Davis (2003, p. 45) argues that cultural variations are usually created by race-ethnicity, gender, function, and tenure among the organization factors. Difference in culture may result to the rise of conflicts among team members. This usually leads to disrupted communication within the organization and finally negative outcomes. Therefore, it is the role of every organization and entire management to create various ways of managing and reducing negative effects of cultural differences. Management in various organizations should ensure they are able to identify and steer clear of such cases from arising. Political backgrounds and experience are other major factors that contribute to cultural differences. Multicultural teams and differences in most occasions generate dilemmas in the organization management. Cultural dissimilarities usually create considerable obstacles to efficient teamwork. Recognizing various underlying cultural causes of conflicts is the primary challenge in managing multicultural teams by organizations' management. Additionally it is a great challenge for management to get teams back into the track as well as empowering members to control and deal with the challenges of cultural variations in future. Work-group diversity has become one of the most challenging issues that are facing various organizations currently. Various factors like demographic, cultural and legal factors have greatly changed the composition of organizations' work forces. Demographic factors include multi-culturalism, equality initiatives, globalization, and declining birth rates. Therefore, this involves managers, employers, and employees to be sensitive to both intra- and intergroup differences. They are also required to adopt practices and policies which work in coping with such changes.
Managing cultural diversification
Ely & Thomas, (2001, p. 230) maintains that managers and team members can manage cultural differences. This is only possible if indeed they adopt and chose the right strategies within their organizations. Cultural difference poses various challenges which include hindering success within the organization. They pose as a barrier to effective communication which really is a key element in virtually any organization. Cultural difference creates differing attitudes towards authority and hierarchy hence difference in the ways people are treated. In addition, it contributes to conflicts particularly when making decisions. These challenges are a great hindrance towards success and development of any organization. Therefore, managers need to come up with various strategies and policies in ensuring cultural variations and challenges are eliminated.
According to Nankervis, Compton & Baird, (2002, p. 120), they can be four main strategies of dealing with cultural challenges for managers and various teams in organizations. They include adaption, structural intervention, managerial intervention and exit. Adaption mainly involves acknowledgement of cultural gaps frankly and even working around them. Managerial intervention involves early setting of norms and even bringing in of high-level management. Structural intervention is changing of the team's shape. Exit involves removing a team member in the event your options have failed. They are simply several steps that any organization's management can adopt in dealing and eliminating cultural differences. Identification of the task is the key and first step in dealing with multicultural differences. Assessing the circumstances under which the differences are occurring is another crucial step towards dealing with multicultural differences.
Adaption is a superb strategy that organizations encourage in working with cultural diversity. This involves teams finding various ways of working with and around the challenge that they encounter. In addition, it involves adapting practices and attitudes without necessarily making changes to the assignment of the group. Adaption works well when members of the team or organization acknowledge and even name their variations in culture as well as assuming their responsibilities. It also involves figuring on various ways to have with the cultural differences. Adaption has been seen as the best way of dealing with cultural diversity difference as it generally does not demand a lot of time when compared with other strategies. This is mainly because members of the team be a part of problem solving while learning from the process. This sort of mind set plays a great role in ensuring there are creative in protecting their cultural differences within the organization. Organization taking this kind of initiative means that cultural diversity does not affect its performance and functions among its teams. Various organizations' managements have found adaption as an excellent strategy towards solving cultural diversity. That is mainly because it is effective and solves its own problem with little input from management. Team members must be aware of the strategy for it to reach your goals in solving the intended problems or differences. However, negotiating a common understanding might take sometime among the list of associates.
Structural intervention is another way that organizations are choosing in ensuring they manage the cultural diversity. It is an intentional reorganization or reassignment that was created to reduce or eliminate way to obtain conflict between people or teams. It is also intended to reduce interpersonal frictions that largely contribute to cultural diversity. The strategy works effectively when clear subgroups separate the team. This is mainly if associates are clinging to negative stereotypes of one another or feel threatened. Structural intervention also involves creating smaller working sets of diversified cultures. This permits team members to learn and even respect every team member. Various organizations utilize or utilize this strategy as it encourages reduced amount of cultural diversity within the organization. Structural intervention as a strategy for managing cultural diversity shields people who are not working well in a team.
Managerial intervention also plays a vital role in solving organization's cultural diversity effects. Even though failure to involve team in decision making may result to a stalemate, it is important for managers to intervene when cultural diversity blocks the success of decision making. Managerial intervention has been found in many occasions by various organizations to resolve straighten out its problems effectively. Setting norms early in a team through managerial intervention assists the team towards getting started effectively. Managers encourage team members to encourage one another towards ensuring every person is appreciated and encouraged to work with one another despite cultural diversity. Managers address the problems like language barrier and ethnic diversity directly. They encourage them on other ways to resolve cultural diversity within the team and entire organization.
Exit is another strategy that is utilized towards reducing the problems of cultural diversity. Normally, this is the last and infrequent strategy towards managing cultural differences. It's important for those members who aren't pleased with their teams to go from the team to some other team. This may ensure you can find continued delivery of efficient services. Exit of one or several members can be used by organizations as a last resort. One or several members of the team or organization may be kindly requested formally by management to exit. They could also exit voluntarily from the team.
According to Bhatia & Chaudary (2003, p. 25), managing diverse culture in a organization is not a fairly easy task. Realizing and managing cultural diversity in a organization has been on the increase. That is assisting greatly in facilitating organizational progress and success. On a wide perspective, organizations can manage cultural diversity through communication. This is creating awareness among the list of employees and different teams on the value of diverse values of peers. Other ways is through cultivating; this is facilitating encouragement, support, and appreciation of any employee' achievement by all other colleagues. Diverse culture may also be managed through capitalizing strategies. This calls for linking diversity to every procedure for business and strategy such as employee development, re-engineering, succession planning, performance review and management.
Organizations also adopt various ground breaking ways towards management of cultural diversity. This includes incorporating various people from different cultural backgrounds as well as acknowledging the value of their cultural. Appreciating people cultural background usually leads to reduced background differences. This ensures there's a common organizational diversity that will not affect the performance of varied teams. Organizations have also started empowerment to all members no matter race or gender. Empowerment is essential towards making of a powerful decision making. Towards reducing culture diversity difference, organizations are encouraging free contribution towards decision making processes. Usage of empowerment in diverse organizations results to more trust one of the team members as well as higher productivity. Empowerment within an organization with diverse culture has been seen to make associates feel their contribution in a manner that is more worthwhile and meaningful. It will help greatly towards improvement of diversity climate hence accomplishment of organization objectives.
It is also crucial for various organizations to initiate diversity training programs as illustrated by Perkins, (2006, p. 60). Leaders and managers in organizations should learn on how to control and understand culturally diversified employees. Employees as well should discover adequate training on the value of understanding people who have different cultures. This will likely greatly assist in improving the differences that arise when folks of different cultures work together. Training is essential towards the break down of stereotypes as well as reducing prejudicial attitudes among the list of associates. Mentoring and networks are other effective ways towards improvement of the diversity climate. Mentors usually provide recognition, support, and challenge to be able to assist in shaping the future for those individuals they can be assisting. Mentors are in most occasions beneficial mainly because it assists in keeping minorities on the track. In addition, it assists in keeping them focused within any culturally diversified organization. Networking is also another crucial process that assists organizations in managing the cultural diversity within the teams. Networking acts as a source of encouragement and support to various employees with diversified cultural differences.
It is also crucial for organizations to strength top-management commitment towards setting up a positive diversity climate within the business. This commitment should be distributed even to the cheapest management levels. All managers at every level in a organization should openly and strongly support all policies, strategies, and practices that support the management of culture diversity. This will likely greatly assist towards reducing culture diversification related challenges within an organization. It will assist in bettering and increasing the huge benefits associated with culture diversity.
Cultural differences that face multicultural teams might not exactly necessary attribute to diversity challenges. However, these dissimilarities underlay the problems that want to be addressed in various teams in organizations. Cultural diversity might not exactly only have unwanted effects on the working of any team, nonetheless they may lead to problems in general management as well. If any organization's management intervenes early in any cultural challenge within the business, this might lead to good resolution of the situation. Organization's management should create norms; structure social interaction as well as engaging all people within the team in solving problems arising due to cultural difference. Managing cultural diversity well has various benefits that are associated with it. Effective management of cultural diversity usually leads to organizational benefits or success. Organizations with a highly effective managed multi-culture have a cost effective competitive edge. In addition, it leads to the promotion of minority friendly reputation among possible employees. Organization with good management of cultural diversity usually leads to an increased flexibility and adaptability in case of any environmental changes. Effective management of culture diversity will help in bettering and increasing the huge benefits associated with culture diversity.