Multicultural Business Environment

Team Work

Multicultural Team Work

Listen to this postMost of the difficulties in managing multicultural teams are resided in the cultural diversities and time difference which mainly lead to miscommunication (Chitakornkijsil, 2009). Culture evolves with time as the workers integrate into an effective group and adapt to the external environment efficiently to carry on their work (Edewor & Aluko, 2007). Organization culture, according to Edewor and Aluko (2007), is the “assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization’s members and their behaviors” (p.189). Cultural diversity has two dimensions, the first consist of age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual affection orientation which molds the workers self-image and fundamental worldview. The second dimension influence the workers self-esteem and definition since it consists of “educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, religious belief” (Edewor & Aluko, 2007, p. 190).

Edewor and Aluko, (2007) suggest the following guidelines to overcome multicultural differences at workplace:

  1. Leaders should set themselves as a good example and address myths, stereotype and cultural differences.
  2. Communicate in writing the rules that forbid prejudice and discriminatory behaviors.
  3. Offer training courses, or embed training material in existing courses, that address multicultural differences and the benefits of these differences.
  4. Recognize individual differences and note that some people may view the following differently: authority, acceptance of power dissimilarity and desire for neatness and organization.
  5. Seek comments from minority groups to break the glass ceiling and show importance to the minority groups.
  6. Revamp reward systems to reinforce the importance of effective diversity management.
  7. Sponsor and encourage social events that mix teams together like cruise ship trips and getaways for global teams and picnics and Christmas parties for domestic teams.
  8. Maintain flexible work environment that enable people to work according to their needs.
  9. Monitor the organizations policies and practices to ensure good environment for all employees.

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References

Chitakornkijsil, P. (2009). Communication in global cultural teams and international communication challenge. International Journal of Organizational Innovation, 1(4), 102-112.

Edewor, P., & Aluko, Y. (2007). Diversity management, challenges and opportunities in multicultural organizations. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations, 6(6), 189-195.

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About Sami Malallah
My thoughts and ideas are without politics, sarcasm or negativity. Please comment on them and share them with others.

8 Responses to Multicultural Business Environment

  1. iqbalgreen says:

    EXQUISITE …. The team work , in general , needs smart leader who can use all the keys you previously mentioned . I personally tried those keys with my team work and alhamdolilla i succeeded . Let me add one more guideline about leading team work , which i read in Nawal Almehainy book ( Kuwaiti writer ) . She said we can lead people withe love . Love is a very important key to gain others minds ( in work environment ) . Let them feel that they are important and mean allot to you . She doesn’t mean to love them to the extent that you spoiled them .
    By the way i tried this element withe both men and women ( beside the guidelines you mentioned ) and it was great .

    Thank you …

    • Excellent addition to the the post, thank you for sharing you experience with us. I fully agree that emotional intelligence plays a big role in bonding the team.

  2. Nihar says:

    Managing multi-cultural team is a major challenge in the work place and managers who master this are really very successful. I feel these cannot be adequately covered/taught in class rooms but have to be experienced on the shop floor…

    • You are right, we need the literature as a guideline but the real experience and challenge is in the field.

  3. Dr Abeer says:

    I find working in a multicultural environment is more productive. As each category will give different opinions based on their cultutral backgroundو and at the end the final decision will be the result of mixed opinion. Of course this doesn’t happen unless you’ve got an understanding leader who is able to lead the discussion, otherwise situation will not be under control.

    • I totally agree with you. The multicultural team is better in some aspects than the homogenized team because of the diversity.

  4. managing a multicultural team is difficult, but it does not mean you can not, if we can manage well it will be useful for companies

    • You are right, managing such team might not be easy, but they will be an effective team when they are managed well.

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