Overall performance of multicultural teams
In the globalized business world cultural distinctions play a very important role. They can both promote increase of an overall performance of a multicultural team, and interfere with it. Hence, it is getting more and more important that managers should have an ability to use various elements of group efficiency, paying special attention to cultural variety of team members, taking from them additional competitive advantages and, on the other hand, learning to define socio-cultural distinctions and to competently operate with them considering national cultures as sources of new knowledge and as key factors of achievement of competitive advantages (Pope-Davis, 2003). A variety of the personnel, its multicultural nature can raise productivity of work of a team, and, hence, an overall performance of the organization.
The increasing belief in an overall performance of multicultural teams demands from its members an accurate understanding of the communicative processes proceeding both in group, and in organization as a whole. Hence, it is possible to draw a conclusion that the overall performance of a multicultural team is strongly influenced by so-called cross-cultural competence, which is either possessed or not possessed by its representatives (Kurowski, 2002).
According to Forbes, there is a strong interrelation between multiculturalism and innovations. The multicultural and various collective is necessary for innovations and creativity. It has been declared by 85 % of respondents of research conducted by Forbes Insights– research division of Forbes.
During research they asked 321 top-managers from global corporations (with an annual income of more than 500 million US dollars). AT&T, L’Oréal USA and Mattel were the sponsors of research (Forbs, 2011). Here are some of the research conclusions:custom essays
More than 75 % of respondents have told that their companies would try to raise degree of multiculturalism and diversity in collective within the next 3 years.
The majority of the companies (65 %) have already introduced policy on selection of the multicultural and various personnel, the smaller number of the organizations (53 %) use programs of development of the personnel, focused on multiculturalism, and even less companies (44 %) use programs of retention of the personnel, focused on multiculturalism.
Among the programs of diversity and multiculturalism, companies most often use programs of diversity from the point of view of sex(81 %), ethnos (77 %), age (72 %), race (70 %). Asian-Pacific companies are more focused on the programs on age and nationality, and European – on problems with health and sexual orientation.
“The companies have realized, that multiculturalism and diversity are no more separated from each other components of business, –Stuart Feil, editor-in-chief of Forbes Insights. –Organizations participating in research understand that different experience and different attitude are that necessary base which allows to compete on a global scale” (Forbs, 2011).
Cross -cultural competence of the manager
It’s not a secret, that different people have various propensity and abilities to cross-cultural communications. But, results of researches have shown that even the ability to cross-cultural competence fluctuates depending on an accessory of people to this or that culture.
Multicultural teams are groups, which consist of representatives of various cultures and focus on performance of a certain problem. (Gröschl, 1999).
Charles Snow considers that multicultural teams are characterized by distinctions between their members in language, styles of interpersonal interaction and in a number of other factors. Such distinctions, in his opinion, can promote establishment of balance (unity) or imbalance (subgroup domination, effect of exclusion etc.) in a team, depending on how to operate with them. Christophersen Irli and Christina Gibson define multicultural team as a set of two or more individuals representing various cultures which expressly or by implication co-operate with each other for achievement of an overall aim (Human, 1996).
Companies which are successful on the global market and which aim at the international development, actively use multicultural teams because they provide level of flexibility necessary for successful work and speed of reaction to external changes, and, hence, allow to use more effectively human resources of the company that raises competitiveness of the company on a global scale. There are a lot of advantages in using multicultural teams: development of new ideas, perspectives, acquiring new skills and competencies, etc. Various ethnic groups generate more new and interesting ideas in the process of so-called «brain storm». Multicultural groups are more useful than homogeneous groups in those situations when it is necessary to operatively reveal a problem and solve it. Mobilizing the forces and energy, representatives of multicultural teams can develop more original and creative decisions of problems, ways of an exit from crisis situations which arise in their daily work (Elashmawi, 1993).
Interaction with each other stimulates members of a team to formation of new team culture. Multicultural commands have no mutual so-called “protoidentity”, and, hence, develop own culture of the simplified, average rules, expectations, perceptions etc. (Gibson, 2002).