Multicultural Business Environment
March 23, 2010 8 Comments
Most 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:
- Leaders should set themselves as a good example and address myths, stereotype and cultural differences.
- Communicate in writing the rules that forbid prejudice and discriminatory behaviors.
- Offer training courses, or embed training material in existing courses, that address multicultural differences and the benefits of these differences.
- Recognize individual differences and note that some people may view the following differently: authority, acceptance of power dissimilarity and desire for neatness and organization.
- Seek comments from minority groups to break the glass ceiling and show importance to the minority groups.
- Revamp reward systems to reinforce the importance of effective diversity management.
- 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.
- Maintain flexible work environment that enable people to work according to their needs.
- Monitor the organizations policies and practices to ensure good environment for all employees.
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.