Series editor(s): Professor Eduardo Salas
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||Managing Challenges in Multicultural Teams|
|Author(s):||Kristin Behfar, Mary Kern, Jeanne Brett|
|Volume:||9 Editor(s): Ya-Ru Chen ISBN: 978-0-76231-362-4 eISBN: 978-1-84950-454-6|
|Citation:||Kristin Behfar, Mary Kern, Jeanne Brett (2006), Managing Challenges in Multicultural Teams, in Ya-Ru Chen (ed.) National Culture and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Volume 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.233-262|
|DOI:||10.1016/S1534-0856(06)09010-4 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
There are two broad approaches in the literature to studying challenges faced in multicultural teams. One approach is to examine the effects of demographic differences among individual team members (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age) on group process. This literature supports the notion that compositional heterogeneity can be both positive and negative in terms of successful group process (Ely & Thomas, 2001). On one hand, heterogeneity increases the chances that a group will bring a wide range of experiences and consider multiple perspectives in solving problems (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992; Jehn et al., 1999). On the other, heterogeneity makes it more difficult for groups to establish effective group process. For example, it is more difficult for heterogeneous groups to communicate and to develop work norms (Bettenhausen & Murnighan, 1985). They are also more prone to conflict (Jehn & Mannix, 2001; Jehn et al., 1999). So, although the theoretical benefits of diversity to pool unique perspectives and resources exist, they are more difficult to attain and sustain in practice.
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