A Discussion on Inclusion Management

Inclusion in the Chinese context

In recent years, general concepts of management in companies has been evolved from the support of diversity to mainly focusing on inclusion culture. Although researches on diversity are still on-trend, in order for organizations to be successful in today’s rapidly changing world, it is important to include inclusiveness in the experience of diversity. Inclusion culture adds a boost to the participation and commitment of employees to the organization. Practically, since the second quarter of the 20th century, organizations have begun to criticize and evaluate the effects of the diversified schemes in the aspects of the elements of the organization, even individually (Niishi, 2013). Especially, with the advent of globalization during the “Information and Connection Age” that we experience nowadays, social occurrences compel people all around the world to be concerned about their lives more than they used to do in the past. This might be the main cause for the rise of a tendency to conservation hence, motivating the diversity in organizations has been crucial for improvement. However, demographic diversity can cause several problems such as high levels of conflict and turnover. Having incline to the view that improving the inclusion culture in the organizations is required to bring about substantial improvements in management.

Supporting diversity and encouraging inclusion: Success!

Before discussing the studies on inclusion management, some terms should be defined here. The concept of inclusion in the workplace has been defined by Mor Barak (2015) as; the individual’s sense of being a part of the organization scheme in both the formal processes such as accessing the information and decision-making channels and the informal processes. Moreover, from the perspective of inclusion management, it can be said that companies from the Western world are traditionally focused on diversity. Whereas Asian companies, generally have been ‘awaken’ earlier than the Western ones, they have implicitly benefited from the rich diversity in their region, with focusing on inclusion as much as they could. Specifically, in China, the word inclusion in Chinese contains the meaning of tolerance as well. This also indicates the Chinese context in this field.

One of the recent researches on diversity and inclusion issues in a leading emerging market has been pointed out inclusion management in the Chinese market. Tang et al. (2015) state that there are 56 ethnic groups with their own cultures and when we consider its huge population, it can be easily said that this might cause occurrences of intersections of profits for different groups of the society and also it might be a struggle for decision-making systems. However, inclusion culture is highly strong in China, as well. For example, under consideration of the main organization scheme of the government, the main political party namely The Chinese Communist Party has about 90 million members and various participator commitees (Albert, Xu, and Maizland, 2020). Theoretically, it can be an example of the Chinese environment encourages the inclusion culture. Through these facts, Tang et al advise us to enhance this roots of inclusion management to obtain harmony in the organizations and get sustainable struggling with challenges of diversity from the perspective of the situation of the Chinese society.

Map of China’s Ethnic Diversity

To talk about the most challenging factors for managers, first, it should be noted that the total 7 factors and 17 dimensions of inclusion management were listed in Tang et al.’s study. The factors and related dimensions are as the following table:

Dimensions and approaches of inclusion management

Most of the challenges in the organizations have been mentioned by the participant managers are not willing to be a part of inclusion events by the employees’ side and importance of leadership to support of organization inclusion practices. Actually, when we look at the evolutionary process of humanity, it can be easily seen that they had always been conservative for the current events and issues, and not tend to go outside their comfort zones. Although the human being has a hunger to discover the environment and nature instinctively, they are not keen on doing more once achieved the equilibrium. Similarly, when someone reaches an opinion on someone or something that is already tested and guaranteed by several past experiences, it is hard to get ‘the inclusion of a new idea’. Therefore, it is difficult to change stereotypes of a group of people both collectively and each person individually. So, to achieve strong inclusion management when each part of the organization is satisfied as well, for sure, group leaders bear a tremendous responsibility. They should inspire to get all the people in the organization involved in inclusion-related activities. As an example, during making a decision for any process or project, finding a common ground for all people might be crucial for the health of the organization otherwise, while diversified thoughts and ideas are important enhancement factors, they can be ‘killer’ of collaboration. Another possible challenge, as the people who have participated in the interviews of the study, have mentioned inclusion also means tolerating employees’ mistakes in the Chinese context. Hence, this amount of tolerance has to be planned and decided well by the leaders of the organization. Otherwise, through turning a blind eye to mistakes and error, it can cost the organization a lot.

References

1) Nishii, L. H. (2013). The benefits of climate for inclusion for gender-diverse groups. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), 1754–1774.

2) Mor Barak, M. E. (2015). Inclusion is the key to diversity management, but what is inclusion?. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 39(2), 83–88.

3) Tang, N., Jiang, Y., Chen, C., Zhou, Z., Chen, C. C., & Yu, Z. (2015). Inclusion and inclusion management in the Chinese context: an exploratory study. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(6), 856–874.

4) Albert E., Xu B., & Maizland L. 2020, The Chinese Communist Part, viewed 12 February 2021, < https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinese-communist-party>

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Ali Temizer

Ali Temizer

Argumentum ad hominem — I like debates and brainstorming of topics on business, management, and administration. — Oxford/Istanbul