Dealing with Multicultural Teams

Topics: Cultural diversity, Management, Culture Pages: 4 (1142 words) Published: January 17, 2010
Athens University of Economics and Business


‘Dealing with multicultural teams’


Ilona Zimna
Poznań School of Banking
Student no. 470005

XXIst century is an age of globalization and internationalization, so companies who want to develop itselves and improve its performance – have to open for new global markets. This idea is inherently connected with managing multicultural teams. In my work I will try to concentrate on challenges that a multinational team face and which strategies are proper to deal with them. Thereby I will struggle to find out how to successfully manage people who come from different countries and other cultural backgrounds.

In multicultural teams, diversity may create negative dynamics such stereotyping, ethnocentrism or cultural clashes. In traditional, assimilationist-oriented organizations, cultural differences between majority and minority group members create barriers to full participation of minority members. Leaders cannot ignore diversity, because it may detract from performance. Moreover, employee who does not feel enough comfortable because of it in the work place – will not be effective. Homogeneous groups often outperform culturally diverse groups, especially when there is a serious communication problem. Heterogeneous work teams often under-perform homogeneous teams because they do not allow each member to make a special contribution to the work effort[1]. Cross-cultural training is necessary to enable culturally diverse groups to live up to their potential and overcome communication difficulties[2]. According to research, differing styles of communication is just one of four main categories that can create barriers to a team’s ultimate success.[3] The author of an article ‘Managing Multicultural Teams’ names: problems with proper pronunciation such different accents and hard fluency, conflicting norms for decision making and differing...

References: 1) Sheridan, J.H. (1994). ‘Dividends from Diversity’. Industry Week. 243(17), 23-26.
2) Perkins, A.G. (1993). ‘Diversity’. Harvard Business Review. 71(5), 14.
3) Brett, J. (2006). ‘Managing Multicultural Teams’. Harvard Business Review. Online
4) Cox, T.H
5) Jamieson, D. & O’Mara, J. (1991). ‘Managing Workforce 2000: Gaining the
Diversity Advantage’
[2] Perkins, A.G. (1993). ‘Diversity’. Harvard Business Review. 71(5), 14.
[3] Brett, J. (2006). ‘Managing Multicultural Teams’. Harvard Business Review. online
[4] Cox, T.H
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