AJIBM  Vol.7 No.10 , October 2017
Diversity Management for Improving Performance in Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Ghana Limited
ABSTRACT
The study examined the impact of diversity management on the general performance of organizations in the telecommunication industry in Ghana, through a case study on Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Ghana limited. The target population was made up of top and middle management teams of MTN Ghana ltd, and the purposive sampling technique was used to select a sample of ten (10) respondents for the study. Questionnaires were the instruments used for data collection and the data collected were analysed using tables. The key findings were that, diversity management has a positive influence on the performance of MTN Ghana ltd; and though diversity management is present in the company, management of it is improperly undertaken. It is therefore recommended that, top management team should give their support to diversity management and establish a complete strategy for diversity management in the company. Education and training programs may be organized for employees to learn about diversity and how to handle its complex issues in order to enhance performance in the organization.

1. Introduction

Many organizations today have attracted great mix of diverse workforce with varied and similar background. As the world’s political and corporate players embrace the 21st century, it has only become more apparent that, workforce diversity has not only become a reality, but has actually become an essential factor of growth and development for businesses and must indeed engage the attention of every corporate leader and all concerned.

Diversity is universal. This phenomenon of the universality of diversity within human groupings was pointed out by Ditomaso and Post in their quest to unravel the why, when and how of the workforce diversity in the work they published in 2004. In that publication, they demonstrate how the U.S workforce has become more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender and so on, and underline the emergence of the phenomenon over time, indicating that the occurrence of diversity had neither been sudden nor unprecedented (Ditomaso & Post, 2004) [1] .

Kundu (2001) [2] in asserting the challenges of managing cross-cultural diversity for present and future organizations establish beyond doubt, the reality of the existence of workforce diversity in every part of the world today. The writer further indicates that, though such diversity is unavoidably required, the challenges associated with it can, if well managed, be translated into positive factors of growth and organizational strength.

Progressive and effective issues of diversity rather require the conscious development of an organizational culture in which each employee, irrespective of their nationality, race, ethnicity, gender and cultural background can pursue their career aspirations without any opposition. Torres, Cresencio and Bruxelles (1992) [3] explained that diversity ought to be carefully managed and that managing diversity means enabling the diverse workforce to perform up to its full potential in an equitable work environment, where the interests and aspirations of no one group holds sway over that of other groups.

Notwithstanding its acclaimed benefits, most writers such as (Achua & Lussier, 2010) [4] are of the view that, diversity can also generate negative and undesirable outcomes if it is not well managed. According to Fry, Stoner and Hattwick (1998) [5] , diversity management is a strategy designed to attract, motivate, develop, retain and fully utilize the talents of competent people regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical ability or sexual orientation.

According to Tayeb (1996) [6] , as summed in his book “International Management”, various studies have shown that, when a homogenous group and a diverse group are given the same problem to solve or given a task to undertake; the diverse group tends to perform better as they draw from a broader spectrum of experiences that members of the diverse group bring to bear on the approach to dealing with the task at hand.

1.1. Problem Statement

The problem to be resolved by this research study is whether diversity management in an organization within the telecommunication industry will have some effect on the general performance of that organization.

According to Luthans and Hodgetts (2000) [7] , the effect of multiculturalism and diversity varies with the type of environment and firm’s overall strategy. Adler (as cited in Luthans & Hodgetts, 2000) as in [7] identified four evolutions of international corporations that include domestic, international, multinational and global corporations. The argument is that, as corporations move from domestic, international, multinational and to global corporations, the significance and impact of diversity increase markedly.

It is argued that, organizations that value diversity and put in measures to manage diversity for positive outcome are more likely to cultivate success and will definitely have a future in this ever growing and competitive dynamic global labour market (Hartel, 2004) [8] . Diversity may be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on how it is managed. Largely however, it is to be expected that, organizations, in coming to terms with the reality of global competition and the forces of globalization, would harness all their efforts in order to translate the diversity which necessarily faces them into positive factors of production.

Overall however, where poorly managed, diversity may affect organizational performance by causing lack of cohesion and rendering units unable to take concerted actions for higher production ineffective and inefficient (Luthans & Hodgetts, 2000) as in [7] . This is because, owing to the variations in their backgrounds and experiences, diverse personnel hold opposite perceptions and assumptions. This disequilibrium in perception and assumption creates problems for the organization.

Various individuals are bound to hold divergent opinions about preferable management practices and leadership styles. This phenomenon is bound to create problems for the organization and affect its performance. Management of such diversity therefore has become more important for creating advantages and getting the competitive edge from diversity.

The realities of diversity have become so much a concern for managers and practitioners. It is the hope of many managers to see performance in their organization; and since diversity is a potential threat to organizational performance, strategies have been suggested by many authors for its effective management for organizational performance.

Whether these suggested theories or strategies are helpful or not is something that the study intends to investigate thoroughly and appropriately. The decision to pick MTN Ghana ltd is to make the research as relevant as possible, especially, to multinational organizations since they are not state-owned and could be free to pursue the policy of engaging a diverse workforce of varied nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

With the large workforce base of MTN in Ghana, and against the background of being a mainly foreign owned company operating in Ghana, with the top management in Ghana being mainly expatriates and having a very diverse workforce of various nationalities, ethnicities, age and cultural backgrounds, it would be a fair representation of the overall trend of diversity management in Ghana when this study is undertaken. A review of the available literature pointed to the fact that, this research area seems to be gaining importance across borders. The contribution made in this area by this study may shed new light on a field of study yet to be thoroughly investigated in Ghana.

1.2. Research Questions

Considering the purpose and significance of this study, the study is limited to answering the following research questions.

1) What is the description of diversity in Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Ghana limited?

2) What is the experience with regards to diversity management and organizational performance in Mobile Telephone Network Ghana Limited (MTN)?

3) What management practices are needed for diversity management in MTN Ghana limited?

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study was to establish an understanding of the impact of diversity management on the performance of MTN Ghana limited. The study is to achieve these objectives through the following goal.

1) To ascertain the description and level of diversity and its awareness in MTN Ghana limited.

2) To identify challenges associated with diversity management at MTN and how management of diversity has impacted on performance.

3) To recommend appropriate management practices that managers can adopt for diversity management in order to enhance performance in the company.

1.4. Research Structure

This paper is made up of eight (8) sections. The first section is the abstract which forms a comprehensive summary of the paper. The second part is the introduction section where the detailed background information regarding the topic is presented. This gives the reader a general overview of the subject matter. The third section presents a rich literature review on the topic. The fourth section looks at diversity management and organizational performance. The methodology used in carrying the study is found under the fifth section. The results and their corresponding discussion are done in the sixth section. Section seven and eight contain the conclusions and recommendations respectively.

2. Literature Review

The Concept of Diversity

According to Arredondo (1996), [9] human diversity is not anything new; and has existed across the world from the beginning of time. Writing on the history of human diversity, Arredondo (1996), as in [9] points out the presence of gender differences that existed in the Garden of Eden; the emergence of multiculturalism with the Tower of Babel as well as the evidences of ethnic, cultural and racial differences that characterized different groups of people across the globe before recorded history. This history of human diversity was equally traced by Stockdale and Crosby (2004) [10] who relating it to the world of work and human resource development noted that, “workplace diversity has had a long past but short history”.

The “equal employment opportunity” (EEO), for instance was a law established by the US federal government which made room for equal chance at employment for everyone, irrespective of the person’s race, gender, religion, nationality or other attributes that are not job related (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004) as in [10] . The assumption of EEO is that, different groups of people should be handled equally, rewards should be given to those who merit it, and decision-makers should keep a blind eye to the background of applicants who have interests in their organizations as well as employees of their organization (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004) as in [10] .

Cox and Beale (1997) [11] say that, the term diversity has a multitude of interpretations. According to Cox and Beale (1997), as in [11] it is common for many people to take diversity to be synonymous for affirmative action or for groups that are protected from discrimination under U.S civil rights legislation. For Cox and Beale (1997), as in [11] diversity is “a mix of people in one social system who have distinctly different, socially relevant group affiliations”. Clearly, this definition looked more at the concept of diversity, from the population and bio-demographic perspective without adequately relating it to a given environmental or empirical situation such as the workplace, and thus it is virtually geared towards a concern about demographical categories such as national origin, gender, race, and age. And it also includes other group affiliations such as occupational specialization and organizational level (Cox & Beale, 1997) as in [11] .

Henry and Evans (2007) [12] in a review of literature on workforce diversity as published in the African Journal of Business Management, gave a more embracing definition of diversity by expanding the frontiers of diversity to indicate that “diversity includes cultural factors such as race, gender, age, colour, physical ability, ethnicity, etc” (Henry & Evans, 2007) as in [12] . Thus it becomes unclear whether what starts in their definition as cultural factors ends up with demographic characteristics. Probably, it only goes to show how closely cultural factors are related to demographic parameters.

Many authors and researchers have established variously that, depending on how well diversity is managed, important and indispensable benefits could be derived from such unavoidable mix of people, culture, age, race, gender, ability, as well as environmental factors. For instance, Daft (2008) [13] in the fourth edition of his “The Leadership Experience” expresses the view that, existing research works overwhelmingly suggest that diversity adds value to organizations and can as well contribute to their competitive advantage.

Interestingly, in an earlier publication on “International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior”, Hodgetts and Luthans (2000) as in [7] , describe the concept of diversity with respect to management culture, strategy and behaviour express the view that, there was growing evidence to show that, culturally diverse groups can enhance creativity, lead to better decisions and result in more effective and productive performance.

In spite of the strongly articulated benefits of diversity and the positive support it has received from various authors and researchers of the management and workforce dynamics, it goes without saying that diversity has its own problems and challenges. The problems of diversity can be varied and may present in different forms, to various extents, depending on the environmental and particular workplace situations pertaining to specific organizations.

It is in this light, Shore et al. (2009) [14] point out that, the focus of initial studies on diversity was mainly on problems with diversity such as discrimination, bias, affirmative action and tokenism. The field of diversity then evolved to focus on ways in which diversity can harness the most from diverse employees, eliminate conflict in the workplace and increase organizational performance (Herrera, Duncan, Green & Skaggs, 2012) [15] .

3. Diversity Management and Organizational Performance

Diversity at the workplace with respect to workforce and how this is managed may to various extent been established to impact on the organization’s performance. Various authors and researchers have laboriously enumerated the obvious positive relationship between diversity management and organizational performance. The argument is simple and that, where an organization makes conscious efforts and put programmes in place for diversity management, it stands a much greater chance of enhancing its overall performance (Achua and Lussier, 2010; Fry, Stoner and Hattwick, 1998 & Daft, 2005) as in [4] , [5] and [13] .

Daft (2008) [16] believe that, a good number of reasons make top managers value diversity. Diversity in any form depending on how well it is managed may yield varied results ranging to those that improve organizational performance to those that impede productivity. On the whole however diversity management where well undertaken would yield positive outcomes. These include but not limited to access to a broader range of opinions and viewpoints, the spurring of creativity and innovation, a reflection of diverse customer base as well as obtaining and maintaining the best talent in a competitive market place. Studies done on diversity management in recent years in the UK, Scandinavia and continental Europe found managers reporting similar motives as well as a desire to enhance their companies’ image and to improve employee satisfaction (Daft, 2008) as in [16] .

In another study, Barak (2011) [17] narrates how in 2001, Nextel audited its diversity training programme and found out that, its diversity management programme has had a positive impact on its turnover rates. It therefore goes without saying, that although diversity within the workforce of an organization may have its own inherent challenges and difficulties, when appropriately managed diversity from the view point of various writers and the outcome of studies in various organizations can actually have a positive impact of organizational performance as well as on customer and employee satisfaction.

4. Methodology

4.1. Research Design

The aim of the study was to describe the phenomenon of diversity in MTN Ghana ltd; its benefits and problems; experience in diversity management and best management practices for diversity management in this company. Against this understanding, the descriptive research design was applied for this study. The study was conducted using the case study strategy. This is especially so since the study purported to investigate the phenomenon of diversity and its key issues in terms of advantages, disadvantages and management; and how these relate to performance at MTN Ghana Ltd. For this reason, the headquarters of MTN Ghana ltd, located in Accra, was the main field of this study.

4.2. Sampling Design

The target population for the study was a basket of the members of the top-management team and the middle management team of MTN Ghana ltd. MTN was chosen for the study because of its multinational nature and the fact that even at the top level of management MTN Ghana Ltd the membership of directors and manager was made up a blend of diverse nationalities. This made it more appropriate for this study on diversity. On the other hand, the study chose the above population because the management of diversity revolves around them.

Because of time, resources and the need to be able to manage the available data of the study, the study selected a sample of ten (10) respondents out of the population Wolfer (2007) [18] , using purposive sampling technique.

4.3. Method of Data Collection

Both primary and secondary data were used in the study. The study adopted questionnaires as instruments for primary data collection. The questions in the questionnaire included both close-ended questions and open-ended questions. The open-ended questions made it possible for the researcher to ask the respondents for facts, and for the respondents’ personal opinion regarding the issues under investigation. A staff was made to help me administer the questionnaire and all participants were very cooperative at the time of responding to the questionnaires. The secondary data was also collected from books, journals, magazines and the internet.

4.4. Data Analysis

For this study, the data analysis began with a systematic organization of the data (narratives and words) into hierarchical relationships, matrices and other arrays (Miles & Huberman, 1994) [19] . The collected data was organized in the array of a word table in which narrative data was presented. The study relied on theoretical propositions in the development of analytical strategies for the research since there are previous studies on diversity management. Exploratory statistical tools such as tables were used for data summaries.

5. Results and Discussion

5.1. Results

Table 1 shows some of the major dimensions of diversity that exist in MTN Ghana limited. From the table, it is clear that, all respondents agree that, indeed, MTN has a workforce of people from diverse background. This workforce is made up of people who come from different countries of the world, i.e. people of different nationality; people with diverse religious denominations; age; gender; and educational background.

Table 2 presents the benefits enjoyed by MTN Ghana Ltd from its existing diverse workforce. All the ten (10) respondents, representing 100% of the sample, support the claim that, diversity brings along with it, the benefit of creativity and innovation in the company. On the other hand, seven (7) respondents, which is made up of 70% of the sample backed the claim that, diversity also possesses the benefit of marketing advantage. The other two benefits of diversity- “Acquisition and sustenance of competent staff”, “and low employee turnover rates”, received 80% and 90% of the respondents support respectively. All the stated benefits have been supported by more than 50% of the respondents. This implies that, MTN Ghana Ltd is really benefiting in all these sectors of diversity.

Table 1. Dimensions of diversity at MTN Ghana limited.

Source: Survey data 2011.

Table 2. Benefits of diversity in MTN Ghana ltd.

Source: Survey data 2011.

It must be understood that, the respondents were people who have occupied important and influential places in the said organizations, and for that matter, they have the advantage of understanding and/or advising people appropriately, on the key issues of diversity including its benefits to an organization with a divorce workforce.

Table 3 depicts the types of problems brought about by diversity in MTN Ghana Ltd. These problems include interpersonal conflicts, lack of trust, problems in communication and incorrect perception about others. From the table, it can be observed that, 40% of the respondents see both incorrect perception about others and problems of communication as problems of diversity in the company. On the other hand, 30% of the respondents also point out that, interpersonal conflicts are also a problem of diversity in the company. Problems of diversity that emanate from lack of trust were alluded to by just 20% of the respondents.

This implies that, there is presence of the key problems of diversity in MTN Ghana Ltd. However, it is clear that, their level of presence is supported by forty percent or less of the respondents.

From Table 4, it is evident that, management of MTN Ghana Ltd practice diversity management in their outfit. Seven (7) of the respondents, representing 70% of the sample, answered questions that point to the fact that, even though diversity management is present at MTN Ghana Ltd, it is improperly done. On the other hand, 20% of the respondents revealed from their answers that, there is proper diversity management in the company. And finally, only 10% of the respondents prove that, there is no diversity management in the company at all.

Table 3. Problems of diversity.

Source: Survey data 2011.

Table 4. Status of diversity management at MTN Ghana Ltd.

Source: Survey data 2011.

The issue of performance in MTN Ghana limited was more directed and focused on the capability of the company to accomplish their set targets for the period. These targets were derived from the major objectives that have been developed and pursued by the management team and staff of the company. From the respondents own perceptions and understanding of these objectives, they provided relevant information that serve as sources of great insights into the level of performance of the company.

Table 5 portrays the state of performance of MTN Ghana Ltd as perceived and described by the respondents at the time of the study. A total of eight (8) respondents, which represent 80% of the sample, are under the perception that, the company has exhibited high performance for the year 2011. On the other hand, only 20% of the respondents suggest with their perception that, MTN Ghana ltd has witnessed medium performance in the existing year. Finally, none of the respondents places the company’s performance under low performance category.

Table 6 depicts information about the relationship between diversity management and performance in MTN Ghana Ltd. Majority of the respondents, claiming 80% of the samples have observed that, diversity management in the company has contributed immensely to the performance of the company in the year 2011. On the other hand, only 20% of the respondents have a different view regarding the relationship between performance and diversity management in the company. This group of people saw no tie existing between Diversity at MTN Ghana Ltd and its performance.

This implies that, there is high evidence of the impact of diversity management on the performance of MTN Ghana ltd.

Table 7 indicates the key management practices produced by the respondents for a successful diversity management policy. From the table, all respondents have identified the vital contribution that can be made by each management practice for effective diversity management to prevail in the company.

A successful diversity management strategy or policy will require top management support, corporate philosophy, intensive awareness creation and education. These practices have been elaborated in the literature review section of the study.

Table 5. Description of performance of MTN in 2011.

Source: Survey data 2011.

Table 6. Data on the relationship between diversity management and performance in MTN Ghana Ltd.

Source: Survey data 2011.

Table 7. Management practices needed for diversity management in MTN Ghana Ltd.

Source: Survey data 2011.

5.2. Results and Discussion

The ultimate objective of this study was to investigate into the effect of diversity management on the performance of companies within the telecommunication industry, with MTN Ghana Limited as the case study. The study was also conducted to ascertain the description and level of diversity and its awareness in MTN Ghana Limited. Finally, the investigation was also carried out to provide recommendations for appropriate management practices that managers can adopt for diversity management in order to enhance performance in the company.

The study found out five major dimensions of diversity within MTN Ghana Ltd. These dimensions are nationality, religion, gender, age, and education. All respondents agree to this reality in their organization. This provides a perspective for the description of the workforce diversity in MTN Ghana Ltd. This finding of the study on diversity in terms of the parameters described here supports the view of Cox and Beale (1997) as in [11] , who looked at diversity as “a mix of people in one social system who have distinctly different, socially relevant group affiliations”.

The study also found out that, MTN Ghana ltd draws from its diverse workforce, benefits such as creativity and innovation; acquisition and availability of competent staff; low employee turnover rates; and marketing advantage. Each of the benefits has been supported by more than 50% of the respondents. This finding was found to be in line with the views of other prominent researchers under the diversity discipline. For instance, Hodgetts and Luthans (2000) as in [7] , indicated that there was a growing evidence to show that, culturally diverse groups can enhance creativity, that diversity may lead to better decision-making and thus result in a more effective and productive performance. Similarly, this finding is also in line with the view of Daft (2005) that, diversity adds value to organizations and is capable of significantly contributing to their overall competitive advantage and productivity.

The study identified traces of some problems of diversity with MTN Ghana Ltd. The major ones are interpersonal conflicts, lack of trust, problems in communication, and incorrect perception about others. Each of the problems of diversity has enjoyed less than 50% of the respondents support. Even though this can be seen as negligible, management would be better off by taking a look at it.

One other finding of this study was that, MTN Ghana Ltd is practicing diversity management within its environment; however, the approach is rather improper. To draw fully from the benefits of diversity management, management must put up a more appropriate strategy by adhering to the conditions and steps for diversity management such as employees education on diversity, training and awareness creation.

Finally, the study found out that, generally, MTN Ghana Ltd has put up an encouraging performance for the year 2011. And apart from establishing a positive relationship between performance and diversity management, the study has identified strong connection between the performance of MTN Ghana Ltd and its diversity management. More than 70% of the respondents tied the encouraging performance of MTN Ghana Ltd to diversity management in the company.

Perhaps, one major benefit that MTN Ghana Ltd is enjoying from diversity is Marketing advantage. Respondents added that, the present mile stone in the form of ten million customers, marked by MTN Ghana Ltd can be tied to diversity and diversity management. The understanding is that, the diverse workforce of the company has made it possible for the company to come out with critical marketing strategies that have earned it its current position in the market. This outcome of the study on MTN Ghana Ltd supports the views of Achua and Lussier (2010) as in [4] , Fry, Stoner and Hattwick (1998) as in [5] and that of Daft (2008) as in [13] , who have variously argued that the possession of a multicultural workforce, a diversified supplier network and customer base was good for business and related enhanced market advantages to the presence of a well-managed workforce diversity.

The diversity within MTN Ghana Ltd is not without problems. It is carrying creeping problems that have a high tendency of jeopardizing its achievements. The key problems of diversity that were found to be present in the company are problems of communication, lack of trust, incorrect perception about others and interpersonal conflicts. Even though these problems of diversity are very silent and seem to be unnoticeable, they have a greater power of creating gargantuan problems for the company. There were only a minority of respondents, constituting not more than forty percent (40%) with respect to each area assessed, and the fact that these problems existed or just perceived to be existing is enough ground for one to be wary of its potential consequences. The fears of Achua and Lussier (2010) as in [4] , that diversity has a potential of bringing about negative and unfavorable results if it is not well managed is confirmed here. This is Hodgetts and Luthans (2000) as in [7] for instance were of the opinion that diversity can disturb cohesion and make difficult for an organization to take concerted action, be productive and create a work environment that is conducive to both efficiency and effectiveness.

The study also found out that, there is diversity management within the company; however, this diversity management is improperly undertaken. From the responses of the respondents, some of them do not even know what diversity management is. Some of the respondents pointed out the improper manner in which diversity management is undertaken within the company. For example, there is no diversity statement in the company, no trainings are organized for employees and no audit is done on the diversity management of the company. The organization has no particular manager purely assigned as a diversity manager.

The study found out that, there is a positive relationship between diversity management and performance. This is so, as the present performance of MTN Ghana Ltd has been tied to its diversity management. Such a correlation between diversity management and performance has similarly been established by Daft (2008) as in [13] who outlined in his study that good number of top managers valued diversity for the simple reason that it translate positively into performance. The findings in this study have again confirmed that of other research outcomes on the subject matter and in a recent example expressed by Barak (2011) as in [17] in a similar but retrospective study have narrated how in 2001, Nextel audited its diversity training programme and found out that, its diversity management programme directly and positively impact on its turnover rates.

For diversity management to succeed, there have to be some specific and conscious management practices. The research found out that, practices such as top management support, corporate philosophy, awareness creation and education form the key management practices that will ensure the success of diversity management in a company. This can only be possible if the top management teams of the organization truly appreciate and understand the potential impact of diversity management on the overall performances of their set ups.

6. Conclusions

Indeed, it is clear that, discussions about the new management concept of diversity have not received much attention in the corridors of some industries in Ghana.

The study has pointed out five key dimensions of diversity that are present in MTN Ghana Ltd. These dimensions are nationality, religion, gender, age and educational background. In most of the literatures that have been reviewed, these dimensions have always been cited. The implication of theses dimensions is that, almost every employee of MTN Ghana Ltd can identify himself/herself with different other people who may share some of these dimensions with them. People may be of the same nationality, belong to the same religion, carry the same age, be of the same gender or fall under the same level of education within the company.

Similarities and differences shape the management styles of individuals in the company. And as the top management team of the company is made up of a diverse team, it may be safe to assume that, most of the strategic plans, which have elevated the company to its present heights in the market, emanate from the diversity spirit of this team. Each team member brings a unique management style and different perception about issues. And after all the heated debates behind closed doors, effective decisions are made and better policies generated for implementation. Members of this team are also exposed to an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences, share knowledge among one another and develop their skills in dealing with people from different backgrounds.

One can therefore tie the great and wonderful products of MTN Ghana Ltd such as “Network Solutions”, “Internet and Messaging Solutions” and “Data Center Services” to the creativity and innovation benefit that the company is enjoying from diversity. These products and service are in themselves embodiments of other packages that offer value for money for their customers. Considering the nature of its diverse workforce, MTN Ghana Ltd may not find difficulties in creating new and more competitive products and services for the market, no matter how diverse their clientele base may be.

It is very important that, since a business exists to serve a group of customers, it produces goods or services that will meet the needs of these customers by taking into consideration the diverse nature of the customer base. And indeed, it takes an organization which is capable of tapping into the diverse resources of its workforce, to be able to not only develop innovative products but also to formulate creative marketing strategies that will lead to the total improvement in their capacity to enlarge their market base, as this study has shown MTN to be doing. The argument is that, for a business to identify, understand and respond appropriately to the needs of a diverse customer base, it would require a conscious effort to engage and maintain not only a diverse workforce but would require that the organizations put in place effective management and marketing strategies to make maximum benefit of its diversity (Achua & Lussier, 2010) as in [4] .

The study is able to establish a positive relation between diversity management and organizational performance, especially in MTN Ghana Ltd. The study pointed out how MTN Ghana limited which has a significant diverse workforce is able to exhibit high performance by harnessing the benefits of diversity notwithstanding its accompanying challenges. This has made the organization to maintain leadership status of the entire telecommunication industry for so many years.

7. Recommendations

After conducting a thorough research on an issue, it is recommended that, the researcher submits recommendations that will help improve the situation. Considering this fact, the researcher has provided the following recommendations for management of MTN Ghana Ltd to consider.

1) The diversity management situation in the company should be given a face lift. More attention should be given to this area to make it active within the company. Diversity management division should be created or made the responsibility of the human resource manager.

2) The top management team should be prepared to give its fullest support to the course of diversity management in the company. It is important for the board and the chief executive officer to make the vision of diversity management, the vision of the company as well.

3) Awareness must be created across the company concerning the issues of diversity management and the impact of diversity for all.

4) Education and training programmes may be organized for employees to learn about diversity and how to handle its complex issues.

5) All barriers to diversity management such as stereotyping, ethnocentrism, discrimination and racism must be prevented from taking root in the company.

8. Limitations

An argument will not be made that this study is without limitations or shortcomings. Like any other research work, this research work has faced some challenges that have the ability of affecting its conclusions and generalizations. Below are the limitations of this study.

1) The results from this study may not benefit entirely from the principle of generalization since it is a single case study. However, this is debatable from different writers.

2) The results of this study may also not be complete or in details since questionnaires were used, which could not have help to read the non-verbal cues of the respondents. These non-verbal cues are essential in the analyses.

If the researcher had an opportunity to do this research work again, some few things would have been changed. Nonetheless, this study can form a strong basis for more detailed studies to be done on all the other companies within the telecommunication industry. Perhaps, the objectives can include a look at the reasons why diversity management is not a major concern in Africa.

Cite this paper
Suleman, A. (2017) Diversity Management for Improving Performance in Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Ghana Limited. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 7, 1158-1173. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2017.710083.
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[16]   Daft, L.R. (2008) Management. Thomson South-Western, Mason.

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[19]   Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis. Sage Publications, London.

 
 
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