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Diversity Management Essay

1446 words - 6 pages

Diversity management

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Introduction
One of the greatest tasks individuals face is communicating across differences resulting from different cultural diversity. There is always fear that exists that what an individual will intend to say will be understood in a way that they never meant it to be due to cultural differences in a team (Chauvet 2009, p. 221). My research team was composed of seven members that were four local students and three Chinese. Through the group activity, I have personally gained a lot from working with my research team on diversity management. The paper analyzes my self-awareness on cross-cultural issues ...view middle of the document...

Misinterpretations are bound to arise when individuals lack cross-cultural awareness and project them to others. In the absence of adequate knowledge, individuals will tend to assume certain issues and behaviors instead of finding out what the behavior means to the persons involved. I.e. a straight look into an individual face is considered as disrespectful between the Chinese (Chevrier 2003, p. 142).
However, becoming aware of our own cultural dynamics is not an easy task as culture is not conscious as individuals learn to do and see things at an unconscious level. Our values, experiences and cultural background lead individuals to see and do things in certain ways. However, it is important for individuals to step outside their cultural boundaries for them to realize the impact that culture has on their behaviors. It is crucial to gather feedback from fellow colleagues on our behavior to determine clarity on our cultural behaviors. When individuals assume that others are similar to them, misinterpretations are bound to result (Gelfand et al. 2007, p. 511). Thus, when working with culturally diverse individuals, it is essential to remember that individuals will vary across different cultural continuum. Understanding identity issues and cultural differences is important to provide an understanding of culturally different people. This entails individuals learning to value, respect and understand the diversity involved.
Insight on Benefits and challenges of a cross-cultural team
Cross-cultural teams are bound to have a fair share of challenges once the novelty of interaction among the people diminishes. Cultural differences impede interpersonal and communication relationships in cross-cultural teams (Oertig & Buergi 2006, p. 26). Communication is an essential concern for everybody in a group could be speaking in a certain language, but their slang could not be clearly understood leading to misinterpretations. In such a situation, teamwork needs to be a collective effort, and the team members need to understand the direction that the discussion is taking. If members aim for clarity misinterpretations, need to be kept to a minimum otherwise, the effectiveness of the team is bound to suffer. Another challenge of a cross-cultural team is informational gaps as members are from different cultural backgrounds. It is key for the members to understand each other and ensure that they remain in harmony (Chauvet 2009, p. 221). There is also a concern that a particular section of the team with a certain similarity will attempt to dominate the team process and overrule the rest. Everybody should be given an equal opportunity for participation to ensure success in the team.
Many benefits result from a cross-cultural team. In the team, individuals are able to learn about themselves and others as people are exposed to information and facts about their own worldviews, culture, and preconceptions, as well as that of others. Cross-cultural teams also help to...

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