Intercultural Communications in the Workplace

Essay by FrankwalshUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2009

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

The labor pool in the United States workforce has changed during the last the last several decades. Individuals with different ethnic backgrounds, immigrants, and additional females have joined the United States workforce. As a result, the workforce has become multicultural, and diverse. However, changes in the workforce have, and will not occur without conflict, and controversy. When a company employs individuals with different cultural or ethical backgrounds, differences of opinions between the employees will take place. This essay will describe, explain, and rectify s situation that illustrates an intercultural communication issue within a former workplace environment of mine.

An individual's culture comprises of a set of learned thoughts and behaviors. These thoughts make up the pattern of our daily existence. We normally share our organization's culture within the workplace with our fellow employees. Sharing one's personal cultures with his or her coworkers in the workplace was unheard of until recently.

The influence of a diverse intercultural employee base is apparent in today's workforce. "Workforce diversity is the presence of differences based on gender, race and ethnicity, age, able-bodiedness and sexual orientation." (Schermerhorn, 2003, p. 4). To further set the stage, my former workplace was a Department of Energy Superfund Site. The intercultural communication issues to be further explored in this essay are that of age, gender, and experience.

Anyone who has worked at a Department of Energy Super Fund Site has an appreciation for the chain of command methodology of management and the government's strict adherence to this method of management. The chain of command method relies on one's strict adherence to the organizational structure set that is dictated at each of the government's individual job sites. At every job site, each individual is only responsible to his or her immediate supervisor, and no one else. Employee accountability is easily...