Diversity Management: A Source of Competitive Advantage?

Seminar Paper 2012 15 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance


Table of Contents

List of Abbreviation

List of Figures

1. Introduction
1.1. Objective
1.2. Proceedings

2. Competitive Advantage
2.1. Efficiency
2.2. Quality
2.3. Innovation
2.4. Customer Responsiveness

3. Diversity Managemen
3.1. Cost
3.2. Employee Recruitment
3.3. Marketing
3.4. Creativity
3.5. Problem Solving
3.6. System Flexibility

4. Summary and Conclusion


List of Abbreviation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1: Generic Building Blocks of Competitive Advantage. 3

1. Introduction

In today’s rapidly evolving business world, it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to maintain or even expand their current market position. Since consumers are aware of their strong bargaining position, markets have evolved from sellers’ to buyers’ markets. Focusing on Porter's generic competitive strategies of cost leadership, differentiation or focus is no longer sufficient to ensure a unique selling proposition. The customers no longer choose between product quality or inexpensive product, they expect a high-quality and affordable product. Focusing on the resource-based view strategies like unique resources, skills or competences does not establish a long-lasting success, neither. Additional requirements of the customer, such as customer orientation, environmental consciousness or ethical behavior, and requirements of legislation e.g. human rights act / affirmative action make it difficult for companies to set themself apart from competitors. Porter's statement “stuck in the middle”, which had recently emerged as a competitive advantage for some companies, gets back its original meaning, but this time in a different sense.

The nexus of industrial organization view and resource based view via SWOT analysis opens new ways to strategy development. The analysis of strengths, weaknesses, oppor­tunities and threats requires that one deals inter alia with the knowledge, skills and potentials of employees. At the same time, however, a change of perspective is crucial. Employees do not only possess specific expertise which benefits to companies. What about the other nonspecific skills and knowledge of employees? What potential have so-called minority groups like people of different culture, different religious believe, disabled, older people or transgender? Is it possible to transform these heterogeneous differences, by employing diversity management, into a sustainable competitive advantage?

1.1. Objective

The aim of this seminar paper is to investigate which possibility diversity management offers as business strategy and whether a connection between diversity management and competitive advantage can be established. Acting strategically is essential for successful companies. Only through a farsighted approach, companies can anticipate successful and attainable objectives. Furthermore it shall be examined whether a heterogeneous diversity in companies could be harnessed strategically through diversity management and, if so, could become a sustainable competitive advantage. A heterogeneous diversity is represented not only by people of different cultures with their individual values, norms and beliefs. Heterogeneous diversity includes the equality of women, people with disabilities and all other social minority groups.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
464 KB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
University of Applied Sciences Essen
Diversity Management Competitive Advantage




Title: Diversity Management: A Source of Competitive Advantage?