This is, in a way, a stand against racism and prejudice. Now, why might organizations implement this Just like every other action, this has good characteristics as well as bad ones.
First of all, the biggest benefit to any organization of hiring employees from different races and ethnicities is that it creates a good impression in the minds of socialists, shareholders, the public and all other stake holders. For Microsoft, this will be especially important because multinational companies such as itself gain additional profits and other non monetary benefits such as good will only by creating a noble image in the minds of their stakeholders.
Secondly, diversity leads to a greater pool of ideas. When people come from different backgrounds, they tend to think differently in terms of logic as well as innovation. For a software house such as Microsoft, it is very important to hire people who can come up with more than one way of creating software or going about a project. In other words, it helps to solve problems in more than one way. This could probably even make problem-solving easier.
This then saves time and when employees save time in deciding how to solve something, they utilize the rest in producing more. This leads to an increase in productivity. Higher productivity, ultimately, generates profits for firms.
A diverse workforce can understand and meet customer requirements better as the client-base is likely to be diverse also in a country like the US. This is especially true for an organization like Microsoft whose customer base is massive.
Lastly, diversity helps to reduce lawsuits and increases marketing opportunities and creativity (Esty, et al., 1995).
The biggest problem that diversity presents to organizations is that it causes communication problems. This happens because people come from different backgrounds. They have different accents, different ways of thinking, different ways of perceiving things, and different ways of understanding. Therefore, this causes intra- and inter-team communication barriers. Either 'diverse' employees have problems understanding the communicator, or they have problems making themselves heard. Even feedback problems are likely to occur.
Some may think that having a number of ways of solving a problem is good. It leads to saving time and maybe even increased productivity. Alternatively, other might say that having too many ways of solving one problem may lead to confusion. It becomes more difficult to judge what would be a better option. Also, it gives rise to disagreements between different individuals, especially more when they are of different mores.
This causes frustration amongst team members and other colleagues which further leads to a hostile and an uncomfortable environment. This could even be the cause of de-motivation of employees. There is likely to be plenty of communication problems within different groups or between individuals as it is. A difficult-to-work-in environment further leads to more communication problems.
Also, cultural biases are spawned when trying to change the corporate culture. If such biases and behavior grow in frequency and intensity it can result in legal charges of discrimination, in its most serious form (Thomas, 1997).
Finally, when an organization employs a diverse workforce, it becomes important to acknowledge their needs and earlier unrecognized