Productive Diversity: Which Companies are Active and Why?

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Pyke, Joanne (2005) Productive Diversity: Which Companies are Active and Why? Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Productive Diversity is a government policy that aims to increase Australian business access to, and success in, trading with increasingly diverse domestic and export markets through the productive capacity of Australia's diverse labour market. Since 1992 when the policy was formally launched, however, the adoption of productive diversity has been patchy. The purpose of this research is to identify why some businesses have adopted productive diversity as a business strategy while others have not. Specifically, this research tests the validity of the business factor model developed by Bertone (2000a) that suggests that there are certain business characteristics that are related to productive diversity adoption. The model is based on research observations and the assumption that those businesses that are more impacted upon by globalisation will be more likely to adopt productive diversity (Bertone et al., 1998, p. 62). Through telephone interviews and documentary analysis, the characteristics of 156 of Australian's top 500 companies were each classified as one of four productive diversity 'types' called 'integrated', 'progressive', 'minimalist' and 'uninterested'. The business characteristics of the companies were then classified and correlated with the productive diversity types to identify whether or not relationships of significance could be found. No relationships were found, and the business factor model as proposed is rejected as an explanatory tool for productive diversity adoption. To explain this finding, the data was further interrogated to identify potential reasons for the failure of the model. The research concludes that while the factors contained within the business factor model are important sometimes, in some circumstances, there are other influential factors that shape productive diversity adoption. These include the interacting factors of locality, community, history and leadership. The lack of government policy compliance requirements is also a significant factor in the low level of productive diversity adoption. These factors combine variously and inconsistently to create the conditions for productive diversity adoption or non-adoption.

Additional Information

Master of Business

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords productive; diversity; business; Australian; markets
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