Regional Conference on Cross Cultural Communication and National Integration 2012(RECCNI2012) * 19-21 June 2012 * Kuala Lumpur
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Diversity in the Workplace: A Study in 2Organisations in Kuching, Sarawak
– This study was conducted to seek the perceptions of employees in relation tothe issue of ethnic diversity in the workplace. Particularly this study was design to answer4 specific research questions related to perceptions of employees on issue of diversity intheir workplace; issues that hinders unity in diversity; benefits of diversity in theworkplace; and ways to promote unity in diversity in their workplace. A surveyquestionnaire was used to collect data from sixteen informants who were the employeesof 2 organisations in Kuching, Sarawak. The results indicated the challenges that inhibit unity amongst employees of diverse ethnic groups, benefits and suggestions to improvetogetherness in the workplace. In addition some findings supported the previous relatedpast researches (such as one by Miller & Rowney (1999); Chemers (1995); Greenberg(2004); Saji (2004); Henry & Evans (2007); Green Lopez, Wysocki & Kepner (2009)), andsome findings indicated new findings on the issues of ethnic diversity that revealed theworkplace diversity allows individual to have better understanding of other ethnic, in asense of their culture, foods, tradition and beliefs. It is suggested that the future study onrelated issue to discuss on the history of the diversity practices and the comparisonbetween diversity practices in different places.
– ethnic; diversity; effective management.
For the past few years, there were limited studies conducted to look for employees’opinion on how to deal with the diversity issues in Malaysia, specifically in Sarawak.Despite the fact that some researchers such as Selvarajah and Meyer (2008) whodiscuss the Malaysian’s culture from the national perspectives, their study was not enough to explain the diversity issues in the context of Malaysia as a whole, asrespondents used were just representing the 3 main ethnic groups of Malay, Chineseand Indian from the Peninsular Malaysia.Diversity has become a controversy issue in today’s business because conflictsalways happen in a diverse group or team. In other words, diversity in theworkplace could create problem for organisations (ButtersReed & Moore, 1992;Gotterfredson, 1992; Nametz & Christensen, 1996, as cited in Miller & Rowney,1999). As such, managing conflicts is a part of challenges that would prohibit unityin diversity if it is not well-handled. Therefore there is a crucial need to conduct a