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Cultural Diversity Essay

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This paper will show that cultural diversity is vital to many corporations and organizations. Several reasons will be presented in the benefits cultural diversity can bring to companies and employees. Firstly, integrating into a multicultural community can widen employees’ knowledge and dispel cultural preconceptions. Secondly, having staff from diverse backgrounds creates more opportunities for companies to understand foreign markets. Next, the company’s image may be more attractive and reliable in customers’ and partners’ eyes. The opposing view suggests that conflicts may be provoked due to differences in many aspects which reflect diverse cultures. However, good management can be the key solution to those problems. Lastly, a strong point is made that companies can increase their income and development thanks to the creativity and more solutions from foreign talents.

Result from globalization and cultural imports, increasing multicultural corporations’ appearance and migration for jobs indicate the upward tendency of cultural diversity, which can be considered one of the priorities in the company’s development strategy due to its undeniable advantages. According to Cambridge Business English Dictionary, diversity is defined as “the fact of there being people of many different groups in society, within an organization, etc.”

Firstly, the integration of individuals into cultural diversity contributes to the growth of knowledge in the workplace. Being aware of the cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences encourages employees to make informed decisions, gain transferable skills and bring them to a general voice from different perspectives (Picardo, 2012). It can be considered as an effective method of broadening the personal horizon and having a deeper insight into foreign cultures. Integrating with each culture, creating abundance and diversity helps to avoid negative stereotypes and personal bias (‘Cultural Diversity; New Findings from London School of Economics in the Area of Cultural Diversity Described (Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in England and Wales) – ProQuest,’ 2019) as employees have a chance to interact with people from other countries and have a true understanding of cultures. Being multicultural gives everyone a fair chance of connecting to a stable community that is not afflicted by separatism and racism (Aziz, 2014).

The second argument is that the multicultural workforce allows businesses to approach different kinds of consumers from diverse markets more easily and more effectively. These differences in identity and experience among employees provide the business with more knowledge and perspectives about their desired markets so that they could have potential strategies to achieve them (Ely & Thomas, 2001). It is also realized that the workforce with different cultures or even minorities contains a great amount of knowledge about countries and humans, which helps the companies to access to minority groups – the new potential consumers that almost companies underestimated or even ignored (Hofhuis, van der Zee, & Otten, 2015). Glenn Llopis (2012) claimed that the major problem making American companies fail in reaching the Hispanic market is the lack of diversity in the leadership, which decreased the innovation and knowledge to expand to the target market. Those cases not only have demonstrated for the importance of the multicultural workforce but also emphasized the benefits they bring to their businesses.

Next, cultural diversity in the workplace helps attract customers and partners and enhances and broadcast the corporation’s positive image. A company with a diversity of human resources may be accompanied by a wealth and diversity of knowledge. Employees with skills and expertise such as languages and cultural understanding allow organizations to present services at a global level. An organization that pursues assorted variety in their work will motivate every laborer to work viably and the associated procedures will be executed in this manner obtaining high efficiency (Latif Abdul, 2016). When customers and partners see personnel from different backgrounds inside the company, they may be attracted and have more confidence in cooperation. At the same time, cultural diversity has promoted the company’s image with abundance, attracting many talents from all regions, and receiving new things.

Another view to consider is that cultural diversity may cause unavoidable conflicts owing to inefficiency in communication resulting from the language barrier, disparate thinking styles or even distinct political and religious viewpoints. Different cultural backgrounds lead to distinction in thinking and indirectly give rise to misunderstanding among individuals in the team, which brings about unworthy low productivity at work. Hence, employees may suffer discrimination because of their religious beliefs or gender and this pressure might result in low well-being, individual performance and organizational commitment (Yoshino & Smith, 2013). Not only do those conflicts cause management struggle but it also leads to the loss in companies’ income. It is estimated that around 359 billion dollars in hours is paid for conflicts in the workplace instead of other productive work which is equivalent to a number of hours approximately 2.8 per week (Hayes, 2008).

Nevertheless, a response to this is that those issues can be managed and lightened. As recently tending to recruit employees from diverse backgrounds, companies demand highly-qualified managers who have experience and a wide knowledge of different cultures (Aghazadeh, 2004). By understanding cultural dissimilitudes, employers can attract and motivate employees coming from around the globe (Harvard Business, 2009). Furthermore, superiors should possess a high Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) to be able to recognize gaps, core values, or subordinates’ hidden potential. The Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion report, Uncovering Talent (2013) stated that 61% of 3129 employees from different backgrounds partly “veiled” their identity at the workplace, which might have a negative influence on relationships among employees, between employees and customers. For this reason, managers should make the work environment safe and open for subordinates to unveil and bring their true selves to work (Dorie Clark, 2014). Recognizing their differences and building hard conversations are good ways to encourage employees to share ideas, reduce the possibility of conflicts and create an effective workplace.

Lastly, it is undeniable that cultural diversity will bring about many novels and creative solutions, skills and experiences, which can increase companies’ productivity and income. There is no surprise that a group of different people from a variety of countries will have distinct viewpoints, which possibly build up a more comprehensive outlook for a problem. Thanks to the diverse information, thoughts and perspective that individuals can bring to the discussion, teams will have the potential to be more creative (Jang, 2018). The talents from different regions will use dissimilar mindsets and skills to process their task, which may cause arguments to find out the ideal solution. According to Inclusion@Work Index 2017 – 2018, an employer in an inclusive team is “10 times more likely to be highly effective than workers in non-inclusive teams”. In this way, cultural diversity can foster the company’s innovation and productivity, make higher profits and ensure the company’s development.

This essay has clearly shown that cultural diversity is critical to the success of a company. The main arguments given were that cultural knowledge, deeper understanding of foreign markets, customers and partners attraction, creativity and innovation, all of which contribute significantly to the company’s income and development. A counterargument was unavoidable conflicts can occur in process of working, which may decrease team results. However, a brilliant leader who knows how to associate with members and harmonize cultural differences. Therefore, most of companies and organizations should have a suitable and long-term strategy so that cultural diversity can bring benefit to them.

References

  1. Aghazadeh, S.-M. (2004). Managing workforce diversity as an essential resource for improving organizational performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 53(6), 521-531.
  2. Aziz, S. F. (2014). Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils of Muslim Women’s Identity Performance in the Workplace. Mich. J. Race & L., 20, 1.
  3. Cultural diversity; New findings from the London school of economics in the area of cultural diversity described (cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in England and Wales). (2015, May 15). Ecology, Environment & Conservation. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1678811810?accountid=63189
  4. Deloitte. (2013). Uncovering Talent – A new model of Inclusion. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/about-deloitte/us-about-deloitte-uncovering-talent-a-new-model-of-inclusion.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0xySJApWcFrQ7Z6t95DbnxvyDb64Nxcgm7xD7MNlSK3KB31cKFYJuoOng
  5. Dorie Clark, C. S. (2014). Help Your Employees Be Themselves at Work. Retrieved from https://hbr.org
  6. Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. administrative science quarterly, 46(2), 229-273.
  7. Harvard Business, S. (2009). Managing Diversity: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.
  8. Hayes, J. (2008). Workplace conflict and how businesses can harness it to thrive. CPP Global Human Capital Report.
  9. Hofhuis, J., van der Zee, K. I., & Otten, S. (2015). Measuring employee perception on the effects of cultural diversity at work: development of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale. Quality & Quantity, 49(1), 177-201.
  10. Inclusion@Work Index | Diversity Council Australia. (2019).
  11. Jang, S. (2018). The Most Creative Teams Have A Specific Type of Cultural Diversity. Retrieved from https://hbr.org
  12. Latif Abdul, R. A. (2016). The Relationship Between The Diversity Of Employees And Organizational Performance. Cross – Cultural Management Journal, Xviii(2) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/2300647390?accountid=63189
  13. Llopis, G. (2012). America’s corporations can no longer ignore Hispanic marketing like Mitt Romney did. Forbes.
  14. Picardo, J. (2012). Why students need a global awareness and understanding of other cultures | Teacher Network | The Guardian.
  15. Yoshino, K., & Smith, C. (2013). Uncovering talent: A new model of inclusion. The Leadership Center for Inclusion Deloitte University.
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