Thesis: Challenges to Managing Multi Cultural Teams

Pages: 11 (3127 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

ABSTRACT

When an individual does not effectively resolve challenges that arise when managing a multi-cultural team, the team's effectiveness, as well as needed advancements, may be compromised. This research paper, which explores practices managers may utilize to best counter challenges to managing multi-cultural teams, addresses the primary question: What practices may managers utilize to best counter challenges to managing multi-cultural teams? Benefits from a cohesive multicultural team may include an increase in productivity and innovation, enhanced competitiveness, the fostering of flexibility, superior commitment to the employer and the client. Ultimately, this research effort confirms the paper's hypothesis: When managers implement positive practices to counter challenges that multi-cultural teams present, then a number of benefits naturally materialize.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES TO

MANAGING MULTI-CULTURAL TEAMS

Without taking the time to fully understand

how to manage the integration of employees from different cultures,

companies risk losing the opportunity

to create the international dream team

- Declan Mulkeen (2008. ? 2).

INTRODUCTION

When the manager fails to speak a parent company's native language, this may hamper his/her advancement and perhaps his/her ability to complete his/her job. Similarly, when an individual does not effectively resolve challenges that arise when managing a multi-cultural team, the team's effectiveness, as well as needed advancements, may be compromised. Yadong Luo PhD, Temple University and Oded Shenkar PhD (2006), Columbia University, stress: "In the middle of a diverse community, language is a key ingredient in this process" (? 1). Languages, one of the primary challenges to managing multi-cultural teams, may negatively or positively affect the organization processes, as well as the way the organization exchanges information, how the organization conducts its competitive activities, it global coordinates, and possibly influence its intra-corporate value creation. During this research paper, the researcher examines practices managers may utilize to best counter challenges to managing multi-cultural teams.

Primary/Sub Research Question

During this study, the researcher addresses the primary question: What practices may managers utilize to best counter challenges to managing multi-cultural teams? The following three sub-questions contributed to provide the framework for answering the primary research question:

1. What challenges routinely arise in managing contemporary multi-cultural teams?

2. What practices may managers implement to overcome challenges in managing multi-cultural teams?

3. What benefits may arise from nurturing positive multi-cultural team cohesion?

Hypothesis

The researcher developed the hypothesis from considerations of the primary question, along with the sub-research questions. The hypothesis for this paper asserts: When managers implement positive practices to counter challenges that multi-cultural teams present, then a number of benefits naturally materialize.

The research paper adheres to the following fundamental format:

? Abstract

? Introduction

? Literature Review

? Discussion Of Findings

? Conclusion

? Recommendations

Research Relevance

Nicole Johnson-Reece (2004), Vice President, diversity and community involvement of Cendant Corporation, Hotel Group, purports that to survive in any competitive environment, changes routinely have to be made to adapt to changes in the marketplace, whether that market be for a service or a particular product. In the article, "Developing an inclusive marketing strategy: Organizations that value diversity in their workplace and marketplace and support them with a focused marketing strategy will be industry leaders," Johnson-Reece points out that one primary changes occurring during the past 10 years is consumer behavior, and that "The U.S. Census Bureau notes that American businesses are increasingly competing for the dollar of a much more culturally-diverse consumer segment than ever before" (? 1). In turn, organizations need to re-evaluate themselves and recognize the opportunity inherent in growing the multi-cultural customer base. This critical factor of evaluating and recognizing needs and opportunities to help nurture long-term success in an organization extend to managing today's culturally diverse workforce.

According to the Business Wire report, "New joint venture focuses on it workforce and cross-cultural teams" (2007, for productivity to improve in today's culturally diverse workforce, organizations have to counter a number of multi-cultural challenges. This mandates that the organization "deliver custom training to address diversity and cross-cultural sensitivities for businesses that have multi cultural teams working together on projects" (New joint venture..., 2007, ? 2). When managers do effectively counter challenges common to multi-cultural team, the resulting well-functioning diverse teams contribute to increased innovation and productivity in the organization.

Declan Mulkeen (2008), marketing director at culture and communication skills consultancy Communicaid, examines ways miscommunication may impact an organization. In the article, "Bringing the international dream team to life: Declan Mulkeen looks at how miscommunication hampers international working, and what steps managers can take to reduce misunderstanding and increase efficiency" . As Mulkeen notes specific ways not communicating effectively may hamper international working, he also proposes a number of steps managers may initiate to reduce misunderstanding and increase efficiency in an organization. Due to advances in information technology that critically facilitate the organization's global expansion of organization in an increasingly smaller world, Mulkeen stresses, organizations that succeed learn how to effectively communicate not only with their clients, but also with their teams. During the next section, the literature review, the researcher presents a sampling of current literature that enhances the understanding of results from investing "the time to fully understand how to manage the integration of employees from different cultures" (Mulkeen, 2008. ? 2) and how the work to make a team cohesive benefits the organization. Just as the combined efforts of a cohesive team ultimately work for the good of the organization, the combination of components in the research paper similarly, in a figurative sense, work together for the good of the study.

LITERATURE REVIEW

This literature review utilizes a thematic organization to relate information that addresses this research paper's research questions, introduced earlier in the first section of this study. The three themes include the following:

1. Challenges in Managing Multi-Cultural Teams

2. Overcoming Challenges in Managing Multi-Cultural Team

3. Multi-Cultural Team Cohesion Benefits

Challenges in Managing Multi-Cultural Teams

Luo and Shenkar (2006) explain that when the numerous diverse and geographically dispersed subunits of the multinational corporation (MNC) communicate with their local business community, as well as within their network, language matters: "Language can... have an impact on conflict management in cross-cultural teams, headquarters-subsidiary relations, training effectiveness, knowledge transfer and diffusion, and the efficiency of the global value chain" (Luo & Shenkar, ? 2). Language, in fact, constitutes the tool for MNC executives to develop their strategies and policies, disseminate and implement them.

Overcoming language barriers in multi-cultural teams, Luo and Shenkar (2006) conclude, proves vital as the strategic and socializing roles of language constitute a key to both local adaptation and global integration. Language proficiency serves as critical organizational capability that in a global business environment, cross-cultural communications, as well as foreign languages prove to be a competitive imperative. Consequently, according to Luo and Shenkar, organizations benefit when they facilitate language education and proficiency for team managers.

Managers routinely minimize a problem's complexity to more manageable levels. Dr. Sheh Seow Wah (2007), a management consultant, relates eight challenges to making right decisions in the article, "Eight common pitfalls in making the right decision: The need for creative solutions is essential in today's fast moving business environment. To produce novel and yet functional ideas and solutions, the decision-maker requires foresight to see opportunities that others cannot and the insight to approach each problem from different angles while maintaining a holistic view" . The reason for this minimization of problems may evolve from the fact that the majority of individuals "can only comprehend or handle seven pieces of information at any point of time. This limited cognitive capability and information-processing capacity results in managers being unable to fully comprehend the issue or problem" (Wah, ? 4). An expansion on the adage that "Two heads are better than one," Wah purports, may also aptly denote that the total number of a cohesive team's ideas prove more positive from a team not united due to multi-cultural challenges.

Dr. Ricarda Bouncken, Professor, and Viviane Winker (2008), research assistant and Ph. D. candidate at the Department of Organization, HR, and Innovation, both at the University of Greifswald, Germany, deem the term "multi-cultural team" to denote teams possessing diverse cultural values and communication styles evolving from their affiliations to varying nationalities and socialization in diverse cultural backgrounds. These researchers purport in the study, "Global innovation teams: Cultural team composition, language capacities, and experience as success factors," that attention to team functioning has increased as global companies utilize teams to pursue innovations research. To gain uncomplicated and prompt access to consumer and market knowledge, global innovations firms frequently depend on Multi-Cultural Innovation Teams (MCITs), which consists of members from a number of various national backgrounds. As Bouncken and Winker (2008) conducted a two-year longitudinal study on five MCITs (105 interviewees) at a large consumer good company, BLUE, they focused on communication styles' diversity and values, along with their effect on team work dimensions linked to the teams' innovativeness. From their efforts, Bouncken and Winker derived a model that emphasizes the building of a high quality of teamwork. "These teams are developed to merge the different knowledge and opinions of members… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?
Which Option Should I Choose?

1.  Buy the full, 11-page paper:  $28.88

or

2.  Buy + remove from all search engines
(Google, Yahoo, Bing) for 30 days:  $38.88

or

3.  Access all 175,000+ papers:  $41.97/mo

(Already a member?  Click to download the paper!)

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

What Are the Major Trends in Multicultural Management Both Older and Recent? Term Paper


Managing Organizational Culture Dissertation


Management Principles Explain the Terms Organic Essay


Multinational Project Management Research Paper


Multi Cultural Issues in Deaf Education Term Paper


View 509 other related papers  >>

Cite This Thesis:

APA Format

Challenges to Managing Multi Cultural Teams.  (2009, June 20).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/challenges-managing-multi-cultural/493263

MLA Format

"Challenges to Managing Multi Cultural Teams."  20 June 2009.  Web.  23 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/challenges-managing-multi-cultural/493263>.

Chicago Format

"Challenges to Managing Multi Cultural Teams."  Essaytown.com.  June 20, 2009.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/challenges-managing-multi-cultural/493263.