Multi-cultural Background of Team Members


 
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Multi-cultural Background of Team Members
Yakie Ogon, HR Consultant, Italy

The (multi) cultural background of team members may affect their world-view. This could have a profound effect on team productivity if it is not hedged against at the beginning of the team formation process.

 
 
Multi-cultural Background of Team Members
Andrew Whiteside, Professor, Switzerland
Rather than hedging against specific backgrounds, it could also be possible to capitalize on unique cultural experience or viewpoints to create innovative strategies.
 

 
Cultural Background of Team Members
Boniface, Project Manager, United Kingdom
I think one of the crucial things is for the team to be able to communicate freely with each other in a common language. When I worked for a Swiss company which had offices in the Italian, French and German speaking parts of Switzerland as well as many locations outside Switzerland, we all spoke in English. Without this common language I doubt very much if we could have managed the business so successfully.
 

 
Multi-cultural Background of Team Members
Andrew Whiteside, Professor, Switzerland
I think English is a good business language where ever you go, but sometimes a common language can be restrictive. In the Swiss parliament all members are fully expected to speak all three (four actually) of the Swiss languages fluently. This sometimes allows a more culturally anchored formulation which often enough is nuanced with meanings unique to specific languages (even to specific regions). English is a language which is pregnant with cultural coding. Unfortunately, a Cambridge certificate is no guarantee that a person understands the deeper meanings of a language. This sometimes means that individuals communicate at a very superficial level and that even rudimentary expressions are interpreted very differently by different receivers.
 

 
Multi-cultural Background of Team Members
Yakie Ogon, HR Consultant, Italy
In agreement with Mr. Whiteside, multi-cultural background of team members could enrich the teams productivity - but only when the cultural bias of team members are filtered, and such bias does not result in fixation in opinion.
 

   
 

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