Management of cultural diversity at General Motors East Africa Ltd
Due to globalization, most of the companies have expanded their markets to other countries of diverse magnitude. There is a wide interaction of different cultures and the employees sent to the outside assignment at first experience cultural shock. One of such companies is the General Motors East Africa in which it has various branches across East and Central Africa. The objectives of this study were to establish the cultural diversity management practices at General Motors East Africa and to determine the factors affecting effective management of cultural diversity at GMEA. A case study research design was used to carry out this study with the respondents being selected from different departments of General Motors East Africa. Data was collected using interview guide schedules which were self administered. Data analysis was done using content analysis which was summarized according to common themes. From the study it was observed that managing diversity in GMEA succeed because top managers clearly support diversity management by providing cultural competence training to staff, relevant language courses and a policy for diverse recruitment and most important availing funds. Among the factors which affect the management of cultural diversity in GMEA was discrimination, which came in many forms, ranging from subtle preferential treatment of the people from other ethnic background to an overtly hostile workplace environment. Due to the impressive performance of General motors company, it can also be concluded that diverse management styles achieve the same results as traditional methods, but cultural diversity in the workplace can also help improve the company's competitive position in the marketplace. The study recommends that in order to create working environment that is based on respect, appreciation and acceptance, staff and management at General Motors Company should do more than just tolerating people from different background. The management needs to let everyone know they are valued. Since managing diversity focuses on maximizing the ability of all employees to contribute to organizational goals and affirmative action focuses on specific groups because of historical discrimination, further research should be conducted to correlate the two.