As a coin has two sides, working within a multicultural environment also has advantages and disadvantages. There are five advantages, language, cultural awareness, service coverage, productivity and economic potential. On the other hand, there are four negative aspects, a poor unqualified certificate, racial discrimination, low productivity and economic crisis.
In fact, there are still improvements to be made in the future. People need to improve language accuracy and strengthen cultural awareness for advantages within a multicultural environment. They also need to reduce racial discrimination and concentrate on economic contribution for disadvantages within a multicultural environment.
Terms of reference
This report was requested by James Rickman, Lecturer for NZDB Paper 560 Business Communication, on the topic of the advantages and disadvantages of working within a multicultural environment.
It was requested on Friday 16th November 2012
This research report is due on Friday 16th November 2012.
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2.1 The source of information comes from government website, business website and education website.
2.2 I found there are foreign sales and native sales of The Body Shop in Lynn mall and the shop on Queen Street.
The advantages of working within a multicultural environment
Language is important
"Language is important to any culture."(Brophy N.). People have influenced language can benefit to jobs.
"Multiculturalism in the workplace can create a sense of cultural awareness among workers." (Lewis J.). Many cultures will be learnt in a multicultural environment.
Employed foreign-born and native-born persons 16 years and over by occupation, percent distribution, 2010 annual averages
The bar chart above shows the percentage distribution of employed foreign born and native born persons 16 years and over by occupation in 2010. The source of information is the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.
There are only area of work where native people achieved a higher percentage distribution (25.3%) in management (38.9%) in sales and office. The percentage distribution of foreign people in non management level jobs was higher than the percentage distribution of native people.
For instance, The Body Shop in Auckland has two sales in every shop. One is a native New Zealander and the other is Asian. The reason is that Auckland is a multicultural country. The shop is not only for the local people. It aims to satisfy people who come from different countries too. Companies which employ many foreign people within a multicultural environment may gain extra benefits.
"Companies that have a culturally diverse workforce may benefit from such diversity because they create a workforce with a larger social network than just one ethnic group." (Lewis J.).
People who come from different cultures can improve productivity. "A company with a diverse workforce may be more productive as people of different cultural and religious backgrounds can generate ideas and come up with solutions that may be helpful for the company." (Almurey G.).
3.1.5 Economic Potential
"Diversity employees can offer insight for marketing techniques that would appeal to a certain demographic, gives other employees new and innovative ideas, and increase worker productivity." (Almurey G.).
3.2 The disadvantages of working within a multicultural environment
3.2.1 Racial Discrimination
People would like to work with those people who have similar cultures. "Cultures defined broadly, refers to ways of thinking that are characteristic of a group of people with similar backgrounds." (Almurey G.).
3.2.2 Economic Disaster
"If a diversity employee is unenthusiastic about his job; he can cause a business to decline economically."(Almurey G.).
3.2.3 Unproductively employees
"Employees can become distracted or confused by concepts that they are generally unfamiliar with, and this can slow productivity." (Almurey G.).
3.2.4 A poor unqualified certificate
Unqualified employees could not benefit the company. "Diversity hiring could open the door for a highly qualified employee who could benefit the company with her knowledge and skills." (Almurey G.).
4.1 The advantages of working within a multicultural environment
People can work within a multicultural environment because most of them have overseas studying experience. Under the conditions of a multicultural environment, employees can be influenced by surrounding people. There are no barriers on working if those people who work within a multicultural environment have good communication with other people.
4.1.2 Cultural Awareness
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Since different countries have different measures of education, cultural background, experience and other qualifications, people can develop a variety of viewpoints to solve problems. People learn different cultures will know the habits of colleagues so that they can avoid conflicts when they have cultural problems.
4.1.3 Service Coverage
Nowadays, there are no barriers of people travelling and immigrating to other countries which stimulate the demand. No doubt it is because of that, that many companies employ foreign people to work, especially for shopping malls. In order to satisfy the different demand of variety people and maximise profits, they usually hire local people and those people who come from different countries for the position of sales.
There is a multicultural environment of many agencies which related to overseas study and immigration in New Zealand. They come from different countries to satisfy those people who need help to study or immigrate. Those people are working within a multicultural environment is convenient to people work together and easily communicate to others. In fact, people who come from different cultures and religions can increase productivity and it may bring economic benefits to the business.
4.2 The disadvantages of working within a multicultural environment
4.2.1 Racial Discrimination
There are many problems will be exposed when people who work within a multicultural environment, it may be generated employees have negative emotion. People prefer to work with a similar cultural background. Therefore, this is why there are fewer foreign people in management level positions. Having different cultures may also cause racial discrimination so that foreign people find it difficult to join with the native people.
4.2.2 Economic Disaster
It is difficult to bring benefit to companies if people cannot fit in and unhappy to work within a multicultural environment. As everyone knows, the purpose of a company is to maximise profit. A happy worker is a productive worker so that brings work efficiency and makes more profit for the company. At the same time, companies cannot waste money on those people who cannot benefit the company.
4.2.3 Unproductive employees
Foreign people are coming to other countries suffer from the major barrier of language. Having a good communication is good for work and makes a good relationship with native people so that can easily to join with them as soon as possible.
4.2.4 A poor unqualified
Diversity hiring could result in the employment of high qualified people as staff and they could benefit the company with their knowledge and skills. People who work at the same standard or level should have enough ability and do their best at work so that they maximise profits for the company.
The advantages of working within a multicultural environment
Improving language accuracy
People who are working within a multicultural environment should have a good standard of language, especially in banks which have to send bank statements and emails to customers. For those overseas students, they need to write many reports in university, so it is necessary to improve language accuracy.
Strength cultural awareness
The government need to popularising knowledge lectures, developing those young people to study cultural knowledge and increasing the times of activity related to strength cultural awareness, especially for those traditional festivals which should deepen the impression to young people.
The disadvantages of working within a multicultural environment
Reducing racial discrimination
The government should take measures on reducing racial discrimination, like increasing more communications to different countries people. For companies, they can organise parties or activities with those people who are working within a multicultural environment in order to increase more mutual understanding and reduce the distance of different cultures. For people, they need to correct their attitude to reduce racial discrimination.
Companies should take more care to those people who are working within a multicultural environment, especially for those people who have negative emotion. If a person has positive attitude to work, it may bring economic benefits to companies. According to that, the companies should treat them same as native people, be fair and be kind. For example, the company can celebrate festivals for those people who come from different cultures or give them a holiday to celebrate their festivals, like spring festival. After that, people may have active attitude to the work.
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