Workplace diversity in South Africa: Its qualities and management

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 27, issue 4, 2017 , pages: 367–371
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2017.1347760
Author(s): Yvonne T. JoubertDepartment of Human Resource Management, South Africa


This qualitative study explored diversity management strategies used by South African financial institutions. The sample included 72 employees (33.33% females; 39.08% Indigenous African language speakers). Of the participants, 44.45% were white, 28.57% were black, 22.22% were Indian, and 4.78% were from the Coloured population group. The participants completed focus-group interviews or individual interviews on their workplace diversity experiences and its management. Themes emerging from Atlas.ti and Tesch’s data analyses included the consensus view that effective diversity management proactively addressed cultural differences, stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, misunderstandings, communication gaps, and conflict due to organisational hierarchical levels. Organisational competitiveness is enhanced through client focused services and an employee valuing work environment. However, some of the employees also viewed diversity initiatives as costly, time-consuming, and forced on employees.

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