Ethnopsychological phenomena appear at the level of the individual characteristics of the employees and at the level of groups and affect both the group dynamics of service groups, and the activities of the organization as a whole. The investigation of these phenomena helps to understand the essential characteristics of the psyche of a particular ethnic group, their patterns and mechanisms of manifestations at work. Research based on the ethnopsychological factors is an important prerequisite, improving the efficiency of management and organization of the labor processes. National culture and traditions of the country impose a significant imprint on the thinking and actions of the manager and employee. Therefore:
1) Conducting negotiations with foreign partners, the manager should remember that his partners are not only representatives of the company but also representatives of a particular culture.
2) If the staff is made up of representatives of different cultures – the effectiveness of the activities of the group is higher than in the monocultural teams.
In addition, multinational staff requires special management, which includes:
1) Paying attention to the relationship between ethnic groups. It often happen that management forget about the rights of national minorities when the organization achieves positive results, but if any malfunction appear - CEOs start looking for the cause of failure in traditions and values of another nation;
2) Every group has its own ethnic identity, which is represented by the informal group leader. The object of the control act as an ethnic micro group; it should be remembered that different representatives of different nations react differently to the same management decisions (Kawar, 2012, p. 106). The main task of the manager in such team - the purposeful involvement of members of all micro-groups to the common cause, aimed at achieving company`s goals with a micro group motivational component;
3) Displaying ethnocentrism- due to shallow knowledge of ethnic object that during the manifestation of negative political and ideological content can transform into nationalism;
4) Increased risk of conflict – it is necessary to prevent them:
pay attention to individual differences within the team – language, gender, age, skills, experience, cultural and national characteristics;
build relationships within the team using positive management approach and teambuilding activities;
create favorable conditions for the national traditions and moral values.
The main types of relationships in multicultural environment are the following:
1) One of the micro-groups purposefully influences and dominates over another;
2) Cooperation, when micro-groups on an equal footing reach unity in achieving goals;
3) Counter where one micro group prevents the action of another, interferes in obtaining group results.
Managing Multicultural Work
The eradication of national prejudices can be done through the constant involvement of micro groups' representatives on the various meetings, conferences, teambuilding activities. Focus on the positive national installations, themed evenings will help to remove stereotypes from the company.
Professional manager needs to have a following cultural knowledge:
1. National-psychological and other micro group features (language, culture, traditions and so on.);
2. Their behavior, forms and actions in a variety of standard situations, interpersonal relationships, communication, interaction;
3. Stereotypes of people of various other nationalities representatives;
4. The peculiarity of the functioning of national identity (it is useful to learn through consultations with specialists);
5. Needs, motives, values;
6. Intellectual and cognitive components in the individual and joint activities;
7. Evidence of the presence of contradictions between the components of the national psychology and traditional norms of the region's business, political and inter-ethnic cooperation (Patrick & Kumar, 2012). The head of a multinational team itself, whose purpose – to teach the staff to work together, should be aware of his national stereotypes, national prejudices, introducing a system of adaptation measures. Ethnic stereotypes is a relatively stable understanding of the moral, mental, physical qualities of the representatives of different ethnic communities. Hofstede identified differences in labor behavior of people with a different mentality. At first, he mentioned differences in the structure and vocabulary of the mother tongue (the analog values of other words in language) as well as in the context of verbal communication. For instance, the residents of Asia, the Middle East can be seen through the lenses of highly contextual type of communication, which requires matching messages with gestures, facial expressions, hint (Milner, Fodness, & Speece, 1993).
Moreover, there are certain approaches that have come in handy for the managers of international companies. The approach of expanding diversity focuses on increasing representation of individuals from different ethnic and cultural groups within the organization. The point – to rebuild the organizational (corporate) culture, changing demographics of the collective. For example, the Norwegian government supported a draft law that would force companies to appoint women to senior positions, in order to achieve at least a 40% interest in these positions. It is expected that the new staff will be in accordance with the current practice and that no further intervention is required. The very presence of employees with wide backgrounds may contribute in cross-cultural management changes, and this in turn will give the desired results. However, the prevalence of this approach is based on a greater degree of relevant laws and public expectations, including in the sense of more political correctness, not a deep understanding of the need for diversity as a part of business strategy.
Another approach is called sensitivity to diversity. In contrast to the previous, it recognizes the potential complexities introduced by individuals from different cultural traditions in the framework of labor relations. It seeks to overcome these difficulties through training, aspiring to greater susceptibility to stereotypes and discrimination since it contributes to the promotion and improvement of communicative interaction (Vogt, n.d.). The assumption inherent in this approach – increased susceptibility differences will improve performance. Despite this, in some cases, training is not related to the corporate objectives and long-term policy do not support it. Thus, this fact can create more harm than good. The emphasis on differences can lead to the opposite results in the amplification of stereotypes and de-excitation of intergroup differences of more than improving communication through understanding and common interests.
The cultural audit aims to find issues connected with blocking cooperation between the multicultural groups. External consultants for the data surveys and focus groups usually carry out the audit and then, using the survey method, analyze employees’ responses on what is the main cultural obstacle. Although this approach taking into account the specific conditions of organizational cultures, recommendations for change, as a rule, suggest that the source of the problem is the dominant cultural group, and change must come from within the group. "Ford" used this approach using the PULSE study to identify the degree of satisfaction of employees with diversity ("Diversity Management," n.d., p.243). Twelve measurement parameters (indicators) were used, which help to understand the multicultural environment within the company.
The multicultural organization is characterized by the culture of promoting and appreciating cultural differences – truly and equally incorporating all members of the organization in the process of acculturation pluralism. It has full integration, structural and informally, free of bias and favoritism in respect of one group in comparison with others, and minimally exposed to intergroup conflict.
Diversity Management [PDF]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/35190_Chapter10.pdf
Kawar, T. I. (2012). Cross-cultural Differences in Management. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(6), 105-111. Retrieved from http://ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_6_Special_Issue_March_2012/13.pdf
Milner, L. M., Fodness, D., & Speece, M. W. (1993). Hofstede's Research on Cross-Cultural Work-Related Values: Implications For Consumer Behavior by Laura M. Milner, Dale Fodness, and Mark W. Speece. Retrieved from http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=11610
Patrick, H. A., & Kumar, V. R. (2012, April 25). Managing Workplace Diversity | SAGE Open. Retrieved from http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/2/2/2158244012444615
Vogt, C. (n.d.). Cultural Sensitivity Skills in the Workplace | Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/cultural-sensitivity-skills-workplace-20375.html