The process of organizing and successfully running a business in a culturally diverse setting – especially carrying out serious projects – is not only laborious and painstaking, but also quite complex in terms of cross-cultural management. Roberson (2019) states that “both researchers and practitioners have strived (and struggled) to understand the concept, its effects in and on organizations, and strategies for managing such effects” (p. 69). Nowadays, the business culture has transcended national boundaries, drawing into itself more and more people with cultural differences. Eventually, cultural diversity begins to play an increasing role in organizations, and more strongly influence the maximum performance of the entrepreneurial activities.
What Is Diversity?
Cultural diversity is, in its essence, a driving force that brings together the differences that make people who they are, and tries to establish peace between many variables of human nature. The multitude of aspects in which lies the self-identification of any group that is bound by its own set of rules, practices, rituals and historical legacy, contains the concept of a culture as the humanity knows it. In an ever-going globalization of the world, a person is constantly at the border of many cultures, be it because of their birth and growing up circumstances, travelling, or family setting. A human’s identity is shaped by the cultural experiences they have had, and each individual can represent many different cultures at once.
The Employees’ Benefits of a Diverse Workplace
Business internationalization brings not only benefits and risks, it offers many progressive approaches and ideas to be implemented by the company’s employees. However, the realization of these plans seems possible only if the company has created an atmosphere of cooperation, transcending cultural differences. Culturally heterogeneous teams have higher rates of creativity when creating innovations due to the ability to more quickly produce quality brainstorming solutions. Moreover, in a culturally inclusive environment, employees are open minded, free from prejudices, flexible and adaptive. This improves overall atmosphere in the collective and increases the employees’ work satisfaction.
The Organization’s Benefits of a Diverse Workplace
The imperative meanings of culture are set by the shifts that accompany the global transformation of the modern world order. The business possibilities are changing as the boundaries of everyday experience are shifting, and in turn, social mobility accelerates. Shore et al. (2018) state that “scholars are increasingly focusing on inclusion to enhance work environments by offering support for a diverse workforce” (p. 176). In many studies, management of socio-cultural diversity is recognized as a key strategic aspect of international companies. Roberson et al. (2017) claim that “diversity became recognized as an important contextual variable, or unit-level characteristic, which influences employee attitudes and behavior” (p. 493). The multinational workforce combines different professional skills and values, worldviews and work attitudes, which has a great impact on the functioning of the company in general and the communication process in particular.
An Example of a Diverse Workplace
A good example of a culturally diverse workplace is Facebook. The company does not select people who fit its corporative or general American culture, it recruits those who create that culture. Therefore, there are no characteristics of an ideal candidate in the company. Each Facebook candidate is approached in terms of a mission and a willingness to move forward. The corporate culture is built on openness, managers try to “allow, not interfere” and trust employees to do what they see fit. Each employee is assessed and receives feedback from five colleagues twice a year. Such a system encourages workers to get closer to each other: go to joint lunches or socialize outside of work. This also contributes to an increased diversity, as every employee has a chance to learn from their colleagues, both professionally and culturally.
How Does an Organization Becomes Diverse
Business cultural diversity is how people feel at work. The organization should strive to create a corporate culture in which each employee can be themselves and maximize their abilities. In order to successfully integrate multiple cultures into the organization’s workflow, the managing lead needs to understand the impact of each culture. To know and recognize how a cultural experience influences workers’ perception of themselves and their colleagues is what the organization’s management can do to make the multicultural integration as fruitful as possible.
Large international organizations confirm that properly structured work in a multinational work environment has significant advantages. Attraction of different cultures representatives to work in a team opens up new opportunities for progressive business. Cultural and institutional diversity contribute well to the achievement of corporate goals. Therefore, the study of cultural traditions, customs and peculiarities of the religion, whose representatives work in a particular company, should become a mandatory process for the management of branches.
Business strategies that take into account cultural differences inevitably affect the structure of the head enterprises. Therefore, the personnel management policy, corporate and marketing policies should properly address cultural diversity so that the employees would feel part of the inner company culture, as well as had the ability to express themselves freely. A one-sided preference for the values of a certain culture or individual personality are a poor basis for designing approaches to human resource management. It can be assumed that in the current economic and social conditions, the personnel management should combine different perspectives on diversity enhancement and regulation.
Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6(1), 69-88. doi:10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-012218-015243
Roberson, Q., Ryan, A. M., & Ragins, B. R. (2017). The evolution and future of diversity at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 483-499. doi:10.1037/apl0000161
Shore, L. M., Cleveland, J. N., & Sanchez, D. (2018). Inclusive workplaces: A review and model. Human Resource Management Review, 28(2), 176-189. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2017.07.003