Managing complexity and diversity in the workplace.

Essay by lcdavenportUniversity, Master's November 2006

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When studying diversity one would incorporate that the concept itself can be complex. People are different in so many ways. In the face of growing diversity, businesses have to change some of their traditional assumptions and approaches. In this paper I will summarize five peer reviewed articles detailing best practices used in managing complexity and diversity. I will then identify an organization using each best practice and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each best practice. And finally I will evaluate my current organization based on these best practices and offer recommendations for converting my organization's existing practices to one or more of the best practices that was found in my research.

Article I - Developing Effective Intercultural Relationships: The Importance of Communication Strategies

This article discusses how important it is for organizations to establish strong intercultural relationships with a culturally diverse set of employees, inter-organizational partners, and customers. In order to manage these relationships effectively, the article states that organizations need a means to understand and improve global intercultural communications.

The complexity of intercultural communications requires management to understand the nature of domains of global relationships and the level of complexity when attempting to communicate with multiple partners having unique national and organizational cultures. In this article, a decision process for developing effective intercultural communication strategies is developed and it illustrates the steps necessary for managing a myriad of intercultural relationships.

Xerox, American Express, and Barclays are examples of companies whom have moved from a multinational strategy to a global strategy. This has had a significant impact on marketing functions, such as communication, that facilitate relationship developments. The Coca-Cola Company has more recently encouraged their local bottlers to provide their local knowledge to customize some of the non-electronic media to national and regional demands. This strategy improves the communications...