Examine the factors that affect success in a multicultural workplace Content Introduction————————————————————–P. 3 Factors affect success 1) Intercultural miscommunication————————————————P. 3 2) Racism——————————————————————–P. 4 3) Psychological problems——————————————————P. 5 Conclusion————————————————————–P. 6
References—————————————————————P. 7 Introduction: Cultural. diversity is a. dynamic reality. in the business world. today, many global organisations see diversity workforce as an opportunity in the market. (Copeland, 1988; Mamman, 1996). According to the statistics in Australia, it showed that there is nearly a quarter of Australia labor force was born oversea, this is similar to what is happening in the other cities (ABS, 2000 cited in Chang & Tharenou, 2004).
When applied multicultural to organisation, it means its work force includes people from diverse racial, religious and gender backgrounds across all levels of the company including management and junior positions, they might differ in beliefs, values, norms and attitudes (Smircich, 1983; Mamman, 1996). The benefits of a multicultural organization are many; they include a higher level of innovation, greater success in marketing, and better distribution of opportunity.
However, it has been proven that achieving successful in diversity teams could be very difficult (Butler, 2006 cited in Zander & Butler, 2010; Lim & Ng, 2001; Bilbow, 1997; Copeland, 1988). The benefits of diversity are not automatic, economic factor is not the only explanation for a multinational company to affect success; the key are effective. intercultural. communication. and. mutually. beneficial. relationships. between. cultural. groups, especially. manager-worker. relationships, also serve. as. significant. indicators. or. successful. operation. Managers and staff are the main key factors to affect the organizations lead to success. Basically these factors are based on their “culture”, e. g. religion, behavior, level of education, language, discrimination, habits, beliefs,etc (Mamman, 1996). So, this essay are going to examinein three major. problems from managers and staff which are caused by intercultural miscommunication, racism and personal psychological. problems and these problems. often lead to unsuccessful in an international organization.
Intercultural miscommunication: Intercultural miscommunication, which is a common problem in a diverse workplace. As people from different nationalities have different cultural backgrounds, different languages and varying perspectives on how they interpret language, people might not understand the others completely (Chang & Tharenou, 2004; Mamman, 1996; Brett, Behfar & Kern, 2006). Consequently, miscommunication is more likely leads to errors and losses in the business organization, that’s why it can affect company fir success.
There are two reasons lead to intercultural miscommunication, which are the way how they express themselves and fluency and accuracy of languages. Firstly, Brett, Behfar and Kern (2006) have divided communication into two types—direct and indirect, i. e. Communication in western cultures is completely explicit, they express themselves in a direct way. However, not many other cultures express themselves in this way; they are more likely to hide themselves and speak in an indirect way. Generally speaking, in crosscultural meetings, the non-westerners. an understand the direct communication. of the westerners, but the. westerners might have. difficulties to understand the indirect communication. of the. non-Westerners. The differences between. direct and. indirect. communication cause serious. damage to relationships in a multicultural team. Secondly, misunderstandings. and deep. frustration. might. be caused because. of non-native. speakers’ accents,. lack of. fluency, or. problems. with. translation (Mamman, 1996; Smircich, 1983; Bilbow, 1997; Chang ; Tharenou, 2004; Brett, Behfar ; kern, 2006).
Non-fluent team members could be the most intelligent one, but their poor communicating abilities. make it hard for the collegue to recognize their expertise. So they might not help the company to succeed. Take the consideration of the managers, the above factors will affect their managerial ability, management practices and the best way to manage their staff (Chang , 2004; Bilbow, 1997). For example: An American manager discovered some problems in their computer system and it would affect company operations, she pointed out to her American boss and the Japanese team members through the company’s mail.
Her boss. appreciated. the direct. warnings while her Japanese colleagues felt embarrassing. It is because the culture of Japanese are using indirect communication, they love to discuss the problem instead of let the entirely firm knew it and they thought their manager had violated their norms (Brett, Behfar ; Kern 2006). Moreover, Bilbow (1997) argued that most of the Chinese managers felt the foreigners were more ‘direct’, ‘rude’ and ‘aggressive’, but the expatriate managers think Chinese people is in a totally opposite way from them.
So, the way how managers to express themselves are influencing their staff how to think they are. On the other hand, take an example for staff: a U. S. company was expanding the business into Japan, some Japanese teammates isolated another American and challenged him cannot speak Japanese fluently and accurately, so he cannot be the expert on this project and could add no value on the project (Brett, Behfar ; Kern 2006). This example has shown clearly the impact of linguistics ability.
Besides the misunderstanding might lead to a longer progress in a project, the peers, who were isolated by the others, might feel unpleasant and even face humiliation; they might feel unlikely to work in this environment longer as the other teammates have damaged their dignity. Due to the above reason, a company might lose the expert. Racism: Actually racism still. exists in society. and business throughout. the world, discrimination. in the workforce. is a. growing problem. that has. affected. thousands. of. rganizations in today’s global. marketplace (Copeland, 1988; Mamman, 1996; Lim & Ng, 2001). The problem is more likely to happen on blacks, Asians, Hispanics or American Indians (Copeland, 1988). Racism in the workplace can come in the form of racial slurs, inappropriate,comments,or,the. unfair. treatment of employees in regards to workloads, selections in an interview, pay rates and promotions (McIntire et al, 1980; Cox & Nkomo, 1986; Jones, 1986; Jackson et al, 1991; Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1993 cited in Mamman, 1996).
Racial discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable and unfair to the others. Here is an example in America workforce: Throughout the history of the country, America has been considered as a fairly racist union because of the injustice of how whites treat blacks, specifically means they force them into slavery; majority of whites at that time believed that blacks were not equal to other races (Fox, 2005; Stockdale & Crosby, 2004).
Although time passes, black workers are still being discriminated in the recruitment process and they are usually represented in a certain lower grade roles. The impression and image of black people has buried in the others’ mind, this also can explain why the other countries exist racism to blacks too. Consider the manager sides, how racism affect organization to succeed? Normally, a successful leader will focus on equal opportunity, fair treatment and recruitment in a diverse workforce (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004). However, unsuccessful managers cannot make it fair to every race.
For example: If the manager is white, he is more likely to pick a white rather than a black or Asian in a job interview; he loves to be with his teammates who the race are same as him and he will give the blacks or Asians more workload (Lim & Ng, 2001). From this example, it could be seen that managers might not help organization to pick a right candidate from the job interview and therefore the company might lose a chance to own an expert. On the other hand, there are some effects from the staff caused by racism which is promotions and contract jobs.
For example: the company was looking for a current staff for promotion to handle the new project, a black has all the necessary qualifications but he was unsuccessful; however, a white man who without the qualifications, was offered the promotion instead (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004). Moreover, Fox (2005) claimed that many temporary and contract basis jobs are more likely to employ the blacks and Asians and the research also confirmed that most groups of Black workers experienced significant pay gaps including 21% for Bangladeshi men and over 30% for Pakistani and Chinese women.
All of these factors are the barriers for organization to succeed because of picking a wrong staff for promotion. This wrong person might not have enough ability to handle the position. Psychological problems: The third factor is psychological problems. According to Mamman (1996) claimed that psychological factors includes attitudes, prior experiences, personalities, beliefs, cognition and behaviours. Social awareness. and. cultural. sensitivity are necessary to. uild relationships with. colleagues of different. nationalities, religious. beliefs, personalities, backgrounds and. cultures. Zander & Butler (2010) also argued that People skills in multicultural. workplace are necessary. for effectively collaborating and. functioning. So, it is widely agreed that it can influence. the process and outcome of interaction. between. colleagues (Copeland, 1988; Mamman, 1996; Zander & Butler, 2010; Bilbow, 1997; Chang & Tharenou, 2004).
At the manager side, their personal style reflected. how they manage their. workgroup. According to the research, managers and subordinates indicated that being frank, respecting differences generally and stable emotional are the major important theme in psychological factors to lead to succeed (Chang & Tharenou, 2004). Managers believed that these positive attitudes and personalities can motivate their workgroup and make them feel comfortable to cooperate with each other in a cross diversity cultural.
However, there are still many managers do not have this approaches when they are managing the team and sometimes they did not know that they did the wrong thing. For example: A manager who has learnt a friendly pat on the arm or back means cheer up the staff, his Asian staff who hate touching by others and keep avoiding him (Copeland, 1988). From this example, it could be seen that everyone has its personalities which someone loves and someone hates.
These can affect the relationship between managers and staff and might lose the consensus between them; this will slow down the speed while working and affect the efficiency. On the other hand, psychological problem especially one’s value or belief, is one of the key to affect the staff lead to success. Values act as the foundation of decisions made throughout one’s entire life, values are something invisible and buried in a person, and in some cases they may not realize it has influenced his or her daily decisions.
Give an example in Hong Kong: Hong Kong is a well-known multicultural city where many people from different cultures work together in an international organization like bank industry, they argue should they open a new branch in a certain place when they are having a meeting; the westerners thought it is a good idea while the Hong Kong people have a strong belief to reject the idea because of that address has people died in accident before, they believe it is not good luck for business in Chinese’s view (Bilbow, 1997).
Chinese has a very strong belief in luck and ghost; westerners focus on the real statistics and evidence not the intangible things. Although finally the CEO decided not to open a branch in there and change another location, they have wasted lots of time to argue in this project which is not efficient and will lose the trust between peers. Conclusion: Due to the above reasons, managers and employees have created barriers to the effective teamwork and therefore affect the organization for success.
However, the non-native workers do not have to change their cultural characteristics to join in the natives, everyone should know how to respect the others. It is possible for a person from other country has different personalities and beliefs in a diverse workplace as diverse opinions might have better creativity and innovation, this might maximize the benefits to company. In order. to. minimise. the. roblems. and to maintain an. atmosphere of. tolerance. and better cooperation. in the multicultural workplace, managers. need to understand their workmates and to have. the communication skills to develop confidence. among diverse. work groups. Therefore, it is clear that both. of. them have to. be. trained to work in a. multicultural workplace, managers. also need to be trained. for how to manage. a diverse