The influence of workplace diversity on employee performance: a case study of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus.
Volson, Synade Teneil.
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Leading institutions view diversity as an all-inclusive strategy to enhance employee performance and improve an institution’s reputation. This study allows institutions to see the influence that workplace diversity has on employee performance and therefore enables institutions to improve. This study aimed to show the relationship between workplace diversity and employee performance. The study first examines the role that diversity plays in the workplace. Secondly, it discusses the extent that workplace diversity affects employee performance. Thirdly, it creates an understanding of the effectiveness of diverse people working together. Fourthly, it discovers whether workplace diversity improves or hinders employee performance. The overall purpose of this study was to ascertain whether workplace diversity has a positive or negative influence on employee performance. Qualitative research was used to provide deeper insights. The data for this study was collected at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, amongst three Colleges on the Pietermaritzburg Campus, using personally administered questionnaires. The questionnaire was made up of mostly open-ended questions which made up the qualitative data, and a few closed questions which provided the demographics of the study. A sample size of 54 staff members was used. This sample was an equal selection amongst both academic and support staff members from all three Colleges. There was also an equal distribution of the factors in terms of the internal and external dimensions of the ‘Four Layers of Diversity’ model. The findings and results of the study are presented in the form of tables, column charts and pie charts. This study used content analysis to analyse the qualitative data that was collected. The themes of the study address the research objectives. The questions that respondents were required to answer in the questionnaire were related to each of the themes. The findings of the study are consistent with the literature. Based on the findings and analysis, it is clear that employees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus have all had their different experiences with diversity in the workplace. The limitations of the study acknowledge that the researcher is aware of possible areas of weakness of the study and they have been taken into account. Recommendations are made based on the findings and results of the study. Areas for future research are discussed which can be undertaken. The study concludes by summarising the chapters in the study. This study will contribute to existing literature.