Many organizations pride themselves on having employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. A diverse workforce would facilitate the merging of disparate ideas from different cultures, in this way enhancing creative solutions to complex problems in the global market.
While positive effects are found indeed, the creativity benefits of culturally diverse workforce are not always realized. Because of different values, beliefs and goals, tensions and conflicts between people from diverse cultural backgrounds can easily arise. If not well managed, those intercultural tensions and conflicts will undermine the creativity of employees. But there are more issues with diversity conflicts. Intercultural tensions may even spill over to bystanders.
Read Yan Shao’s blog on intercultural conflicts.
Yan Shao is PhD candidate at the Department of Human Resource Management & Organizational Behavior, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen. Her dissertation is about “The paradox of creativity”.
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