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Multicultural team

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Shupin Fang

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of Multicultural team

Working in Multicultural teams
Working in Multicultural Teams
Cultural diversity's impact on teams
Actual Productivity = Potential Productivity + Loss due to faulty process
Conditions for high-performing multicultural teams
Evolving to keep performance high!
Importance of Cultural Diversity
Teams in the Workplace
Can be temporary or permanent
Productivity of team depends on task, resources and process
Productivity depends on how well the team works together and uses its resources to accomplish the task

Matching game!

Imagine you are in the team/working group from the company selected.
Think about related task of the specific team and think about whether cultural diversity is more helpful or less helpful to your team task.(Hint: helpful to one, less helpful to the other one)
Match it! 

Conditions for high-performing multicultural teams
Task : innovative or routine
Multicultural teams perform effectively when tasks are innovative rather than routine;
Highly specialized role requirement suits multicultural teams better;

Diversity in Teams
homogenous teams

All members come from the same cultural group

Example: 6 German financial analysts preparing the yearly books for a company
Diversity in Teams
Token Teams
All but one member comes from the same cultural background
“Token” has the ability to see and respond differently than the rest of the team members
Example: A team that includes 5 Australian lawyers and one British attorney

Diversity in Teams
Bicultural Teams
Two or more members represent each of two distinct cultures
Need to continually integrate and recognize the perspective of both cultures
Example: a team with 4 French and 5 Austrian managers

Diversity in Teams
Multicultural Teams
A team that represents three or more ethnic backgrounds
Normally considered globally distant teams
Meaning members are not in the same state or even country
Example: Committees of the EU (European Union)

Conditions for high-performing multicultural teams
Stages: entry, work, and action
Diversity’s influence on the process

Process based on

Entry : initial team formation

Work : problem description and analysis

Action : decision making and implementation

Build trust (cohesion, convergence)

Ideation (divergence, creating ideas)

Consensus building (convergence and agreeing)

More difficult


More difficult

Using similarities and understanding differences

Using differences

Recognizing and creating similarities

Managing cultural diversity
1. Task-related selection
- Select members based on their task related abilities

- Homogeneous in ability levels and heterogeneous in

2. Recognizing differences
- Cultural differences should not be ignored.

- Understanding of cultural differences ensure a good

Managing cultural diversity
3. Establishing a vision or super ordinate goal
- Leaders should help teams agree on their vision or super
ordinate goal.

- Super ordinate goal decreases prejudice and increase mutual

4. Equalizing power
- Leaders must guard against vesting disproportionate power in
the team. (same nationalities with the host country)

- Manage the distribution of power according to
each member’s ability,
Managing cultural diversity
5. Creating mutual respect
- For most teams to work effectively, members must
respect each other.
- Mutual respect can be enhanced by selecting members
of equal abilities

6. Giving feedback
- Positive external feedback encourages effective functioning of the team, aids the team in viewing itself as a team, serves to teach team members to value diversity and recognize contributions made by each member, and eventually contributes to trusts among the team as a whole.

Culture as an investment
“Culture is an asset that must be used wisely”

Homogeneous teams Multicultural teams
"Bank" "Stocks"
Global Team Models
Iceberg Model
“It is more difficult to change deep rooted values”

Model correlation between cultural
diversity and performance

Destroyer Negative

Equalizers Neutral

Creators Positive
Synergy is the KEY
3 Steps to create VALUE
"MBI approach"
understand differences
Define Territory
- Select relevant characteristics
Draw the map
- Measure selected characteristics
Assess Terrain
-Understand potential dynamics
communicate across differences
Plan the ground
- Motivation and confidence
Decenter: Build to the other shore
- Adapt behavior and thinking
Recenter: Span the bridge
Bring together and leverage differences
Manage participation
Resolving disagreements
Building on ideas
3 Steps to integrate
1. Manage participation
2. Resolving disagreements
3. Building on ideas
Choose two or three characteristics that represent the most significant cultural differences within your group (include stereotypes)
How could these differences hinder workflow
(Hint Hofstede)
How do you overcome these differences
How can you develop the shared ground
Split into four different groups
- Two cultural diverse groups
- Two homogenous groups
Follow the instructions on group handout

Q & A
Thanks for your attention :)
Task for you!
Group 3 "North star"
Megan Carrigan
Andra – Bianca Badan
Shupin Fang
Roland Koller
Liruo Zhang

1. Use MBI principles but build unique team style
2. The team must evolve!
3. Think seriously of the processes
Type of teams in the workplace
Diversity's impact on teams
Conditions for high performance multicultural teams
Manage diversity
"MBI" approach

Potential Productivity:

1. More and better ideas

2. Limited groupthink
- Self censoring
- Illusion of unanimity
- Direct pressure
- Self-proclaimed mindguards
1. . Attitudinal Problems
- Dislike
- Mistrust

2. Perceptual Problems:
- Stereotyping

3. Communication Problems:
- Inaccuracy
- Misunderstanding
- Inefficiency
Full transcript