Competition, pressures to reduce the production role of the State, and taxpayer demands for higher efficiency and cost-effectiveness mark the new work place realities". [Ospina,2001].
Recent research has shown that public sector performance and national development are directly related to the quality of human resources they have. Since the transformation of world community into a "global village", Public Sectors in almost every country, especially America and Europe, have also got a diverse work force.
Management of such diverse ethnic groups poses many challenges to managers. At the same time it affords numerous benefits both to the organization and the general public. Moreover, to ensure a fair and productive public service, diversity management needs to be backed up with a legal frame-work also. Numerous universities, Public Service Commissions and research scholars are continuously striving to bring forth a universally workable frame-work for diversity management. Even the UNO has shown keen interest in the subject and several expert group meetings and symposiums have been arranged in the UNO.
This paper attempts to evaluate the dilemmas and opportunities that workplace diversity poses for management and organizations in the public sector. This study does not put forth any new theories or frameworks. In fact it focuses on diversity management in public sector with a view to identification of the factors involved in workplace diversity and issues related to it, advantages presented by effective diversity management, and problems or challenges for diversity management.
One of the most conspicuous aspects of the turn of the new century is that traditional approaches to almost all aspects of life have been challenged. From personal dealings to foreign policy no subject remains un-challenged by the new paradigm which has occurred due to the doctrine of "global village". Coupled with the shift from an industrial era to a service-based society tremendous changes have been brought about in the concepts and practices of HRM. Most of the research and development in this field is aimed for the private sector with its multi-national companies and ethnically diverse work-force. "Workforce diversity has, indeed, become an imperative for organizational competitiveness and effectiveness and diversity management is increasingly becoming a principle of human resources management. Forces
like globalization and the internationalization of public issues contribute to expand the flow of
labor across national boundaries and facilitate the constant exchange of materials, as well as
symbolic and human resources. To remain competitive, organizations must adapt to and manage
these environmental forces". [Ospina,2001].
This paradigmatic shift is equally applicable to Public Sector. Although the primary aim of Public Sector is quite opposite to that of Private Sector, nevertheless, it faces almost the same challenges in terms of workplace diversity as any other Private Sector organization. In fact diversity poses more challenges to Public Sector because it is invariably short of resources, is weighed down by bureaucratic red-tape, and is confined in a tight perimeter of