Managing a Diverse and Virtual Workforce

Pages: 6 (1930 words) Published: May 24, 2013
Diverse and Virtual Teams
Bus 362 Management Skill Development
November 10, 2011

Diverse and Virtual Teams

The world is a growing and changing place, and in business we have seen many changes occur. Most of these changes are of a result of globalization and multiculturalism Diverse and virtual teams have developed in response. The work force has become more diverse and spread out, and it has forced managers to adjust and change their management styles to adapt to the new work force needs. This paper will address the risks, the benefits, and the ways managers plan to manage the new diverse and mobile teams. In the past there was not much diversity among work teams. There was more of a homogenous workforce with a one size fits all management style An office would often be filled with workers that shred many common backgrounds, social classes and skill sets. Employees were seen as subordinates to managers. Managers tended to have a “do it my way” approach. In the past, managers assumed that they knew best, gave orders to everyone else and promoted themselves as a leader. In the past managers hated failure and were not very patient with employees Today, there is a lot of diversity within the workforce that is now seen as a competitive advantage to an organization. Diversity within an organization allows for teams to improve the quality and value of their performance by solving problems and making decisions more effectively, it has lowered operating costs as well as legal costs and diversity in the work place gives positive publicity to the organization. Changing from a homogenous workforce to a diverse workforce has also had to change the ways of managers. Managers today need to have many styles of management instead of just one. Managers now treat employees as equal to themselves and try to inspire team members. They also encourage communication with employees underneath them to gather more skills and knowledge and ask questions. Although managers still do not like failure, they are more forgiving of failure then they were in the past.

In diverse teams there are many benefits to be found. To begin, there is the fact that with cultural differences there is a chance to use the specific nature of the culture to fulfill certain needs of a product or service that it may try to represent. There is also the diversity in age which brings cohesion to products developing a group brainstorm of which idea would be more suitable to the different generations of people. In the process of social category a more diverse group may not be caught up in people with similar thoughts but instead give a polite question towards certain ideas instead of just going along with what is said. There is also the fact that diverse teams would be more creative and have a much larger pool of ideas due to the different qualities in diverse teams. Then with large differences the team might also engage in being more thoughtful to not seem rude so a systematic approach becomes developed creating time to sure many ideas. Having a variety of resources also come from diverse teams due to the diverse member's external networks as social groups usually form for individuals. The difference of knowledge, skill and values create an enhanced learning experience that there is a teacher student role that develops a relationship one learning new abilities while the teacher role is sharpening their current knowledge. Even though there are many benefits there are also chances of risk with diverse teams. First one is that when people are perceived as different they may be less comfortable sharing ideas due to feeling like they are different and looked down on. There is also the concept of time since teams that are diverse tend to be slower at being comfortable with each other so managing will take more time and effort until the groups reach a common ground. There are some members of the group...

Bibliography: Caproni, Paula J.. "Managing Cultural Diversity, Diverse Teams and Virtual Teams."
Management skills for everyday life. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall ;,
2011. 263-297, 347-377. Print.
Sammartino, Andre, Janine O 'Flynn, and Stephan Nicholas. "Managing Diverse Work Teams: A
Business Model for Diversity Management." Australian Centre for International
Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. .
Clemons, David and Kroth, Michael “Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams” McGraw-Hill New York, 2011 (Chapter 3)
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