Diversity Incident Analysis
For this assignment, I chose to analyze the diversity incident that is related to multiculturalism. It’s the first case scenario in the exercises section of chapter 9. The case is related to a Mexican immigrant that has been using his available sick days to take his wife to the doctor, even though she is not ill; they are only going for regularly scheduled physical exams. This case involves multiculturalism, and it shows us how, by employing immigrant workers, an organization can start having all kinds of problems when the right policies and procedures regarding diversity and multicultural environments are not in place.
“One of the difficulties of accommodating multiculturalism is that defining a multicultural society or institution seems to be determined by one’s perspective. A commonly held view suggests that being multicultural involves tolerance towards racial and ethnic minorities, mainly in the areas of dress, language, food, religious beliefs, and other cultural manifestations.” Most organizations nowadays have to deal with multiculturalism in one way or another. The globalization phenomenon has reached most of the civilized world, and organizations that don’t understand or don’t realize multicultural workforces are the way of the future are going to be displaced and left behind.
This case in particular involves a person using his sick days to take his wife to the doctor, even for just a scheduled check-up. Although company policy states that sick days may only be used for the illness of an employee or the illness of a member of his/her immediate family, this is a case where multiculturalism in the workplace plays a big role. Due to the fact that in the Mexican culture it’s the husband’s responsibility to take care of the well being of his wife and family, the employee sees his behavior as normal or allowed. On the other hand, the employee’s supervisor, a white male, sees the situation as a violation of the company policy and wants to take further action. But, what is the company’s human resources department supposed to do? In my opinion, the company should create a more detailed policy regarding sick days, one that takes into account the many different cultural factors that may affect the organization based on the diversity of their workforce. If a better detailed and fair-to-all’ policy is put in place, little problems like this would be less frequent or inexistent. It’s the company’s responsibility to modify, add or create policies that are more inclusive and that can be interpreted in a way that seems fair to all participants, being employees, stakeholders and/orients.
In the new world economics very few companies or organizations are safe from diversity and multiculturalism. It’s only those that learn to embrace these particular circumstances that are going to succeed and survive in the long run. The key to this success is awareness. When an organization learns and takes pro-active action towards diversity or any other issue, success is more likely to come as a result of those efforts. When an organization is reluctant to learn and reacts to the problems that arise from diversity and multiculturalism instead of learning and acting before the problems become evident; then the company is failing to align it’s goals to it’s strategy, which can lead to partial or complete failure.