The Impact of Diversity and Demographic Characteristics on Individual Behavior

Essay by winstmaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2007

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AbstractEach individual's personality is like a puzzle whose elaborate pieces are characteristics that are placed together to form a distinctive image. Some characteristics are hereditary such as gender, ethnicity, and the way a person looks. Other characteristics are formed by a person's environment like religious affiliation and value or attitude differences. All characteristics work in various combinations to impact human behavior in different situations. The complexity of a person's behavior as seen through his or her actions or reactions in various situations is inconsistent. The same individual may respond completely different to the same situation at different times or places. In this paper the writer will examine the impact ethnicity, age, personality traits, and value and attitude differences have on individual behavior in the workplace and in the community.

Diversity and Demographic CharacteristicsDiversity and demographic characteristics impact individual behavior in many different ways. The impact can be positive as well as negative.

Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2005), define diversity as the presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another. "Demographic characteristics are the background characteristics that help shape what a person becomes" (Schermerhorn et al, 2005).

In comparison, by way of the university's diversity initiative, North Carolina State University has adopted the following definition of diversity: a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences (Diversity, 1997). Further, "to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic" is extremely important (Diversity, 1997).

In recent years, as more businesses are moving toward a global marketplace, diversity has changed. Of general consensus is the belief that everyone is of equal importance, and is permitted the same privileges and opportunities, without regard to race, gender,