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For this Portfolio Project assignment, you will research a company or organization of your choosing with regard to its organizational diversity. You may examine
For this Portfolio Project assignment, you will research a company or organization of your choosing with regard to its organizational diversity. You may examine an organization with a poor track record on diversity, or one that has excelled in this area—the choice is yours. For your research, you will need to examine a combination of sources, such as newspapers, social media, scholarly literature, trade organizations or trade press, government documents, company websites, and legal briefs.
Instructions for Final Portfolio Project:
With your topic in hand, you will now write a paper that address each of the following items, as they relate specifically to your company. Note that each item in the list is equal in value. Each answer must be reflective of your careful analysis of your sources. This means that your answers must be backed up by specific references to your sources.
- Provide a background and organizational framework for the chosen company, including: relevant historical information, industry information, sales figures, mission, product(s), location(s), and customer or audience base.
- Discuss the following types of diversity and the role each plays in the culture of the organization. Support your answers with your research:
- Sexual orientation
- Provide a detailed explanation of how the organizations‘ top leadership has shown commitment, or a lack of commitment, to diversity. Again, support your answers with your research.
- Provide a detailed explanation of this organization’s reputation among the public, the industry, and its stakeholders with regard to diversity initiatives. Support your answers.
- Discuss the policies, procedures, and practices that the organization has in place with regard to all forms of diversity in the workplace. This should also include any outcomes or results of not following the policies and procedures, as well as the laws that may be particularly pertinent to the organization. Support your answers.
- Analyze how this company could improve on its current diversity strategy to better its overall corporate performance. Support your answers.
Additional Assignment Requirements:
- Your paper must be 10-12 pages in length, not including the required title and references pages. Be sure your paper has an appropriate introduction and conclusion.
Expert Answer and Explanation
In most multinationals and even small local organizations, one of the aspects that have been linked to performance is organizational diversity. Organizational diversity entails selecting the human resource component from different cultural, physical, or social makeup. This includes hiring employees from different racial groups, gender, sexual orientation, religious alignment, to list a few. This paper will give a detailed analysis of Johnson & Johnson, a multinational pharmaceutical company, with special emphasis being given to its organizational diversity.
Background of the Organization
Johnson & Johnson is a well-known multinational organization started in 1886 when three Johnson brothers, Robert Wood Johnson, Edward Mead Johnson, and James Wood Johnson came decided to start a company to manufacture surgical dressings. Their inspiration came after they heard a speech by Joseph Lister in 1885, who was an advocate for antiseptics. In 1887 the company was incorporated, with its headquarters located in New Brunswick in the state New Jersey, United States (Blake, 2017). From then the company has been gradually growing to where it currently is.
The mission of the organization is “our credo stems from a belief that consumers, employees, and the community are all equally important.” From the mission statement, there are various components that can be identified, for example, the value for people, that is consumers, employees, and the community at large (Johnson & Johnson, n.d. a). This forms the organization’s creed for inclusivity as will be discussed in the later sections of this paper. The vision statement for the organization is “for every person to use their unique experiences and backgrounds, together – to spark solutions that create a better, healthier world” (Johnson & Johnson, n.d. a).
Currently, the organization has branches in over 60 countries employing over 130,000 employees, with its product being sold in 175 countries around the globe (Fortune, 2019). This indicates that the organization’s presence is felt almost in every corner of the world. The organization ventures mostly in three market segments mostly relating to healthcare, that is, consumer, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals (Forbes, 2020).
In the consumer market segment, some of its common products include baby care products, oral care, and beauty products. Its pharmaceutical segment focuses on therapeutic, immunology, neuroscience, cardiovascular research, to list a few. The medical devices segment focuses on surgical devices, orthopedic devices, devices used in diabetes care, among others. Some of the competitors for the organization include organizations such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Nestle (Fortune, 2019).
In terms of financial performance, the company can be said to have greatly improved since its inception. In 1946, it was listed as a public registered organization. Since then the company has acquired different large organizations in the same field with Janssen Pharmaceutica being one of its largest acquisitions. Currently, the company has a net worth of over $300 billion and is currently number thirty-seven in the Fortune 500 list. Its sales revenue for the financial year 2018/2019 was over eighty billion dollars with a profit of fifteen billion dollars (Fortune, 2019).
Types of Diversity
When talking about organizational diversity, there are several forms of diversity each having its role and implications in organization performance (Guillaume et al., 2017). One of the types of diversity is gender diversity. Gender diversity entails an equal representation of both men and women in the organization’s human resource structure. For a long time, men have dominated the majority section in terms of hired employees.
However, with time this trend has been shifting with a lot of advocacy from various interest groups lobbying for more opportunities apportioned to women, including boardroom representation. Gender diversity informs that a fair workplace environment needs to be put in place, where both men and women are paid the same for similar tasks, both have equal employment, working and promotion opportunities (Guillaume et al., 2017).
Gender diversity affects an organization’s choice of products being produced, the type of leadership in place, civility within the workplace, and even the competitive environment within the workplace (Zurbrügg & Miner, 2016). By fostering gender diversity, the organization acquires a diverse pool of talent to choose from. Similarly, the robustness of decisions made by embracing gender diversity is enhanced. All these aspects align to boost the organization’s performance.
Another form of diversity is age diversity, which entails, the acceptance of all legally acceptable age groups to be employed, work, and have equal promotion opportunities within the workplace. As it stands right now, countries have different age group composition, with other countries having a more youthful population while others, like Japan, having an aging population. This has serious implications on the workforce composition in a multinational organization such as Johnson & Johnson.
However, embracing age diversity solves most of these issues. Diversity in terms of age allows the organization to improve its innovative ideas, with people from different generations coming up with different perspectives on solutions to organizational problems (Guillaume et al., 2017).
Johnson & Johnson is an organization that spans across different countries and it is common for the company to have employees from different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Racial diversity involves the selection of employees from different racial/ethnic backgrounds (Scarborough et al., 2019). Racial/ethnic composition affects how an organization is perceived by its customers and to some extent is also plays a role in conflict resolution mechanisms within the workplace.
Another type of diversity is religious diversity. Religious diversity entails the organization employing workers from different religious orientations or spiritual beliefs, for example, having a combination of workers from the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish religions. In most religious markets, the products manufactured needs to conform with the religious ideologies, this includes product labeling and branding, and even the marketing strategies (Izberk-Bilgin & Nakata, 2016).
For example, it would be considered offensive to sell pork products in a Muslim dominated market. Having religious diversity within the workplace is one of the ways in which the organization can navigate through such issues. Religion also determines the engagement form of engagement between the organization and its consumers. Therefore, have a religiously diverse organization can prove beneficial to the organization.
With increased advocacy on the inclusivity of the LGBT community, organizations are under increasing pressure to have a more sexually diverse employee composition. However, in the US, there is no Federal law protecting sexual diversity as there is for other types of diversity (Zurbrügg & Miner, 2016).
That being the case, more and more consumers are emerging from sexually diverse groups necessitating organizations to also include them as part of their employment structure. Regardless of their inclusion, incivility cases are mostly targeted towards people with different sexual orientation due to the majority of the workforce still being reserved on their sexual orientation (Zurbrügg & Miner, 2016).
The last type of diversity is disability diversity. The law mandates organizations to hire qualified disabled persons if they can discharge the advertised duties. Promoting disability diversity requires the organization to make accommodations for their personnel who are disabled, for example, providing ramps to facilitate movement. Ensuring disability diversity will also necessitate the organization to restructure its employment rules and procedures to make sure it is accommodative (Eisenstadt & Boles, 2016).
Leadership Commitment to Diversity
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is an organization that has been hailed for its diversity, and this is a culture that can be traced since its early days. The company in 1908 hired its first female scientist, a period when women were still not given priority when it came to employment in technical fields. In 2018, Thomson Reuters ranked the organization the second-best organization globally in terms of its diversity and inclusivity.
One of the key aspects that elicits the organization’s commitment to diversity is the mission statement. An organization’s mission statement explains where the organization wants to achieve and also captures the values that the organization stands for (Bowen, 2018). For J&J, diversity is deeply entrenched in their diversity mission statement which states “Our mission is to make diversity & inclusion our way of doing business.
We will advance our culture of belonging where open hearts and minds combine to unleash the potential of the brilliant mix of people, in every corner of Johnson & Johnson” (Johnson & Johnson, n.d. b) This binds the organization leadership in integrating it as part of their culture. The mission of the organization focuses on people as the foundation of its business, whereby, through diversity, the organization aspires to get innovative ideas to spur its success.
Another way the leadership has shown commitment to diversity is not only by entrenching it as part of their culture but also practically applying by employing a diverse mix of people. For example, from the organization’s analysis according to the 2019 Health for Humanity Report, it can be seen that the gender composition of its workforce is almost equal with 52% being men and almost 48% being women with the same representation being seen in the top leadership positions.
As of 2019, the company has been increasing its percentage in terms of women employed, in a quest to meet equality goals regarding gender diversity. By employing a diverse workforce, the leadership aims to understand better their client needs and leverage on that to spur the organization’s growth (Johnson & Johnson, n.d. b).
Similarly, training opportunities are equally allocated to their diverse staff, which gives all employees an equal chance of career advancement, and this goes a long way to highlight the leaderships’ commitment towards promoting organizational diversity. It is important to note that the selection of diverse workforce is not only factored in to the level of junior employees but also the company’s top leadership is made up of executives from diverse backgrounds, giving an example of Wanda Bryant Hope, who is the chief diversity and inclusion officer at J&J (Johnson & Johnson, n.d. b).
Positioning her in this important docket ensures that the company adheres to its culture of inclusivity and diversity given her attributes and background. This shows that the organization’s top leadership not only encourages diversity but also takes charge by leading by example.
Johnson & Johnson Reputation on Diversity
From the accolades received, the organization can be termed as having a pretty good reputation with regards to diversity amongst its stakeholders. Stakeholders in this sense include the employees who also double up as the internal customers, external customers, communities, and suppliers (Derakhshan et al., 2019).
The company has for 18 consecutive years been ranked as being amongst the most admired companies to work in by Fortune magazine. The list is compiled by top executives and business analysts who compile a list of attributes to measure including diversity. Other than that, the company also featured in 2019 as top rank in the Working Mothers’ top 100 list, as being a company that offers gender-neutral benefits for families.
Likewise, the organization has also featured in various lists as being amongst the top with regards to catering for the needs of their disabled employees. These are just but a few examples that indicate the performance and perception held by stakeholders in terms of the organization’s diversity.
The company also has a strong reputation in providing products that have the face of societal diversity. J & J include their clients in creating vibrant products that can appeal to the diverse markets in which their products are sold. The results can be seen in how their products resonate with their clients, and as a result, the experienced consistent high sales and profits indicative of consumer satisfaction.
The advertising activities of the organization also makes it appealing to its client base. For example, the organization is the founding member of the Unstereotype Alliance, whose main aim is to eliminate the aspect of gender bias in advertising (Johnson & Johnson n.d. b). This in turn promotes the company’s image amongst the communities the organization interacts with.
The fact that the organization has its branches from across the globe also requires the organization to have a diversified supplier base. Through its supplier diversity program, the organization has also received a good image from its suppliers especially the small-scale and women-led suppliers (Johnson & Johnson, n.d, c). Therefore, from an overall perspective, it can be said that the organization, in terms of diversity has a fairly good reputation amongst all its stakeholders, both internal and external.
Organization Practices on Diversity
To have the level of reputation in terms of diversity as J&J, one has to put in place proper policies and mechanisms. These practices are entrenched in the credo of the organization and some of them emanate from legal requirements more so regarding creating equal employment opportunities. Starting with gender diversity, the organization has ensured that the selection and employment criteria is fair to all genders.
The organization’s current gender composition is 52% male and 48% female. However, the company has recently increased its recruitment of female staff to 60% against 40% of the male in a bid to have an almost balanced representation in terms of gender. Similarly, in terms of training opportunities, employees from both gender are given equal chances (Johnson & Johnson n.d. a).
With regards to disability diversity, the organization has given the disabled employment opportunities and also facilitated them with the requirement to properly discharge their functions, Other than that, the organization has also established an employee resource group that specifically caters for the needs of the disabled employees. The ERG specifically advocates for the needs and values of employees with disabilities and their caregivers. Failure to conform to some of the practices that facilitate the disabled to discharge their duties can lead to legal ramifications (Eisenstadt & Boles, 2016)
Racial diversity is another form of diversity treasured within J&J. given that the organization is a global organization, having its employees coming from different racial backgrounds is a necessity, especially in creating products and brands that are going to resonate with the market. Some of the practices regarding racial diversity include using ERGs from different racial/ethnic interests to create organizational awareness, promote talent acquisition, and inclusion within the workplace.
The organization also ensured that during decision-making, ideas from its racially diverse employees are captured, which acts as a leverage for organization innovation. Racial diversity, just like gender and disability is protected by law, and any act of racial discrimination is punishable by law.
Other forms of diversity, including age, religion, and sexual orientation are handled more or less the same as the other forms of diversity, whereby, inclusion in terms of employment opportunities and career advancement is based on merit with no forms of discrimination. The organization also ensures that the interests of these groups are factored in when structuring the company’s operations.
Given the organization’s track record on diversity, the company has put stringent measures, for example, the use of technology to improve the effectiveness of their hiring process, which in turn, ensures the selection of a diverse pool of candidates with little bias (Lukić, 2016). The ingrained diversity culture can also denote a zero-tolerance stance on any form of discrimination within the workplace.
How to Improve the Current Diversity Strategy
While the organization has put in place efforts to improve its score on diversity, there is still room for improvement. While other seemingly minority groups are being given priority, the aspect of reverse discrimination is an issue that may affect some sections of the stakeholder population (Kawashima, 2017).
For example, the organization has a higher majority of whites, who in turn, receive less concentration, as compared to other groups. This can lead to lower employee motivation. Therefore, to solve this issue, the organization ought to include them when formulating the plans to improve the organization’s diversity status so that they do not feel alienated.
The organization also needs to enhance its level of stakeholder engagement, in the sense that they need to inform their stakeholder their goals and aspirations of achieving diversity and properly communicate their gains as an organization in this regard. This will allow the stakeholders to become key partners in assisting the organization to meet its mission in terms of diversity.
Another strategy the organization can use is by not only focusing on the location where the organization has its operations but also in countries where its products are sold. J&J has branches in over 175 countries across the globe and tapping into such a wide population pool and diverse market, the organization can greatly enhance its level of diversity. This will also foster resonance between the organization and the communities they serve (Derakhshan et al., 2019).
From the analysis of J&J, the organization can be termed as one of the best in terms of its diversity when ranked with other multinationals. This paper has described how the organization has managed to achieve its level of diversity, the practices, perceptions held by its stakeholders regarding the organization’s level of diversity and finally recommended ways to further improve on this aspect. This information can prove to be useful to the J&J as well as other industry players who may want to improve on their culture of diversity.
Blake, H. (2017). A history of Johnson & Johnson. Retrieved August 26, 2020, from https://pharmaphorum.com/articles/a-history-of-johnson-johnson/
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Other Solved Questions:
The impact of workplace diversity on organisations
Workplace diversity refers to the differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, education, and experiences among employees in an organization. The impact of workplace diversity on organizations can be significant in many ways:
- Increased creativity and innovation: A diverse workforce brings a variety of perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table, which can lead to more creative and innovative solutions.
- Better decision-making: A diverse team can make better decisions by considering a wider range of viewpoints, experiences, and ideas.
- Improved customer service: A diverse workforce can better understand and connect with a diverse customer base, leading to better customer service and satisfaction.
- Increased employee engagement and retention: A workplace that values diversity and promotes inclusion can lead to higher levels of employee engagement and retention.
- Enhanced reputation and branding: Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion can enhance their reputation and branding, attracting top talent and customers who value diversity.
- Compliance with laws and regulations: Many countries and regions have laws and regulations that require organizations to promote diversity and prevent discrimination in the workplace.
- Access to new markets: A diverse workforce can help organizations to access new markets and customers who may have different needs, preferences, and cultures.
Overall, workplace diversity can have a positive impact on an organization’s performance, reputation, and ability to attract and retain top talent. However, it requires a commitment to creating an inclusive culture that values diversity and promotes respect and fairness for all employees.
5 types of organizational approaches
There are several types of organizational approaches that companies can adopt depending on their goals, culture, and industry. Here are five common types of organizational approaches:
- Functional approach: In this approach, an organization is divided into functional departments such as marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. Each department is responsible for a specific set of tasks and works independently but coordinates with other departments to achieve the overall organizational goals.
- Divisional approach: In this approach, an organization is divided into autonomous divisions based on product, service, geography, or customer. Each division operates independently with its own functional departments, strategy, and goals.
- Matrix approach: In this approach, an organization combines the functional and divisional approaches, creating a matrix structure. Employees are organized into both functional and product/service teams and work on projects that require cross-functional collaboration.
- Network approach: In this approach, an organization relies on a network of external partners, suppliers, and contractors to perform specific functions. The organization retains only a core team of employees who manage and coordinate the network.
- Holacracy approach: In this approach, an organization is structured around self-managing teams or circles, with each circle having a specific purpose and autonomy to make decisions. There are no traditional managers or hierarchies, and employees are encouraged to take ownership of their work and contribute to the organization’s overall purpose.
Each of these organizational approaches has its own advantages and disadvantages, and companies must choose the one that best fits their needs, goals, and culture.
Matrix organizational structure
A matrix organizational structure is a type of organizational approach that combines both functional and divisional structures. It is often used by companies that work on complex projects that require cross-functional collaboration and expertise.
In a matrix structure, employees are organized into both functional and project teams. The functional teams are based on their areas of expertise and are responsible for providing technical support, guidance, and training to the project teams. The project teams are responsible for executing specific projects, and they are composed of employees from different functional teams who work together to achieve project goals.
The matrix structure provides several benefits, including:
- Enhanced communication and collaboration: The matrix structure fosters communication and collaboration among employees from different functional teams who work together on projects. This leads to better decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation.
- Improved resource utilization: The matrix structure allows organizations to leverage the expertise and resources of different functional teams for specific projects, leading to better resource utilization and cost savings.
- Flexibility and adaptability: The matrix structure allows organizations to adapt quickly to changes in the market, customer needs, or project requirements. It also allows organizations to scale up or down their resources as needed for specific projects.
However, the matrix structure can also pose several challenges, including:
- Complex reporting relationships: The matrix structure can create complex reporting relationships, where employees have to report to both functional and project managers. This can lead to confusion, conflict, and a lack of accountability.
- Decision-making conflicts: The matrix structure can create conflicts between functional and project teams when it comes to decision-making, resource allocation, and priorities.
- Role ambiguity: The matrix structure can create role ambiguity, where employees are unclear about their roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations.
Overall, the matrix structure can be an effective approach for companies that work on complex projects that require cross-functional collaboration and expertise. However, it requires careful planning, communication, and management to ensure its success.