TIPPED FOR THE TOP: Professor Syed’s book will become a set text at the University of Huddersfield
TIPPED FOR THE TOP: Professor Syed’s book will become a set text at the University of Huddersfield

‘Hotly anticipated new text’ examines diversity in the workplace

A professor from the University of Huddersfield, Jawad Syed, has co-edited a book that is set to become a standard text for students.

‘Managing Diversity and Inclusion: An International Perspective’ has been shortlisted for Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year Awards, the winner of which will be announced in February.

A wide range of social and economic factors have led to greater diversity in the workplace, which means this book is extremely relevant for readers today.

The book’s chapters are written by global experts, including Professor Syed himself, whose contributions include an analysis of the importance of work-life balance.  

The contest judges describe it as a “hotly anticipated new text”.  

Mr Syed has been Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Diversity Management in the University of Huddersfield’s Business School since 2014 after an academic and business career in Pakistan, Australia and the UK.

He explained that globalisation, migration, ageing populations and advances in gender equality have had a profound effect on the workplace.

Previously, the workplace has been dominated by men of one ethnicity and age range.

Now, there is much greater diversity but it is accompanied by widespread lack of understanding of the issues, said Professor Syed.

“With very few exceptions, people are well meaning and do not want to indulge in prejudice or discrimination,” he said.

“When they do, in nine out of ten cases that is because they do not understand how to deal with, for example, younger or older employees, or how to create structures and policies that are inclusive, or they do not know how they can encourage women into senior decision-making roles.”

If companies do fail to recognise or understand diversity they are not only hurting minority communities, but are hurting themselves too, continued Professor Syed.

“They would be depriving themselves of skills and resources and there might be unnecessary conflict – for example women demanding equal opportunities,” he added. “In some instances, aggrieved ex-employees might go to a court of law, so there would be an issue of reputation and lack of social responsibility.”

The new book – which Professor Syed edited in collaboration with Professor Mustafa Ozbilgin of Brunel University – explores the management of diversity by drawing on international and cross-cultural case studies.   

In addition to its wider relevance, the book will also be an important element of a new Master’s course that will be taught by Professor Syed at the University of Huddersfield.