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How important is it for managers to understanding of cultural diversity in the workplace?
Understanding of cultural diversity is important thing for managers. Today, cultural diversity is important because it affects everyone our daily life. As we know cultural diversity is more than racial classification, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Cultural diversity encompasses the whole range of human experiences including but not limited to age, gender, racial classification, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, physical disabilities, national origin, geographical location, political orientation, physical size and appearance. These factors influence the cultural experiences and backgrounds of individuals and groups. Every business, in fact every organisation has a culture and sometimes the culture of an organisation is very strong or weak. Whether, that weak or strong culture has a powerful influence through an organisation. It affects basically for everyone who connected with business.
First of all, this assignment will attempt to show that what is the culture and cultural diversity? Also, how it is important to understand for managers at their workplace. Following this paragraph will be landed variety of authors, professors and educators' ideal theories and quotations about this topic. Therefore, at the second half of the essay will be considered the writer understands of cultural diversity. Finally at the end of this work will be summarise of main points and ideas, which is conclusion of this essay.
There is every author and professors defined the culture with thousands of different way. However, Parvis. L, ( 2007 ) defined that " Culture is the way of life of a group of people. It forms a person is life through influences that are available to everybody through the circle of humanity that is surrounding the individual at the centre".
Understanding cultural diversity involves gaining a greater awareness of the ways that cultural heritage and background influence one's values, assumptions, thought processes and relationships. The process of learning about cultural diversity involves moving from a monoculture perspective that devalues differences at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels to a cultural pluralist perspective which involves acceptance, valuing, utilization and celebration of similarities and differences at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels.
These days it is very important to have communication in all respects, especially in the workplace where people spend most of their time and here is where there should be respect whatever cultural diversity, considering men and women of all races, ethnic background, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, age, religion etc..
The world will be forced to change because of globalization, integration of cultural diversities and economic systems between countries, this causes a change and makes cultures mixing and forming new cultures, diversity is the "management of an organization's systems and cultures to ensure that all people are given the opportunity to contribute, (Freeman-Evans, 1994, p.52)" (business and professional communication, p.130).
Based on the most reliable studies, world's workplace will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis within next decade. That is during the next ten years, our workforce will be reshaped with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, and age.
Human resource approach focuses on the interplay between people and the organisation, and recognises that cultural diversity includes every employee. This frame of reference starts with the premise that people are the most important resource in organisation.
The challenge is to successfully apply skills, insight, energy, and commitment to make an organisation better (Bolman & Deal 1984)
Of primary importance for effectively cultural diversity is the between two countries understanding of cultural beliefs and values coalesce to create an environment that employees perceive as supportive or not supportive of diversity.
The economic impact that countries have to make their way to other frontiers makes greater emigration and immigration of people in the country looking for better opportunities in life, so causing a cultural impact, due to new influences on the population, considering that must be done a recognition of rights and access to minority racial differences in thoughts, differences on how to dress, differences on how to act in the face of daily life, the insertion of new foods, religions, sexual acceptance , disability and different social origins, however causing greater tolerance in the thoughts of cultures more reluctant to change and also the rejection of certain behaviours of individuals in everyday life in the workplace and throughout the world and in whichever situation.
It is important for manager and worker to know the difference among affirmative action, valuing diversity. Affirmative action refers to legally mandated written plans and statistical goals for recruiting, training, and promoting specific underutilized groups. This quantitative, compliance-oriented approach is remedial in that it attempts to right previous wrongs. The major focus is to assimilate qualified, underrepresented people into the organization. It is assumed that difference is synonymous with deficit. In this instance, majority -group employees tend to describe selective 'minority' or 'affirmative action' hires as evidence of reverse discrimination. While generally effective, affirmative action may inadvertently be analogous to a cloud over the careers of protected class employees, especially minorities and women. Frequently, there is speculation that some of them are not the best qualified people for the jobs. (George Henderson, 1995, Cultural diversity in the workplace p.151)
Nowadays, globalisation has turned out to be a popular term. As business becomes more and more international, companies try to expand and do business in foreign countries. In order for them to adapt in the global market they need to gain an insight into the different cultures. Understanding a country's business culture is a vital factor in setting up a successful business and communicating effectively. Cross-cultural awareness is a challenge for every international business.
Business:Â According to "Geert Hofstede's" excellent book on culture is written not primarily out of academic theory, but out of his study of the practical problems faced by one particular modern corporation (IBM), which exists across national and cultural boundaries. An American boss will find that relations with Saudi employees will become strained and difficult if she or he simply treats them as though they were Americans. In the world we live in, understanding culture in general and also specific individual cultures in particular can make the difference between success and failure in the global market and economy. China and the Islamic nations, whose history, culture and literature are the focus of this course, are major players in the world economy.
Politics and Diplomacy: If today our career goal involves anything that relates to international politics and diplomacy, then understanding other cultures is very important. One of the examples is often as Americans we only acknowledge the existence of other societies and nations with their very different values, beliefs, ideologies and interests, when it comes to the point of some sort of crisis or perhaps even war. A better way is to seek to understand other nations and cultures before things come to a crisis.Â
Religious and Social Work:Â If someone religious believer or simply a conscientious world citizen, you may decide at some point in your life to become involved in some form of relief effort or church mission trip. If this (as is quite likely) involves crossing cultural boundaries, then you will find that understanding other cultures and societies will prevent you from offering what is known as the 'kindness that kills'. Many well-intentioned people from North America and Western Europe have gone to other cultures hoping to offer a helping hand of some sort. Often, because of a failure to understand the local situation and culture adequately, what began as well-meaning charity has become something not only less-than-helpful, but actually harmful. Understanding other cultures is a key to avoiding such mistakes.
Neighbours: If none of these previous factors motivates you, then you can just look at this class as a lesson in good neighbourliness in the global village. When you enter an internet chat room, send an e-mail, or visit a web page, you may be interacting with one of the over a billion people in this world that is either Chinese or Muslim! Instead of simply stereotyping, why not learn about these other cultures?
Why it is important to respect other culture?
A lot of research has been done to do the best way to know culture about the foreign countries and communicate without any block, to do the successful business between the two countries there can be few misunderstanding if we all do not know the culture also do not respect others there will be misunderstanding there also can be block the our main importance is learn and respect other culture the following lists can tell us how important respect other culture
One of the huge importance is culture between two companies from different country example if Asian country doing business with European. Most Asian people talk business talk when they having a dinner ( lunch, or breakfast)
The opposite way European people do not talk business when they having dinner they talk in their particular office
In Asia they are all happy to share presents it can be anything from the thank from their heart
In Europe not everybody accept presents during the business a few people think it is wrong
For example we are going to open new office in Germany we arrange the meeting with German people (business talk) but we did not came on time, in that time will be cancel our meeting because German people come 15 minutes before the meeting, they do not accept late , it will be disrespect for their culture
Asian they do not talk their business over the phone
Also In United Kingdom foreign people eating fish and chips, English breakfast (traditional foods) daily means respecting their culture
In Japan sharing business cards means showing huge respect
In Russia when two companies doing business they prefer drinking alcohol during business conversation, drinking during business showing for them respect and friendship