مدیریت تنوع و اثرات آن بر تعهد سازمانی کارکنان : شواهد از ژاپن و کره
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3915||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 44, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 31–40
With globalization increasing, diversity management has emerged as an important workplace issue, even in the traditionally non-diversified companies of Japan and Korea. These companies will need to pay more attention to diversity management as a potentially competitive resource. Most of the existing studies in diversity have been conducted in the United States, and thus may not represent the situations of Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, in which cultural values significantly differ and the labor force is highly homogeneous. The current research describes the realities of diversity management practices in Japanese and Korean companies, and empirically examines how the practices influence employees’ attitudes at the workplace. The results indicate that diversity management practices trigger positive effects on employees’ organizational commitment, which was mediated by their perception of procedural justice.
Diversity is not a new issue in companies in the United States, perhaps because the country is fundamentally multicultural. Diversity has not been as frequently emphasized as a competitive resource in some Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea. These countries have been recognized as homogeneous with respect to ethnic background, and highly male dominated in every aspect of social life. With notable economic development in recent decades, and the economic recession of the late 1990s, the labor markets of both Japan and Korea have undergone fundamental changes. More and more companies, either voluntarily or involuntarily, have adopted policies such as downsizings and layoffs in order to survive. Accordingly, short-term contracts and performance-based management have replaced lifetime employment and seniority-based management. Companies also tried to revitalize their management practices as a way of boosting firm competitiveness, which resulted in an increased concern for diversity management. Diversity indicates differences in terms of nationality, ethnic group, gender, age, and those with or without physical and mental difficulties. In management, diversity management is measured in every aspect of HR, including compensation, promotion, training, and leadership at the managerial level, and use of family friendly policies. Diversity management covers many areas of HR, but perhaps because of the ethnic homogeneity of Japan and Korea, the main debates on diversity management in the two countries are rooted in gender issues. In the case of Korea, a survey by the National Statistical Office shows that the rate of women's economic participation had reached 48.9% in 2003. As for Japan, a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare indicates that the rate of women's labor participation was 48.3% in 2004. Women represent only about 30% of full-time workers, a figure remaining almost flat since 1985. On the other hand, part-timers and other non-regular workers make up a larger percentage of both men and women. This trend is particularly salient for female workers; the rate of female part-timers has increased from 31.9% in 1985 to 51.6% in 2004. Workers – especially female workers – are having difficulty finding full-time positions. Moreover, women in both countries have a long way to go when it comes to managerial positions. Women account for only 5% of managers in Korea and 8% in Japan (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, 2003; Sung, 2005). With increased globalization diversity management emerging as an important issue for the traditionally non-diversified companies of Japan and Korea, these companies will need to pay more attention to diversity management as a potential competitive resource. Most of the existing studies in diversity have been done in a U.S. setting. These may not represent the situations of Japan and Korea, in which the cultural values significantly differ (Gelfand, Nishii, & Raver, 2006; Hofstede, 1991). Moreover, a review of the existing studies on diversity shows that they have mainly focused on diversity among work group members (Chatman & O’Reilly, 2004; Takfel & Turner, 1979; Webber & Donahue, 2001), while ignoring the impact of strategic HR management on employee attitudes. That is, how diversity in teams is related to the teams’ cohesiveness and performance has been widely examined, but how the company's diversity strategy influences employees’ attitudes at the workplace are still left unanswered. The current research aims to describe the realities of diversity management practices in the case of Japanese and Korean companies, and further examines how the practices influence employees’ attitudes at the workplace. The authors rely on the emerging HR paradigm of commitment. Contrasted to the control management paradigm of strictly controlling labor costs for higher efficiency, the commitment approach views the relationship between the company and employees as exchanges of commitment (March & Simon, 1958). For instance, when firms promise their employees employment security, the individuals, in return, are likely to become more committed to the company. When an organization expresses its commitment to its workforce, the employees will, in return, reciprocate with their commitment to the organization (Kossek & Block, 2000). Studies have supported the positive effects of these commitment practices not only in U.S. (e.g., Arthur, 1994 and Huselid, 1995), but also in an Asian setting (e.g., Bae & Lawler, 2000; Chang, 2006). Diversity management is held to be a reflection of the commitment management philosophy. Companies pursuing commitment HR practices also tend to utilize diversity management, including family friendly policies (e.g., Osterman, 1995). These assertions imply that the effects of diversity management can be validly examined within the paradigm of the commitment management philosophy. The previous studies further suggest that procedural justice mediates the effects of management practices on employees’ commitment to organizations (Folger & Konovsky, 1989; McFarlin & Sweeney, 1992), a finding which is also valid in Asian settings (Chang, 2005). Relying upon these research frames, the current research examines the mediation process of procedural justice in the effects of diversity management practices on employees’ organizational commitment. Methodologically, the current research utilized a multilevel, multi-method approach. Multi-methods were used by applying in-depth interviews as a qualitative approach and questionnaire surveys as a quantitative approach. Data were collected at multilevels: company and individual levels. Diversity management practices were measured at the company level, while employees’ attitudes were directly measured at an individual level. This multilevel, multi-method approach seems to be a very effective method of examining the research agenda.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
HR management can provide a source of competitive advantage by developing rare and not easily imitated human resources (Huselid, 1995). Diversity among employees indicates enhanced heterogeneity of human resources. If effectively managed, it can serve as a competitive weapon. Despite its strategic importance, existing studies on diversity have been limited to individual- and team-level analyses. Moreover, no study has examined the cases of Japan and Korea. Even though these countries have been recognized as homogeneous with respect to ethnic background and gender, recently the labor markets of the two countries have experienced fundamental changes as a result of notable economic development as well as the economic recession of the late 1990s. Along with these changes, diversity management has emerged as a new challenge for companies in these countries. The current research was performed with a two research agenda; qualitative in-depth interviews with HR managers were used to report how companies implemented their diversity management practices, and a quantitative analysis was used to examine the effects of these practices on employees’ commitment. The interviews revealed that both countries have much in common in terms of social recognition on the needs of diversity management as a company's competitive strategy. Only recently, these companies reported to have involved in utilizing diversity management programs. To examine whether diversity management practices trigger positive effects on employees’ attitudes in the two countries, the quantitative analysis attempted a multilevel analysis with data collected from nine companies (and 212 employees) in Japan and 10 companies (and 370 employees) in Korea. The HLM analyses support the positive effect of diversity management on employees’ commitment, which was mediated by their perception of procedural justice; i.e., diversity management enhances procedural perceptions of employees, which in turn boots their commitments to the company. As explained by the advocates of the commitment HR (e.g., Kossek & Block, 2000), when a company utilizes diversity management, it delivers the message to employees that the company is dedicated to fulfilling the diverse needs and interests of employees, which, in turn, may induce commitment from the employee side. Interviews with HR managers revealed that companies in the two countries recently launched diversity management practices. The implementations of these practices are notably weak compared to western multinational companies. Considering the cultural mores of the countries, it is an impressive result that the diversity management triggers positive effects on the employees in Korea and Japan. Further studies will be necessary to examine more specific reasons and mechanisms. The results of the current research suggest that employees read the positive facets of the diversity management practices, such that the practices reflect fair decision-making in the company, and thus they are in favor of diversity management. These results, however, do not indicate that diversity management has been successfully established in the two countries. The interviews with HR managers revealed that even though companies are trying various ways of diversity management, what really matters is how and to what extent employees use them and how their colleagues reinforce these practices. Pressures from supervisors and colleagues at work may deter successful implementation of such practices. Considering the positive effects of diversity management, companies will need to pay close attention on how to develop a further supportive atmosphere within the company for individual employees to freely utilize the diversity practices adopted by the company. We also noted differences between the two countries. Japanese companies tend to utilize diversity management to a greater extent than do Korean companies, especially in seniority-free compensation and promotion, and family friendly policies. These differences were observed in both analyses. The results may be, in part, explained by the aggressive attempts of the Japanese government to expand and establish an atmosphere of diversity at the workplace, and also by the longer history of Japanese corporations in the multinational or global environment. It should be noted that the current research is bound by several limitations. Methodologically, using a single informant to measure company HR practices can be regarded as a significant limitation. Studies suggest that significant measurement error and unreliability may exist in single-respondent measures (Gerhart, 1999). The current research attempted to minimize such errors by making items specific in order to reduce misinterpretation. In addition, in the survey, a special instruction was given to select an HR manager with at least an associate-level position (i.e., a position which usually entails about 10 years of experience in the HR area in the case of Korean companies), as a trial to select the most knowledgeable respondent. Even with such attempts, it seems that the fundamental measurement error attached to a single informant remains a potential problem in the current research. In addition, the current research design did not measure or control for the possible effects of social desirability bias in the questionnaire for the HR manager. Compared to questions asking the proportions (e.g., training) or existence of a practice (e.g., family friendly policies), this bias might have occurred more in responding to the Likert-scale questions; HR managers may be prone to respond that the company is utilizing fair practices such as gender-free compensation or promotion. The relatively high scores on these scales suggest the possibility of such a bias. We assume that the effects of the bias may not have caused serious problems in examining the mediation effects because the current research utilized an index scale of diverse practices rather than rely on each single dimension. However, the bias should be noted in interpreting and generalizing the results of the current research. The small sample size should be noted also. Because of this small size, the sampled companies in the current research may not be sufficiently representative to render a comprehensive conclusion. Different samples may indeed trigger different results because the new diversity management practices differ widely across industries. Therefore, it is necessary not only to expand the size of the sample but also to cover diverse ranges of industries. Related to the sample, it should be also noted that the current data were collected from Korean and Japanese multinational corporations, which own foreign subsidiaries. Operating in foreign lands indicates the social and legal pressures of the local market, especially in diversity management. Employees’ perceptions of management practices may also differ between the companies and their foreign subsidiaries. Therefore, the results of the current research should be interpreted as a case of companies within the two countries, and not including their foreign subsidiaries. In addition, it should be noted that small and domestic companies might show different utilizations and perceptions of diversity management. Due to their size and their roles in the global market, so-called market-leaders might have been under more pressures for diversity management. Diversity management may trigger different effects in small-sized or family owned companies. Therefore, further research will need to diversify the samples using employees of foreign subsidiaries and small-sized companies before generalizing the current results on diversity management.