In the current day and age, South African organisations are faced with many unique challenges in striving to manage an increasingly diverse workforce. The purpose of this study was to develop guidelines for effective diversity management in South African organisations. In order to understand what effective diversity management means in South African organisations as well as the various contextual factors at play, a qualitative approach to the research was utilized through the core methodology of Grounded Theory. In the first stage of the research, relevant literature on the subject was scrutinized. This included an overview of the conceptualization of workforce diversity, theoretical models for the management of diversity, barriers to effective diversity management and best practice methodology in the field of diversity management. After identifying key points from the literature relevant to the study, a semi-structured in depth interview schedule was developed and the elements from literature used to guide the discussions with participants during the data collection phase. Purposive sampling was used to identify participants and criteria defined by which participants were selected. Participants were approached for the purposes of obtaining their inputs to the study in their capacity as subject matter experts within the field of diversity management. Interviews were conducted until a point of data saturation was reached. Data was analyzed according to coding methodology and with the use of a systematic coding tool, ATLAS.ti. Three main themes were identified from the data, namely Diversity philosophy, Contextual factors influencing diversity and Diversity actions. During the discussion of results, findings were compared with the most prominent elements identified from literature. Subsequently, the researcher was able to identify guidelines for effective diversity management in South African organisations. The aim of the guidelines is to assist diversity practitioners in South African organisations in understanding effective diversity management, prioritizing diversity initiatives and making decisions that will enhance the effect of diversity on the business.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2012.