Business / Teamwork/Group, Dynamics, Cohesion,Diversity
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Autor: anton 26 January 2011
Words: 7339 | Pages: 30
No. Topics Page No
2. Group Dynamics 1
2.1. Advantages 1
2.1.1. Setting up Goals 1
2.1.2. Brain storming 1
2.1.3. Communication 2
2.2. Disadvantages 3
2.3. Advantages Vs Disadvantage (End Results) 5
3. Group Cohesiveness 7
What is Group Cohesion? 7
3.1. Nature of Group Cohesiveness
3.2. Groups Goals 8
3.3. Measuring group cohesion 9
3.4. Developing cohesiveness 11
3.5. Consequences of cohesion 12
4. Managing Multicultural Groups 14
4.1. Multicultural Diversity and Multicultural Workforce 14
4.2. Importance of Managing Diversity 15
4.3. Managing Culturally Diverse Work Groups within an Organization 16
4.4. Disadvantages of Culturally Diverse Work Groups 16
4.5. Advantages of Culturally Diverse Work Groups 18
5. Questionnaire Analysis 20
6. Conclusion 22
As organizations are becoming more diverse, the need of effective and goal oriented work force is rising. The keys to an organizationÐ²Ð‚â„¢s success is that their leaders and managers understand the meaning of group dynamics, group cohesiveness, and managing multicultural groups and how the theories apply to ensure the success of the organization and its groups. Evaluating group structure, building trust through strong leadership, and effectively communicating will enhance the organizations productivity and success. We all know 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. The biggest obstacle with group dynamics, cohesiveness and cultural diversity in the work groups is the managerÐ²Ð‚â„¢s lack of knowledge of how to lead in such environment. This paper will focus on the advantages and disadvantages associated with culturally diverse work groups, team cohesiveness and team dynamics and how managers can counteract those disadvantages to make their work force more effective within the organization. This paper will discuss the traps managers should avoid when leading a diverse team. This paper will also discuss the advantages the organization can attain once the managers have been educated on leading in such
One of the keys to an organizationÐ²Ð‚â„¢s success is that their leaders and managers understand the meaning of group dynamics, and how the theories apply to ensure the success of the organization and its groups. Evaluating group structure, building trust through strong leadership, and effectively communicating will enhance the organizations productivity and success. Similarly in group dynamics for effective communication we need cohesion in groups and if we see, cohesiveness of group has a very important influence on the performance of the groups. Cohesive group are incorporated and member benefit from interacting with each other. Cohesiveness refers to the point to which group members share group goals and work together to meet these goals. Furthermore the world with increasing globalization requires more interaction among people from different cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds than ever before. Now people no longer live and work in a limited place, they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. For this reason, profit and non-profit organizations need diversity to become more creative and open to change. Maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity has become an important issue for management today.
2. Group Dynamics
Group dynamics is the social, intellectual, or moral forces that become apparent when observing the interaction of individuals brought together to form a team. Understanding group dynamics prepares one to better manage in future group situations. A study of group dynamics and the components of both successful and failing teams will provide insight of what to strive for and what to avoid in order to create a positive, productive team environment.
The advantage of group dynamics is that members get to taste other job roles and experience their skills. It gives them experience about other departments, which they never experience.
The disadvantages of group dynamics is that if employees swap their job roles and are not motivated in doing the work they can let them down. They may also not like the roles and finding it difficult.
The way a group of people interact with each other, known as group dynamics, often decides the success or failure of a team effort. Many deciding factors affect group dynamics: personalities and attitudes, the ability to communicate, level of commitment to the group effort, as well as conflict and ability for conflict resolution. A clear understanding of group dynamics and the components of a successful or failing team may enable team members to use this knowledge to their advantage and therefore create a positive and productive team environment.
There are four basic components that make up an effective team (Stasson, 1997).
2.1.1. Setting up goals
First, goals must be set early on in the development of the group. A successful group works together from the very beginning to create such a schedule. After all members contribute their opinions and establish goals, it is then time to assign tasks. Effective teams establish measures to monitor progress and ensure goals are achieved. These measures require accountability from each team member. Setting due dates for completion and submission of individual tasks is part of creating an explicit programme, and is a key element in keeping a team to a specific timeline.
Brainstorming, the second component of an effective team, serves to get the ball rolling by generating free-flowing ideas. Brainstorming begins by asking such questions as How, What, Where, When, Who, and Why. The answers derived from these questions will allow the group to strategically plan how they will accomplish the team mission.
Communication is the third component and a very important one if effective decision-making is to be made within the group. Communication is one of the key factors behind both a successful and failing team.
Communication may prove difficult for some. It is not always easy or comfortable to voice oneÐ²Ð‚â„¢s opinion, but the idea is to make every attempt to do so. Keep all lines of communication open; find out each memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s schedule, as well as the preferred method for group interaction. This interaction may take place in many different ways: through email, phone conversations, or in a chat room. The group should establish a decision-making process as part of effective communication.
The fourth component of an effective team is the recognition of expertise. Littlepage & Mueller (1997) demonstrate that Ð²Ð‚Ñšthe recognition of expertise is an important component of group problem-solving and decision-making effectiveness, and groups vary substantially in their ability to recognize member expertiseÐ²Ð‚Ñœ. It is natural to make mistakes, whether working individually or in a group. However, by bringing such mistakes to the attention of the group, the task of correcting them and moving on will be a much simpler.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Group Dynamics shape the success or failure of teamwork. The four basic components of a successful team are just a broad generalization of what one might expect to observe in a team that is functioning effectively. However, there are countless of other factors that shape a team and may lend to either success or failure.
Clearly, if the characteristics of an effective team are missing or not utilized properly, the lack may well lead to an ineffective group effort. For this reason, we must look at these characteristics and understand how they affect group dynamics in a negative way.
Every team must have a foundation, agreed upon by all. This foundation, or purpose, is the driving force and reason the team was brought together in the first place. If this purpose is not clearly understood or agreed upon, a team may become deadlocked and immoveable before anything even begins.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Earlier communication is identified as a key component in a successful team. However, communication, or lack thereof, is also a major contributor to team failure. Many teams fall into the trap of not communicating regularly, assuming others are doing what they are supposed to be doing, or pressing forward after very brief interaction that did not provide clear guidelines and team buy-in. A key component to successful communication is the ability to speak live and meet face to face. Communication must be face to face; only e-mail is insufficient and leads to miscommunication and confusion.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Accountability is another key element that, when lacking, contributes to a non-functional group. An established foundation should provide team mission, team rules, assignment of responsibilities and measures for the accomplishment of tasks. If one or more team members are not held accountable for their required tasks, the team will have to reassign the work to another member already doing their share, fall behind on deadlines, and possibly not achieve the end result at all. Any of these outcomes is stressful to team interaction and harmful to the group as a whole.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Conflict is a part of any group dynamic that must be planned on. It is often not a question of Ð²Ð‚ÑšifÐ²Ð‚Ñœ people will disagree, but Ð²Ð‚ÑšwhenÐ²Ð‚Ñœ: Ð²Ð‚ÑšConflict in any team is inevitable, and many successful managers agree that team conflict is healthy, even vital. However, conflict becomes unhealthy if not managed appropriatelyÐ²Ð‚Ñœ (Toman, 2000). When a group does not agree and a conflict happens, the way in which the issue is dealt with can lend to a more productive group or the further breakdown of a group already in distress.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž How to turn a floundering team to success? Identify the different types of conflict the team is experiencing and work at resolving these issues. Conflict is often the result of having different types of personality in the group. By understanding and addressing differing personality types, a successful group may use these differences to the teamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s advantage. For example, if conflict arises because one group member doesnÐ²Ð‚â„¢t enjoy record keeping, and another dislikes research, tasks may be swapped so that both are happy and the work gets done.
Other contributors to a floundering team are lack of communication, lack of clarity to team mission or objective, and the assumption that one personÐ²Ð‚â„¢s responsibility is more important then anotherÐ²Ð‚â„¢s. All of these issues may be addressed through team communication. The key is to never give up, constantly strive for understanding, and make every effort to keep team members accountable for their assigned responsibilities. A floundering team may turn things around by addressing the issues as they arise so that they may refocus on the task at hand.
Diverse personality types can work together in spite of their differences. Teams are often comprised of a variety of personalities such as the analytic person, the action-oriented type, the visionary, and the administrative. A floundering team may be turned around with the identification of these personality types, because once identified, assignment of responsibilities may be based upon what suits each person. This often reduces the occurrence of team conflict and produces a harmonious, productive group.
The analytical person is usually the realistic person in the group. He or she will not act unless a common ground is achieved. The action-oriented person is in charge of making sure the group project continues to move forward. With this type of person in a team, one may rest assured in the knowledge that things will get done on time. The visionaryÐ²Ð‚â„¢s mission is to overlook any minor difficulties the team is experiencing and ensure the team stays focused. Finally, the administrative personality is the person to track the actual progress of the team.
Every team experiences fear and anxiety, particularly in the beginning stage. These fears are commonly associated with lack of communication, unclear goal or team mission, and assuming oneÐ²Ð‚â„¢s responsibility is more important than the other. These fears may stunt a teamÐ²Ð‚â„¢s progress. A team must address these types of fears early in order to move beyond them. In a team, communication channels must be kept open, all ideas will be taken into consideration, and goals must be agreed upon before tasks are assigned. Goals should be clear from the very beginning in order to maintain team focus.
2.3. Advantages Vs Disadvantage (End Results)
Finally, assuming oneÐ²Ð‚â„¢s responsibility is more important than the other is usually a result of having different egos within the team. By keeping open communication, having the same common goal, and acknowledging the importance of each team member, this negative symptom of a floundering team may be removed.
The dynamics within a group will determine its success or failure. Understanding the many different dynamics, which may present within a group, enables team members to identify what is happening, make corrections, and move forward. Teamwork may not always be easy, and conflict will arise, but with the proper understanding, teams may utilize the dynamics that exist to further their goals and successfully accomplish the mission that brought them together.
3. What is group cohesion?
Naturally, we know the difference between cohesive groups and non cohesive groups. Cohesive groups are integrated. Members benefit from interacting with each other, and they stay in the group for a long time. But what about the group, where all the members like each other-they are very close- but they have no obligation to the whole group. Lewis as early as 1943, used the expression cohesion to explain the power that keep group integral by pushing member and stop them getting apart.
Cohesion group is a group that seem joining together and in which the member want to stay. Cohesion should be mentioned as the totally interpersonal appeal that there is between memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s groups. In other way, cohesion group is a group which they like each other, and cohesion could be measured by how much they like each other.
Cohesiveness can be described as the mixed of pressures which gives to increase awareness of a group members.
3.1. The nature of group cohesiveness
The expression group cohesiveness has very important place in assumption of group dynamic. Lots of people think that group cohesiveness is the grade which the groupÐ²Ð‚â„¢s members like to stay in the group. So the member of a group with high cohesiveness, in contrast to a group with a low cohesiveness are more careful with their membership and more strongly enthused by help to the group interests, to gain its goals and take part in its activities. Group cohesiveness has been studies from the two points of view: As a dependant variable and as an independent variable. The first one is about to prove the condition which is about different level of cohesiveness, but the second one is about the impact of different levels of cohesiveness on group and its members.
The literal meaning of cohesiveness is the trend to stay together.
3.2. Group goals
The target of group represents another possible option of its attraction. Some theorists regard cohesion as a specific type of interpersonal attraction (Loft & Loft 1965). At the personal level, member of cohesive like each other. Cohesive group, are more willing to keep their members for a long time than non cohesive group. This relation between cohesion and membership strength is strongest when cohesion is based on the memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s attraction to the group as a unit rather than their attraction toward individual members (Loft 1965). Different groups have different goals, but attractiveness is the most important one. So what brings attractiveness to a group?
1- Type of interdependence among members
When the members of a group agree same goal and accept actions require to gain it, they become as a group mutually dependant. Each member gains contentment from help made by other toward to reach their common goals. Advances the hypothesis, that when people have cooperation and rely on each other in the group, they will expand attraction between each other.
2- Group activities
In a group engage a member in specific activities, his appraisal of these activities, should affect attraction to the group. In fact, attractiveness of some group is base on the nature of activities they provide members.
3- Leadership and decision making
The classical experiment by Lewin, Lip Pitt AND White on style of leadership provides several clues that people are more interested in a group with democratic leadership than one with autocratic leadership. Group attractiveness is controlled by the type of its guidance. Democratic forms of association that support large scale participation in decision-making emerge in commonly to bring more attraction to the group than does one in which attraction are centralised.
4- Structural properties
Research started by Bavelas shows that communication structure of a group can affect memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s satisfaction with participation in the group. Average level of satisfaction is more between group with decentralised network than between those with a centralised one. If a group has a certain structure, memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s position in it, is expected to impact his attraction to the group.
Bavales created group in the laboratory that were to work on a problem needed the switch the information between members, and he chose for each group the communication network that it could use. If a group has an exact formation, a memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s position within it, is expected to spread his attraction to the group. Bavales found that members who work in central position in a network were happier than those who work in side line on the company.
5- Group atmosphere
A group with general atmosphere determines members to act to the group as a whole. Group atmosphere has influence on its attractiveness. For example, in a group when members feel accepted and valued, will have attraction for its members. It is clear in a pleasant and affable atmosphere will help to the attraction of a group.
6- Group size
The results, as showed by Borter and Lawlev, clearly indicate that as the size of units such as work group, department or factories, large organizations increase, there is a decrease in job satisfaction and at the same time, increase in absence rates, turnover rates and more argument between labours. It is obvious that the size of a group had influence on its attractiveness by its impact on other features of the group. If their quality becomes less satisfying as the size increase, there will be a harmful relation between size and attractiveness.
Some problems in large groups have been found by Indic like:
1- More difficulty in gaining enough communication between members
2- They have more tasks which need high level of specialization.
3- They canÐ²Ð‚â„¢t have good cooperation and they are far from each other.
4- Relation is very cold and unfriendly.
3.3. Measuring group cohesion
Just as assumptions have described cohesiveness in many different ways, practically researchers have found many different ways to measure cohesiveness. Each one is connected the meaning of cohesiveness, and each has made meaningful connection between its form of measurement and other feature of groups, that might be expected to be related with cohesiveness.
Ð¿Ñ“? Observing cohesion
Viewers, watching the men and women go about their dayÐ²Ð‚â„¢s work to measure cohesiveness.
They monitored interpersonal response between members. For example, quarrel or anxiety and how easily group work together as a team.
Ð¿Ñ“? Self-report approach
A self-report approach presumes that group members can explain the cooperation and unity of their group precisely. Researchers have used range of question to measure cohesion, like, do you like to stay a member of this group or how much do you feel you belong to this group and people you work with them?(Schachtee 1951; Schachter, Ellerston, mc bride & Gregory, 1951, and Indil 1965).
Ð¿Ñ“? Interpersonal attraction among members
On the hypothesis when member of a group like each other more, group will be more attractive. Some researchers have made index to measure the level of interpersonal attraction between members. For instance Ð²Ð‚Ñšfriendship indexÐ²Ð‚Ñœ in a club, each member is questioned to say name of his ten best friends, to the member that could have probably have been chosen within the club. The results support the vision that cohesiveness gives a group power to control its members.
Ð¿Ñ“? Evaluation of a group as a whole
Next approach to measuring cohesiveness concentrates upon the group as a unit rather than interpersonal relation and extends indicator from memberÐ²Ð‚â„¢s appraisal of the group. Valuation of group members and of the group as a whole inclined to go together but that they are not exactly the same. This result, recommend that value of extra investigation of the use of group members as spy about the cohesiveness of the group.
Ð¿Ñ“? Closeness or identification with a group
Questions intended to tell how powerfully members recognise with a group or feel individually engage in. It has been used by some investigators to measure group cohesiveness. They made a scale of member identification base on answers to the questions like:
Do you feel close to your friends in group? Or how much are you interested in your group members?
This result gives extra support to the theory that cohesiveness gives power of influence to its member in a group.
Ð¿Ñ“? Expressed desire to remain in a group
A next approach is use of straight conceptual meaning of group cohesiveness by asking members to show the power of their interest to stay in the group. They ask questions like; do you want to stay in this group as a member? Or how often do you think this group should meet up?
Schachter found, this test can sat the different between who, when finally stay in the group and who will leave.
Ð¿Ñ“? Composite indexes
Researcher asks questions which are mixed of all kind of question in different measurement like, do you think you are really part of your group? Or if you have the opportunity to work in another group with the same task, will you change your group?
Two factors were found by this measurement:
Ð²Ð‚ÑšSocial satisfactionÐ²Ð‚Ñœ and Ð²Ð‚Ñšsociometric cohesionÐ²Ð‚Ñœ-Hagstrom and Selven think that the first one measures the helpful attraction of groups. The level which they make opportunities for making friends, having dates, and participation in social life. The second one, measures essential of attractiveness, the level which members are fascinated to close individual association in the group.
3.4. Developing cohesiveness
Cohesiveness can be developed by:
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Making knowledge in people that a personal need could be satisfied by performance with the group.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Insisting the personal benefit that could be reaching through being member of group.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Emphasizing the group ability for making personal prestige.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Using helpful techniques
3.5. Consequences of cohesion
Most of, if asked us to decide between two groups, on is cohesiveness and another one is non cohesive, it is more likely to choose the cohesive group with more unity. But cohesiveness has its disadvantages.
A cohesive group is a passionate group and their passion influence the members, the group dynamic and the group act in both positive and negative ways.
People are often happier and more satisfied with their group when it is cohesive rather than lack of unity. A unified group makes better and healthier environment, at least at psychological level. Because members in cohesive group answer to each other in more positive way than the members of another group.
People are less nervous and less under pressure in such group (Myers 1962, Shan & Shan 1962). People also manage more successfully, with stress and tension when they are in cohesive group(Bowers, Waver & Morgan 1996: Zaccaro, Gualfieri & minionis 1995.
When the group is forced with exchange in a group, the main members of a group are unwilling to have an emotional relation with new member, because they are afraid of getting separated of previous group.
People in cohesive group very quickly admit the group targets, decisions and rules. In addition, force to accept is stronger in cohesive group and personal conflict to this pressure is not very strong. When member of cohesive group realized that they oppose with their co-worker interpretation, they strive to use more power over their partner than in a non cohesive group. Partners also accept easier in cohesive group, maybe because they donÐ²Ð‚â„¢t want to make an argument in the group.
Cohesion can raise negative group procedure, such as enmity and if something wrong happen, they will blame each other ( Fronch 1941, petitone & Reichling 1955).
In one case, cohesive and non cohesive group work on sequence of very difficult and almost insolvable problems. Although both groups were irritated and discouraged, cooperation was in a good form in non cohesiveness group, but in cohesive group they vented this problem with interpersonal violence. For example with more hostility or blame each other and when group goes on a wrong way, leader of the group, will have very though and cruel behaviour to change it on a wrong way.
Ð¿Ñ“? Power of group over members
One of the consequences of cohesiveness is the control that cohesiveness gives a group to affect on its members. Members adapt themselves better to the groupÐ²Ð‚â„¢s norm. In cohesive group member spread influence of each other much quicker. In cohesive groups members accept groupÐ²Ð‚â„¢s goals, decisions, duties and rules.
Ð¿Ñ“? Participation and loyalty
When cohesiveness increase in a group, there is more regular relations and communication between members, more participation in group tasks and less absence.
Ð¿Ñ“? Personal consequence
When interpersonal relation in a group increase, it will increase cohesiveness and cohesiveness causes more trust and confidence and acceptance between members and members feel sense of safety and personal value. In this case nervousness will reduce.
Positive consequence of cohesion
Cohesive group because usually, they have no quarrel and argument, have more time for work. When an argument happens personal efficiency is lower. It is not common for manager of company to claim that when company group are cohesive, staffs will be encouraged to work harder. It has been proved that when the major group influence are toward increase efficiency, cohesiveness tend to support the influences and to improve productivity.
Cohesiveness enables group to affect members. When members are interested in the group and they adapt more to the view. Cohesive groups can work much better under stress than non cohesive groups. Because in cohesive groups members have feeling of belong to the group and together and feeling of more safety.
Some documents from investigators show that new members to the group are accepted and all members have better cooperation when members expect new members and if cohesive group is not ready for new members they might face with some problems.
4. Managing Multicultural Groups
Surridge (2000:p.7) states If people are managed effectively they are likely to make a major, positive contribution to the organization, If managed badly they are likely to resist change, have low productivity produce poor quality work and deliver inadequate customer service. In a globalizing economy companies recognized potential benefits of a multicultural workforce and tried to create more inclusive work environments, However Cox (2001:p.1) states that organizations have been disappointed with the results they have achieved in their efforts to meet the diversity challenge. Many organizations have not yet developed the systems and structures needed to maximize the potential of a diverse workplace.
TodayÐ²Ð‚â„¢s we are living in a society, diverse in culture and also having an impact of globalization we see diversity at its highest point as it has ever been. As companies are spreading all over the world they are becoming more diverse. Now it is becoming more important for them (companies) to understand and manage that diversity. People of different backgrounds, races, ages, sex, and religions create a diverse workforce. There is an importance of having a diverse or multicultural workforce in order to provide better performance overall. With a diverse workforce, there arises a need for new management planning, which requires organization leaders and managers to know the differences among their employees and to know how to handle situations involving these differences.
As Dr. Sondra Thiederman, a leading expert in workplace diversity, stated, ``whether you are a business owner, executive, salesperson or customer- service professional, your success will increasingly depend on your ability to function in a culturally diverse marketplace'' (Thiederman, 2000).
To know how to manage multicultural work force we should draw a line by defining the aspects of diversity in work force.
4.1. Multicultural Diversity and Multicultural Workforce
Workforce diversity refers to the varied personal characteristics that make the workforce heterogeneous. For example the population of United State is heterogeneous that leads to heterogeneous work force. Diversity is not merely related to sex alone. With passage of time, organizations are becoming more diverse in terms of race, age, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. In addition to these aspects, the scope of diversity in organizations have now expanded to national, regional or other geographical areas of origin, e.g. educational background, family status, income, military experience, ownership of property and assets, physical and mental ability, social class, spiritual practice, health status, language, and work experience . Diversity can be broadly divided in two main types, e.g. superficial diversity e.g. differences in gender, ethnicity, nationality and deep-level diversity e.g. differences in knowledge, skills and differences in values. Importance of superficial diversity can be reduced by increased amounts of interaction between individuals of various sexes, ethnicity and nationality etc thereby increasing the importance of deep-level diversity.
4.2. Importance of Managing Diversity
As the companies of today are getting more and more diverse, the need of managing the multicultural workforce is increasing. All Countries especially USA and Canada are having more diverse workforce. So it is becoming important for the companies manage the diversity to get better results out of employees.
Research stated that Forward-thinking Canadian organizations have recognized that competing successfully in the new global marketplace requires more than the latest technology, most efficient production processes, or most innovative products. Canadian organizations competitive strength is increasingly contingent on human resources. Competing to win in the global economy will require an ability to attract, retain, motivate and develop high- potential employees of both genders from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The challenge facing todayÐ²Ð‚â„¢s corporate managers is to promote an organizational culture that values differences and maximizes the potential of all employees. In other words, those managers must learn to manage diversity.
Ð¿Ñ“? PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGING DIVERSITY
Organizations have to follow the many guidelines to get diversity attached:
1. They (companies) have to focus on getting the best talent out of the person regardless of different age, sex and other statistical or geographical differences.
2. They have to develop career plans for all employees of the organization including the minorities.
3. More importantly they have to promote people of different culture to responsible positions in the organization
4. Make managers responsible for this task of obtaining diversity gorals. Managers also have to communicate well with all the employees and listen to their problems that are of different background or cultures.
5. They Build diversity into top management.
4.3. Managing Culturally Diverse Work Groups within an Organization
According to Bruno (2004), diversity is the approach to business that regards human differences in the workplace as contributing to the success. An organization that creates an inclusive environment that values and respects differences will benefit from diversity. Cultural diversity has become widespread within many organizations today. The work groups in these organizations are increasingly being staffed by culturally diverse employees. This diverse group increases the available pool of resources, networks, perspectives, styles, knowledge.
The cultural differences exhibited by the employees can be directly related to their job performances. Their cultural differences enable them to perceive the same idea in different ways, and when it is not handled properly, these differences can lead to misconceptions and low group cohesion and morale. These factors ultimately affect the groups work performance and their contribution to the organizations success. To counter the distractions related to diversity, managers must work to enhance group performance and member morale, satisfaction, intent to remain, and commitment.
(Gibson, Donnelly, Ivancevich, Konopaske, 2003). If the managers do not work to enhance group performance and member morale, then it will lead to disadvantages within the work group.
4.4. Disadvantages of Culturally Diverse Work Groups
Working successfully with individuals unlike ourselves is difficult and requires change (Bruno, 2004). When change is not successfully managed in culturally diverse work groups, the disadvantages can reduce the productivity of the organization.
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 cannot function properly without proper communication. In any type of relationship, especially in a group, communication is the key to understanding and solving problems.
More over where it is offering an organization with the creativity, energy, and new approaches to solving problems on the other hand, differences in backgrounds, values, and norms can also result in to a conflict, disruption, and loss of productivity. Few common problems arising out of a diverse workforce may include arising frustrations due to staff speaking other languages on the job. There can be a resistance to working with members of another ethnic, racial, or cultural group.
In a diverse environment, there are usually cross-cultural interactions. Here the dominant culture enjoys the privilege of being in the decision making position but has to remain careful in its decision affecting ethnic culture. The ethnic group while working in diverse environment has to confront and survive repression and seclusion. Some cultures view conflict as a positive thing, while others view it as something to be avoided. From culture to culture, there are different ways that people move toward completing tasks. When it comes to working together effectively on a task, cultures differ with respect to the importance placed on establishing relationships early on in the collaboration. The roles individuals play in decision-making vary widely from culture to culture. In some cultures, it is not appropriate to be frank about emotions, about the reasons behind a conflict or a misunderstanding, or about personal information. These divisions in cultures within diverse organizations demands constant training sessions aimed at encouraging harmony and understandings. Cultural diversity in a group can also reduce the cohesiveness of the group and result in increased employee turnover. A study reveals that males working in homogeneous environments were more attached to coworkers and to their jobs. As heterogeneity increased, however, absenteeism and turnover increased among males. Interestingly, it has been noted that this negative reaction to diversity existed among white males, and not amongst women or other minorities.
And finally the biggest obstacle with cultural diversity in the work groups is the managerÐ²Ð‚â„¢s lack of knowledge of how to lead a culturally diverse work group or team.
4.5. Advantages of Culturally Diverse Work Groups
Diversity programs present a way for companies to fuel growth by tapping into fast-growing multicultural markets (Pellet, 2004).
When the organization has the trained managerÐ²Ð‚â„¢s those can effectively lead the multicultural work groups, the organizations can benefit from the advantages of the groups.
There is huge material arguing that multicultural groups and organizations have performance advantages over homogenous groups.
These advantages are outlined as follows:
1. Attracts and retains the best available human talent.
2. Understands and penetrates wider and enhanced markets.
3. Displays higher creativity and innovation.
4. Displays a better problem solving ability.
5. Adapts better to change and exhibits more organizational flexibility.
Studies show that when organizations attract, retain, and promote maximum utilization of people from diverse cultural backgrounds, they gain competitive advantage and maintain the highest quality of human resources. By limiting the number of diverse workers in an organization, the organization is also limiting the variety of information and resources it could attain from the diverse workers. Also, the organizations can reach wider and enhanced markets when they have an increased understanding of the political, social, legal, economic and cultural environment of foreign countries through its culturally diverse work force. This increase in understanding can facilitate selling goods and services in the increasingly diverse marketplace. Culturally diverse employees allow the organizations to possess high levels of creativity and innovation. The high levels of creativity and innovation generates a greater openness to new ideas. Culturally diverse work groups can provide a broader and richer experience to approach a problem.
According to Cox (2001), Charlene Nemeth, in a series of research studies, found that groups subjected to minority views are better at critically analyzing decision issues and alternatives than those that were not. These diverse organizations consist of expanded meanings, multiple perspectives, and multiple interpretations, which enables it to be more capable of avoiding the consequences of groupthink. Groupthink primarily occurs in highly cohesive, homogeneous groups. The members tend to lose their critical thinking and become unwilling to criticize one another (Weiss, 2001). Cultural diversity ignites flexibility in the organization because it allows multiple ways of organizing and responding to information. This variety also increases the flexibility of thought, since the employees will speak two or more languages (Cox, 2001).
Ð¿Ñ“? What more to be done?
Many organizations are engaging in activities to manage their employees of different genders, ages, race, sexual orientations, etc. When demographic diversity is valued, all employees, even the non-traditional (i.e., other than white males), are encouraged to participate fully and develop their unique skills and perspectives.
Diversity is increasing everyday in everyday in every organization, In America 1 in 4 Americans belongs to a minority or is foreign-born. Women, who currently make up less than half the work force, are expected to fill 65 percent of the jobs created during this decade.
Ð²Ð‚ÑšWhether you are a business owner, executive, salesperson or customer- service professional, yours success will increasingly depend on your ability to function in a culturally diverse marketplace.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Profiting in America's Multicultural Marketplace' Lexington Books)
Organizations are getting more concerned of developing the diverse workforce over the years to attain better result and competitiveness.
Organizations have been advised to attract, develop, and retain males and females of all ages, skin colors, cultural backgrounds, and physical capacities to remain competitive (Cox and Blake, 1991).
Companies that accommodate the special needs of the demographically diverse workforce (by redefining the structure of the work day for those with childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities, or providing qualified assistants and/or apparatus for employees with disabilities) will become more appealing places to work and will thereby reduce absenteeism and turnover costs. They have also asserted that organizations that value differences will cultivate non-traditional markets, by dint of their apparent progressiveness and their ability to assess non-traditional preferences; and will enjoy greater creativity, problem solving, and responsiveness as a result of the wider range of viewpoints brought to bear on tasks. (Cox and Blake, (1991)
5. Questionnaire Analysis
Couple of questionnaires session has been done to prove how people think in such conditions if they are put into, For example they like to work in teams or not, what are their opinions about the decision making process that is to be used during work in multicultural teams, what they think about the knowledge sharing among team member. The result from this session was very helpful to conclude this discussion in an appropriate manner. For example the results of the questions that have been used, detail is given below.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 80% of the people think they like to work in teams and 20% say no.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 60% of the people will like join the organization that has diverse culture and 40% say may be.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 90% of the people say that they will trust other team members 10% say no.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 70% of the people say that working in a team will increase their confidence, 30% say no.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 60% of the people say that they will share their knowledge and 40% say that it depends on the situation.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 40% of the people think that multicultural groups increase the productivity and 60% say no to that reason.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 50 % of the people thing that they feel stressed while working in the team, and 50% say no.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž 80% of the people think that cohesive groups effect the decision making and 20% say they donÐ²Ð‚â„¢t know
5.1. The graphical Representation
Now by summing up this discussion here, it is important that leader or managers understands and apply the concepts of conflict of interest, the nature of conflict, and effective conflict resolutions strategies. The leader or manager must also recognize that some conflicts will not be resolved. Leader or managers who understand group dynamics realize that high performance groups contribute to the success of the organization. For better communication in the group we need cohesion among the team members, where cohesiveness as the compound of forces, which gives increase to the perception by member of a group uniqueness. There are some advantages of group cohesiveness. For example
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Power of group over members
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Participation and loyalty among members
Ð²Ð‚Ñž members are much more confident and they are more satisfied
Ð²Ð‚Ñž They have healthier work place and more time for work
Ð²Ð‚Ñž They accept goals and decisions much quicker
Similarly it also has some disadvantages too, for example
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Members are reluctant to establish emotional ties with new comers
Ð²Ð‚Ñž When one of the members is intense, his intensity affects other members
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Increase negative group aspect including hostility and making scapegoats.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Leaders sometime react very negatively when a group member goes against the group consensus.
Ð²Ð‚Ñž Pressure for conformity is very high and can affect on ability to reach correct decision
Group cohesiveness can be affected by diverse work force but cultural diversity is realty. Diversity in workforce is growing in all countries especially USA, Canada and Europe. With having more diverse work environment organization can produce better performance. It is important for the companies to know diversity and how to handle the issues relating to it. Also the need of the diverse workforce is getting more not only because there are different people but also because they can produce better results with having different types of people working. Leaders in the organizations should learn diversity (differences of gender, age, sex and religion in their work environment and also to communicate will between them) and how to manage it effectively.
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