Article: Cross cultural diversity: Boon or bane?


Cross cultural diversity: Boon or bane?

With global expansion on the horizon for many organizations, cultural diversity could be leveraged to help their business grow. Read on to know more.
Cross cultural diversity: Boon or bane?

As the world is progressing in this era of globalization, the business world is making a move beyond their domestic territories to expand their businesses worldwide. The business world is now focusing on the geocentric approach to get the best person to carry out the job. The changed approach to the corporate world has opened the job avenues for the potential talent giving them the opportunity to experience and get exposed to the different opportunities and make best out of their competencies.

People are now coming out of their closet and accepting assignments in the foreign land with hope to learn and grow in their respective careers. As geographical distances are diminishing with people from various destinations are lending in the same workplace. With the growing dominance of the Multinationals Corporations in the business world, predominant cultures of the organizations are fading away, giving way to the cultural mix giving acceptance to individuals from various origins and faith.

The popular organizations ranging from big corporate giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google or any other conglomerates like TATA, Reliance, Proctor and Gamble, HUL etc. are addressing the diversity at their workplace with a motive to reap out the benefits of the same. The workplace diversity which helps to channelize the potential of diversity and helped these organizations to grow and prosper.

On one hand, where the diversity in the workforce is bringing its paybacks for the organizations, on the other hand, it also gives rise to the conflicts originating from the diversity itself. It becomes essential for the organizations to give due consideration to the conflicts which arise owing to the existing cross cultural diversity at the workplace.

Cross cultural diversity which nowadays is being treated as boon may turn into bane if not handled carefully. Although, diversity embraces the individual differences based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, value systems and personality but also provide the unexpected challenges. The challenges may range from cultural clash augmented with differing value systems hampering the overall work environment and disturbing the synergy at the workplace.

Cultural diversity may lead to conflict occurring between individuals or social groups that are separated by cultural boundaries which are considered as “Cross-Cultural Conflict.” Conflicts can be further defined as a clash of interests between the involved parties trying to serve their own motives. Conflicts are inevitable at workplace due to interactions of the people of various mindsets and cultural diversity who view the world from their own perspectives and perceive the same objects with varying attitudes.  

Conflicts arise when there is a clash of opposite personalities and varied interests of the parties involved. The conflicts can also be attributed to the opposing value systems and ethical judgments. It is obvious for the people to disagree and confront anything which they perceive will act as an obstruction in their way. The other caused can be dedicated to the different attitude of the people, norms, and rituals followed by them.


The cross cultural diversity has become reality today and its impact varies with the type of organizational climate and overall strategy of a company. As more and more firms are moving globally and entering the international business arena from their domestic periphery impact of cross cultural diversity has increased manifold times. It’s very important to manage the cultural differences efficiently for generating gains and getting an overall competitive edge.

The organizations have to ensure that cross cultural diversity is not impacting their organizational culture and affecting their overall productivity and performance. On one hand, where the diversity brings in the strengths of the various culture altogether under one roof and give a boost to overall organizational performance and leads it way to success.

The success journey can be put on hold if conflicts are not addressed at the right point of time and channelizing that energy in a positive mode for betterment and welfare of the organization by resolving the conflicts in an agreeable manner.

So, it’s imperative for the business firms to capitalize the gains they can achieve by embracing cultural differences at the workplace for the betterment and bright future prospects converting bane into a boon.

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR, Culture, Diversity

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