The influence of firm diversity management competency on diversity-related outcomes and firm performance

Carstens, Jennifer Gytha (2013-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : An emerging perspective of workplace diversity proposes that a well-managed diverse workforce holds inherent advantages for organisational performance. Little empirical evidence exists to support this view, which may partly be due to a lack of operational frameworks for diversity management at the firm level. This study aims to address two research gaps through (1) the development of a diversity management competency (DMC) framework which can guide diversity management efforts, and (2) the evaluation of the relationship between DMC, different diversity management outcomes (DMO), and firm performance. A mixed method approach was followed, which entailed an initial qualitative phase to explore the DMC construct and to develop a DMC measure. Next, a quantitative phase followed that tested (a) the reliability and validity of the instrument, as well as (b) the hypothesised relationships between DMC and important firm outcomes. Data were generated in the qualitative phase through interviewing managers (N = 12), using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT). Content analysis of the transcribed interviews culminated in distinctive diversity management competencies (DMCs), which represent clusters of diversity management practices, and a DMC measure which was subsequently content validated through both the Content Validity Ratio (Lawshe, 1975) and Cohen's (1960) approaches. The DMC questionnaire was then pilot tested on managers (N = 25) from three large companies to make final modifications. The final questionnaire consisted of eleven subscales (DMCs) and 98 items. The data for the quantitative phase were collected by administering on-line questionnaires measuring the study variables (DMC, DMO and firm performance) to managers (N = 77) from different medium to large companies (k = 33). The measures were item analysed and the hypotheses tested through correlation analysis, using SPSS. The measures indicated high internal consistency. A firm-level analysis of the research data showed that DMC, DMO and firm performance were strongly and significantly correlated, as hypothesised. This study makes three major contributions. First, it develops a firm-level DMC framework that outlines specific clusters of diversity management practices expected to contribute to firm performance by means of enhancing key DMOs. Second, it develops and validates a DMC measure which, along with the DMC framework, has practical utility for diagnostic and developmental purposes. Last, the analyses revealed that DMC, DMO and firm performance are significantly and strongly correlated, which may indicate that diversity management has a significant influence on firm performance. Because of the limited sample size, the results of this study should be cross-validated in larger samples. However, the present research creates an agenda for further confirmatory and exploratory studies on the relationship between diversity management and important firm outcomes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : ‘n Ontluikende perspektief van werkplekdiversiteit stel voor dat ‘n goed bestuurde werksmag inherente voordele vir organisasieprestasie inhou. Daar is egter weinig empiriese bewyse om hierdie siening te staaf, wat gedeeltelik onstaan as gevolg van ‘n tekort aan operasionele raamwerke vir diversiteitbestuur op die firma-vlak. Hierdie studie beoog om hierdie navorsingsgaping aan te spreek deur (1) die ontwikkeling van ‘n raamwerk vir diversiteitbestuursbevoegdheid (DBB) wat pogings tot diversiteitbestuur kan lei, en (2) die evaluering van die verwantskaptussen DBB, verskillende diversiteitbestuuruitkomste (DBU), en firmaprestasie. ’n Gemengde-metode benadering is gevolg bestaande uit ’n aanvanklike kwalitatiewe fase om die DBB konstruk te verken en om ‘n DBB metingsinstrument vir DBB te ontwikkel. Vervolgens het ‘n kwantitatiewe fase (a) die betroubaarheid en geldigheid van die meetinstrument bepaalen (b) die hipotetiese verwantskap tussen DBB en belangrike firma-uitkomste getoets. Data is in die kwalitatiewe fase gegenereer deur onderhoudvoering met bestuurders (N = 12) met gebruik van die Kritieke Insident Tegniek (KIT). Inhoudsanalise van die getranskribeerde onderhoude het in onderskeibare diversiteitbestuursbevoegdhede (DBB’e) gekulmineer wat groeperings van diversiteitbestuuurspraktyke verteenwoordig. ’n DBB metingsinstrument is gevolglik vir inhoudsgeldigheid getoets deur beide die Inhoudsgeldigheidverhouding (Lawshe, 1975) en Cohen (1960) se -benaderings te gebruik. Die vraelys het vervolgens‘n toetsloop by bestuurders (N = 25) van drie groot maatskappye ondergaan om finale aanpassings aan te bring. Die finale vraelys bevat elf subskale (DBB’e) en 98 items. Die data vir die kwantitatiewe fase is met behulp van aanlynvraelyste wat die konstrukte van DBB, DBU, en firmaprestasie meet, verkry, wat deur bestuurders (N = 77) van verskillende middelslag tot groot maatskappye (k = 33) ingevul is. Die metingsinstrumente het item-ontleding ondergaan en korrelasie-analise deur middel van SPSS is gebruik om die hipoteses te toets. Die metingsinstrumente het hoë interne bestendigheid getoon. ’n Firm-vlak analise van die navorsingsdata het getoon dat DBB, DBU, en firmaprestasie het sterk en beduidend met mekaar gekorreleer, ter ondersteuning van die navorsingshipoteses. Die studie lewer drie hoofbydraes: eerstens, ‘n firmavlak DBB-raamwerk is ontwikkel wat spesifieke groeperings van diversiteitbestuurspraktyke omlyn wat na verwagting tot die verhoging van belangrike DBU’e en uiteindelik ook firmaprestasie behoort by te dra; tweedens, ‘n DBB metingsinstrument is ontwikkel en gevalideer wat, tesame met die DBB-raamwerk, praktiese gebruikswaarde vir diagnostiese en ontwikkelingsdoeleindes het; en, laastens, het die analises getoon dat DBB, DBU en firmaprestasie beduidend en sterk met mekaar korreleer, wat moontlik aandui dat diversiteitbestuur ‘n beduidende invloed op firmaprestasie het. As gevolg van die beperkte steekproefgrootte, behoort die resultate van hierdie studie gekruisvalideer te word in groter steekproewe. Die belowende resultate van hierdie studie skep egter ‘n agenda vir toekomstige bevestigende en verkennende studies oor die verband tussen diversiteitsbestuurspraktyke en firmaprestasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79847
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