Background of Study
diversity is considered as a valuable asset that a business or an
organization will need in seeking a competitive advantage in a global
economy. To achieve success and maintain a competitive advantage, we
must be able to draw on the most important resource such as the
skills of the workforce.
it being viewed as a valuable asset it is also conceptualized in many
different ways over the years and signifies different things to
different groups and individuals within organizations and society.
Some may see diversity as proportional representation of various
demographic and social groups in the workplace. Others may see it as
the involvement of overcoming cultural prejudice and instilling new
values about difference in the organization or it may imply changing
work practices to encompass cultural influences of different social
groups. This study identifies the effect of workforce diversity
toward employees performance in the County Government of
perspective of diversity is no longer just a black and white, male
and female, old and young issue. It is much more complicated and
interesting than that. In The Future of Diversity and the Work Ahead
of Us, Harris Sussman says, “Diversity is about our relatedness,
our contentedness, our interactions, where the lines cross. Diversity
is many things, a bridge between organizational life and the reality
of people’s lives, building corporate capability, the framework for
interrelationships between people, a learning exchange, a strategic
lens on the world.” This gives an implications that a diverse
workforce is the ability to tap into the many talents which employees
from different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities and disabilities
bring to the workplace.
Statement Of The Problem
workforce diversity is a global workplace and marketplace topic. Any
business that intends to be successful must have a border-less view
and an underlying commitment to ensuring that workforce diversity is
part of its day-today business conduct (Child, 2005). Besides,
understanding the impacts of diversity on organizational outcomes,
such as organizational performance, employee satisfaction, and
turnover, has become essential (Sungjoo and Rainey, 2010). When these
trends were first identified in the mid-1980s, they were proclaimed
as an opportunity for organizations to become more creative, to reach
previously untapped markets, and in general to achieve and maintain a
competitive advantage (Loriann and Carol, 2007).
tend to train employees upon hire, conduct ethics test but employees
still make decisions to break the rules with their behavior when it
comes to diversity (Victoria and Mary, 2010).
County Government of Nairobi has a workforce drawn from almost all
the 42 ethnic groups of Kenya who work under unique social and
environmental circumstances that provided a case study on workforce
diversity. This study focused on the relationship among ethnicity,
gender and educational background, towards employee performance at
the County Government of Nairobi.
a better understanding on the social background of employee
performance and the relationship with demographic variables.
general objective of this study is proposed in order to gain an
accurate and deep understanding of the effect of workforce diversity
on employee work performance at the County Government of Nairobi.
determine the effect of education level on employee work performance
at the County Government of Nairobi
determine the effect of ethnicity on employee work performance at
the County Government of Nairobi.
determine the effect of gender on employee work performance at the
County Government of Nairobi.
research questions this proposed research are;
education have an effect on employee work performance at the County
Government of Nairobi?
ethnicity have an effect on employee work performance at the County
Government of Nairobi?
gender have an effect on employee work performance at the County
Government of Nairobi?
Scope of the Study
proposed study is for gaining and having an accurate and deep
understanding of the effect of workforce diversity on employee work
performance at the County Government of Nairobi. The study will
involve the use of interviews, use of questionnaires and
observations. The study duration is two months.
Significance of Study
is viewed as part of the key strategy rather than a business expense.
The importance of this study is diversity would lead to synergistic
performance when team members are able to understand and appreciate
each other hence capitalize on one another experiences, knowledge and
perspectives. Through effective communication, members would be able
to evaluate problems and situations from various viewpoints,
determine underlying cultural assumptions and create a common social
reality, ascertain and explain culturally synergistic alternative
solutions appropriately, and establish agreed-upon norms for
workers from different education background creates opportunities for
greater innovation and more creative solutions to problems.
Consequently, the management is diversified and work on the effects
of increasing diversity is the key to assuring that the organization
will be able to fully benefit from bringing underrepresented groups
into the organization.
diversity is closely related with Human Resource Management thus
attract and recruit the most talented people from a pool of diverse
workforce. Such a diversity-driven approach towards recruiting a
range of qualified candidates is needed not least because of the
country’s diverse population of gender and age. therefore a
diversified human resources will contribute to determining and
realizing strategic objectives of the organization, and have a
systematized approach for making a linkage between organization
excellence and effective people management is critical to
study improves the understanding toward culture difference and at the
same time promotes a better communication with workers from different
optimum outcome of this study is to benefit the county government of
Nairobi by getting along with the top management and workers from
different backgrounds that would find the information in this study
useful in accessing the value of workforce diversity in their county.
Two: Literature Review
chapter consists of reviews on research, concepts and opinions
relating to diversity
and diversity management exist. It also
highlights the conceptual framework which critically showed the
relationship between the variables under consideration.
theoretical framework is described as a structure that can support a
theory of a research study. Basically a theories are formulated to
explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to
challenge and extend existing knowledge within the limits of critical
this case then theoretically, the workplace diversity literature
espouses the following different
frameworks for the examination of the possible effects of workplace
first theory is in accordance to Turner (1987) theory. The theory is
based on social categorization that is it describes employees based
on attributes like ethnicity, gender or age. Turner argues that this
results in stereotyping. However, Tsui, Egan and O’ Reilly (1992),
proposed that identifying employees with distinct groups such as
ethnic background may disrupt group dynamics. Later on Shaw (1993)
agreed with their research on the theory and his research showed that
ethnic identification evoked more disliking, distrust and competition
than when categorization arises from within the organization.
second theory is in accordance to Berscheid & Walster (1978)
theory. The theory is based on similarity or attraction that is the
non-salient attributes like values and education, which increase
interpersonal attraction and attachment.
third theory is in accordance to Wittenbaum & Stasser (1996)
theory. The theory is based on information and decision-making that
is it examines the impact of distribution of information and
expertise on work-teams. The theory perspective is to lead to
positive effects of diversity since the work-teams are expected to
process information differently thus bringing together differing
viewpoints hence in turn it can lead to more creativity and increased
Michaéla et al. (2003) argued that these theories can lead to
different and at-time contradictory hypotheses in regards to the
effects of diversity on group process and performance for example on
social categorization and similarity theory, its argued that it can
lead to a prediction of negative effects, such as decreased
satisfaction and commitment, group communication reduction, and
increased labor turnover.
Framework is an analytical tool with several variations and contexts.
It is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas. Strong
conceptual frameworks capture something real and do this in a way
that is easy to remember and apply.
this study the conceptual framework is based on education, ethnicity
and gender on the performance of employee at county government of
2.1 Conceptual Framework
Education background and work performance
background is important to employees thus its kind of difficult for
the employees to find a job and perform well without adequate
and David (2011) found that employees whose training, experience, or
education is judged to be inadequate the employers commonly reject
employing them. Besides that, in 2009, Daniel study shows that
various levels and types of education might expect different mobility
rates. For example, the occupations available to those with working
experience but does not possess a certified tertiary paper may differ
from those who possess such education level. However, Mobility may
across these occupations, causing the mobility of
individuals with working experience to be different from those with
non working experience but possesses a degree certificate. Other
researchers namely Zeng, Zhou, and Han (2009) have found that those
high-level managers with higher education and the staff whose length
of service is 11 to 15 years shows unusual decline in work
performance because they have not found the suitable development
space, so temporary disengagement happens.
Ethnicity and work performance
is the state of belonging to a social group that has a common
nationality or cultural tradition.
to Timmermans, 2011; Milliken and Martins, 1996; Harrison and Klein,
2007 study, Members of the minority group can experience less job
satisfaction, lack of commitment, problems with identity, perceived
discrimination, etc. However, when the minority grows, some of the
mentioned problems may disappear.
to Timmermans, (2011) study, ethnicity can be used as a proxy for
cultural background and diversity in ethnicity can be expected to be
positive for innovative performance, since it broadens the viewpoints
and perspectives in the firm (Richard, 2000). Moreover, based on
Timmermans (2011) study some levels of diversity in ethnicity might
be positive associated with innovation, high degree of diversity in
ethnicity might be negative since it can create conflict and cliques
due to social categorization (Dahlin, 2005).
(2009) study stated that ethnic diversity can have both advantages
and disadvantages for the organization. Jackson (2004) cited examples
of ethnic diversity disadvantages as communication problems and
conflict. When managers ignore the clashes caused by ethnicity, they
might be converted into personal and emotional conflict in the long
run and therefore damage organizational culture, employee morale and
overall sharp reduction of organizational performance.
2008 Van Esbroek and van Engen stated that management of diversity is
important to help an organization benefit from the advantages and
minimize the disadvantages of ethnic diversity that can have negative
effect on employee and organizational performance.
Gender and work performance
is the state of being male or female. According to Connell (2002),
gender refers to a description of masculinity or femininity.
and Levine, 2003;organizations prefer to hire males workers compared
with women because they are perceived to have better performance and
ability to manage their jobs. Kossek, Lobel, and Brown (2005) states
only 54% of working-age women are in the workforce worldwide compared
to 80% of men.
according to Kochan, Bezrukova, Ely, Jackson, Joshi, Jehn, Leonard,
Levine, and Thomas (2002), providing an equal job opportunity to
women is vital to improve performance of employees in an
organization, The research by Kundu, 2003 states that hiring woman,
minorities and others will help organization to tap niche markets
therefore we can say that an organization with diverse workforce will
provide superior services because they can understand customers
(2000), defined performance as working effective which is the way in
which somebody does a job, judged by its effectiveness. It is how
well an employee is fulfilling the requirements of a job (Rue &
Byars, 1993). Smith (2010), argued that good workforce diversity
practices in the area of human resources are believed to enhance
employee and organizational performance. According to Cornelius
(1999), effective performance can be a key determinant in the
achievement of business objectives while maximizing the contribution
of employees. Schuler (1992), observed that a performance appraisal
system should be objective, relevant to the job and the organization,
fair to all employees and offers no special treatment.
Empirical Review of Literature
Review is is research using empirical evidence. It is a way of
gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or
experience. In this section, the empirical review resultant from
studies conducted in two organizations namely; Banking sector in
Kenya and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which were conducted by
Munjuri and Maina (2013); Ngao and Mwangi (2013) respectively.
Banking Sector in Kenya
banking started in 1896 in Kenya. As of December 2010 the Kenya
Commercial bank group was the largest financial service in Kenya with
an asset base valued at US$3.5billion. It had the widest network of
banking17 outlets comprising nearly 220 branches in Kenya, Rwanda,
Southern Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda Talk (2012). The study under
review was carried out in Kenya within Nairobi Region and the target
population was 4,000 employees Munjuri et al. (2012).
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is a state corporation charged with the
responsibility of managing the Port of Mombasa, and other ports along
the Kenyan coastline and Kisumu. The workforce consists of over 5,000
employees drawn from all ethnic backgrounds (Beja, 2014).
General Review on Employee performance
study on effect of education on employee performance gave an
observation that the more balance in education types an organization
possesses the higher the likelihood of having innovations. A further
observation made is that an organization may make an effort to
compensate for educational or skill deficiencies of group members by
offering specialized training that bring employees up to the required
standards (Mosko, 1996).
The study on effect of education on employee performance on
ethnically homogeneous organizations, the ethnic differences among
members of diverse teams becomes more salient and are more likely to
interfere with performance. They further observed that in
heterogeneous organizations, the ethnic identities of team members
may be less salient and therefore they create less disruption.
on Banking Sector in Kenya the study by Munjuri (2012) revealed that
the banking sector had strategies for support to gender groups, and
equal employment opportunities. The various tests of hypotheses
showed a significant level of association between employee
performance and the mean productivity levels of the bank workforce
when categorized by gender. However based on Kenya Ports Authority
(KPA) the study by Ngao (2013) indicated that gender, greatly
impacted on organizational performance and success.
Janssens et al. (2003) study workforce diversity is a complex,
controversial and indeed a political phenomenon. Thus any diversity
studies should be as inclusive and engage a broad overview of the
dimensions of diversity.
Literature reviews of relevant theoretical models and variety of
approaches to employee’s performance provides conceptual background
to strengthen the argument of this research.
gap is basically an area for missing that have insufficient
information thus limiting the ability to reach a conclusion for a
this research that intended to investigation whether there existed
unseverable link between workplace diversity and performance of the
employee through examining the effect of three variables of diversity
at the County Government of Nairobi that is education, ethnicity and
gender. From the literature review, the effect of workplace diversity
on employee performance had not been adequately tested under such
social and environmental factors as exist at the County Government of
Nairobi. The extremely socialized and easy going friendly culture in
the County Government of Nairobi provided a peculiar opportunity for
a rare study on workforce diversity.
chapter mainly focuses on the objectives of the research done, how
the research was carried out and why the methodology chosen was
deemed appropriate for this research. The chapter also gives detail
on the population identified for the research and why the sample
population was chosen. Further it discuss the pilot study,
questionnaire and feedback for this questionnaire is given by way of
analysis and findings. Finally, it gives details of the analysis on
the data collected thus forming the basis for the following chapter
in which the findings will be reported and discussed in detail.
Design is described as a framework that has been created to find
answers to research questions. According to Oso & Onen (2008)
research design is defined as the overall plan or strategy for
conducting or carrying out the research.
research was conducted so as to determine and examine the factors of
workforce diversity towards the performance of the employee in county
government of Nairobi. One of the tools used was the questionnaire
that aided in examining diversity in relation to work performance.
The researcher examined a sample that was representative of the whole
population so as to obtain a more in-depth and rich description. In
our research the design nature is descriptive, according to Yin
(1984) a descriptive design is adopted because it has the advantage
of using the questionnaires, observations and interviews without
necessarily having to change the environment of the study.
is considered as an entire group of individuals, events or objects
with common observable characteristics that is in accordance to
Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) but according to (Kothari, 2004),
population refers to an entire group of individuals, objectives or
items from which the researcher wants information.
we can say that target population is the generalization of the units
for the a survey findings.
study targeted the county government of Nairobi due its unique
workforce that is drawn
all over Kenya and beyond and specifically, the County Assembly. From
an article on Daily Nation dated Thursday February 16th
2017, county that has over 14,000 workers, 8,400 have bare minimum
education standards and are unskilled and only 240 workers are
Frame is a list of things that you draw a sample from or can be
described as is a list of all those within a population who can be
sampled out and should reflect the whole population.
good sample should be reflective on the whole population. Gay (1992)
suggested that 10 percent of accessible population is adequate to
serve as sample. Cooper and Schindler (2003) argued that if well
chosen, samples of 10% to 30% of a population could give reliable
respondents are employees in the county government of Nairobi. Proper
selection of respondent is essential for the study to achieve its
research objectives therefore candidates must meet the following two
conditions before qualified as valid respondents.
working at the county government of Nairobi;
employed and working in the management departments.
are two major categories of sampling technique: probability and
non-probability sampling. According to (Zikmund, 2003) probability
sampling is used when every element of the population has a known,
non-zero probability of selection. On the other hand,
non-probability sampling is adopted when elements of the population
do not have a known or predetermined chance of being selected as
subject for the purpose of survey (Sekaran, 2003). There are few
types of probability sampling techniques:
sampling is used, instead of probability sampling because of
unavailability of sampling list which defines every element in a
population. The following are types of non-probability sampling
this research, types
of non-probability sampling that were
judgmental sampling. In judgmental sampling the researcher targets a
group of people believed to be reliable for the study. Distribution
of the questionnaires was done, a valid respondents had to met the
two conditions needed in order to be a respondent, they were asked to
fill up the questionnaire form that is distributed directly to them.
A total of 500 questionnaires were distributed.
size is the number of respondents included in a research. In this
research, we have obtained a sample size of 500 to represent the
Data Collection and Collection Tools
Data Collection Tools
research employed the use of questionnaires as the main tool for
carrying out this research and as well the use of one on one
interviews. From preliminary investigations, shows employees with
adequate knowledge and background were capable of responding to a
questionnaire in a favorable manner.
reasons for using questionnaires is that it enabled the respondents
to express themselves more freely and clearly, it enabled the
responses to be gathered in standardized way, it saved time by
enabling information to be gathered within the shortest possible time
and also that it facilitated the collection of potential information
from a sizable sample of respondents. The questions consisted of 4-
point Likert scale where the respondent was expected to strongly
agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree with carefully
constructed that ranged from very positive to very negative toward an
attitudinal phenomenon. Observations were also made in the course of
the study that backed up the research findings.