Multiculturalism in the global workplace

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Multiculturalism in the global workplace
Mrs. Josephine Idele, Partner, Nigeria

Develop employees people skills to easily fit in anywhere in the world, accepting others as they are.

In our ever volatile changing business environment, the most important assets are the people who carry out various tasks across functional roles in attaining set targets. Moreover, wherever people are, there are bound to be issues leading to conflict as a result of various factors. According to Singham, M. (2006) issues such as intolerances amongst diverse groups of people have led to the re-examination of multiculturalism and its relevance to the 21st century nation vis-à-vis the business world.
To be able to perform optimally, employees need to sharpen their people skills in the area of diversity consciousness so that they could blend with other nationalities effortlessly in the workplace; especially in global organizations with diverse nationalities, taking into cognizance that people come from different cultures and they are unique with set values and social norms in this diverse business environment. It is in this wise that Singham, M. (2006) emphasized the need for the co-existence of diverse communities as well as the issues that can arise for the society/organization where the accommodation of different cultural values, beliefs and behaviours is necessary in any given community and business environment.
Hence, the ability to accept the other colleague and treat him or her equally with respect like those from your own cultural background is critical to today's business success. Lynch (1992) highlighted that the proponents of diversity management promise the enhancement of organizational effectiveness by achieving and “valuing” supposed cultural diversity at all levels.
As we know, the world is now a global village due to globalization being driven by new technologies and the increasing relevance of social media like facebook, twitter, linkedin, netlog etc. which have significantly impacted the way we think in respect of information dissemination, workplace ethics, virtual offices and the blending of cultures. Therefore, ignorance is no excuse in the business world for failing to adhere to diversity trends in the workplace that enhances business growth and global acceptance.


Singham, M. (2006) ‘Multiculturalism in New Zealand – the need for a new paradigm’,
Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1.

Lynch, F. R. (1992) ‘Managing diversity: Multiculturalism enters the workplace’, Academic Questions, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 81-87

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