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How Does Diversity Affects Our Corporate Culture

By kansaswoman Oct 13, 2012 1898 Words
How Does Diversity Affects our Corporate Culture

(A Report for Worldwide Telecommunications, Inc.)

COMM/215

June 25, 2012

Worldwide Telecommunications, Inc. can expect to see a continued increase in workplace diversity over the next few years, and should be prepared and equipped for what that means for the company. By workplace diversity we are referring to our organization’s culture, how it looks and how it works.

What is culture? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a corporate culture is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization” (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Diversity is defined as, “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: Variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people” (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Our company culture is the combination of our people and behaviors: how we act at work. It includes how we appear and interact. The diversity of our company culture is how different each element or person in the group is. Differences can be gender, race, personality, age, or lifestyle.

Understanding our company’s diversity and culture are important because they tell us who we are and how we work together. First look at the puzzle pieces and observe their colors and shapes, then you can better understand how they can fit together into a cohesive puzzle. Organizational culture is dynamic, so we must revisit and re-evaluate it often as we seek to make the most of our present resources and plan for our future.

What does this mean for Worldwide Telecommunications, Inc.? Our industry has paved the way for a worldwide market and workforce. Telecommunication has led to globalization. Being able to communicate with, and send information to people and companies across the globe makes it possible for business to be conducted from one side of the world to another (Wenzlheumer, 2010) (p.7). Globalization leads to a multicultural workforce. Our company has, and we hope will continue, to spread across the world. This means we also employ individuals from around the world. Transfers within the company, along with personal immigration, and the increasing press for equality of all social and ethnic groups have made multicultural workforces the norm, and we can only expect this trend to continue (Lauring & Selmer, 2011) (p.8). For our company to continue its success, we need it to continue. The goal is to create a continuum in which the multi-cultural workforce, that globalization has created, would create and develop for us, leading to further profit, as well as further globalization, greater diversity and continued creativity and development.

To create and maintain this continuum, it is vital that we know our corporate culture, that we are familiar with, embrace, and cultivate our diversity. Lauring & Selmer found in their study published in 2011, that a group’s performance and satisfaction in their work is positively related to how open the group is to diversity, to those who are different (p. 90). When a group is open to letting differences in, to learn from them and agree to work together, the group can benefit from the things that make them different. Collaboration and creativity lead to productivity and performance. The opposite is also true. When a group has a closed attitude to diversity, performance is stifled. This is why it is important for World Telecommunications, Inc. to be aware of its own corporate culture, so it can promote openness and understanding, which will in turn lead to our goal of a telecommunication-multicultural-development continuum. To understand our company’s multicultural climate better, this paper will discuss how it affects communication and teamwork, both vital aspects to creating and maintaining corporate climate that is open to diversity.

The effect of multiculturalism on communication is noticeable in the transformation that a business will execute inside the office if they are ready to maintain and use the assistance of their foreign employees to the success of their managerial goals and objectives. The negative result of communication is miscommunication, and miscommunication occurs when two people do not identify with one another. For that reason, a multicultural office is constantly in jeopardy of miscommunication. As a result, miscommunication is more likely to lead to mistakes and shortfalls in the company. According to Fine (1991): Multicultural issues in the workplace are more pervasive, complex, and subtle; however, than simply questions about what language or languages will be spoken. Even when people of different racial and cultural backgrounds speak the same language, they have difficulty communicating with one another. People from different cultural backgrounds bring different meanings, values, assumptions, and discourse styles into the workplace conversation; such differences often lead to misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication, and can threaten a common orientation to organizational goals. More importantly, these differences have been used to deny members of particular group’s access to organizational resources and opportunities to have an authentic voice in creating organizational life. The Lauring and Selmer study spoke how the key to communication in a multicultural workforce is openness. If you're open and try to communicate, then even if it's not perfect, it can be a positive and productive interaction. It opens a comfort level in the group, so even casual "water cooler" conversations can occur, which have shown to be an important part of a good corporate culture A multicultural workforce encourages companies to improve their managerial methods and procedures. These actions are completed by the business prevent the damaging effects of miscommunication caused by a multicultural workforce. The business, particularly the managers, require new management techniques that would be appropriate for multicultural workplace setting. They attend training on how to change old skills and tools in management that appeared to have worked at one time, and adopt new methods in dealing with people, particularly with employees belonging to a diverse cultural background.

Any type of change can cause a possible obstacle for achievement. In the next several years, the anticipation of the changing nature of the employees within Worldwide Telecommunications is undergoing a major growth process. Through these changes, the firm predicts several stumbling blocks to occur, for example challenges in areas, such as communication, collaboration, and employee participation. Sequentially for the transformation to be successful within Worldwide Telecommunications, each associate of the firm needs to work in cooperation with each other.

The most significant thing to keep in mind while working together is that the company is going through a modification in culture not in work procedures. According to Schreiber, (1996) “the success of an multicultural workforce builds trust.” When trust is built in a multicultural work area it “create an open, problem-solving climate, allows wide-spread responsibilities for decision making, and set diversity goals”. (p. 464). To grab the thought of cultural diversity it is imperative to comprehend the basic scope of culture variety. Diversity is about learning from others, self-esteem, respect for all, and about creating office surroundings and procedures that promotes learning from others.

Diversity is necessary in the workforce today. A multicultural workforce promotes imagination and raises production. Each culture has diverse belief about faith, ethnicity, clothes, verbal communication, background, actions, and body language. Diversity allows employees of diverse cultures to converse within a universal economy. A company whose staff consists of employees who speak several languages has an advantage over the competitors. Customers feel comfortable when they can converse with an employee who speaks his or her native language. Several disagreements are effectively resolved when an employee can understand the customers’ requests.

There are some basic components that researchers believe will provide a multicultural workplace to function to improve the team’s morale and allow a better flow in the workplace that has diversity among individuals. Providing team-building skills can advance a multicultural workplace into the acknowledgement and acceptance of all cultures as we know. Bringing new ideas and offering a different look on certain situations can advance in multicultural workplaces. Schreiber, (1996) noted that “successful diversity” is needed in multicultural teams and these components consist of trust, non judgmental atmosphere, conflict, resolution and negotiation skills, goal-setting abilities, and pervasive individual responsibility facilitates diversity”. (p. 464). Taking part in a multicultural work environment there must be a level of trust among individuals to be accepted among the team. Having a non-judgmental atmosphere allows a smooth vibe and assurance among the team. In all multicultural workplace there will be conflict and some disagreements. These conflicts should be handled in a fair and proper manner to show a well balance of resolution in any problems. In multicultural surroundings there has to be a level of respect and open communications among each other to assure good harmony and appreciation among individuals. According to Chao, Okazaki..and Hong, (2011). “ multicultural refers to the ability to appreciate diversity and to work effectively in multicultural setting” (p.263). Chao, Okazaki..and Hong, (2011) goes further to state that “there are an increase in the multicultural and globalized societies around the world today and that within these societal interactions involve people from multiple cultures that are different from the one’s heritage culture” (p.264).

It is important to note that a large corporation must put in place appropriate measures to manage a multicultural workforce as well as make certain that joint effort and communications are better. Teamwork and communication are necessary in the successful management of any type of multicultural workforce, and this is particularly significant in the present-day and age given the global trends where the world is increasingly becoming an international community.

Conclusion

It is important for every company to know its own corporate culture. As a result of globalization, our company’s culture has become ethnically diverse, and we can expect it to become more diverse in the future. Diversity brings both challenges and benefits to communication and teamwork within a company. With a better understanding of our multicultural workforce, we can be prepared for challenges that might arise, and know how to make the most of the benefits. A multicultural workforce is a key part of our company’s success, and with an appreciation for each shape and color of each piece of our puzzle, we can fit together to form a corporate culture that will prosper our company.

References

Chao, M., Okazaki, S., & Hong, Y. (2011). The Quest for Multicultural Competence: Challenges and Lessons Learned from Clinical and Organizational Research. Social & Personality Psychology Compass;.5(5). 263-274.

Culture. 2012. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/culture
Diversity. 2012. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/diversity
Fine, M. G. (1991, Summer). New Voices in the Workplace: Research Directions in

Multicultural Communication.. Journal of Business Communication, 28(3), p259-275, 17p.

LAURING, J., & SELMER, J. (2011). Multicultural organizations: does a positive diversity climate promote performance?. European Management Review, 8(2), 81-93.

doi:10.1111/j.1740-

Schreiber, E. (1996). Muddles and Huddles: Facilitating a Multicultural Workforce

ThroughTeam Management Theory. Journal.

Wentling, R. M. (n.d.). Diversity initiatives in the workplace. Retrieved from

http://ncrve.berkeley.edu/CW82/Diversity.html

Wenzlhuemer, R. (2010). Editorial -- Telecommunication and globalization in the nineteenth

century. Historical Social Research, 35(1), 7-18.

Chao, M., Okazaki, S., & Hong, Y. (2011). The Quest for Multicultural Competence: Challenges and Lessons Learned from Clinical and Organizational Research. Social & Personality Psychology Compass;.5(5). 263-274.

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