Workforce Diversity in an Organisation and its Influence on the Employee Performance

Term Paper 2018 18 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

1. Context and Problem Definition
1.1. Problem Description
1.2. Research Question
1.3. Objectives

2. Theoretical Framework
2.1. Literature Review
2.2. Research Model

3. Research Methodology
3.1 . Research Approach
3.2. Ethical Consideration
3.3. Research Plan


List of Figures

Figure 1: Conceptual Model

List of Tables

Table 1: Methods/Steps used for Research Approach

Table 2: Research Timline

1. Context and Problem Definition

1.1. Problem Description

The continuously changing business environments and technology advances are bringing an increasing importance to the so-called “Workforce Diversity” in organizations. People are working together in the today´s business world under the same roof. Workforce diversity refers to organizations that are becoming more heterogeneous with the mix of people in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, and education background (Robbins, 2009). Workforce diversity encompasses a wide range of characteristics as similarities and differences among employees.

Germany being one of the most attractive economies embraces workforce from all around the world carrying different cultures and characteristics. This shows the increasing need for organization´s managers to employ practices and policies to effectively manage these differences and maintain a competitive advantage. Today´s leaders are giving a lot of focus on diversity being a very important organizational resource to be utilized the best way. Diversity left unmanaged will definitely lead to higher turnover, interpersonal conflicts and difficulties in communications that it will negatively affect the organization´s performance and reputation, and thus profitability. But on the other side, diversity can be beneficial when it is well managed. It riches the organizations with productivity, perspectives, high ability to provide a greater variety of solutions to problems, and a larger pool of ideas and experiences.

Workforce diversity as a workplace and marketplace topic has become more essential since it influences the organizational outcomes regarding employee satisfaction, turnover and the organizational performance as a whole. Demographic differences are not necessarily affecting the attitudes and behavior of employees. Furthermore, programs conducted on workforce diversity management not always lead to achieving the desired objectives regarding problem solving and creativity at the workplace. Some researchers view diversity as a matter to be dealt with and some view it as a tool to be used to enhance competitive advantages and boost the organization´s performance.

To come up with a clear picture, this research will analyse the employee performance with a focus on the demographic differences, represented in gender, age, ethnicity, and education background as they are expected to influence the employee performance in organizations. This research will be conducted for employees in the airline industry in Germany where employees come from all around the world and hail from different cultures and ethnicities with different age groups and bringing skills pool to their jobs.

1.2. Research Question

Analysing the employee performance referring to the demographic differences will help HR managers to understand the factors influencing employees within a team or within the organization as a whole. It helps managers to get the best of the workforce diversity to add value to employees and organization and conduct the appropriate training programs on workforce diversity management to achieve the goals represented in high performance of employees.

The research questions of this proposed study are:

- What is the relationship between the demographic characteristics (Gender, Age, Ethnicity, and Education Background) and employee performance? How employee performance is influenced by these demographic characteristics?

1.3. Objectives

Objectives arising from the research questions are formulated as the following:

- Establish better understanding on the antecedents of employee performance to support HR managers´ decisions in adopting the right polices to manage diversity in the organization the best way.
- Investigate and evaluate the relationship between employee performance and demographic differences in order to thrive these differences rather than focusing on representatives and assimilation.

2. Theoretical Framework

2.1. Literature Review

This chapter reviews and outlines some of the research and literature conducted on the nature of the demographic variables (gender, age, ethnicity, and education background) and employee performance including the relationship between them.


Gender is a poorly discussed topic in previous studies but it has been recently important when it comes to diversity and equality between males and females. Gender-based inequities are evident in the framework of stereotypes and biases that show males´ characteristics as much better than that of women whether from the point of view of the employer or other employees (Leonard and Levine, 2003, p. 5). In other words, employer is expected to hire more males than females in case they are perceived to perform and manage their jobs more efficiently. Moreover, Gender diversity positively and directly influences the team performance in the people-oriented organizations where HR strategies and practices are well implemented but not in organizations not adopting such strategies and practices (Kochan, Bezrukova, Ely, Jackson, Joshi, Jehn, Leonard, Levine, and Thomas, 2003, p. 10).

Gender-balanced groups have greater interactions than groups with majority of either men or women (Ibid, 2003, p. 17). On the other side, gender similarity of customer and employee plays a big role in understanding customer preferences and even attracting new customers regardless whether the majority of employees are males or females (Leonard and Levine, 2003, p. 4).


In this framework, age diversity is characterized by two theories which determine the link between age groups and employee performance; social-identity and social-categorization where employees classify themselves into certain groups according to these theories regarding personal dimensions (Kunze, Boehm, and Bruch, 2013, p. 433). Age-based discrimination may emerge as a result of this form of groupings and it can foster a conflict throughout the organization where employees tend to favour their groups over other groups and on the other side, unfair allocations of tasks can arise from supervisors from other age groups, especially when older employees are led by younger ones (Ibid, 2013, p. 417).

In contrast, a lot of research highlights the benefits of age diversity in organizations. Age-diverse workforces embrace different values, perspectives, and problem-solving toolbox as well as a larger pool of knowledge varying from social to technical or cultural from different levels (beginners or advanced) where young employees may have high academic skills but less experience, while older employees have wide range of social and practical experiences. This mix of skills, experiences and knowledge can increase the productivity in the organization (Gellner and Veen, 2013, p. 7).


The multicultural workforce has been gaining much more importance since the 90´s due to the multicultural increase in the society. Ethnic diversity brings a pool of skills and new experiences and perspectives to organizations providing a wide range of opportunities for mutual learning and complementarities and result more creativity and new innovations (Gupta, 2013, p. 37).

However, ethnicity-related diversity may has barriers associated within minority groups in organizations such as less job satisfaction and commitment, recognition problems, and perceived discrimination reflecting negative effects on the performance and creating cliques due to social categorizations, but at the end, some of these problems will disappear when the minority group grows (Timmermansa, Ostergaarda, and Kristinssonb, 2011, p. 502).

Education background

Employers usually look for individuals holding adequate educational level which is becoming more essential. Employees with a proper education background are expected to be more likely productive, bring innovative solutions and perform well, by the time they differ from employees who don´t possess such educational levels even if they have working experience (Amla, 2017, p. 1445).

However, the more educated employees the organization has, the greater the opportunity to benefit of their knowledge and skills and the more productive these employees and the other employees around them will be (Hickman, 2009, p. 6).

Employee Performance

Performance can be defined as “the achievement of specified task measured against predetermined or identified standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed”, while the good performance refers to how well the employee performed the assigned tasks measured against the performance standards set by the organization (Sultana, Irum, Ahmed, and Mehmood, 2012, p. 647).

Conflict, relationship conflict and task conflict, is the disagreement between two or more parties due to differences in perspectives, ideas, interests, or behaviours. It can be either beneficial when it is intelligently and morally managed resulting growth, and empowerment for the group, or harmful when it is dissipatedly and unskilfully managed where employees will seriously think about alternatives (Afzal, Aslam Khan, and Ali, 2009, p. 20).

Workforce diversity doesn´t necessarily lead to positive outcomes and higher performance but it more likely leads to improved competitive advantages associated with problem-solving skills, higher quality of decision making since the group has broader and rich experiences pool and perspectives (Prieto, Phipps, Osiri, 2009, p. 14).

2.2. Research Model

According to the literature review, we realize that the four variables of workforce diversity are very important in influencing employee performance in an organization. Therefore, we came out with the following conceptual model as in figure 1.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Source: own depiction, n. p.

Hypothesis Development

In this study, hypotheses are formulated according to literature reviewed above. Independent variables (Gender, Age, Ethnicity, and Education Backgroung) are expected, when they are well managed, to influence the employee performance with a significant relationship as the following:

H1: There is a significant relationship between gender and employee performance.

H2: There is a significant relationship between age and employee performance.

H3: There is a significant relationship between ethnicity and employee performance.

H4: There is a significant relationship between education background and employee performance.

3. Research Methodology

In this research, the most suitable techniques and methods are used to ensure accurate results. Methodologies are conducted to generate the information we need.

3.1. Research Approach

There are many methods and steps used to conduct this research as shown in Table 1:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1: Source: own depiction, n. p.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Catalog Number
Institution / College
University of applied sciences, Düsseldorf
Research Methods Diversity Organization Influence Employee Performance Question Theoritical Framework Model Methodology Approach Ethical Consideration HR Age Ethnicity Education Gender Dependent Independent Hypothesis Data Sample Pilot Reability Scale Questionnaire Survey

Title: Workforce Diversity in an Organisation and its Influence on the Employee Performance