Original Research

Perception of the influence of cultural diversity on business performance in the automotive component manufacturing in South Africa

Philani M. Khumalo, Robert W.D. Zondo
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1451 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1451 | © 2021 Philani M. Khumalo, Robert W.D. Zondo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 August 2020 | Published: 30 March 2021

About the author(s)

Philani M. Khumalo, Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Robert W.D. Zondo, Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Global market demands that organisations remain competitive, flexible and relevant in order to adequately react to culturally diverse changes in their human resources. This sentiment describes the importance of cultural diversity in organisations. However, cultural diversity phenomenon has not been given serious attention by business.

Research purpose: This study examines the perception on the influence of cultural diversity on business performance in automotive component manufacturers in South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Cultural diversity in the organisation has grown over the passage of time with an increase in globalisation. People no longer live in an insular environment. They are part of the worldwide economy competing within a global framework. Hence, cultural diversity becomes a way of creating competitive advantage.

Research design, approach and methods: The study was quantitative in design, with middle-level managers in two large automotive component manufacturers in the eThekwini District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal participating in the study. Of the 168 individuals identified for participation, 118 participated in the study, representing a 70.2% response rate. Descriptive, correlative and t-tests, using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) were used to analyse the data.

Main findings: Study results indicates that a culturally diverse workforce is associated with greater organisational performance, improved strategic decision-making and innovation. Hence, organisations must manage cultural diversity among their workforce for the improvement of business performance.

Managerial implications: Culturally diverse workforce are associated with greater organisational performance, improved strategic decision-making and innovation. Hence, management must develop an understanding of their cultural settings if their organisations are to perform effectively.

Contribution: The original value of this study is its approach in uncovering the strengths and weaknesses of cultural diversity on business performance in South Africa.


Keywords

automotive; business performance; cultural diversity; workgroup; organisational performance; South Africa

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