“Research has consistently shown that diverse teams produce better results, provided they are well led.”
The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and generations and leverage all they have to offer, therefore, is a must-have for leaders” (Ibarra and Hansen 2011: 71).
This blog explores the advantages and challenges of managing diverse team that contribute to an organisation. Several theories or models would be demonstrated so as to support the discussion in this blog.
Working with diverse people in a team might be frustrating and stressful, however it would also deliver better results in term of decision making process and overall performance of the team as a whole, at the same time.
Albion & Gagliardi (2007) stated that “It is somewhat a difficult task to handle people who are physically, psychologically, culturally and ethnically different from each other. Management of employees is largely dependent on the quality of leadership organizations have.”
Regarding to this discussion, first of all, Tuckman’s team building model would be demonstrated.
As can be seen from the diagram above, each team will go through the five phases of team development stages, which are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. The team development processes would be started from forming stage up until to the last stage, which is adjourning. At the first stage, leader has an authoritative power to lead the team because the roles and responsibility of the team member are not clear yet at this point (Manktelow et al., 2017). Meanwhile, at the last stage, team member disbands from the team because the purpose of the teams has been fulfilled and every member can move to the new things (Businessballs.com, 2017).
How does diversity matter in Financial industry?
According to Bushra, Usman and Naveed (2011), the success of an organization is dependent on the hard working, loyal and involved managers and employees.
Additionally, Mitchell et al (2015) said that the involvement of leader is aimed to encourage and value the different point of views of diverse members within team interactions, and has strong potential to cope obstacles to interprofessional team performance. Hence, I would say that it is important for the leader of an organization to possess the ability to manage a diverse team in the organization. It means that as a manager of an organization it is essential for the manager to be able to bring the diverse team member all together as one and work together towards to the organization’s goal.
Barbara Stewart (2016) mentioned
“We consistently find that more diversity leads to a BETTER ecosystem. More diversity creates a biological environment which is more responsive, adaptive, and handles shocks or changes better. Those are great things in a habitat like the desert . . . they are also great things in our workplaces!
The diversity that we each have as part of our background and experience lends different perspectives and experiences, and it is these differences that lead to more robust outcomes in business.”
From the quotation above, I would acknowledge that diversity does matter in the financial industry as it allows the organisation to increase its core business performance in terms of customer and employee satisfaction; and produce better decision making. Furthermore, recent studies also declared that there is a strong correlation between diversity and financial performance where more diverse companies are better to gain top expertise and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, causing to an upstanding cycle of returns (BBA, 2015).
What are the benefits of diverse team?
As has mentioned before, Barbara Stewart (2016) mentioned that diverse group would allow the group or organization to be more responsive, adaptive, and handles disturbance or changes better which more likely to produce more advantageous result for the organization.
What are the challenges of diverse team?
The challenges of managing diverse team includes the high management costs, discrimination, communication issue, lack of freedom of speech, integration issue, and so on.
Besides, it is also important for the manager of an organization to be familiar with the cultural differences to capable managing the team successfully and deliver better result. This would be supported by Hofstede’s six dimensions of culture.
As shown above, Indonesian has high power distance (78) while British has considerably low power distance (35). With a low power distance, British people has a like family relationship within an organisation, where power is allocated equally, whereas, Indonesian people with a high-power distance where deferential to figures of authority and normally accept an unequal distribution of power, and leaders give direction to the team members (Hofstede, 2017).
Moreover, Indonesian has low level of individualism while British has very high level of individualism. This dimension tells us that Indonesian people are collectivism. This means that individual belongs to the group, and they (Indonesian) tend to sacrifice their values and goals for the group’s. Meanwhile, British has a very high individualism; this means British are very individualistic and private person.
Leader of the team is necessary to be aware of the cultural differences through Hofstede’s model. Additionally, the team development would go through several stages, which starts from forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Diversity team delivers both advantages and disadvantages, hence the leader of the team needs to be smart enough to avoid the disadvantages and create more advantages to the team as a whole.
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