Managing Culturally Diverse Essay

3684 Words Mar 3rd, 2006 15 Pages
Running head: Managing Cultural Diversity

Managing Culturally Diverse
Work Groups within an Organization
Natasha Avies
Troy State University

Dr. Earl Ingram
November 28, 2004 Abstract

Cultural diversity has become widespread within many organizations today. The work groups in these organizations are increasingly being staffed by culturally diverse employees. The cultural differences exhibited in the groups can enhance or weaken the function of the work group, especially in a predominantly homogenous environment. These multicultural work groups present challenges to the organization and to the managers that must reduce these challenges in order to achieve the desired success of the organization. The biggest obstacle with
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According to White (1999), diversity in work groups increases ambiguity, complexity, and confusion. As a result, these groups may have difficulty converging meanings, reaching a single agreement, and agreeing on courses of action. The inability to convey meaning and reach agreements reflects the communication within the groups. A work group can not function properly without proper communication. In any type of relationship, especially in a group, communication is the key to understanding and solving problems. According to Weiss (2001), perceptions of time, space, and business practices can disrupt effective communications. Being alert and sensitive to cultural cues and contexts before speaking is the first step in overcoming cultural communication barriers. In some instances, these disadvantages are allowed to overtake the group's performance in the organization. In many organizations, diversity can produce negative dynamics such as ethnocentrism, stereotyping and cultural clashes (White, 1999). Ethnocentrism exists in the organization when one group feels their way of thinking and acting is superior to others. In a predominantly homogenous culture, the minorities may not be valued as they should because they are seen as being inferior to the homogenous culture already established in the organization. People tend to stereotype, when they associate certain behaviors with a particular group.

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