Mångfald på arbetsplatsen – en medspelare i organisationens framgång? En kvalitativ studie om mångfaldsarbetet hos tre olika företag och vilka för- och nackdelar som detta medför
The purpose of this paper is to look into how diversity is being handled within organizations, and how this affects the organizational outcomes in terms of both economic and noneconomic results. The concept of diversity is rather complex and includes several different definitions where the most central often are ethnicity and gender. Immigration and equality are very relevant topics, something we acknowledged in the search for our field of study. Since this paper aims to find what possible advantages and/or disadvantages diversity might have on an organization, it is also important to study how diversity is being used and valued within the organization to begin with. Hence, you will find many examples of how the objects of study make room for diversity and what activities that takes place within the organizations. There are three objects, three companies of different size, used in this study. Seven respondents, five of them in managerial positions, are being interviewed and their information is what the empirical data consists of. Therefor a qualitative method is being used to build this paper with elements of a comparative design. The comparison between the three companies gives an extra dimension to the study that enables broader understanding of the subject. We sure got great understanding regarding diversity within organizations, and the conclusion we came to involves a number of advantages that can only emerge if the organization actively work with diversity. A clear vision, goals and evaluation are all important, but above all it is the activities that matters the most. Regarding the advantages, we found that there is a certain correlation between the economic and non-economic results. One advantage we argue for is that it is easier for a diverse workforce to understand a broader range of market segments since these are too diverse, especially for globally active organizations. Consequently, more customers are accessible which enables for greater income. An inclusive and strong organizational culture is also on the list of advantages we found, but disadvantages were even harder to argue for. One of the reasons for the lack of examples involving negative aspects of diversity, we think is due to the fact that the subject is rather sensitive. It might be that the respondents do not want to comment on the disadvantages because it could affect the legitimacy of the company. It could also be that their strategies are successful and there are no obvious disadvantages with diversity in their workforce. This is a discussion that opens up for new studies to take place, but there is no doubt about diversity comes with great potential for organizations to develop.