), this prompt response of questions increases the reliability of the information collected in the field. Also, it saves time that can be utilized to perform data analysis. However, the respondent is supposed to concentrate on the questions asked to limit time latency, which the researcher has no control over. In the same vein, a face-to-face interview, which will be used in this case, can be recorded instead of typing or writing. Using tape recording can provide a more accurate and elaborate report. The researcher can get all the responses forwarded by the interviewee and can be analyzed later. Nevertheless, Rahman (2017) points out that tape recording encourages the interviewer not to take notes. Taking notes in an interview is essential for establishing whether all questions are answered.

Furthermore, the interviewer has control of the ambiance of the interview environment. Although the questions could be the same to all the participants, the researcher assesses the mood and the surrounding environment of the interviewee. It is, therefore, possible to adopt various approaches to extract enough information to inform the research question. This is one of the significant advantages of the interview, compared to other methods. In procedures such as the use of the questionnaire, it is difficult to control the environment in which the respondent answers the questions. The same assertion is supported by Woiceshyn and Daellenbach (2010), who is of the idea that interview methods are useful because the researcher can adapt to the environment of each interviewee. The decisive advantage of this method is that it requires less knowledge, compared to designing questionnaires (Myers 2009). The interviewee engages in a conversation with participants, and the responses create a chance to ask more questions. This means that issues can be developed along with the conversation, hence making it easy to use.

Notwithstanding, the interview method takes time. Since the face-to-face approach will be used in this case, meeting individual participants will require scheduling of the meetings. The personal sessions can fail, due to the tight schedule of the interviewee, which would waste productive hours conducting follow- up. In the same vein, face-to-face interviews are subject to biasness. While this was perceived by Opdenakker (2006) to be a problem with questionnaires, it also presents in interviews. For example, the author noted the respondents’ answers could be manipulated by the race, attitude, and approach of the researcher. The idea postulated here is that the approach in which the interviewer adopts can significantly influence the kind of answers to expect. In that regard, the researcher has to fit the participant’s environment (Calvey 2008), to get accurate information. Too, the interview approach limits the broad geographic accessibility. As a consequence, this method restricts the study to only a specific geographic location. While these are the main challenges of the interview method, the preciseness and validity of the data make it an option in the present study.

Practical issues to be adhered to

Access

By applying the convenience sampling, human resource managers from a mixed sample of businesses will be contacted directly through personal connections to ask whether they can cooperate in conducting this study. The researcher will explain to them that they may benefit from the research in the future if they decide to cooperate. It is shown that snowball sampling is also applied in this research. This is an approach that is often used with unknown or rare groups. Normally, members of these groups are difficult to reach and contact, and through this approach, the researcher employs the social network existing between candidates of the targeted group (Dangelico and Vocaleli 2017). Once the human resource managers agree to give an interview to discuss challenges faced in managing a globally diverse workforce, a date will be arranged for a face to face meeting.

Measurement Tools

The qualitative data will be gathered through an open instrument set of questions in the form of semi-structured interviews. Through semi-structured face to face interviews, the researcher will discuss a wide range of experiences among human resource managers, and how they handle diverse labor force. In the interview, the researcher will initially assess the participant information before they go on deeply to investigate the topic. The researcher will mainly use Moorman’s seven-item scale (Ransome 2013) questions to form the interview questions. For measuring the challenges faced in managing a globally diverse workforce, human resource managers will be asked about their engagement throughout decision making process, their voice influence, consistency of new strategies, decision accuracy, bias, ethics, and moral standards.

 

Time Scale

Ethical Considerations.

Several key factors can contribute to the ethical system protection in research, such as voluntary participation, consent requirement, and confidentiality (Crow et al. 2006). In this research, participants will be coerced into taking part in this study, and they will be fully informed about the process, benefits, and risks complex (Saunders and Lewis 2018) in the research and asked to sign a consent form.  The study will be at a standard that does not put participants at risk of harm, whether physically or psychologically, as a result of their involvement. Furthermore, the researcher will guarantee confidentiality and assure participants not to disclose any information about them to anyone, and they will remain anonymous throughout the research. It is essential to mention that the obtained information will not lead to any bias, and the researcher will use the data effectively and with sincerity.

 

Resources and Budget

There are no other additional resources required to complete this work. Whatever is provided by the University of York to students is sufficient to enhance the completion of this work. Therefore, the study will progress with what is provided for by the university.

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