Monday, August 28, 2006

Diversity and Organisational Culture

With the growing pace of globalization and companies operating out of multiple locations spread over globe, diversity of workforce has emerged as a big challenge.

In a recent article disentangling what researchers have learned over the past 50 years, Margaret A. Neale finds that diversity across dimensions, such as functional expertise, education, or personality, can increase performance by enhancing creativity or group problem-solving. In contrast, more visible diversity, such as race, gender, or age, can have negative effects on a group—at least initially.

However, says Neale, fault lines that emerge as a result of such demographic factors can be parlayed to a group’s advantage too.

“In fact, the worst kind of group for an organization that wants to be innovative and creative is one in which everyone is alike and gets along too well,” she says. And the key to making nearly any kind of diversity work is managing it well.

I think teams with members with diverse background have a definite advantage when it comes to being innovative, adaptive and responsive to business challenges. Diverse cultural background means members will look at issues and challenges from different perspective; they will be more proactive in sharing and brain storming issues and will solve problems.

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