The Value of Multiculturalism and Diversity in Business Essay

1111 Words Feb 1st, 2013 5 Pages
The Value of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Business

Diversity and Multiculturalism are two topics that, themselves, are not new. To start off with a uniform basic understanding, what are diversity and multiculturalism? According to Merrium-Webster, Diversity is ‘the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization’. Whereas, Merrium-Webster defined multiculturalism as ‘relating to, reflecting, or adapted to diverse cultures’. Simply put, Diversity is the differences themselves, while multiculturalism is the ability to connect with and respect those differences.

When it comes to business, coming
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However, with change brings difficulty. There was a study in the Business Communication Quarterly which tested a group of culturally diverse business students in a physical environment, where they had to work together in person, against a group of culturally diverse business students in an online anonymous work space. They found that the virtual team worked ‘in a much more balanced manner’ (Berg, Dec 2012, pg404) They go on to explain how these same students had been in physical classes together for two years and had separated themselves into their respective cultures. If from a different culture, they did not know each other and stereotyped the others for reasons of why not to work together.

This is the barrier. The stereotyping and the resistance to accept rejects any coming together. According to the Journal of Business Communication, the groups that need to be heard are the ones that have been ignored for so long (Fine, Oct 1996, pg485). The study done by the Australian Journal of Management even goes as far as to suggest only hiring employees that have a good ‘assessment of job-relevant cross-cultural communication and interaction attitudes and skills including dissimilarity openness’ (Hartel, Dec 2004, pg200)


The world as it is today is a brutally judgmental one. The unemployed, on average, get one chance to impress and employer through an

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