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Managing different cultures in the work place (Research Paper Sample)


Working in a team can be challenging, particularly when the end goal relies on your being able to cooperate with each other. The topic of your presentation is “Working in International Teams” – how can Managers manage international teams to make them more effective.


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Subject, Institution, Location
Working in International Teams
The number of multicultural teams have increased tremendously over the past few years. This can be attributed to increased cross border mobility which has enabled individuals to move easily from one region to the other. In the process, individuals from different ethnic backgrounds and cultures have mixed freely thereby heightening the level of diversity within the society. Advancement in technology, expanded telecommunication channels, and improved internet technologies have contributed positively to the increasing levels of diversity, and reduced barriers within the society. With these factors within our midst, multicultural teams are common among many organizations. Individuals in organizations work in multicultural teams on a daily basis. For this reason, managing multicultural teams becomes necessary within such organizations and HRM departments have to implement management strategies that will assist in managing multicultural teams (Connaughton, & Shuffler, 2007).
To overcome challenges associated with working with international teams requires managers to learn the aspect false consensus effect to avoid taking other cultures for granted. Individuals in a multi-cultured environment perceive things differently and therefore, caution must be taken to avoid misinterpretations, confusion, misunderstandings, and bad decisions for business. There is no doubt that managing multicultural teams generates increased dilemmas and substantial obstacles for most managers. The fact that global mobility and global operations leads to a multicultural workforce should not be unusual among managers. Individuals working in a similar company might share similar professional qualifications but lack similar cultural perspectives. Diverse behaviors and opinions should be expected among individuals within the workforce.
Managing international teams require investment in diverse cultural knowledge and resilience. Managers of international teams should be sensitive to diverse cultures in order to understand the different priorities, behaviors, and expectations of all members within the team. To be versed in such strategies, managers of international teams can enroll in coaching or training in order to acquaint themselves with skills, knowledge, and strategies that can enable them to manage international teams efficiently and effectively (Butler, & Zander, 2008). This can be achieved through the following strategies.
First, managers of international teams should study the composition of their workforces to obtain a wider picture of the different ethnic compositions. This will provide the platform to enable the manager to identify areas of research and possible challenges that might present themselves as s/he tries to work with international team. Studying the composition of the workforce also provides the synergy and positive energies needed to manage cultural teams (Friedemann, 2008). Spending a significant amount of time with team members is essential for managers of international teams because it enables them to analyze the contributions and skills of each individual member.
The second strategy involves developing a leadership strategy that accommodates their preferred leadership style in order to increases chances of increasing interactions with team members. An international leadership style might not work at the domestic level and similarly, a domestic style cannot work if applied in the international level (Starren, Hornikx, & Luijters, 2013). This shows the essence of planning, analyzing, and respecting the needs and preferences of all cultures. For an international manager to succeed, he/she needs to take into account the cultural considerations of all team members.
The third strategy for enabling managers of international teams to achieve success involves appreciating the contributions of each team member based on the cultural value they add to the organization (Fain, & Kline, 2013). An organization cannot be said to be diverse if its members come from a monochromic culture. Appreciating efforts from team members entails giving credit where it deserves and respecting divergent views that are sensitive to the organization. Such involvement also helps to equalize power among different cultures within the organization. A situation where one culture wields more power than other cultures is counterproductive to the organization (Anderson, 2010). Proper planning must be done to avoid vesting disproportionate power to particular cultures.
Fourth, after studying and analyzing the behavioral and cultural needs of team members within the organization, it is emphatically crucial for a manager to develop organizational rules and processes that will be universal to all team members within the organization. It is advisable to develop clear and explicit rules that have elements of respect to all cultures (Hornikx, & O'Keefe, 2011). Involving input from all team members works best because it enables managers of international teams to avoid ambiguous situations in future.

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