Cultural diversity promotes cordiality in a working environment. People working in a team, must be able to appreciate and accommodate the diversity of their teammates, to be able to achieve their objectives.
Importance of cultural differences
People from different parts of the world view things differently. Everybody has a unique way of interpreting and perceiving situations. For example, a Dutch businessperson might interpret a contract differently from a German or a British. However, all these interpretations are correct, because different people base their answers on their perception of the phenomena in question. One must be patient and accommodative so that the same can be done to them.
People may be similar in so many aspects such as age, education level, occupation, and gender, but they differ significantly culturally. What may be entirely acceptable in one tradition, may be a taboo in another. The same case applies to management styles, decision-making processes, and the nature of decisions made. International manager must understand all these concepts and develop mechanisms to have his or her team members work together harmoniously, without conflicts arising from cultural differences.
Many multinational and local corporations are realising the importance of cultural diversification. They have learnt how to use it to attain a competitive advantage. These firms have taken an initiative to fund their research and development activities to enhance a better understanding of their workforce’s cultural make-up. Research is critical because it provides information to the administration that is relevant especially when relocating employees in other branches abroad. Though it may be initially costly, the investment is worth since it helps management to deal with their multicultural workforce without infringing on their cultural beliefs. Training the staff on cultural differences places them in a better position to deal with their competitors. This is because a united workforce is more productive than the workforce where members are in disarray. The training helps expatriates to learn to pronounce words and how those words ought to be pronounced in that country where they are supposed to originate from. In other words, it enhances communication. In addition, it enhances communication in the workplace hence foreigners can convey information to others and vice versa.