Bi-culturals are individuals who have deeply internalized two cultural schemas. A cultural schema is a set of knowledge about values, norms, and beliefs for a given culture.
Bi-culturals are an increasing workforce demographic, and hence a growing part of multicultural teams. Their innate skills that result from being bicultural may help solve central problems in multicultural teams, including managing conflicts and boundary spanning across cultures.
In today’s globalized world, multicultural teams accomplish a significant proportion of organizational work. Multicultural teams are formed because they improve organizational effectiveness in the global business environment. As such, multicultural teams offer huge potential to organizations. The most critical and practical challenge multicultural teams face is managing conflicts across members’ national cultural boundaries. Other cultural challenges in multicultural teams include dealing with coordination and control issues, maintaining communication richness, and developing and maintaining team cohesiveness. For multicultural teams to be effective, members must learn to address the challenges that arise from team members’ differing nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
For instance, lets take into consideration this specific scenario;
Ilo Nioto, the director of global alliances for a large Brazil-based oil company was worried about how she’d come across in Egypt as a member of the negotiating team. Born to a Japanese-Brazilian father and Danish mother, she had spent her formative years in South America and Japan. Unlike her parents, she did not speak Japanese or Danish but was fluent in Portuguese...
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...ach other during break times and after work. Although there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this scenario, it can hinder the effectiveness of sharing knowledge, skills and experience, thus curbing productivity growth and the effectiveness of teams.
In conclusion, with all the pros and cons of having a bi-cultural managerial environment, stated above, it all comes down to how those bi cultural teams are managed. A well-managed bi-cultural team is proven to be a success because when people from different backgrounds bring their own unique cultural experiences to the situations they face in their companies and this broader perspective of viewpoints tends to allow for a better ultimate resolution, however if those teams are not managed properly, and if the size of those teams are not managed, and the individuals are not catered to, the cons may outweigh the pros.
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