Disabilities Act

One instrument that is commonly used to help categorize the organizational culture of a firm into any of the above mentioned four types is the Organization Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI). This is a 100-point questionnaire that has four categories, namely: the leadership style predominantly exhibited by the top management, the principal characteristics of the organization, how the employees of the organization are managed, the organization’s strategic thrust, the glue that holds the organization together, and the criteria for measuring success (Tharp, 2009). a. Diversity:

In an attempt to give meaning to the term “diversity”, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has defined a diverse organization as one that is characterized by employees of many different religions, sexual orientation, genders, races, cultures, backgrounds, abilities, and ways of behaving (Ollapally and Bhatnagar, 2009). Ollapally and Bhatnagar (2009) state that the contemporary definition of gender today incorporates other more elements including: language, disability (mental or physical), ethnicity, work experience, as well as the viewpoints of the employees.

In recent times, diversity has become a hot-potato issue for organizations. For example, the annual “Top 50 companies for diversity” has become an important barometer for measuring how firms respond to issues of diversity. This ranking is carried out every year by the DiversityInc magazine. Writing on this issue, Gilgoff (2009) states that over the last four years, the number of companies that have shown interest in the desire to be considered among the top fifty companies for diversity as evaluated by DiversityInc has increased by more than three times.

On his part, McCune (1996) has written that the number of business organizations which have some form of diversity training or program has risen from 33% of all firms in 1995 to 66% by the turn of the century. As a result, the use of diversity initiatives such as diversity management, equal opportunity initiatives, and affirmative action programs has grown in use. This has been necessitated by various reasons. One of these is regulatory in nature. In the US, there are a slew of equal employment opportunity laws which have been enacted, ensuring that business organizations keep within the dictates of reasonable diversity standards.

Some of these laws include: the Age in Discrimination Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),the equal pay act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (EEOC, 2010). Apart from the regulatory pressures to conform to best practice as relates to the issue of diversity, there are other trends which have resulted into a diverse workforce such as globalization. For example, globalization has led to business practices such as a highly migratory workforce and outsourcing, where employees of many cultures and backgrounds are inevitably forced to interact with each other.

Other factors contributing to the sharp attention which has been focussed on globalization include the desire to attract and retain the best personnel, given the stiff competition for the best personnel posed by competitors as well as the increasing number of lawsuits that organizations have faced in recent times as a result of diversity issues. Additionally, the authors have asserted that contemporary management models which stress on the need to have participatory and inclusive workforces have contributed to the surge in the popularity of diversity (Ollapally and Bhatnagar, 2009).