Managing Diversity Matters a Study Essay

Pages: 11 (3911 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

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e. Airline Pilots, Engineers and Apprentices, at QANTAS. One can easily witness the neutral vision of QANTAS Management towards its female workforce as out 284 winners of eExcel recognition programme, 40% of whom were female (QANTAS, 2009, p. 7). The statistics related to extended leaves showed a much higher number of 1213 taken by female staff as compared 167 leaves taken by male staff. (QANTAS, 2010, p.5). Also, initiatives include Life Assist, Health Assist, Trauma Assist, Manager Assist, Money Assist and Family Assist, can show QANTAS commitment to ensuring that its female staff enjoys work life balance. This situation is similar to the situation in Pocock (2005), where greater flexibility of work was offered

Where these reports were presented by QANTAS advocating itself, therefore one can expect a certain degree of bias; however if correlated with the general literature available on this subject, this claim appears to be objective and logical.

QANTAS' Focus on Diverse Needs of Customers

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While going through the annual reports of QANTAS, it can be easily witnessed that diversity management has always been one of its major concern and it has a very clear stance over Equal Employment Opportunity, anti-discrimination and cultural diversity issues. Its diversity is clearly visible from its presence in different regions of the world i.e. U.S., Canada, Asia, UK, Australia and Southern Pacific. In the year 2000, QANTAS extended its strategic alliance with number of other franchises in various regions (QANTAS, 2000, p.12). Its participation in Oneworld Alliance is one simple gesture of its adherence to catering the diverse mass of customers.

TOPIC: Essay on Managing Diversity Matters a Study Assignment

Where QANTAS has kept its employees at high cradle, it hasn't neglected its customers as well. In 2000, it started number of flights on new routes catering to the needs of its customers. Furthermore, even the cuisine offered during its flights was designed to suit the cultural, economic and ethnic backgrounds of its customers (QANTAS, 2000, p.15). Rather than introducing a unified global culture, it fostered the ideology of following local norms and values at globally diverse business units which enabled the business leaders in those locations to carry out work practices in the ways that would conformed to the local and familiar culture. This was the very reason why instead of unified reporting of overall group financial statements, it provided segment-wise analysis in its financial statements. Launching of Jetstar which is a low-fare economic local service, is also an example that QANTAS believes in serving all the business segments. This was the very reason why Jetstar made record sales in 2011 (QANTAS, 2011, p.7). Launch of new flights and other domestic products is also another illustration of QANTAS respecting diverse needs of its customers (QANTAS, 2011, p.19).

QANTAS Ideology Regarding Recruitment of Youth

Qantas has a clear and favorable policy regarding hiring of fresh graduates. It has strategic alliances with various business schools and colleges and through on-campus recruitment; it fulfills its needs for fresh graduates. At QANTAS, the recruitment is performed in almost all the cadres. Be it campus recruitment at universities for fresh Graduates or any other senior designation, QANTAS has appeared to be an employer of choice where hiring is strictly done on the basis of merit. The recruitment mechanism varies from using the professional services to in-house recruitment using various publication modes. In past few years, due to economic turmoil, QANTAS had to freeze its hiring process however no discrimination was shown to fresh graduates.

Challenges Faced By QANTAS

Despite all the ideal policies of this organization, it has managed to lose a huge number of employees and customer base in 2011.

Where Qantas has been complying with the Australian wage policy pertaining to aviation industry, it has also been trying to keep up with the international market rates as well. It has been following the policy of annual 3% increase on base pay which certainly does not address the issue of keeping with the increasing cost of living in Australia. On the other hand, it has been trying to have a unified global salary structure which is certainly not possible because of difference in currency rates and cost of living globally. Qantas gas been trying to avoid a sustainable wage policy addressing this particular issue, for decades. In fact, it introduced a pay freeze in 2001, for eighteen months and replaced it for return for -- a sliding scale profit share scheme which was a highly unreliable option. Furthermore, in 2008, it introduced a pay rise scheme which instead of offering a 5% rise as demanded by the unions, lead to 2.26% average rise every year.

It's all time famous dispute with three of his unions has made QANTAS lost the status of a reliable organization. These enterprise bargaining disputes started in 2011. The staff that suffered were part of the AIPA (Australian and International Pilots Association); licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, ALAEA, (Australian License Aircraft Engineers Association) and ground staff in QANTAS, the TWU (Transport Workers Union) (O, Niell, 2012).

This dispute has made QANTAS lose a major share of its business according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, QANTAS' share of the international market (to/from Australia, as measured by the number of international passengers) fell by almost 15 percentage points from 34 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2010. Also, QANTAS' return on equity is low. A number of prominent aviation analysts have argued that in light of these trends, QANTAS would be better off quitting the international sector (O, Niell, 2012).

The lockout took place in response to the low-level industrial demands of pilots and engineers. Where QANTAS was focusing more on off shoring and outsourcing, it was endangering the well-being of its own Australian workforce. Result was a dispute between both the parties. On the other hand, it QANTAS airline locked out its workforce and grounded its whole fleet affecting thousands of customers all across the globe.

The dispute took place under the sections of Fair Work Act (FWA). After this incident, various clauses of this particular act were terminated by Australian government. Where QANTAS adhered to the local Australian wages policy and competitive industrial norms in devising its compensation structure, it didn't want to extend its salary scale for any particular segment. However, as a result of this dispute, the engineers involved in the lockout were given 3% raise along with fewer restrictions on extended hours as well as terms from EBA 8. (O, Niell, 2012)

In recent years, various disputes have been filed lately related to gender biased behaviors at QANTAS. Where induction of individuals fro, different social backgrounds is highly appreciated as QANTAS, giving them a healthy and professional environment has turn out to be rather difficult. An example of one such case was Gama v QANTAS Airways Ltd.

The applicant was an Indian who reported racial and disability discrimination by his management. He complained of being called a Bombay Driver or monkey because of his body posture during walking.

QANTAS was found to be vicariously liable for each of these incidents on the basis that the remarks were made by, or in the presence of, a supervisor of Mr. Gama and therefore condoned. This was unsuccessfully challenged on appeal. (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2008).

For decades, QANTAS has managed to avoid many controversies in the chapter of Industrial Relations. It has been considered as a decent employer with a rather caring attitude towards its employees and who has successfully managed symbiotic Industrial relations with fifteen unions. However, in during last year, this cover has been blown by the airline's debacle with three of its unions in 2011 (Berman, et. al, 1999). The resultant was the famous lockout of these employees by the management. The response was so strong that the government had to change its legislation pertaining to lockouts. The battle between the management and the union went on for months and after thorough deliberation and a long and vicious cycle of tedious meetings, both the parties arrived on a consensus (Godard, 2004).

However, after this event, questions were raised about the airline's ability of maintaining industrial relations. This was the ultimate thrust of IR reform? -- ?to pathologies industrial action, however legal, however justified. The point was to frame the right to withhold labor as an illegitimate form of economic vandalism, no matter what the circumstances (Keane, 2011).

Analysis and Recommendations

Considering the current policies of QANTAS, one can easily observe the commitment of this airline towards diversity management. Be it equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination to the workforce on the basis of seniority, experience, race and ethnicity or diverse needs of its customers globally, QANTAS has tried its best to take care of its stakeholders well. If we look at the annual reports of QANTAS from 2000 till 2011, it is evident that QANTAS has taken various measures to ensure that its workforce is grown equally along with the changing face of airline… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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