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Cross-cultural teambuilding and Diversity management.

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1 Cross-cultural teambuilding and Diversity management

2 Definition I groupwork = teamwork A team is a group which works on a clear defined task. A team can manage a whole project or only part of it. Teams exist for a special task-orientated reason and their existence is limited to the fulfilment of the task.

3 there are two kinds of groupwork to distinguish: Definition II 1. formal group (which was founded on organisational composition) 2. informal group (which is formed through personal wishes and sympathy)

4 Types of Teams 1. Traditional work groups (Natural work groups) 2. Impromptu short-term teams (Swat teams) 3. Special purpose teams (project teams) 4. Cross-functional teams 5. Self-managed teams (“direct team”)

5 Stages of Group Development 1. Forming -getting to know each other and testing 2. Storming -group structure begins to emerge 3. Norming -developing cohesion 4. Performing -working structure

6 Social Group Structure I 1. Status structure - a relative and valued position of a member inside the group - mediator in a communication process M1M1 M2M2 M3M3 M4M4 M5M5 Y M4M4 M3M3 M2M2 M1M1 M5M5 Chain M1M1 M4M4 M2M2 M3M3 M5M5 Circle

7 Social Group Structure II 3. Leadership - formed informally lead back on behavioural attributes 2. Role structure - gives information about the behaviour and the expectations of the behaviour

8 Group Composition I the number of team members should depend on the tasks which have to be solved Group Size small team (3-5 members) big team (8-12 members)

9 Group Composition II Redl´s law of optimum distance: “homogeneous enough to ensure stability and heterogeneous enough to ensure vitality” (?????) homogeneity & heterogeneity - homogeneity is needed to develop group cohesion - heterogeneity is necessary to produce the potential for change in a group

10 Group Composition III Behavioural attributes: - these refer to the way in which individuals behave, their personality, attitudes and life- styles (talkative vs. quiet, dominant vs. submissive) Descriptive attributes: - Age - Gender - Race and ethnicity - Social class

11 Definition of Diversity “diversity can best be described in terms of differences from the accepted mainstream population” Myers, S.:Team Building For Diverse Work Groups, p.8 Workforce Diversity National origin Gender Family situation Race Sexual orientation Marital status Language Religion Culture Age Physical ability Socio-economic status Mark M. Deresky, „Managing in a Diverse Workforce“, MBA paper, West Florida Universuty (Spring 1994)

12 Aims of Group Composition Cohesion through trust, openness and diversity the goal is to create a workplace in which individuals are not limited by traditional barriers, stereotypes and restrictions

13 Cultural diversity......can have positive as well as negative impacts on a team. +a well managed diverse team augments the potential productivity because many different ideas and perspectives concerning a special situation play a role -cultural diversity increases the complexity of the whole process and can therefore lead to difficulties in integrating and evaluating the various perspectives

14 Disadvantages I stereotyping/ prejudices  personality conflicts, mistrust Differences in language Differences in communication Differences in management styles Differences in norms, behaviour

15 Disadvantages II  decreased effectiveness greater complexity  problems in reaching agreements, the decision-making process is influenced in a negative way lack of trust, communication inaccuracies  stress, tension

16 Advantages  higher productivity sharing technology sharing skills and talents sharing experiences opportunity for cross-cultural understanding limited “groupthink” varied backgrounds  exposure to different viewpoints and alternatives  more and better ideas

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18 When does diversity become most valuable? When the need for agreement remains low and relatively high need for creativity is required, that means when an organisation wants to launch a new product, create new ideas or develop a new marketing plan from a new perspective, diversity becomes most valuable. Diversity can lead to better customer relationship because different market issues are handled from different points of view; customers are seen more individually and can therefore be treated more appropriately.

19 Team effectiveness from: N.Adler: International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, p. 137

20 Team effectiveness “When well managed, diversity becomes an asset and productive resource for the team. When ignored, diversity causes process problems that diminish the team’s productivity. Since diversity is more frequently ignored than well managed, culturally diverse teams often perform below expectations and below organisational norms.” N.Adler: International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, p. 138

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22 Synergy “The combined effect of two or more things, processes, etc that exceeds the sum of their individual effects: the synergy achieved by merging two companies“ [Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary]

23 Synergy “The synergy approach assumes that we are not all the same – that the various groups within society differ and that each maintains its cultural distinctness. Appreciating a pluralistic, rather than a homogeneous, society underlies the synergy approach. Whereas the most commonly held assumption is that similarities among people are most important, cultural synergy assumes that similarities and differences share equal importance.” N.Adler: International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, p. 107  Cultural diversity should be seen and treated as a resource!

24 David Kearns, chairman of Xerox: “We have to manage diversity right now and much more so in the future. American business will not be able to survive if we do not have a large, diverse workforce, because those are the demographics.” Deresky, H.:Managing Human Resources Around the World, p. 446 If a company wants to develop new markets and merge with other companies, it has to be able to deal with differences and diversity! Synergy

25 Managing cultural diversity Diversity Management is an instrument which describes all measures that lead to the recognition of differences and which makes sure that those differences are getting highly valued. Those measures should point out that diversity can have a positive impact on the company.

26 Managing cultural diversity Task-related selection Recognition of differences A vision or superordinate goal Equal power Mutual respect Feedback

27 Managing cultural diversity Task-related selection To maximise team effectiveness, members should be selected to homogeneous in ability levels and heterogeneous in attitudes

28 Managing cultural diversity Recognition of differences Teams cannot begin to communicate without first recognising and then understanding and respecting cross-cultural differences

29 Managing cultural diversity A vision or superordinate goal Members of diverse teams generally have more trouble agreeing on their purpose and task than do members of homogeneous teams

30 Managing cultural diversity Equal Power Team leaders should distribute power according to each member‘s ability, not according to relative cultural superiority

31 Managing cultural diversity Mutual Respect Mutual respect can be improved by selecting members of equal ability and by making prior accomplishments and task-related skills known to all members

32 Managing cultural diversity Feedback Managers should give teams positive feedback - both as individuals and as a team - early in the team‘s life together Positive external feedback (given by a manager who is not in the team) generally helps the team to viewing itself as a team

33 Managing cultural diversity The MBI Model of Managing Cultural Diversity for Personal and Team Effectiveness Map Under- stand the differ- ences Bridge Commu- nicate across the differ- ences Inte- grate Manage the differ- ences Value and utilise the differ- ences

34 Managing cultural diversity Map Under- stand the differ- ences COF - The Cultural Orientation Framework 1) Relation to nature 2) Relationships among people 3) Mode of human activity 4) Belief about basic human nature 5) Orientation to time 6) Use of space

35 Managing cultural diversity Bridge Commu- nicate across the differ- ences 3 important skills to effective communication in a cross-cultural setting 1) Prepare 2) Decenter 3) Recenter

36 Managing cultural diversity Inte- grate Manage the differ- ences 3 main integration skills 1) Building participation 2) Resolving conflicts 3) Building on ideas


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