The challenge of international organizations in managing diversity
Managing the structure and culture of a global company may be one of the most difficult leadership challenges. This is because, the structure and culture of an organization mostly comprise of an interlocking set of goals, functions, and roles that may need to be realigned with any changes. Furthermore, in trying to address these issues, no single model is the best fit for all organizations considering the realities of diversity and, managers find it difficult in knowing exact leadership tasks necessary to deal effectively with these issues.
The cross-cultural challenge
According to Moran and Abramson (2014), cultural value is specifically relevant for international organizations considering they are exposed to different national cultures in their daily operations. This may introduce substantial complexity in management as organizations are forced to tailor their approaches and practices to every cultural context in their operations. Managers encounter these cultural differences on their daily functions, which can interfere with effective completion of projects. Culture defines differences in people’ expectations, distribution of emotional roles and, degree of acceptance of structural roles in the organization among other different value dimensions. Failure to account and appreciate these differences can lead to strained relationship’, blunders and drag down the performance of organizations. Managers, therefore, require knowledge about appropriate behaviors, and more importantly an understanding of values and assumptions that explain this appropriateness of behaviors in different people.
Challenge in managing structure
Baylis, Smith and Owens (2013) state that , International organizations find structure difficult because there are no simple solutions, and most of the structural options bear challenges as well as benefits. An example is how many companies have been working for years on standardizing structures that have resulted in simplified costs and easiness of sharing risk and information, but this thorough standardization has become so complicated that they find difficulties in achieving flexibility necessary to respond to the needs of local markets, hence limiting the benefits (Robbins, Judge, Millet and Moran, 2013).The article also states that, organizations find difficulties in managing all operations due to their size and multiple time zones.
Leaders need to impact accountability into their systems through effective responsibility of managers, to create a diverse and inclusive work environment. The important thing for any organization is identifying relevant dimensions, and take them into consideration when evaluating managers. A Global company should recognize the need for immediate action and willingness to spend resources to manage diversity.
Baylis, J., Smith, S., & Owens, P. (2013). The globalization of world politics: An introduction
To international relations. Oxford University Press.
Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences. Routledge.
Robbins, S., Judge, T. A., Millett, B., & Boyle, M. (2013). Organisational behaviour. Pearson
Higher Education AU.