This reflection will consider my managing of multicultural team in a health industry based in London using relevant theories and models of culture, communication and management in reflecting my experiences and the personal learning gained.
Reid, (1993) defines reflection as a process of reviewing an experience of practices in order to analyse, evaluation, describe and it also inform learning about practice (Reid, 1993).Also according to Donald Sch?n, theory of reflection practice which was a expansion of John Dewey’s (1904, 1933) theory of Reflective Practice, states that it is a practice through which experts become mindful of their implicit knowledge base and learn from their experiences as such I would be evaluating my experience and would reflective on knowledge acquired from the experience( Schon,1983).
Culture as claimed by Schein (2004) is a dynamic phenomenon that shapes the behaviour of people and the way they interact with each other. However, according to Jahoda, 2012 since the early era there has being examples of several definition of culture writer such as Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1952, as such I would base my understanding of culture to the current ones as the definitions has become further expanded.
In the years 2004, I was promoted from a senior support worker to a manager in a health service organisation with a 35-bed residential home for mental impairment service users. My responsibility entailed dealing with numerous clients’ families and staff teams with different culture background, global teams.
Furthermore, most of them had English has their second language. My duties included telephoning, sending emails to both the families and the multidiscipline professionals involve in their care, agreeing on the care plans to use in caring for their family member in the home. Managing and training my staff was also my duty so that we could achieve the organisational goal and render the services needed to the clients within the multinational team. This links to Geert Hofstede who advised that multinational team requires cultural awareness (Hofstede, 1980).
My staff team were all from a diverse background as London has become a multicultural and multinational country with people from different background, ethnicity with mixed culture, social beliefs and attitudes this aspect had a great impart and challenge in my management activities. As I set out with the notion and assumption that as the manager I would impact my culture and belief in them, control and direct, according to Webber’s (1800) bureaucracy management theory that states that an individual power should be based on the individual position in an organisation as such with this assumption of an authoritarian managerial style, top down bureaucratic notion; I would be a dictator as this was my first experience of working in such an environment (Webber, 1800).
Although I was able to learn more about a multitude of different cultures and beliefs but the main issue, I faced was reaching an agreement between my team members. I found it difficult and it took time to build a relationship with my team as identified by Trompenaars that where there are lots of diverse groups it is hard to form relationship (Mullins, 2010).
Furthermore ,as indicated by Tuckman, 1965 that group goes through stages, I would say this stages of forming, norming ,and storming affect my first four weeks of working in the environment as it was challenging and knowing I needed to transform my perception or beliefs in order to adapt to the situation. To attain this notion, I needed to understand what influences culture in practices and in making my managerial decision I required clarifying the differences among my cultural team (ref).
According to Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (1993) classification consist of seven cultural dimensions that characterizes a culture and use in distinguish one national culture from another I was with the understanding that I needed to check the preferences of my group using the seven dimensions of Trompennars, 1993 and having an adaptable opinions and ideas and ways of working with varieties of thinking.
All this attitude later had a great impact on my experience of learning about accepting differences and cultural beliefs. Varieties of culture models of have emerged to provide a comparable frame of reference. Nevertheless I would use Hall (1976) taxonomy starting culture in the context of high and low, taking into account the importance of context in interpreting communication and the aspects associated to the interaction among individuals.
An example, one day I noticed there was an argument amongst my team and was an argument between two different groups of different ethnicity groups, it was difficult for the team to find a resolution to the issue that emerged, the issue was about languages and culture which according to Bain, 2002 is defined as Cultural conflict happening between persons or social groups that are separated by cultural boundaries (Bain, 2000).
The issue has been a recurrent issue in the team for some time. I had to arrange a team meeting where we were able to reduce the tension on both sides to a minimal level.
This I did by giving my team mediation and coaching discuss the Equality Act 2010, letting them know every teams member must be treated equality regard less of any difference ,diversity, age and r religion, I printed out a copy of the act for every member of the team to read . At the end of the meeting we agreed to meet in another one week with a possible solutions as we all needed to go and study what culture means in an organisation and how we will work together in harmony. The incident gave me an insight into how different culture and language can cause a big conflict in a working environment being involved and not been able to sort the issue once and for all arouses a sense of defeat and feelings of incapability in me as the issue relates to my culture.
However, the event taught me that decision making entails an agreement within the team and it change my perspective that managers have the final say but in order not to profound the issue causing more conflicts I found it hard to communicate my real opinion which was different in my previous experiences as I would have been more comfortable imposing my cultural belief with other group.
As indicated by Francesco and Gold, 1998; Gelder, 2003 Cross-Cultural Training Methods shows that I needed to understanding Cultural dimensions i.e. briefings, Area briefings, cases, role play my Cultural assimilator and Field experiences that will influence my decisions(French,2010).
Moreover, the experience developed my communication according to Hall (1976) taxonomy creating high and low context cultures, by taking into account the importance of context in decoding the communication. Developing a more characteristics of interaction among my teams individually by creating a networking system and having a one to one meetings to understand their issues.
Also ,my listening skill was improved I was now able to listen to my workmate experience and understand the broader picture of their experience changing my pass notions of the fact that mangers are always right and dictates. The support rendered by the line manager during my learning process help me to continuing learning and progress however my short comings and mistakes were pointed out to me and I tried to learn from them and the trainings made available this supported me in developing my managerial skills.
Furthermore, using Trompenaars et al 1997 seven dimension of culture helped me in understanding that one culture is not necessarily better or worse than the order but that people from different backgrounds are tend to make difference choices having said the above; the model did not show how to measure the people’s preferences.
Another notion that influenced my experience was Hofstede (1980a) cultural model embraces four main dimensions of culture: individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and masculinity-femininity, of which Confucian dynamism dimension was later added (Hofstede &Bond, 1988). Although recently a more extensive cultural model which consist of nine dimensions, namely the GLOBE project
Furthermore, Young, 2000 who reflected that managing conflict is a way of maintaining or rather changing an organisational culture including five other elements such as motivation similarly to Young’s analysis; Rahim 2000 also says conflicts could affect organizational efficiency and learning and DeDreu, 2005 in his own notion argued that involvement in conflicts can also lead to increasing employees satisfaction in a workplace (DeDreu &Beersma, 2005).
However, my decision making was limited as analysed by Stewards 1995. I was able to use the supposed analysis that as a manager am expected to shape my behaviour, according to the environment or issue that I need to make a decision upon as such I was able to und Furthermore, Hofstede acknowledgement of four dimensions for defining work-related values associated with national culture and its definition that culture can be collective but it also sometimes intangible and that it’s about distinguishing one group, organisation or nation from another.
Also, his view of culture was that it comparison of two different elements: the internal values of culture that are invisible and external elements of culture that are more visible and are known as practices (ref). The last embraces rituals such as greetings, such as television shows or people and words and gestures (Ref). The cultures of different organisations can be distinguished from one other by their practices, while national cultures can be differentiated by their values understanding the event as it validates my inert behaviour during the meeting.
However, I believed my judgements and actions were effective with this event, I felt justified once I was creating the job required and I was not thinking about what could learn from doing or not doing well. My feelings and behaviours were directed toward the completion of the organisation goals set after the meeting, not the process of learning through this experience.
There are various ways of defining learning process as indicated by Pritchard (2017 but for this reflective essay I will say learning is a process of gaining knowledge, that changes ones behaviour by shaping or controlling as such I would indicate that I reflect my behaviour have changed and I now understand that I needed to integrated more within the group
From my previous studies I have learned that an active engagement in the learning process is likely to help me in achieving success (Dewar 1996; Hartman, 1995; Leadership Project 1995, cited in Pritchard, 2017). Also, it has proved my personal development by improving my self-esteem and motivation. Learning entails knowing ones learning style. The Honey-Mumford model indicated there are four styles; activist, reflector, theorist, pragmatist. After taking the test in my previous studies my learning style was more of a reflector and theorist.
Nevertheless, an awareness of the important of training and support before commencing on the job were inadequate it was all work base learning Perhaps, my actions to others’ wanting to judge them by my standard was because I had no supportive learning within the organization which could have helped during my learning process (Lancaster and Di Milia, 2015). On the other hand, I have learnt various ideas and view that has helped me in developing new skills (Garvin et al., 2008, as cited in Lancaster et al., 2015).
Reflection on this event my experience of being a manager and my MBA training my knowledge and understanding has developed, as I have understood that personal influences, such as family background, have a major impact on an individual’s life thus influence on experiential learning in professional contexts (Watson, 2001).
Further refine time management skills I have chosen to develop my meeting skills, improve my confidence in speaking and widen my knowledge about British culture in so far as I have considered after the reflective analysis about the event described, that those areas needed an improvement. For the reason that, I am in the process of learning about a new culture that I do not know the depth of certain settings established. Moreover, as my goal is to be a manager/leader based in the UK, the importance of knowing British core values, standard way of behaving, at work and in an informal situation, are crucial in my learning process. Furthermore, I believe that those three activities of learning are aligned with my preferred style of learning which tends to be pragmatic. However, it is important to highlight the constraints that might be, for instance, the time frame in which the first activity will take place, can be limited to make real friends. Furthermore, some practical resources will not be available for me to access after finishing the MBA, such as EYE training sessions at university.
In addition, these learning activities might change over time whether I decide to work in a British corporation or an international company based in the UK. Nonetheless, the knowledge that will be developed is not negligible, especially for the reason that I believe it is crucial to know the culture of the country where you are settled in.
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Managing Of Multicultural Team. (2019, Dec 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/managing-of-multicultural-team-essay