Cross-cultural and Diversity Training

Cross-cultural and Diversity TrainingTo complete this assignment, please review the course text and the article “Identifying and Training Adaptive Cross-Cultural Management Skills: The Crucial Role of Cultural Metacognition”. In addition, watch the videos Workplace Relationships: Playing Your Part (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Diversity in the Workplace: Playing Your Part (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Next, research for answers to the following questions in your required sources and on the Internet. Be sure to validate that the sources you use are credible. Also, keep a list of the sources you use to include at the bottom of your posting, so others can access them as well.Click here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to view the Evaluating Sources for Credibility video. [Transcript available (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. located under More option].Analyze and discuss the following questions about cross-cultural and diversity training and share your findings with your classmates.What are some of the training and development challenges associated with high employee turnover?Why should a task analysis be performed to address the specific content addressed in a diversity training program?Why would it be important to participate in a cross-cultural training before a business trip out of the country or an international assignment?
What are some critical success factors for these programs?Do you have any personal experiences with diversity and/or cross-cultural training? If so, please share about your experience(s). If you do not, what reasons do you think that your past work experiences did not include such activities?How important do you think this type of training is for you personally? What areas do you feel would be crucial for you to personally develop?Your initial post should be between 350 and 400 words. You must use at least one outside source (peer-reviewed article, newspaper article, or other reputable source) in addition to your text. Cite all information from your sources according to APA guidelines as outlined in the In-Text Citation Helper: A Guide to Making APA In-Text Citations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. List each of your sources at the end of your post according to APA style as shown in the sample page for References (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ posts. Respond substantively to at least two of your peers.Share your own experiences with diversity training with your peer.Do you have an additional perspective on how diversity training can be beneficial in an organization?Share variables about a task analysis that you think would be important to successful training development.Continue to monitor this discussion board through 5 PM (Mountain Time) on Day 7 of the week. Be sure to also respond to your instructor’s comments to you in this forum by Day 7 (when applicable). Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses.
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9
Groups and Teams
iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter, you should be able to
• Compare and contrast organizational groups and teams.
• Identify the characteristics of effective teams.
• Describe various types of teams.
• Apply the stages of team development.
• Determine when to use teams.
• Explain the process for and challenges of team decision making.
• Explain the contagion effects of positivity in teams.
257
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The Importance of Groups and Teams
Section 9.1
9.1 The Importance of Groups and Teams
The use of groups and teams has become increasingly common not only in organizational
settings but also in education, public policy, and international relations. However, groups and
teams can present significant challenges in terms of their design and implementation. Consider the following example.
A large agricultural manufacturing company decides to update its GPSenabled precision farming products with a revolutionary new color touchscreen display, a significant advancement over its unwieldy, now obsolete
monochrome version. To thwart possible competitors, the company quickly
assembles a team comprising members from across the company, including sales, marketing, product quality, engineering, and supply management,
and sets a 6-month project timeline. At first, team members embrace their
assignment with energy and conviction. However, as challenges arise and the
original excitement begins to wane, the team begins to experience conflict.
Never having worked together prior to this assignment and not having established trust before beginning the project, team members start to turn work
disagreements into personal attacks. Soon team members stop attending
meetings and begin completing assignments individually, meeting only when
absolutely necessary.
As the project’s due date nears, the team members realize they have made
critical errors due to lack of communication on certain design elements. The
project is delayed and delayed again. Eventually, the team delivers the final
product—nearly a year behind schedule and $1 million over budget.
Although unfortunate, the above scenario is relatively common. In fact, one survey of IT teams
found that nearly 75% of them failed to meet one or more important project milestones (Bull
Survey, 1998). This statistic becomes even more alarming when you consider that organizations often use teams as an attempt to increase work productivity. Are all teams doomed to
failure? Is teamwork an impractical notion? Thankfully, the answer to both questions is no.
Consider This: Working in Teams
Recall several situations in which you worked with a team to complete a task or achieve a goal.
Questions to Consider
1. To what extent did you enjoy your team experiences? What were some of the characteristics of each of these teams, tasks, and environments that you believe contributed to
your positive (or negative) experience?
2. Which of the above tasks or projects do you believe would have been better completed
individually? Why?
3. Which of the above tasks or projects do you believe were better suited to be completed
in teams? Why?
4. In which of the above tasks or projects do you believe that working in teams or individually would have made no difference? Explain.
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The Importance of Groups and Teams
Section 9.1
Research shows that with careful planning, hard work, and commitment, organizations can
create effective teams. However, given scenarios like the one above, is it worth it to do so? In
other words, do effective teams produce spectacularly better results than individually run
projects? Based on research findings, the answer is that it depends on the team and the tasks
assigned to it. I/O psychologists help organizations make practical decisions that allow them
to design, maintain, and leverage effective teams.
Comparing Groups and Teams
The terms group and team are often used interchangeably to describe a collection of people
who work together to achieve a common goal. Even though a work team is a type of work
group, it is very different from basic work groups both in terms of processes and outcomes.
In this section, we describe the similarities and differences between work groups and work
teams.
A work group consists of two or more individuals who interact and share ideas in order to
achieve a common goal. Most people have experienced working in a dependent work group,
such as the traditional departmental group led by a strong manager. Workers in this type of
group depend largely on the manager to set goals, assign tasks, and resolve conflicts. In independent work groups, on the other hand, workers tend to complete tasks and assignments
with little direct managerial supervision and
only basic direction. Think of teachers who work
at the same school: As a group, all wish to promote the success of the school and its students,
and most will work together from time to time,
especially when dealing with changes or challenges. However, the principal does not tell every
teacher every day how to teach a subject, develop
curriculum, or motivate students.
Beyond dependent and independent work
groups, some groups can develop into true work
iStockphoto/Thinkstock
teams. Interdependence is the key: Members Although the terms group and team
of work teams are truly unable to achieve their are often used interchangeably, they
goals by themselves and must rely on the skills, are not the same. Teams require
expertise, information, and resources of other interdependence, relying on the skills,
team members. Teams exist to accomplish goals expertise, knowledge, and resources of
that require collective responsibility. In other each member to achieve a shared goal.
words, success and failure are attributable to the
team as a whole, not just to one person. Instead of having one supervisor to dictate members’
every move, teams have the authority to decide how to interact, function, and make decisions.
Whereas other types of work groups are more inclusive and can thus be quite large, work
teams tend to include only a few members that possess complementary skills (Katzenbach
& Smith, 1993). Finally, work teams function within the broader organizational context, with
and alongside other teams.
To return to the example of a school and its teachers, an instance of a team within a school
would be a Student Assistance Team, which is formed when a student experiences significant
performance difficulties within the general classroom. The student’s classroom teacher or
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Developing Teams
Section 9.2
teachers, school professionals (counselor, nurse, psychologist, etc.), one or more administrators, and other specialists as needed work together to devise a specific plan to promote the
student’s future success. The Student Assistance Team meets regularly to assess progress
and make revisions to and recommendations for the student’s Individual Education Plan. The
team is interdependent, and members must trust each other, communicate extensively, collaborate when challenges arise, and share responsibility in order to meet the student’s needs
and promote the student’s highest level of success.
Although all types of groups can be organizationally useful, this chapter focuses mainly on
teams and their place within and significance to the organization. Teams have become increasingly important to organizations and have been estimated to be used by over 80% of U.S.
companies (Blanchard, 2006). Why? Quite simply, employees who work as teams are better
able to solve problems than employees who work alone. However, as much as management
might wish to make use of this problem-solving resource, one cannot simply throw people
together and call them a team. The synergy and positive group dynamics created within a true
team are not instant; teams are built only through careful thought and hard work. Furthermore, creating teams can be costly and time consuming. The challenge is how best to enable
organizations to improve their chances of creating effective teams without wasting valuable
resources. To address this challenge, it is important for I/O psychologists to understand how
teams work, how to create and make them successful, and finally, when not to use them.
Find Out for Yourself: The Use of Groups and Teams
Browse the websites of the most recognized organizations in your current or desired field
of employment—or of 10 organizations you are interested in for various reasons (e.g., for
employment, as an investment, because it provides a regularly purchased product or service).
Look for the organizations’ values as well as statements and information about their structure,
culture, and processes.
What Did You Learn?
1. Which of these organizations mention teams and teamwork as one of the strategies they
use to accomplish their goals? As a goal in and of itself? As a critical success factor?
2. In your opinion, which statements on the websites ring true, and which statements
seem to be there for marketing or public relations purposes?
3. How many of those organizations present specific, quantifiable evidence for how important teams are to the success of their operations?
9.2 Developing Teams
Organizations use teams for all sorts of reasons—to solve problems, make decisions, design
products, implement services, and manage projects. Selecting the right type of team for the
task is critical to achieving the desired goals. However, assigning a group of individuals to a
task does not automatically make them function as a team. In addition to being the right type,
teams must also be developed in order to be functional and productive.
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Developing Teams
Section 9.2
Types of Teams
Different types of teams are better suited to working on different types of tasks. Five common types of work teams are self-managed teams, manager-led teams, cross-functional teams,
project teams, and virtual teams.
Self-Managed Teams
A self-managed work team (SMWT) is a group of people who work together to accomplish
a goal by managing their own work. Together, members make decisions, assign tasks, plan
and schedule work processes, and solve work problems. A central notion of the SMWT is that
team members are better suited to evaluate processes and make decisions than managers or
any other officially designated leader, and that this collaborative environment will increase
productivity, enhance quality, reduce cycle time, and hasten responses to the rapidly changing
workplace.
Naturally, the key question is whether SMWTs are actually as good as they sound. In fact,
much data supports the SMWT. Sirkin (1993) indicates that SMWTs can produce greater
worker satisfaction, reduced costs, improved decision making, and increased market share.
SMWTs also share leadership responsibilities, which has been found to increase effectiveness
in terms of team performance and team attitudes, especially when the team’s work is complex in nature (Wang, Waldman, & Zhang, 2014). For manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble,
SMWTs helped reduce costs by 30% to 50%; for General Mills, they increased productivity
by 40% as compared to traditional factories; and for Federal Express, they reduced service
glitches by 13% in just 1 year (Fisher, 1993). In a longitudinal study, Banker, Field, Schroeder,
and Sinha (1996) found that in the 2 years after their inception, SMWTs in an electromechanical assembly plant were able to improve both quality and labor production.
Despite the continuous parade of success stories, not all companies have been satisfied with
SMWTs. Contrary to expectations, newly formed SMWTs do not instantly and miraculously
revolutionize an organization’s business. Instead, members of SMWTs often make a slow transition from their old work style to the new one and sometimes do not adopt the team-based
style at all. As Wageman (1997) notes, some members of SMWTs can have trouble adjusting,
choosing to “divide their work and do it independently, showing no inclination to join in a
collective effort to improve their work strategies, take responsibility for different decisions,
or solve problems” (p. 50). Of course, resistance by team members to the SMWT concept will
negate the potential benefits this work format has to offer.
The effectiveness of self-managed teams depends on the degree to which their structure is
aligned with the tasks to be accomplished. Structurally aligned teams have higher performance. Moreover, when change is necessary, aligned teams focus on the structural changes
that can help them continue to restore alignment and effectiveness. For example, they may
implement changes in team members’ roles or reward systems to meet the new demands of
their situation. In contrast, structurally misaligned teams tend to focus on changes in processes and personnel. For example, they may blame, remove, or replace members perceived
to be low performers, or they may focus on monitoring, evaluating, or adapting the mission,
goals, or performance. While these activities are generally valuable, emphasizing them can
slow down adaptation and change, which can cause performance to deteriorate (Johnson,
Hollenbek, DeRue, Barns, & Jundt, 2013).
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Section 9.2
Developing Teams
Manager-Led Teams
The most common type of team is the traditional manager-led team. Here, in contrast to
the SMWT, a manager acts as team leader and
is responsible for defining goals, methods, and
functions. The team has little operational input
and is responsible only for completing the work
outlined by the manager. Examples of managerled teams include military squadrons, sports
teams, and assembly-line crews.
Manager-led teams have a number of advantages
and disadvantages. On the positive side, the manager has maximum control over team members
Roy Delgado/CartoonStock
and the work they perform, which allows the
manager to use his or her experience to actively guide the team to optimal performance. The
manager can then ensure that the work of team members is adequately coordinated and integrated to reduce duplication and redundancies. At the same time, the manager can work to
avoid gaps in team performance as a result of uncompleted tasks. Manager-led teams also
encourage team members to spend their energy on work actions instead of the planning, goal
setting, managing, and other duties associated with SMWTs. On the other hand, members of
manager-led teams may experience less autonomy and empowerment than they would in an
SMWT; this can be a serious drawback for workers who value these characteristics. Additionally, an overly controlling team leader may inspire too much conformity, resulting in poor
decisions and mistakes that could have been corrected in a more open environment. Overall,
manager-led teams are ideally suited for straightforward tasks in which there is a clear goal.
Cross-Functional Teams
Suppose an insurance company plans to bring a new disability insurance product to market.
Management puts together a team made up of actuarial, marketing, sales, and finance professionals, along with representatives from support areas such as HR, information technology,
customer service, compliance, and the legal department. This team is an example of a crossfunctional team, in which representatives of approximately the same hierarchical level from
many functional areas of an organization combine forces to solve problems.
Cross-functional teams can be quite powerful because of their ability to leverage the diverse
expertise, skills, and abilities from throughout the entire organization. However, they can be
problematic, largely because of the amount of time needed for the group to coalesce into
a fully functioning team. Because members of cross-functional teams typically do not work
together outside of the team, they will need time to build trust and get to know and understand their fellow team members’ diverse perspectives. As you can guess, cross-functional
teams are susceptible to conflict, especially when they are in the early stages of development
and are working to define goals and outcomes.
To minimize conflict, cross-functional teams can appoint a leader to help direct and unify the
team as it clarifies goals and processes at the beginning of the project. However, manager-led
cross-functional teams can experience another type of conflict. Members of these teams now
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Section 9.2
Developing Teams
have to report to at least two leaders: the team leader and their functional department leaders. If they are involved in multiple projects, members may need to report to multiple team
leaders in addition to their functional leaders. Each individual leader often has different priorities, and each may try to compete for the employee’s time, attention, and expertise.
Consider This: Who Should Be on the Team?
Below are several examples of work projects. Read the description of each project and recommend which type of team is best suited for it. (If a cross-functional team is necessary, note
which functional areas should be represented.)
Project 1: A wireless phone provider would like to introduce a new shared plan that
would attract a 25% share of the market for family plans over the next 2 years and yield at
least 5% profit margin above the current margin of existing plans.
Project 2: A chain of physicians’ offices would like to update and improve its patient
database.
Project 3: A department store would like to implement a new inventory system, called
Just in Time, in which it holds limited inventories but develops close relationships with
suppliers and links into their inventory systems so that suppliers are signaled to restock
items when the store’s inventories hit a certain threshold.
Project 4: A privately held organization is considering going public.
Project 5: A grocery store would like to designate a group of employees to choose
items for weekly promotions and design the weekly sales flyer mailed throughout the
neighborhood.
Project Teams
Project teams have a number of defining characteristics. First, these teams are relatively
small. Second, they are temporary and usually disband at the project’s end. Third, they are
created for a specific reason and are given a very clear goal to accomplish. Finally, they are
led by a project manager, who coordinates the people and materials needed to complete the
task. For example, management might assemble a project team composed of a team leader
and representatives from each of the major departments in order to plan and implement a
company-wide changeover to a new type of financial accounting software. This team would
exist solely to accomplish its goal and would likely dissolve as soon as employees had transitioned to the new software.
Because project teams exist outside the formal chain of command, they encourage team
members to identify with the project, which often leads to high team morale and productivity. Additionally, because project teams typically work toward very clear goals, it is easier to
determine their level of success or failure. However, team members continue to perform their
regular duties and respo …
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