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Purpose – This paper aims to develop a cultural diversity management (CDM) framework to enhance the performance of architecture design firms (ADFs) in Egypt. Design/methodology/approach – A research methodology consisting of literature review, case studies and survey questionnaire was designed to achieve the abovementioned aim. First, literature review was used to investigate the concepts of globalization, international construction, diversity, diversity management (DM) and organizational performance. Second, four case studies were presented and analyzed. The first two cases explored the role of CDM towards enhancing the performance of ADFs, while the last two cases showed initiatives carried out by NGOs to integrate architects of color into their communities through training programs that enhanced their skills and uplifted their societies. Third, a survey questionnaire was carried out with a representative sample of ADFs in Egypt to investigate their perception and application of DM towards enhancing organizational performance. Based on the results of the above, the research developed a framework to enhance the performance of ADFs through managing culturally diverse workforces. Findings – Literature review showed that diversity is not limited to race and gender; however, it includes other types such as disability, socioeconomic status, thinking style, culture, personality, life experience, religious and spiritual beliefs. Despite the benefits that diversity brings to ADFs such as stimulating creativity and increasing productivity, poor management of diverse workforce leads to dysfunctional conflicts, frustration and confusion. Results of case studies showed that ADFs that adopt a CDM approach succeeded in enhancing their performance. In addition, training initiatives carried out by NGOs succeeded to integrate architects of color into their communities and uplifting their societies. Results of data analysis identified the barriers to integrating diverse workforce in ADFs. These barriers include “Poor communication and spirit of collaboration between diverse workforce”,“Resistance to change”,“Lack of maintaining wage equity and promotion between different workforces based on gender”, “Poor organization culture” and “Lack of Senior Management involvement”. This necessitated taking action towards developing a framework to overcome these barriers to manage diverse workforces towards enhancing the performance of ADFs in Egypt. Research limitations/implications – Because of the conceptual nature of the proposed framework, it has to be tested and validated to ensure its capability to overcome the barriers of managing culturally diverse workforces as an approach for enhancing the performance of ADFs in Egypt. Practical implications – This research presents a practical solution to enhance the performance of ADFs in Egypt through managing cultural workforce diversity. Originality/value – The research identified and analyzed the barriers that obstruct the integration of diverse workforces in ADFs. The research tackled a topic that received scant attention in construction literature with particular emphasis on Egypt. In addition, this paper proposed a CDM framework to enhance the performance of ADFs in Egypt, which represents a synthesis that is novel and creative in thought and adds value to the body of knowledge.