Being brings about higher collaboration between members (Greenberg, n.d.).

Being exposed to
people who are of different backgrounds and cultures, brings about new ideas,
solutions to challenging problems, and other positive influences, especially in
the workforce. With that in mind, a vast majority of businesses across the
globe are creating multicultural teams to not only bring in fresh ideas, but to
have a different perspective in the workforce. There are several aspects that
make up a multicultural team as each person brings their own cultural
upbringing, behaviors, expectations, and ideas to the group. In this paper,
I’ll be discussing and demonstrating the various dynamics of a multicultural
team and how those characteristics have affected the evolution of a diverse
team.

It is important for
one to understand what a culturally diverse team is. Society has come to know a
multicultural team as one in which its members are made up of individuals who
were born and raised in a different country and like so, have learned and
acquired different ideas, beliefs, values, perspectives, languages,
expectations and behaviors. It can also be said that multicultural teams also
include people of different age, sex, religion, and practical knowledge and
skills. These aspects combined, are what it means to be a multicultural team
(Kokemuller, n.d.). One does not simply work on a multicultural team, but a
diverse work environment. In this inclusive environment, there are a multitude
of underlying forces that form a diverse team such as the variety of
perspectives, cultural values, decision making, and expectations and acceptable
behaviors. 

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When a culturally
diverse team is formed, each team member will bring about a different
perspective, especially on how the team should go about conducting assignments
or how work should be carried out. This arguably, may lead to members clashing
on what the right way to accomplish tasks are, however, once all ideas are laid
out, the team may find that each person has views that can be used to help the
group complete what needs to be done. Different perspectives allow the team to
perform the best and brings about higher collaboration between members
(Greenberg, n.d.).

Within a diverse
team there will be a collection of different cultural values. Cultural values
can undoubtedly yet profoundly affect the team composition. When a group is
made up more so of individuals with similar values, generally, the team will
have a natural and civilized flow as the expectations between each individual
is readily understood (Vauclair, 2009). When a team is composed of people with
different cultural values, many outcomes can transpire. For example, the team
may lack awareness of those specific values or how significance those values
are to the individual and thus may choose to ignore them, the different values
and beliefs of the members may be supported and clearly shared, however a few
select members of the group may be pressured to accept others values, or the
differences in values can be recognized by the team as a whole and an
acceptance of multicultural values is developed that meet all members’
expectations (Vauclair, 2009).

When it comes to
decision making, tensions can arise between people of different backgrounds. This
happens simply because individuals of differing cultures have contrasting yet
distinct approaches to how they go about in making decisions. Additionally,
conflicting views on authoritative figures and hierarchy play a role in how
individual team members make decisions, as well as who is accountable for
making decisions for the team and how they will go about making the best
decision for the group (Laroche, 2011). Some
cultures are very inclusive and people are expected to help and have an input
when it comes to making decisions, while other cultures prefer that the people
have no say or contribution in the decision-making process. Thus, different
perspectives on how each team member makes decisions must be taken into
account, as well as the skills of each individual, and the task at hand in order
for the team to determine the best decisions for the group (Asherman & Mercer Bing, 2010).

Finally, within a
multicultural team there will be a variety of differing expectations and
behaviors. The expected expectations and behaviors found within the group will
highly depend on where each individual comes from. Some cultures value more
formal, respectful behaviors such as the way one greets others, while other
cultures have a more informal expectation for behaviors, for example, how
certain cultures feel about what it means to show up on time (Laroche, 2011).
Some behaviors may be acceptable to the group as whole, while other behaviors
that individuals choose to express may be upsetting or unpleasant to some team
members therefore, setting up and outlining universally expected and acceptable
behaviors will help guide a multicultural team on what to expect and what is
appropriate behaviors and responses while working together as a group (Asherman
& Mercer Bing, 2010).

With these dynamics
in mind, it is arguably apparent for one to comprehend how each aspect would
play a role in and affect the evolution of a team. Multicultural teams evolve
in several ways due to the fact that there is a number of elements that are
influential in how they mature. It is the differences between others that helps
bring a team together. There may be hurdles during the formation and beginning
stages of the team, however, learning from these challenges helps to unify the
group as one and thus allowing the team to evolve over time. With the dynamics
outlined, there are debatably a few stages that multicultural teams experience
that allow the team to evolve. During the beginning, the diversified team
members learn about the people on their team and their perspectives. After the
establishing stage, the members begin to try out and share new ideas and
values, which leads the team to learn from others, how they work, how they make
decisions, and their behaviors. As the team progresses, the group begins to
unify. As a whole, if differences should arise, the team can easily work it
out. During this stage, the team members have become more content and connected
with one another. Lastly, the group has come together and achieved their goal.
Through these stages one can see that a diverse team evolves as it learns to
overcome challenges brought on due to differing backgrounds and cultures (Cain,
2016).

As a result of the
team evolving over time, there are several positive effects on the group as
well, such as creating stronger coworker bonds that allows for greater yet
effective collaboration on assignments, multicultural teams grants one the
ability to grow and gain a better appreciation of different perspectives
derived from different backgrounds, improves employee performance and enhances
personal growth between all team members.

Altogether,
multicultural teams may encounter cultural variations, which subsequently can
form complications in the performance of their operation. Ultimately, however,
it is the way each individual chooses to participate on a team composed of
people of different backgrounds that determines whether the team will thrive or
fail. It is up to everyone as a whole to make the team function effectively.
The team will go through stages that allows them to have a greater understanding
of each individual in the group. And finally, everyone must come together and
be able to accept others view, beliefs, ideas, and perspectives in order to
help a team built of multicultural backgrounds to evolve and thrive.

 

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