Importance of Cultural Diversity in Multinationals

Globalization has made the need and the diversity in multinational organizations an inevitable aspect. According to the fact diversity remains a significant organizational challenge, with employees finding it vital to have the abilities needed in a multicultural work place. Managers, supervisors as well as leaders have to be open to training themselves and others within the organizations to benefit multicultural differences in both customers and stakeholders to ensure that everybody is treated with dignity. Moreover, the cultural intelligence creates ability to make the diverse board of directors and workforce understand and forge ability to create a fruitful collaboration in such an environment where cultural differences play a critical role. The cultural intelligence make the workforce of the corporation to act appropriately across various cultures; interact effectively in multiple cultures. This is important in the global business of today in order to benefit and bridge cultural difference (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2011).

Cultural diversity is discovered to create a focus on teamwork that builds better relationships within a department and geared towards promoting identity within the department or organization that moves beyond surface level differences. Departments which develop a strong culture of involvement, one in which all workers were encouraged, empowered, and developed to work as a team, are perceived as managing workplace diversity better than those departments which have a weak participation culture (Hofstede, 2007). It should be acknowledged that the national culture of the country in which the individual workers are from should be integrated to a standardized relationship between participation culture and diversity management perceptions.

Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Geert having operated in the international environment since 1965, he has given a platform for comparisons of nations into four clusters. This paper gives insights of the cultural dimensions as provided in the Geert’s four dimensions for the United States and Thailand

Power Distance

The power distance dimension states that all the individuals in the societies are not equal –thereby expressing the attitude of culture towards such inequalities amongst us. That is, power distance refers to the extent to which the members of institutions and organizations who are less powerful in a country accept and expect that power is distributed unequally (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2011).

Thailand score a Power Distance index (PDI) of 64 above the United States’ 40, showing that Thailand is a society in which Inequalities are accepted; highly strict protocol and chain of command is observed. The low PDI score of 40 for the U.S. is a clear indication of the America’s premise of “liberty and justice for all.” The American society and governance emphasizes on the aspects of equal rights.

Individualism

This encompasses the degree of interdependence a society has maintained among its members. The members of individualistic societies look after themselves and their direct family. Unlike a collectivist society in which individuals belong to group which take of them in the exchange of unquestioning loyalty.

The U.S. PDI score on individualism is 91 while the Thailand’s is at 20. With a PDI score of 20 for Thailand is a show that it is a highly collectivist country. The members commit to “groups,” that is, a family, extended relationships, or extended relationship. The highly individualistic society of America with a score of 91 reflects a society which is loosely-knit where the expectations of people is that they look after themselves and their immediate families only and there shouldn’t be too much reliance on the authorities for support.

Uncertainty Avoidance

This dimension refers to the way a society deals with the fact that the future is always unknown. The U.S. PDI score on uncertainty avoidance is below average at 46. This is perceives to put America as a society in which there is a fair degree of accepting new ideas, innovative findings and the willingness to try new or different things (Hofstede, 2007). On the other hand, the Thailand’s score of 64 on uncertainty avoidance dimension shows preference for avoiding uncertainty. There are strict laws, policies and rules to be followed in order to reduce or minimize any level of uncertainty.


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