Managers' perceptions of the extent of diversity management in multinational organisations in Laos

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Thipphonephosy, Athikone
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
workplace diversity
international human resource management
multinational organisations
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Thipphonephosy, A. (2015). Managers' perceptions of the extent of diversity management in multinational organisations in Laos. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Department of Management and Marketing, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Human resource management (HRM), irrespective of whether it is in a domestic or international context, is the most important function that every organisation must address. Workplace diversity management is another important area of HRM that needs to be taken into account when managing employees; particularly, in the international environment. All managers, HR or non- HR managers, are the core people to implement this task. Therefore, to be more effective in managing workplace diversity, a survey of HR and non-HR managers‘ perceptions of this issue is critical in order to uncover what needs to be done in organisations. The aim of this research project is to identify what perspectives HR and non-HR managers have of diverse workforces in Laos. The practices and policies they perform are also investigated. The researcher focused further on some of the barriers that make it difficult to manage people from different places or countries. Furthermore, some suggestions are advanced regarding how managers could adapt themselves to managing diversity. To achieve the objectives of this research project, the researcher employed a qualitative approach, in which semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from 12 participants in multinational organisations in Laos. It can be observed from the research findings that most of the managers in multinational organisations in Laos assume more than one role; HRM is part of their responsibility, irrespective of whether or not they are HR managers. In addition, from the participants‘ perspectives, workplace diversity management practices mostly focus both on encouraging women and people of diverse ethnicities to work and assisting them to get work opportunities. Workplace diversity is considered as advantageous for an organisation‘s progress and competitiveness. In Laos, there is not any serious prejudice resulting in harassment or discrimination; however, there are some difficulties in knowing how to manage diverse employees. Hence, adaptation to working with employees from diverse backgrounds is both a challenge and an imperative for organisations. This research project concludes that workplace diversity management in Laos is important and in need of attention, even though no serious problems have occurred to date. Managing a diverse workforce in Laos will never be entirely straightforward, but it may be less difficult if managers/leaders/supervisors highly value the idea of adaptation to employees and then pay significant attention to adapting themselves to manage and direct their people effectively.
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