Cultural Diversity |

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity
Cultural diversity
Leaders in organisations face a lot of problems dealing with employees from different
cultures and backgrounds. Therefore, for the betterment of enterprises, leaders should understand
the cultural differences among their workers to create a united workforce (Trompenaars &
Turner, 2011). Culture is a social heritage and a form of responses established or designed to
manage the social interactions among various aspects of the society and the environment
(Shachaf, 2008). Culture determines what is essential or not, right or wrong, acceptable or
unacceptable, workable or not and it is passed to the future generations through learning or
immersion (Trompenaars, & Turner, 2011). Diversity, on the other hand, is bringing together
members representing different cultures to work under an organisation (Trompenaars, & Turner,
2011). Diversity comprises of all the elements making up a person, including gender, religion,
culture, and sexual orientation (Shachaf, 2008). Cultural diversity is, therefore, a set of diverse
people from different societies or cultures working in one organisation and whose aim is to
achieve similar goals as Shachaf (2008) puts it.
As a planning and development supervisor at Investment Department at Medical Services
Directorate in Ministry of Defense, Saudi Arabia, I have experienced both the benefits and
challenges of cultural diversity. The cultural differences that I have encountered as a leader
include education, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, ability, race, gender, language, and
sexual orientation. Am working with many people of different cultures at my department who
has diverse talents, skills, working experience, and excellent educational background where
some are better than me. Therefore, I have grown professionally and personally through their
opinions, ideas, and innovations. I have learned that incorporating different cultures increases
the rate of marketing of our services as most customers tend to trust our organisation’s services
due to our employees who come from varying cultures. Treasuring different cultures have
reduced legal expenses, replacement of workers and absenteeism in our department hence, our
operations run smoothly. We have been able to get the best workforce which has supported
innovation in the ministry.
The personnel have created new services satisfying the markets’ needs because they
understand the diverse market exceptionally well. According to Trompenaars, & Turner (2011),
the best product development crew consists of people from various cultures. The ministry has
received good reputation for being a good employer because of recruiting individuals from
different cultures. Therefore, the clients have improved the level of trust on the services offered
by the ministry. Cultural diversity is a great idea to adopt in business, but it is also associated
with some challenges (Barak, 2016). Personally, I have experienced some of the difficulties in
embracing cultural diversity. The difficulties in implementing cultural diversity in organisations
include communication problems, resistance to change by some workers, challenges in
implementing cultural diversity policy and contradicting working style across the employees
which are some of the problems noted by Barak (2016).
Culture is passed from one generation to another through learning. However, people
within all cultures differ based on values, experiences, and preferences (Trompenaars, & Turner,
2011). There are cultural dimensions that are applicable worldwide and are seen in all aspects of
human life, including education, family life, and healthcare practices (Soares et al., 2007). There
are six types of cultural dimensions which include individual-collectivism which is an element
that identifies the degree in which people integrate into groups in society (Soares et al., 2007). In
a self-standing community, it is expected that individuals look after themselves; however,
connections between them is loose whereas, in a collective culture, people create stable and
cohesive groups. Secondly, power distance, the dimension is where less powerful fellows of
society accept and expect an imbalanced distribution of power (Soares et al., 2007). Third,
masculinity-femininity, the aspect refers to gender equality in society. A feminine organisation is
where both men and women are given equal rights while in masculine society women are
considered less than men. Forth, uncertainty avoidance, it indicates the level of comfort with
situations which are unstructured. The unstructured conditions are unknown, novel, different
from usual and surprising (Soares et al., 2007). Fifth, long-and short-term orientation, it reflects
whether a society shows a realistic future-oriented or general historical perspective (Soares et al.,
2007). Sixth, indulgence versus restraint, this dimension pinpoints the degree in which an
organisation permits relatively free gravitation of natural and necessary human desire related to
having fun and enjoying life.
At my workplace, there are people with similar cultures as mine with the same education
level, age, gender, religion, and nationality. Interaction and communication between us are easy
and fast. There are also people of different cultures compared to mine. These people are of
higher social class, higher educational level, mixed race, different religion, and sexual
orientation. The differences make interaction with them quite hard communication is also hard
because we speak different languages. Organizational competitiveness and triumph depend on
the ability of a leader to manage cultural diversity in a workplace efficiently (Moran et al., 2014).
Therefore, as a leader, I had to develop solutions to help me deal with challenges in cultural
diversity. Some of the solutions to the problems arising from cultural differences include
involvement of all employees in formulating and executing cultural diversity policies as
suggested by Moran et al. (2014). The second approach involves promoting a sense of equal
value by encouraging employees to express their opinions and ideas freely. Training employees
on cultural diversity is also an important approach in creating a culturally diverse workforce.
Four, promote team building and lastly communicating with all members of the ministry
efficiently and precisely (Moran et al., 2014).
Diversity in a business institution is significant to running prosperous businesses. Groups
of different cultures deliver critical analysis and better results, so leaders must organise and run
their firm in a way that it encourages diversity (Shachaf, 2008). There are various ways of
mitigating cultural differences in a workplace. For example, recognition argues that a leader
must recognise the cultural differences among the employees and celebrate these differences.
Managers should also treat all their employees fairly and respect every culture of the employees.
For example, a leader should not schedule a mandatory meeting on a religious holiday as it
demonstrates selfishness and lack of respect for the religion of its workers (Moran et al., 2014).
Thirdly, a business owner must first manage his or her behaviour and attitude towards other
different cultures, for example, the leader should know how to respond to various
communication styles. Fourth, managers should always asses all his or her employees and
recognise their contributions to the overall goals of the company.
Leadership styles are significant in running businesses successfully (Schein, 2010).
However, some specific types of leadership styles should be applied to the successful
management of cultural diversity (Schein, 2010). At my workplace, I use four main types of
leadership styles which include democratic leadership, where every member’s opinion is heard,
and a decision is made through consensus. The second style is pacesetting where I am always in
the front setting pace in implementing cultural diversity policies. Three, coaching and motivating
team building (Moran et al., 2014). I take into considerations all contributions of my workers.
Finally, the respect strategy is where a leader respects all cultures of employees and treats the
cultures fairly (Schein, 2010).
Cultural diversity in an organisation contributes highly to the success of the body Leaders
should ensure that they have incorporated cultural diversity in their businesses by employing
workers from different cultural backgrounds. Many people of different abilities when put
together produce the best result ever and even come up with innovations that are of benefit to the
company. To ensure that there is maximum economic profit through cultural diversity; leaders
must know different leadership styles that enable them to tackle problems faced during
implementation of cultural diversity policies.
Barak, M. E. M. (2016). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage
Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
Shachaf, P. (2008). Cultural diversity and information and communication technology impacts
on global virtual teams: An exploratory study. Information & Management, 45(2), 131-
Soares, A. M., Farhangmehr, M., & Shoham, A. (2007). Hofstede's dimensions of culture in
international marketing studies. Journal of business research, 60(3), 277-284.Hofstede's
dimensions of culture in international marketing studies. Journal of business research,
60(3), 277-284.
Trompenaars, F., & Hampden-Turner, C. (2011). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding
diversity in global business. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

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