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Multicultural Work force
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DescriptionMulticultural work force
MULTICULTURAL WORK FORCE
A multicultural work force is one wherein a company's employees include members of a variety of ethnic, racial, religious, and gender backgrounds. Whereas past eras in American business saw few examples of multiculturalism, most of today's small business owners and corporate executives recognize that attention to the challenges and opportunities associated with the growing trend toward culturally diverse work forces can be a key factor in overall business success. "A combination of work force demographic trends and increasing globalization of business has placed the management of cultural differences on the agenda of most corporate leaders," wrote Taylor Cox Jr. "Organizations' work forces will be increasingly heterogeneous on dimensions such as gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality. Potential benefits of this diversity include better decision making, higher creativity and innovation, greater success in marketing to foreign and ethnic minority communities, and a better distribution of economic opportunity. Conversely, cultural differences can also increase costs through higher turnover rates, interpersonal conflict, and communication breakdowns."
TRENDS IN CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN AMERICA
The United States has always been an immigrant culture. Aside from Native Americans, the entire population has immigrant origins. The traditional view toward immigrants was that they would wish to assimilate to the dominant Anglo-Saxon population of the nation's earliest colonial settlers. According to the traditional view, however, the assimilation process was never expected to be total. Each group would add a distinguishing contribution to the overall national culture so that in time the myriad immigrant groups would alter the cultural norms of the rest of the nation in subtle ways. This philosophy was summed up in the notion of the country as the "American melting pot." But this conception of the nation was predicated on the willingness of the immigrant—and the demands of the dominant culture—to discard or at least sublimate unfamiliar cultural practices and attitudes, especially in work place settings. Additionally, during some periods, certain groups were deemed to be unable to assimilate no matter how much they were willing to bury their cultural differences with the dominant culture. A variety of peoples have been victimized by this attitude over the years, including African Americans, Asian Americans, and members of the Jewish religious faith.
The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, however, had a direct effect on the assimilationist norm of the melting pot. It changed the view of the United States as a single culture welcoming those different from the dominant ...
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