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MULTI-CULTURAL TEAM CHALLENGES:
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Dr. Linda Smith
19 February 2012
Cultural diversity plays a big role in global workforce today. Firms that adopt the global strategies “must understand cultural dynamics to formulate their business strategies, to locate production facilities and manage worldwide supply chains, and to design and market culturally appropriate products and services, all while managing cross-cultural interaction throughout the organization…” (Alder, 2008). There are several types of diversity in teams. Homogeneous teams “where all members share a similar background”; Token teams, where “all but one member comes from the same background”; Bicultural Teams, where “members represent two distinct cultures”; and Multicultural teams where” members represent three or more ethnic backgrounds” (Alder, 2008).
In my firm I am the manager of a multicultural team composed of six team members all from different parts of the world. My team members have to work together on a project that needs to be completed within the next month. This project is crucial to the firm and to my success as well. Diversity in multicultural teams has its advantages and disadvantages. Some potential advantages and disadvantages can be synergistic or culture specific. Adler describes potential synergistic advantages as organizational benefits derived from cultural diversity such as having greater openness to new ideas, having multiple perspectives and interpretation, increasing creativity, flexibility and problem solving. Potential cultural-specific benefits is described as benefits from working with a particular culture such as better understanding of local employees, better able to market effectively to local customers. The disadvantage from the synergistic view is described as organizational cost caused by cultural diversity. Cultural-specific disadvantage are cost inherent in working with a particular culture....
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