What strategies for increasing and managing cultural diversity in organisations best contribute to innovation and competitiveness?
Global business innovation is a vital part of the long-term growth and survival of many firms, due to increased global mobility and multiculturalism. Cultural and gender diversity have been linked to increased innovative workplace behaviours (Korzilius et al., 2017), flexibility and problem-solving, and creativity (De Waal, 2012; McCuiston, Woolridge, & Pierce, 2004; Østergaard, Timmermans, & Kristinsson, 2011). Consequently, effectively increasing and managing cultural diversity is likely to provide a competitive advantage to organisations operating within dynamic and global markets.
Australia is a highly multicultural society; This diversity is significantly underrepresented in the senior leadership of Australian organisations (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018). Although twenty-four per cent of the Australian population have non-European and Indigenous backgrounds, such backgrounds account for only five per cent of the 2,490 most senior posts in Australia (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018).
Cultural diversity strategies usually involve top down interventions such as training programs aimed at increasing cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication competency, or decreasing unconscious bias (Roberson, Kulik, & Tan, 2013; Block & Noumair, 2015). Yet, such programs have a negligible effect on changing cultural disparities in workplace outcomes and tapping into the creative potentials associated with diversity (Kalev, Dobbin, & Kelly, 2006). Exploring bottom-up, employee driven diversity management initiatives may provide a more successful strategy for not only increasing cultural diversity but also taking advantage of its potential to contribute to innovation and competitiveness.
C. Proposed Postgraduate Research Programme
School: Graduate School of Business & Law Program name: PhD (Business) Course code: DR205 Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) Alignment : Global Business Innovation Social Change