Practices of diversity management in international non-governmental organisations in Laos

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Vongxaysana, Chanthala
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Quifors, Sean
Saifoloi, Malama
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
workplace diversity
international human resource management
multinational organisations
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Vongxaysana, C. (2019). Practices of diversity management in international non-governmental organisations in Laos. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH SUB-QUESTIONS: 1. How do managers within INGOs in Laos perceive diversity in the local workplace? 2. What are the current approaches of INGOs in Laos to manage diversity? 3. How does diversity affect INGOs’ diversity management practices and processes in Laos? 4. How do managers in INGOs in Laos solve difficulties in managing diversity? ABSTRACT: Diversity management is a topic that has gained in popularity as the world has seen an increase in globalised brands and supply chains. Diversity management has been said to be a crucial factor to achieve success through people. While most research on diversity management has been focusing on commercial organisations, this research will look at diversity within nongovernmental not for profit organisations. It attempted to investigate how HR managers and Project managers working at managerial positions for International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) in Laos perceive diversity management and their organisations practice of diversity management in Laos. The effects of diversity and potential solutions to address diversity problems are also examined. To address the research objectives, the researcher employed a qualitative approach and an interpretivist paradigm employing a data collection method of semi-structured interviews undertaken with ten senior managers from five INGOs in Laos. The participants’ perspectives provided a broad understanding on the perceptions of diversity and diversity management practices within the sector in Laos. The choice of INGOs in Laos was a deliberate one, firstly Laos is a less researched country allowing this research to add knowledge about an area where there is less literature and because Laos does not see many multinational enterprises (MNEs) hence INGOs in Laos provide a particularly important role in introducing modern management practices. The empirical finding discovered that the majority of senior managers were aware of the term diversity in the workplace they only had a partial understanding of the concept. It was also noted that there was no specific diversity training undertaken within INGOs in Laos despite participants noting that there were cultural concerns and communication issues present. This research concludes that presently INGOs in Laos recognise the importance of diverse workforces, but there is a lack of diversity management practices implemented within the INGOs.
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