The Multicultural Teams Reading Room

The The Multicultural Teams Reading Room provides perspectives, insight, articles and other resources for improving multicultural team effectiveness.

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Spotlighted Articles

  • Helping Global Teams Deliver

    by Robin Schneider and Vivianne Näslund

    Many businesses are now operating globally and it is now common practice to

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    bring together teams with members from a number of different countries. What is less common, however, is for these teams to deliver consistently high quality results, and some flop spectacularly. This article is about what HR Directors can and should consider to ensure that their teams capitilise on their cultural differences as a vehicle for opening up thinking and coming up with innovative solutions … and do not find that misunderstandings and the constraints imposed by virtual working cause these teams to fail.

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  • Multicultural teams have become very common in recent years. With cross border mobility becoming much easier the number of people moving from one country to another has grown significantly. This has also led to more people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds intermarrying. Their children could be born and grow up in different countries and have hybrid cultural identities. Globalization and the advances in communication and transportation technology have reduced trade barriers and increased interaction among people.

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  • In what can most charitably, be described as an odd response to critics who slammed its lack of diversity, CBS's Survivor has unveiled a new plot twist for its upcoming season: The selected contestants will be divided by ethnicity. When it premieres Sept. 14, Survivor: Cook Islands will feature 20 castaways divided into four tribes: black, white, Asian and Latino. In other words the contestants will be segregated along racial and ethnic lines. How this addresses the issue of a lack of diversity is hard to imagine. According to the show’s host Jeff Probs Survivor’s ethnically pure tribes

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  • This article relates to the Diversity in the Workplace Competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. This competency explores whether your organization provides understanding and supports interaction among diverse population groups while respecting individuals' personal values and ideas. Research shows that by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, an organization can create a success-oriented, cooperative and caring work environment that draws intellectual strength and produces innovative solutions from the synergy of its people.

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  • Most teams contain a wide variety of personalities. These differences among team members can sometimes lead to conflicts that harm morale. If you ever have trouble keeping your cool with others, consider these points: You don't have to be best buddies to work together. Although you  might not pencil in some people on your social calendar, you can have perfectly productive working relationships with them.

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  • One of the biggest challenges faced by companies today is how to turn a group into a highly efficient global team. The following questions can be used to build a team outcome checklist. What is our ideal size? What skills do we have? What do we need to add? What is our mission and purpose? How does each individual contribute to it? Do we mutually set, track and meet specific performance goals? Do we regularly self-evaluate? Do we set and live by behavioral ground rules? Do we hold ourselves accountable? Do our results come from a collective effort? Turning a group into a team is one of the biggest challenges leaders face.

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Research Desk

  • Sex and Sex Dissimilarity Effects in Ongoing Teams (2006)

    By: Laura M. Graves and Priscilla M. Elsass

    This study examined the effects of sex and sex dissimilarity on the task and social experiences of members of ongoing teams of management students. We hypothesized that women would have lower levels of social exchange, and ultimately, lower levels of attachment to their groups than would men, and that there would be no sex differences in task exchanges or task contributions. Sex dissimilarity between individuals and their teams was expected to impair individualsÂ’ experiences. As predicted, women had lower social exchanges than men. There were no sex differences in attachment. Surprisingly, women had higher task exchanges and made greater task contributions. Sex dissimilarity had no effect on the experiences of men or women. Overall, women seemed to do more work or better work, but receive less social support, than did men. To obtain the study, go to Human Relations:

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  • This study examines the effectiveness of multicultural teams in organizations. Understanding the cultural differences of team members helps managers to function more effectively on multicultural teams. To explore multicultural team effectiveness, we employ the Cross-cultural Communication Competence Model to probe the cultural origins of the interaction process in diverse work teams. Focusing on self-reports of American and Russian managers about team effectiveness and communication competence, we develop recommendations for managers working in multicultural teams. Pragmatically, the study presents a detailed “what to do” advice for managers working on multicultural teams.

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