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An exploratory study of the attitudes of middle managers in the greater Durban area : a focus on cultural diversity and cultural diversity management.

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The purpose of this study is to explore the attitudes of middle managers towards cultural diversity and cultural diversity management. A qualitative method of research was chosen to carry out the study. Twenty middle managers from four different companies in the Greater Durban Area were interviewed. One of the main findings of the study was that managers displayed positive attitudes towards cultural diversity and cultural diversity management. However, it was also found that whilst the attitudes displayed towards people of different cultures and races remained positive, little was done in terms of managing the differences that these people brought to the organisation. It was also found that organisations were agreeable to complying with legislative frameworks such as affirmative action and equal employment opportunities to manage diversity. Furthermore, it was established that factors such as understanding, tolerance and acceptance were perceived to be vital "ingredients" to helping diverse people feel accepted and wanted in the company. This was due to their role in increasing productivity levels and decreasing turnover. However, it was uncovered in the literature review, that complying with legislation alone was not enough to manage cultural diversity. If organisations want to unleash the true benefits of diversity management, they wi ll need to recognise people with these differences and simultaneously accept and manage these differences.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Durban, 2000.


Middle managers., Diversity in the workplace--South Africa., Multiculturalism--South Africa., Management--South Africa--Employee participation., Corporate culture--South Africa., Affirmative action programmes--South Africa., Theses--Industrial, organisational and labour studies.