Institute for Leadership and Organization
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Cultural/National Diversity at the Workplace

In a world where globalization and international migration has accelerated, greater contact between cultures and increased cross-country mobility of the workforce entails the enhanced emergence of multicultural individuals and teams (in this regard multicultural refers to the identification of individuals with two or more distinct cultures) in organizations operating in the global economy. Research describes multicultural employees as “double-edged swords” since they show, besides weaknesses such as isolation or identity stress, many strengths. Thus, multicultural employees display a higher cognitive complexity which makes them cognitive more flexible, better communicators and professionally more successful. Also, multicultural teams show both sides of the coin. On the one side, these teams can have more conflicts and mitigated trust but on the other side they might be more creative and efficient than homogenous teams.

For globally operating organizations, it is essential to recognize the strengths and resources these particular individuals and teams bring to the workplace and to capitalize on those unique potentials. Thus, multicultural individuals and teams have the potential to contribute to performance-relevant outcomes of organizations and thereby are of great interest for international business research.

However, since this cultural diversity potentially poses a variety of strains and challenges for multicultural individuals and the collaboration in multicultural teams, our research interest particularly resides in developing a profound understanding of how to promote the positive side of cultural diversity on the individual and team level.

 

Illustrative research interests:

  • How can organizations utilize the distinct perspectives and knowledge bases of multicultural employees and teams for creativity and innovation?
  • Which impact does a culturally diverse task-/work environment have on the performance of multicultural employees?
  • How can organizations support the performance of multicultural teams with an inclusive work environment?
  • How should multicultural teams be led?

 

We welcome collaboration with industry partners and regularly evaluate projects based on state-of-the-art quantitative research methods. Thereby, we particularly are looking forward to mutually learn about cultural/national diversity in your organization. The ultimate goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the multicultural employees and teams in your organization, in particular compared to other globally operating organizations.

If you are interested in our research area “Cultural/National Diversity at the Workplace“, please get in touch with us and contact Andreas Hundschell (hundschell(at)bwl.lmu.de; 089-2180-9537).