The cultural diversity in a workplace

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Thinking about diversity first things can come in somebody's mind is the differences and the dissimilarities between people who join the same group. Managing the cultural diversity is the way of finding the route to make this group of people working together minimising conflicts which can be caused by the differences of their background. In this assignment we are going to explore in brief the cultural diversity in a workplace related to the organisation success. Furthermore, we are going to look at the cultural diversity advantages and disadvantages given by the literature and coming to the conclusion to how important is for the managers to understand the cultural diversity between employees in an organisation.

Due to the different cultural backgrounds in an organisation the organisation behaviour can be multi-variant depending on how different the employees groups are. Rubaii-Barrett and Beck (1993) examined the resemblance and dissimilarity in the work environment and height of job contentment among Anglo-American and Mexican- American restricted administration workers and account that Mexican- American workers felt senior levels of contentment with staff events than Anglo- American workers. Since the Mexican - Americans established the mainstream of the two groups; they concluded that cultural diversity was responsible for this dissimilarity in work approach on the part of the Anglo workers.

The region of cultural diversity which has been examined and study adequately time is the difference flanked by uniqueness and communism and the crash on people's behaviour as of state in which a variety of racial groups of the United States has historical ancestry (Triandris, McCusker, and Hui, 1990) Asians, Hispanics and Blacks has ancestry in nations with collectivist cultures, at same time as Caucasians has ancestry in the European custom of individualism (Hofstede, 1980, Inkeles, 1983). This statement has been used to imagine the effectiveness of organization rehearsal relation to team work and group cooperativeness. Near the beginning (1993) examined 163 managers from China, Israel and the United States to measure the result of unusual/ collectivistic cultural philosophy on implementation and set up that the performance of individualists (from U.S) were in lesser levels when working in a group than when working by yourself, while the performance of the collectivists (from China and Israel) was in lesser levels when they had to work by yourself than when they worked in a group. Additional to the on top of findings Perkins (1993) established that approach and favourites related to work- team arrangement and found that those from cultures that sight relationships in conditions of pecking order or striking order has a favourite for highly arrangement group while those from individualistic cultures felt extra comfortable with voluntary and informal groups . According to the above statements managers have to study the cultural backgrounds making conclusions about employs' personalities and conducting their positions for better performance and productivity.

There is considerable creative writing which quarrel that diversity has performance advantages over homogenous work (Cox, Lobel and MacLeod, 1991; Cox and Blake, 1991). Initially, multicultural organisations have an advantage in attracting and keeping the best talent. The women's abilities and minorities proffer a wider labour pool. Organisations that are able to affect and keep qualified alternative group members and stay confidence with them through fair and equitable career improvement actions, advance competitive advantage and get high quality human resources dividends. Secondly, a multicultural organisation is improve understanding of the requirements of the legal, political, social, economic and cultural environments of foreign nations (Adler, 1991). Third, in desires orientated and hi- tech industries, the broad base of ability generated by a gender- and ethnic - diverse organisation becomes a invaluable advantage.

'Creativity thrives on diversity' (Morgan, 1989) Fourth, multicultural organisations are found to improve viewpoint and interpretations in dealing with complex problem. These organisations are less disposed to 'groupthink'. Furthermore, multicultural organisations tend to own additional organisational elasticity, and are improve able to adjust to changes. For example, women are said to have higher tolerance for ambiguity than men (Rotter & O' Connell, 1982). A study of the U.S. Forest Service recommends benefit of a culturally diverse organisation in the improvement and management of natural resource policies. It concluded that the formation of a diverse mix of employees wan not only extra thoughtful of the diverse public which the Forest Service serves, other than also as a consequence in better land management choice that were extra responsive to the desires and needs of the populations served (Brown and Harris, 1993). Managers should see the advantage of the competitiveness among the employees and the raise of the productivity it brings in the organisation.

Richard (2004) in their study on the cultural diversity answered the question on the impact of breaking the 'glass ceiling, where their results showed that within certain settings, cultural diversity in management groups can be misused to gain a competitive edge. Given the permanent trend towards more racial and gender diversity in companies, it befits the managers to develop organisational capabilities that maximise the benefits of diverse human capital and eventually endeavour for a 'sustainable diversity advantage'. (Richard et. al. 2004)

On the hand, cultural diversity has some disadvantages which modest its important advantages. In cause - solving case unexpected costs in time and financial resources can contradict the advantage of cooperation, and be able to even corrupt into dysfunctional conflicts. Diversity does not charge under conditions of hesitate and complexity which might lead to confusion and aggravation. Diversity might be frustration by being harder to take decisions on a particular case. Usually, cultural conflicts between majority and minority group members are usually resolved in favour of the majority groups. Thus, this creates significant barriers to full participation by minority members in potentially conflict situations. Tsui, Egan and O' Reilly (1992) analysed a group of 151 employees and found diversity to be associated with lower levels of psychological recognition with group members which would be inclined to detract as of in general performance and result in adverse effects on organisational way of productivity, absenteeism and income . While homogenous groups has been reported to better culturally diverse groups particularly where there are grave communication problems which make it extra hard for everybody to make best contributions to the group effort (Sheridan, 1994)

Higher income and absenteeism are special issues identified with multi- cultural organisations. Some investigate studies since the 1960's has found women and previous minorities to be time after time higher on absenteeism and income their majority of - group counterparts. Turnover for Blacks have been recorded at 40 % greater than for Whites (Bergmann and Krause, 1968). A Corning Glass study reported that between 1980 and 1987, income in the middle of women in professional works was double that of men and the rate for Blacks was 2.5 times better than for Whites (Hymowitz, 1989) Schwartz (1989) , and Scott and McClellan, (1990) arrived at a like findings of two- to one turnover rate for women vs, men. In a study of twenty work units, ( O' Reilly, Caldwell and Barnett (1989) concluded that heterogeneity in groups was associated with lower levels of group social integration which resulted in higher individual turnover. They concluded that out - group members were more likely to leave the organisation. Using a hypothetical company of 10.000 employees, Cox estimated that absentee differences attributable to multiculturalism would cost a company an average of three million dollars per year. (Cox, 1993,p.25)

Researches show that the understanding of the cultural diversity for the managers is very important when they have to deal with different personalities and employees from various backgrounds. The managers have the responsibility to take decisions and deal with problems which arise in the organisation. First of all managers have to understand the primary objectives of the diversity which is to know people's personalities. This requires organisations to transform from mono- cultural to multicultural models of operation. This get a three- step improvement process (Gottfredson, 1992). According to Gottfredson (1992) first stage is the monolithic characterised with a demographically and culturally homogenous arrangement. This is demonstrated by traditional Japanese companies that employed only Japanese males. Second is a plural agent stage where an organisation, diverse in its grade and file, maintains a culturally homogenous leadership. Sub cultures and groups are then anticipated and encouraged to accept the culture of the leadership. For instance of these organisations are the American companies. The third and last stage is the diverse model where multicultural accommodation is obvious throughout the organisation. Usually the firms at this stage give significance to the diversity and encourage it through dissimilar ways that contain two- way learning, and mutually reinforcing adjustment, interdependence and admiration of cultural dissimilarity. Research makes some recommendation in effective and successful management of cultural diversity. Highest management support and commitment have to be evident. CEO's have to willing to submit to diversity training to grateful for organisational barriers that hold up full contributions from all groups. Second, diversity has to be a part of an organisation's planned business objective including its outreach programs, rather than a easy effort to fill positive actions or connected legally- mandated activity. Also, it is suggested as a third factor that there must be a mechanism to own managers accountable for meeting diversity goals. This must reflect in the performance assessment process. The on top of test must include how much and how fast the organisation breaks the 'glass ceiling' to raise the percentage of minorities and women in the higher salary levels through career improvement opportunities, guiding and targeting manager appointments. As a fifth step, there must be open communication lines that allow for transmission of new ideas, objections and feedback. Finally, organisational services and finances must make room for such things as religious holidays, diet preferences and dress styles that do not get in the way with organisational activities. These are presented like little things that demonstrate respect and support for cultural diversity within the workplace. Additionally, according to Cox (1993) successful diversity management requires managers to 'learn practices rooted in an old mind set, change the ways organisations operate, shift organisational culture, restore policies, make new arrangement, and redesign human resource systems' (Cox, 1993).

Cultural diversity is increasing in time in the workplace. It is required for managers to find out new ways for managing employees' behaviour and they should consider the diversity as a challenge. Efficient and profitable ways of managing employees can be gained only through good understanding of the human personalities within the organisation aiming for better productivity. Furthermore, non-hierarchical, decentralised and flat organisational structures would be positive for managers to look through organisational people in depth. Managers should not see as a complexity problem the cultural diversity but as a challenge to managing people from different backgrounds and putting them working together in teams.