Impact of Diversity on Individual Behavior
Individual characteristics and differences among people are human nature. People think independently and differ in many ways including values, opinion, background, and upbringing, to name just a few. When brought together in a group and given a common purpose, these individual traits affect the behaviors of the individuals that comprise the group. Diversity in a group can lead to obstacles that must be overcome before the group will perform but is also an essential element of group success. When forming groups, these individual differences along with other external factors such as desired results, timeframes, and organizational culture should be taken into consideration. This paper will focus on the ways in which individual characteristics such as ethnicity, personality, age, and skills and abilities affect the individual behaviors within a group.
The concept of ethnicity is based on individuals grouping around common values and beliefs with general boundaries that separate them from other groups.
In the United States, the term ethnicity or ethnic group is generally associated with a cultural or racial commonality (Wikipedia, n.d.). When discussing the subject of ethnicity related to working groups, it is important to keep this in mind as sensitivity to this area varies by culture. The degree in which ethnicity affects an individuals behavior in a group setting is determined by a number of factors including what ethnic groups are involved. All individuals in the group can be affected by inappropriate attitudes towards a particular ethnic group as can the individuals to whom this attitude is directed. On the other hand, most will welcome the diversity that various ethnic groups have to offer. In the group setting, ethnic diversity can benefit the organization by allowing greater insight into the traditions, values, and beliefs of various groups and can be...