Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

A Diversity Management Equilibrium as a Determinant of a Knowledge Creation Process: A Study of Polish Subsidiaries of International Organizations

Dr Barbara Jolanta Fryzel.

From over a decade international companies are present on Polish market becoming a focal point for knowledge transition and best practice sharing as far as management is concerned. Considering however an advanced process of globalization and recent EU new countries accession, the issue of successful management is not limited any more to finding an equilibrium between local and global approach. It brings an additional challenge of managing a diversity culture, which could be a threat to stability of an organization as well as opportunity for creating a value added knowledge, improving company’s chance for maintaining competitive position on one market. Value added knowledge is defined in this case as an outcome of a process which integrates a fragmented, multi - sourced, tacit knowledge into explicit one, which forms a basis for a successful business practice of a proven track record.
The proposed paper analyzes the corporate culture from the perspective of a diversity continuum, where on one end there is a dominant tendency for culture unification and on the other end a tendency for maintaining a diversity and capitalizing on it. The diversity continuum model is proposed The model names the cultural determinants for adopting a certain approach to diversity management by the company. Term diversity is used in the article in relation to the corporate culture existent in organizations in a sense of clearly definable and standardized values, norms and behavioral artifacts, specific either for the whole organization or for it’s formal or informal parts. In this sense, diversity would mean the multiplicity of cultures within one organization, either created by management artificially or organically developed by the enterprises. In both cases it requires to be managed, assuming that culture is treated by the management as one of the vital element of the company. Therefore the article does not deal with situation where corporate culture significance is neglected by the managers.
At the same time, the process of creation an added value knowledge is defined, together with it’s cultural determinants. The process comprises of a certain stages, which number represents the advancement of the company in developing an added value knowledge.
The paper examines the hypotheses that an advancement of a such defined process is dependant on company’s position on a diversity management continuum. The paper attempts to explain the following issues:
a. which cultural determinants are responsible for a certain position of a company on a diversity continuum;
b. are the same cultural determinants responsible for VAK* creation and diversity management;
c. is there a relation between a position on a diversity continuum and a stage of advancement of a process of VAK creation;
Finally, particular diversity management styles are analyzed from the perspective of their main cultural stimulant. The proposed research and case study is performed in international companies having subsidiaries in Poland. Observation, case study and standardized questionnaire are used. Statistical methods of data analysis provide the ground for final conclusions.


Dr Barbara Jolanta Fryzel  (Poland)
Adjunct, lecturer in management
Institute of Economics and Management, Department of Applied Economics
Jagiellonian University

  • Cultural diversity
  • Corporate culture
  • Knowledge creation
  • Diversity management

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)