HRM Homework


Topic: Development of leadership capacities as a strategic factor for sustainability in a multicultural organization 

* Please notice for the literature review resources to be sequenced according to the date and theme. 

* and put all the references at the end

I need the information collected to be written in a literature review format
the topic as mentioned must cover two focal points:
– leadership
– diversity
and how leadership would be created and the influence on the team members in those multicultural organization
“development of leadership capacities as strategic factors for sustainability in multicultural organizations”

– the research must cover the background of the topic
– it must be written in sequence
– themes are distinguished in sub-headings
– how can the development of leadership solve the problems may occur 

please share your plan with me if you have a better perspective 

i need a writer who has HR backgrounds to help me write this literature review


Development of Leadership Capacities as a Strategic Factor for Sustainability in Multicultural organizations


Introduction. 2

Background to the Topic. 3

Leadership. 5

Leadership Opportunities and Challenges of Multicultural Organizations. 5

How to Lead Multicultural/Multi-Ethnic Project Teams. 7

Leadership Development in Multicultural Organizations. 8

Impact of Multicultural Leadership on Organizational Sustainability. 11

Diversity. 14

Managing Diversity: Cultural and Demographic Aspects. 14

Developing Leadership Capacities in Diverse Organizations as a Strategic Factor for Sustainability. 16

How to Leverage the Power of Diversity to Improve Organizational Performance. 18

Conclusion. 18

References. 20

Development of Leadership Capacities as a Strategic Factor for Sustainability in Multicultural organizations


            The development of leadership capacities is a critical HRM function in all organizations. In today’s globalized world, a lot of emphases is on how this function can be used as a strategic factor for sustainability. A sustainable organization is one where aspects of diversity, environmental quality, social justice, governance, business ethics, and employee wellbeing are addressed. For a company to be sustainable, these aspects should constitute an integral component of its business strategy.


            In recent times, the idea of a multicultural organization has gained prominence due to the emergence of a trend whereby companies are being compelled to operate in cross-cultural contexts. For example, organizations that have traditionally been operating at the national level must open up operations on the international front as a way of maintaining competitiveness in a highly interconnected world. Such efforts require a change of strategy as well as the recruitment of a multicultural workforce. This phenomenon has translated into a new set of challenges for today’s organizational leaders. Companies must develop leadership capacities capable of leading the post-modern multicultural organization. This literature review analyzes the recent debate on the development of leadership capacities as a strategic factor for sustainability in multicultural organizations, with emphasis on scholars’ views on how multicultural leadership can contribute to organizational sustainability.

Background to the Topic

Leadership and diversity are crucial concepts in the contemporary HRM practices. The need to develop leadership capacities is being emphasized as companies endeavor succeed within a multicultural environment. In Western leadership theory, a lot of focus is on how cultural, economic, and political ideologies as well as religious traditions influence the way organizations operate (Blunt & Jones, 1996). In this regard, one may need to point out that the imperialist tradition remains a major driver of organizational practices in the West (Blunt & Jones, 1996). The pervasiveness of imperialism also extends to the developing world, where the macro-economic environment has significantly been shaped by Western business practices.

At the same time, corporations are increasingly being compelled to adopt a global perspective, hence the emergence of the concept of global leader development (Suutari, 2002). Companies are increasingly rethinking their strategies as a way of adapting to the multicultural nature of the globalized macroeconomic environment. Unfortunately, literature on how companies can embrace multiculturalism remains scarce. Much needs to be done to highlight the plight of underprivileged groups in the workplace (Kamp & Hagedorn-Rasmussen, 2004). At the same time, both organizational and societal aspects of diversity management should be addressed.

One way in which the notion of multiculturalism can be popularized in the contemporary organization is through the introduction of the concept of a stakeholder society. This is a particularly excellent initiative in organizations that are struggling to achieve objectives relating to leadership development (Maak & Pless, 2006). As Dobbie & Richards-Schuster (2008) argue, it is possible for organizations to build solidarity through cultural differences among members. Again, the idea of building solidarity as a process of social change has been under-theorized, yet it is a crucial component of the contemporary multicultural organization. This shortcoming has created a situation where the traditional organization is struggling to adapt to the increasingly multicultural context of the post-modern world but does not have the necessary practices and frameworks to facilitate this transformation.

Meanwhile a number of suggestions have been made in recent research, and one of them entails transferring management knowledge across organizational cultures (Jackson, 2009). Other suggestions include organizational capacity building and an assessment of the effects of various management actions (Jackson, 2009). These efforts are particularly beneficial for multinational organizations that are engaged in the delivery of services at the local level. The cross-cultural approach is considered necessary because it enables organizational leaders to address the needs of minority groups that may otherwise be neglected by traditional management approaches (Jackson & Claeyé, 2011). It is also important that a cross-cultural approach is adopted because it leads to the hybridization of practices and ideas from non-western and western countries or from the public administration and the private sector (Jackson & Claeyé, 2011). The objective should be to take into consideration competing values when looking for an effective way of managing contemporary multicultural organizations (Spence &Petrick, 2000).

The idea of building social capital has also been identified as a major source of growth for organizations (Al Arkoubi & Davis, 2013). It is on this basis that growing emphasis is on the relationship between social capital and the development of global leadership. It is also assumed that the development of social capital is a crucial strategic factor for sustainability in today’s multicultural organizations. As pressure on organizations to come up with sustainable practices, the demand for employees with excellent global leadership skills continues to grow (Gollan & Xu, 2013). This explains why there is growing interest in the development of leadership capacities as a strategies factor for organizational sustainability. Today, the onus is on human resource development practitioners to come up with ways of setting up strategies that can lead to the development of both global leadership and social capital. If anything, research suggests that leadership has a profound influence on both innovation and sustainability within organizations (Waite, 2014).


Leadership Opportunities and Challenges of Multicultural Organizations

There are numerous opportunities as well as challenges that accompany leadership in contemporary multicultural organizations (Cox & Blake, 1991; Cox, 1991). As organizations become increasingly diverse, the pool from which it can obtain top talent continues to widen (Cox, 1991). Other benefits include greater creativity, better decision making and ease of reaching a diverse customer base. At the same time, growing cultural differences can also potentially increase turnover, communication breakdowns, and interpersonal conflict (Edewor & Aluko, 2007). In light of this delicate situation, leaders are called upon to capitalize on the benefits that come with diversity while seeking to minimize potential costs. One way in which leaders can achieve this objective is to oversee the various change processes that culminate in the creation of multicultural organizations.

A major benefit of diversity management is that it enables organizations to promote inclusiveness with a view to benefit under-represented individuals (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich, 1999). This is the essence of the new organizational paradigm that had already started to emerge during the late 1990s (Gilbert, Stead & Ivancevich, 1999). One way in which to support the need for this new paradigm is to highlight the various ways in which diversity management has contributed to specific bottom line outcomes. Towards this end, multicultural teams are increasingly being targeted in efforts to create a multicultural organization. In this regard, focus is majorly on the unitary effect that encompasses both positive and negative aspects as far as team effectiveness is concerned (Takeuchi & Duriau, 2000). More recently, efforts have been made to provide region-specific examples of workplace diversity at work. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of adopting Western HRM is based primarily on the unitary conception of organizational reality (Takeuchi & Duriau, 2000). A stakeholder perspective has become popular within companies trying to manage diversity in this region (Takeuchi & Duriau, 2000). For some of the problems being encountered in this region to be resolved, organizations should integrate the so-called “African social system” into the existing HRM strategies and policies.


Analyses of multicultural team performance have also been targeted at other countries, including America, Russia, and Finland (Matveev & Nelson, 2004; Mäkilouko, 2004). In America and Russia, research evidence suggests that national culture has a profound impact on the way team members perceive cross-cultural competence (Matveev & Nelson, 2004). This can be a major challenge because of the tendency by multicultural teams to operate based on prejudices, incorrect assumptions, and stereotypes. Indeed, this is one of the primary causes of communication breakdown in multicultural teams. In the study on Finland, an important finding was that project managers should view foreign cultures majorly as a social phenomenon that can be exploited to harness knowledge in leadership (Mäkilouko, 2004). Another dimension in this discourse is the role of personality traits and task orientation in multicultural project management. The leadership style that project managers choose to use should take cognizance of personal traits, ethnic identity, intercultural competence, sustainability, organizational culture, and task orientation among members of the multicultural team as well as top management team (Mäkilouko, 2004; Matveev & Milter, 2004; Umans, 2008; Natanasabapathy, 2010; Linnenluecke & Griffiths, 2010)

How to Lead Multicultural/Multi-Ethnic Project Teams

The debate on how to lead multicultural teams has been revolving around a number of themes during the last decade. The main themes include intercultural competence, ethnic diversity in top management, diversity as an enabler of sustainable development, organizational culture, and organizational sustainability (Matveev & Milter, 2004; Umans, 2008; Natanasabapathy, 2010; Linnenluecke & Griffiths, 2010). For instance, intercultural competence is widely considered a crucial requirement for contemporary leaders (Matveev & Milter, 2004). Ethnic diversity in top management should also be promoted because it can lead to improvements in the use of open communication within teams (Umans, 2008). However, efforts must always be made to understand the effect of various variables that moderate the effectiveness of power distribution and communication (Umans, 2008).

The insufficiency of knowledge that supports employees for sustainable development is demonstrated by the presence of numerous upheavals and struggles across the world (Natanasabapathy, 2010). There is a need for new knowledge on how to lead multicultural/multiethnic teams to be developed (Natanasabapathy, 2010). A lot of focus should be on self since personal sustainability plays a critical role in enhancing the sustainability of multicultural and multiethnic teams. Aspects of leadership in multicultural teams must also revolve around the issues of organizational culture and corporate sustainability (Linnenluecke & Griffiths, 2010). Cultural orientation matters a lot in the process of leading diverse teams.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of literature on how diversity should be managed in order to achieve effective leadership in the context of multicultural teams (Jonsen, Maznevski & Schneider, 2011). Focus has been primarily on the adoption of U.S.-centric approaches. Research that examines the issue from the perspective of other countries should be carried out. Some of the issues that needs to be addressed include the role of institutional forces, globalization, and HRM practices in efforts to overcome cross-cultural communication with a view to improve the outcomes of diverse teams (Paik, Chow & Vance, 2011; Rozkwitalska, 2013). Dynamism should be promoted in the task of leading diverse teams (Gollan & Xu, 2013). The objective should be to unlock potential that can pave way for a system of regeneration and renewal. The starting point for this process is efforts to realize sustainable HRM since it ultimately fosters corporate sustainability (Mustafa & Morrison, 2013). 

Leadership Development in Multicultural Organizations

            Since the mid- and late 1990s, HRM researchers have explored the issue of leadership development in multicultural organizations (DeSensi, 1995; Nemetz & Christensen, 1996; Kanungo, 1998). The main themes include a theory-based examination of multiculralism, the need to harness a diversity of views with the aim of understanding multiculturalism, and ways in which the corporate environment in today’s diverse organizations pose challenges for leadership development. An example of Canadian organizations is highlighted, whereby it is suggested that executives’ transformational/charismatic leadership can be of utmost advantage as far as management practice in the present century is concerned (Kanungo, 1998). The issue of leadership profiles vis-à-vis national culture particularly in Europe has also been examined (Koopman, 1999). A crucial observation in this regard is that variations in leadership prototypes are to a certain extent a reflection of differences in culture (Koopman, 1999).

            As the world ushered in the twenty-first century, the attention of HRM scholars as far as leadership development in diverse organizations is concerned started shifting the use of the resource-based view of the contemporary organization (Richard, 2000). Other suggestions that emerged in relation to leadership development include merging leadership qualities with organizational vision to achieve organizational objectives (Miller & Fields, 2000); executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, networking, mentoring (Day, 2000); the structuring of internal processes in public organizations (Selden & Selden, 2001) and calls for a new diversity leadership (Combs, 2002).

            Having set the stage for the main themes to be discussed in subsequent research, scholars started reporting on their main findings as far as the development of leaders in today’s diverse organizations is concerned (Liang, Lee & Ting, 2002; Arredondo & Perez, 2003; Hyde, 2004). One of these findings is that cultural factors are at the heart of the level of influence that organizations exert on contemporary corporate leaders, and an excellent example is that of Asian American leaders (Liang, Lee & Ting, 2002). The findings also showed that the concept of social justice leadership can be promoted as a way of facilitating the emergence of multicultural competency standards as well as organizational change (Arredondo & Perez, 2003). In essence, it largely builds on a historical review of the evolution of various leadership competencies, clarifying aspects of scope, relationship to specific case conceptualization, and implications for the increasingly diverse organizations of today.

            The concept of leadership development has been embraced not just in public administration and the private sector but also in human service agencies (Hyde, 2004). Multicultural organizational development remains a critical mantra in discourse on ways of developing leaders who can effectively manage diverse teams in human service agencies (Hyde, 2004). Towards this end, for major challenges have been identified, namely socioeconomic environment, conceptualization of change efforts, organizational dynamics, and consultant competence.

            With time, other concepts have captured HRM researchers’ attention, including leadership as learning (Amey, 2005), leaders’ use of multicultural distributed teams (Connaughton & Shuffler, 2007), and the application of diversity management best practices with a view to optimize the way organizational leaders approach diversity (Kreitz, 2008). In all these issues, a lot of emphasis is on the impact of transformational leadership in the performance of organizations that operate in an intercultural context (Van Woerkom & De Reuver, 2009). Some of the characteristics of transformational leaders that contributes to their effectiveness in intercultural contexts include open mindedness, cultural empathy, and social initiative (Van Woerkom & De Reuver, 2009).

            At the same time, recent research findings have emphasized the crucial role that inclusive leaders play in reducing turnover in diverse organizations. This aspect of inclusivity is best described through the member leader-member exchange, expectation states, and social categorization theories (Nishii & Mayer, 2009). Inclusive leadership is normally compared to boundary spanning leadership in terms of its effectiveness in multicultural contexts. Boundary spanning leadership may be defined as the capacity to establish alignment, direction, and commitment across organizational in the pursuit of a higher goal or vision (Ernst, 2009). This capacity typically resides across and within individuals, teams and groups, as well as larger systems and organizations (Ernst, 2009). Under these circumstances, leaders are confronted by the challenge of bridging social identity boundaries between individuals with different perspectives, values, histories, and cultures. This is a difficult undertaking in today’s organizations whose technological and structural boundaries have been dismantled, and the resulting flat organizations have yielded a new type of boundary that is to be found in intergroup relations (Ernst, 2009).

            A lot of emphasis in recent research on leadership development is that people who have historically remained apart due to cultural, religious, economic, political, and ideological differences are now increasingly finding themselves in situations where they must work together. Contemporary organizational leaders must take cognizance of this fact and put in place appropriate measures. For example, the kind of leadership that they exercise must be geared towards bridging boundaries that keep groups of people apart. This may explains why boundary spanning leadership has become very popular in recent literature. Other leadership approaches that are also gaining widespread acceptance include distributed leadership (Bolden, 2011), global leadership, and the reconstruction of leader-follower identities (Davila, Rodriguez-Lluesma & Elvira, 2013). In these approaches, there are a number of shared theoretical assumptions, for example, the need for a balance to be maintained among various hybrid configurations of leadership practice. Moreover, the role of normative and descriptive perspectives has been emphasized. Nevertheless, there is also consensus regarding the need to supplement these perspectives by more critical accounts that prioritize the discursive and rhetorical significance of reconstructing leader-follower identities as well as reinforcing or challenging traditional organizational forms.

Impact of Multicultural Leadership on Organizational Sustainability

In efforts to develop leaders who are responsive to the needs of a multicultural organization, a debate on the need for a behavioral approach to leadership has emerged (Mosley, 1998). This debate has emerged within the context of an information technology-driven internationalization that has led to the emergence of new challenges affecting organizations. During the 1990s, leadership was sometimes mentioned but it was not considered a major leadership issue. This was mainly because of failure by transformational, situational, and leader-member exchange theories to address diversity initiatives at the operational level. Meanwhile, the idea of a behavioral approach to multicultural approach emerged as a crucial talking point in HRM literature.

Following the introduction of this debate, some scholars have even subsequently made suggestions on the preferred behaviors for leaders who are seeking to promote sustainability within multicultural organizations (Littrell & Valentin, 2005). Some of these behaviors include organizational commitment, awareness of cultural issues, and the ability to translate the characteristics of work organization and strategy to a “language that can be understood by all cultural groups in the organization (Littrell & Valentin, 2005). Once leaders of all diverse work groups understand how a certain task should be performed, they can easily motivate all their respective team members to work towards the achievement of the intended objectives. 

There is also an emerging trend whereby there is a preference for certain varieties of explicit leader behavior among managers (Littrell & Valentin, 2005; Bhopal, M. & Rowley, 2005). In many European countries, these preferences are a major source of motivation for expatriate management training and development. They have also played a critical role in determining how requirement for various management practices are determined. Nevertheless, significant differences continue to exist in terms of leader style preferences for various managers operating in multicultural organizations. These differences may be attributed to variations in organizational and marketplace realities, the managers’ personal preferences, and dictates of various multicultural environments. More importantly, they may be a reflection of the absence of a uniform, agreed-upon model for promoting multicultural leadership for sustainability.

As the debate on the behavioral approach gained popularity, leaders started being encouraged to introduce approaches geared towards energizing, directing, and sustaining effort across cultures (Trefry, 2006; Gelfand, Erez & Aycan, 2007). In this regard, the relationship between the individual leader and the organization he led was considered an important prerequisite for the sustainability of a multicultural organization. Using such an approach, leaders can easily promote organizational contracts, citizenship behavior, psychological contracts, and person-environment fit. The idea being prioritized in this line of argument is that cultural issues at the organizational level should be taken seriously for sustainability to be achieved. At the same time, leaders have been encouraged to move beyond intra-cultural comparisons in order to appreciate the dynamism that is always inherent in cross-cultural interfaces.

Transformational leadership also plays a fundamental role in the development of organizational commitment within multicultural contexts. In this regard, leaders are considered to be highly effective if they succeed in inducing commitment to both the occupation and the organization in all their followers. However, the commitment mindset brings into perspective a strong element of abstraction. Members of top management, supervisory team, and workgroups may have slightly different conceptions of what it means to be committed to the organization (Horn & Cross, 2010). Differences in interpretations may be even more profound in a multicultural context. An effective leader should be able to reconcile different abstract interpretations of commitment when coming up with an appropriate strategy for motivating his or her followers.

            More recently, the idea of distributed leadership as a crucial factor for organizational sustainability has also emerged (Bolden, 2011). The enduring view in this regard is that the values of multiculturalism should be promoted through school education in order to create a foundation for effective training within organizational contexts (Bolden, 2011). The need to transform sustainability education has also been highlighted (James & Schmitz, 2011). This need arises from the challenge organizations are facing worldwide in their efforts to impact positively on members of different cultural grounds, citizens, as well as the environment. The educational perspective emphasize social value creation in all leadership decisions. James & Schmitz (2011) suggest that a multidisciplinary approach should be used in efforts to promote sustainability in multicultural contexts. Such an approach can easily yield creativity and innovation and ultimately sustainability. Other important suggestions for the development of sustainable multicultural leadership include promoting citizenship behavior (Davila, Rodriguez-Lluesma & Elvira, 2013) and leadership training (Chuang, 2013; Zanutto, 2014).


Managing Diversity: Cultural and Demographic Aspects

Diversity comprises of both cultural and demographic aspects (Strauss & Connerley, 2003; Syed & Kramar, 2010). Cultural aspects manifest themselves mainly through racial, religious, and ethnic differences as well as variations in geographical origin (Ishaq & Hussain, 2002). In contrast, the main demographic factors to be considered include age, gender, sex, and socioeconomic status. Both cultural and demographic diversity should be managed in the right way for sustainability to be achieved. In most cases, diversity in the organization is a reflection of the diversity of the social environment within which that organization operates.

Managing diversity can be a complex issue particularly for multinational companies setting up operations overseas. In such an environment, different socio-economic, political and cultural issues have to be addressed in efforts to promote organizational commitment for a highly diverse workforce (Bhopal & Rowley, 2005). For example, some employees may be reluctant to embrace the product market strategies of the multinational company simply because they contradict their own cultural, religious, social, and economic ideologies.

Whereas highly multi-ethnic environments may present constraints for managers, they can also present opportunities as well. In this regard, emphasis should be on the potential for diversity as a potential management resource. There are many situations where ethnic diversity is required for both internal (operational) and external (contextual) levels. For example, an organization may be profoundly dependent on local marketing teams to penetrate the local market. This normally happens because of the local teams’ in-depth understanding of local cultural practices.

The demographic composition of contemporary companies continues to change particularly in the developed world and increasingly in the emerging world Stevens & Plaut, 2008). Following these changes, minority groups are increasingly becoming the economic and numerical majority. Consequently, organizations are struggling to manage the newfound diversity. Two major approaches to diversity have been identified in recent literature: colorblindness and multiculturalism. Each approach can potentially make members of different cultural and demographic groups feel excluded. It is against this backdrop that Stevens & Plaut (2008) promote the idea of all-inclusive multiculturalism as a way of ensuring that no individuals feel that they have been excluded from the organization.

Numerous problems are being experienced in organizations due to inability by organizational leaders to manage diversity effectively. For example, no significant efforts have been made so far to understand the career experiences of minority ethnic workers in many European countries (Ariss et al., 2013; Fujimoto, 2006). At the same time, lack of proper diversity management may create a situation where the skills of minority groups are not fully appreciated (Ariss et al., 2013).

Meanwhile, diversity management remains a critical issue in both public and private organizations. Over the years, many public organizations have realized the importance of courting ethnic minorities to fill up important positions. The objective is to promote talented employees from joining various government agencies. In some cases, the move is driven by legal and regulatory requirements that are designed to promote exclusivity. For these same reasons, private organizations are engaged in aggressive recruitment exercises targeting the most talented professionals from different cultural and demographic backgrounds. This is an inevitable turn of events in a highly interconnected world where the rate of immigration has increased (Boudreau & Ramstad, 2005).

During the 2000s, a debate emerged regarding the role of trade unions in promoting diversity in terms of social inclusion (Lucio & Perrett, 2007). This phenomenon manifested itself at a time when trade unions were increasingly being neglected in the earlier decades due to drastic changes in the employment structure within the context of a highly globalized workplace. Today, the issue remains unresolved primarily because of drastic workplace changes that render trade unions powerless, for example employees’ preference for part-time, flexible work.

Developing Leadership Capacities in Diverse Organizations as a Strategic Factor for Sustainability

The need for diverse organizations remains a heated debate, and this has been the case since the mid-1990s (Humphries, 1995). As the globalization continued to trigger increased cross-cultural operations in the corporate the problem of employment segregation became an increasingly worrisome issue for various stakeholders (Humphries, 1995). Consequently, a number of suggestions were made, among the idea of bridging organizations. Since then, this idea has gained a lot of prominence in HRM literature (Brown, 1991; Becker & Ostrom, 1995). Emphasis was on the role that these organizations play in the creation of institutional arrangements that are conducive for sustainability within the context of a multi-sectoral development paradigm.

A major point of view that has been embraced in HRM theory and practice is that organizational diversity management is best undertaken in an environment where productive dialogue prevails. It is only in such an environment that effective organizational change can be produced (Kresten, 2000). It is widely assumed that for diversity management to lead to sustainability it should be geared towards promoting economic, environmental, and social performance (Jabbour, 2008).

More recently, HRM practitioners have expressed interest in investigating the various ways through which diversity management can be used to promote organizational sustainability. In this regard, the move towards sustainable HRM is said to be characterized by an evolutionary process, whereby sustainable organizations automatically lead to sustainable societies (Ricardo, 2011). This is an important pointer to the key role that diversity management plays both within the organization and in the surrounding communities. On this basis, numerous arguments that support the need for diversity managers to look beyond the bottom line have been made (Bleijenbergh, 2010; Van Dijk, 2012). In Bleijenbergh’s (2010) view, it is risky for organizations to promote diversity, justice, and sustainability based solely on the business case. One way in which diversity can be promoted is through the adoption of different ownership forms that bring on board different cultural, economic, social, and religious groups despite a possible negative consequence of reduced profitability (Cooke, 2010; Cooke, 2012).

How to Leverage the Power of Diversity to Improve Organizational Performance

The idea of leveraging the power of diversity has been widely explored in research. Most of the current discussions on this issue are a carryover from HRM researchers’ renewed interest in the subject during the early 2000s. One of the areas of study where the issue of diversity management is being debated on is international human resource management (IHRM) (Scroggins, 2010; Pless & Maak, 2004). At the same time, the need for diversity management continues to attract attention in social enterprises, where it is being leveraged to maximize performance (Bridgstock, 2010).Today, it is widely assumed that diversity managers should be at the forefront in leading organizational change if sustainability is to be achieved (Taiti, 2009). Moreover, there is growing consensus that diversity management should be promoted based on globally-oriented integration mechanisms due to the pervasive influence of globalization (Sippola, 2007).

Meanwhile, it appears differences in the understanding of the role of HRM in diversity management among researchers should be resolved (Zanko, 2003; Stevens & Plaut, 2008). A worthwhile observation in this case is that diversity management is a non-linear process that should be handled through systemic, multilevel platforms. Different reactions to diversity change must be tolerated at the leadership level if the power of diversity is to be leveraged to improve organizational performance (Gonzalez, 2010; Hertel, 2013).


            A wide range of issues have been discussed by HRM scholars in regards to the development of leadership capacities as a strategic factor for sustainability in multicultural organizations. To begin with, there is consensus for a multicultural organization owing to the emergence of the current trend of globalization. A number of opportunities and challenges relating to the emergence of this kind of organization have also been highlighted. Examples of challenges include communicational breakdown in multicultural teams due to prejudices and inability by project managers to view foreign cultures majorly as a social phenomenon that can be exploited to harness knowledge in leadership. At the same time, diversity can be viewed as an opportunity for organizational leaders to attract talented professionals from different backgrounds. 

            Leadership development plays a critical part in diversity management. This literature review has specifically emphasized the crucial role of transformational leadership in effective management of intercultural organizations. At the same time, inclusive leaders need to be developed because they play a useful role in reducing turnover in diverse group contexts. HRM experts have also reiterated the need for boundary spanning leadership particularly in today’s flat organizations where people from diverse backgrounds are being compelled to work together.

On the other hand, multicultural leadership should be promoted, primarily through multidisciplinary education that emphasizes innovation and creativity in addressing social and cultural issues within the organization. This argument is being posited by HRM who are interested in building sustainable organizations that can withstand the extreme levels of diversity being experienced in today’s globalized world. Nevertheless, there is no uniform, agreed-upon model for promoting multicultural leadership for sustainability. One of the efforts being made towards the establishment of such a model involves promoting the concept of commitment, which is being widely viewed as a major requirement in sustainable leadership. However, leaders must be wary of the fact that commitment may mean different things to different members of the organization, and that this problem may be exacerbated by cultural differences.

There is also abundant literature on diversity. In this regard, the two major approaches to the study of this concept that have been identified in recent literature are colorblindness and multiculturalism. HRM experts agree that organizational diversity management is best undertaken in an environment where productive dialogue prevails. It also suffices to point out that the move towards sustainable HRM is characterized by an evolutionary process. Additionally, numerous arguments that support the need for diversity managers to look beyond the bottom line have been made. Lastly, some HRM researchers contend that diversity management is a non-linear process that should be handled through systemic, multilevel platforms. In conclusion, different reactions to diversity change must be tolerated at the leadership level if the power of diversity is to be leveraged to improve organizational performance.


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