Table of Contents
Digital Work Design in Managing Diversity and Inclusion
As workforces become more diverse due to globalization and advancement in technology, the organizational workplace is changing and the policies of managing the employees need constant change. Organizations have invested in developing strategic human resource management policies and practice to manage diversity and inclusion. Lack of initiatives to manage diversity among employees may lead to sub-grouping, discrimination and status distinction which may have an effect on the company’s objectives and images. As companies struggle to become more customer-focused, organizations are shifting their traditional models towards an advanced digital era whereby the digital work design will lead to a more automated and data-driven processes. This research proposal conducts a research on the roles of digital work designs in managing diversity and inclusion and contains research through interviews on employees in various international organizations.
Research suggests that various HR diversity practices do not bring more inclusion (Homan et al., 2015). Additionally, adjusting HR practices and policies in order to increase standardization and reduce biases have not always led to the achievement of diversity goals (Buengeler et al., 2018). These negative outcomes have always led managers HR practitioners in a dilemma. Managers play an important role of ensuring inclusion in the workplace by recognizing the value and effort of every individual employee without any signs of inequality and exclusion (Homan et al., 2015). Diversity focuses mainly on the scope of the differences and similarities of individuals in the work place. It does not only cover equal employment opportunities but also involves other aspects such as work experiences, personal experiences, values and beliefs, personal preferences, behavior and culture (Morley, 2018). Inclusion, on the other hand is the actions that an organization takes in order to ensure that its employees feel valued and supported as members of a team. Diversity and inclusion management refers to designed organizational interventions aimed at recognizing and taking in to account the workers’ demographic and personal attributes and accommodating them into formal and informal structures in order to meet the organizational goals (Cooke, & Saini, 2010). Diversity and inclusion enable organizations to listen to different viewpoints and have a multiple approach towards challenges (Morley, 2018). HR digital transformation is the process of using digital systems to carry out HR tasks that would have been carried out by HR professionals. Digital transformation enables an organization to carry out tasks like hiring, delegating duties, supervising, providing wages and salaries and providing feedback to the employees in a faster, efficient and accountable process. The hypothesis of this research is finding evidential research on digital work designs in effectively managing diversity and inclusion.
The research samples were collected from a wide range of organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This country for conducting the research was chosen because of its strong business favorability and the availability of many competing organizations. UAE, being one of the most developed countries in the Middle East, it has a developed technology and business in the region is highly competitive. The samples collected were employees from the two major cities of UAE; Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The participants were 300 employees from various companies.
Questionnaires – The main materials for conducting the interviews were hard copy questionnaires which were handed to the participants. The questionnaires mainly contained pre-written questions.
Interviews – Another method that was used to obtain information was through one on one interview with the employees of the different organizations.
Telephone Interviews – This involved a small group of these employees from these different organizations. Certain specific and precise questions were tailored to be asked by the interviewers and contained very short and direct answers to save on time
Initially, a sample of 300 employees was collected and divided into 5 groups based on the periods they have been employees in the company: 0-1, 2-3, 3-5, 5-7 and 7 and above years. Some of the participants were collected from organizations which had not employed digital designs in their HRM departments. It was necessary to understand if the workers who had experienced the digital work design preferred it over the traditional HR practices. Some questionnaires were emailed to some of the participants of the process while others were interviewed on a one on one basis with a set of questions concerning the effect of digital work designs on diversity and inclusion. For instance, we chose major organizations in Abu Dhabi that had diverse workforces and asked the participants on their experience with working with people from different backgrounds and how the digital work designs used by their companies to help in the increment of inclusivity. Short questions bundled with choice answers to choose from were administered via text and phone calls by the research representatives to the participants that were available online. These questions majorly focused on understanding the participants’ views on the role of the digital work designs on their inclusivity and how it works to manage diversity in the organization.
In the research 70 % of the companies from which participants were collected included digital work designs in their HR systems. 65% percent of the participants who had experienced the digital work designs preferred it over the traditional practices as it eased the process of financial and administrative management services. The participants in the organizations that had stick to the traditional practices experienced difficulties at work especially when receiving administrative support services. In fact, most of them had even raised the concern to the organizational administration to improve the HR sector for better flow of work. 85% of the interviewees over the telephone opted for the choice answer that the digital work systems promoted inclusivity in them and into the organizational duties.
The significance of the research is to facilitate the understanding of the importance of inclusivity of technology in the organizational workflow and how it can save time that can be used up in other important activities. The research is also relevant in explaining how the digital transformation can improve the employee experience and promote their inclusivity in the company’s activities. This helps the organization curb confusion and excessive workloads which will be taken care of by the system. This research also prepares the employers in the organization to invest in the technological work design adjustments and the training of employees to be conversant with the improved methods.
|Stage||Activity||Estimated Duration||Start date||End date|
|Research planning and design||Develop research designs and prepare research proposal||2 weeks||10th June 2020||24th June 2020|
|Theoretical Research||Capture relevant literature and prepare draft literature review||5 days||26th June 2020||30th June 2020|
|Data collection||Finalize sampling plan.|
Pilot data collection instruments.
Carry out data collection.
|1 Month||1st July 2020||30th July 2020|
|Data analysis||Prepare and analyze data.||15 days||1st August 2020||15th August 2020|
|Write up||Final draft of the report.|
|3 days||16th August 2020||19th August 2020|
Buengeler, C., Leroy H. & Stobbeleir, K. (2018). How Leaders Shape the Impact of HR’s Diversity Practices on Employee Inclusion. Human Resource management Review.
Cooke, F. L. & Saini, D. S. (2010). Diversity Management in India: A Study of Organizations in different Ownership Form and Industrial Sectors, Human Resource Management, 49, pp. 477-500.
Homan, C., Buengeler, C., Eckhoff, R. A., Van Ginkel, W.P., & Voelpel, S. C. (2015). The Interplay of Diversity Training and Diversity Beliefs on Team Creativity in Nationality Diverse Teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, pp. 1456-1467.
Morley, T. (2018). Making the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion: Short Case Studies and Research Papers that Demonstrate Best Practice in HR. Strategic HR Review, 17(1), pp. 58-60.