Managing Multicultural Teams

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"Managing Multicultural Teams"

Managing Multicultural Teams a case study by Jean Brett, Kristin Behfar and Mary C. Kern, is one of the attempts to offer solutions to the problems embedded in the managerial world where one or the other hurdles make their way and get onto the head of the managers and the team involved.

The situations of disputes, conflicts and clashes often become part of the professional world where people from different cultures work together as a team. These situations occur not because the differences are not respected but because they are not accepted. The case study very clearly defines how the differences in cultures create barriers and disrupts the harmony of the working environment. Also, it provides solutions to tackle these situations, which are manageable but only with the right strategy and the right approach.

The case study talks about the challenges that a manager has to face in the situations of clashes. The most substantial among them is to recognize the causes of conflict, and finally to intervene in the way that issue can be solved on the both sides. In the so called journey of a manger where he is suppose to hunt for the cause of discordance in the multicultural team; he may encounter that the ways in which people from western culture communicate, and the ways in which people from non western cultures communicate, create misunderstandings leading to the situations of conflict. Also, problems such as trouble with accent and fluency, different attitudes of the people towards hierarchy and authority, and conflicting norms for decision making (where some people may take decision quickly and some may need time to think and decide), may be the roots of the clashes.

Along with the analysis over the inception point of the disharmony in the multicultural team, the research also highlights the strategies to bring harmony back to the situations. The first of these strategies is adaptation, where the team members themselves...
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