The Impact of Demographic Characteristics and Cultural Diversity on Behaviour within a Group

Groups can become a high performance team by following organizational goals and strategic planning, while demographic characteristics and cultural diversity can influence a team in many ways. Cultural diversity and demographic characteristics can help achieve goals and people should be aware how they can contribute to reaching goals in an organization. This article will discuss the impact of demographic characteristics and cultural diversity on behavior within a group, and how individuality will sometimes contribute to detract from high-performance in teams.

Numerous attempts have been made by several organizations in order to gain competitive edge over their competitors through management concepts and practices. In order to respond to globalization, majority of organizations are turning to modern, more productive ways of conducting business, such as effective organizational structures, greater support from technology, and more team orientated environments. Indeed, a team is where combined employees apply their skills and abilities together in order to attain the common goals and objectives of the organization. Increase organizational performance is being obtained from combined individuals working together jointly to provide the best of their skills, knowledge, experiences, and abilities.

Groups are formed to satisfy both organizational and individual needs. An organization consists of individuals and groups interacting within the structure of the organization to accomplish its goal and objective. In the traditional organizations, most of structures are based on individualism. Today, team works are a major concept of an organization. Most activities in the organization require some degree of coordination through the operation of team working. Teams are useful only if the interaction of team members produces something greater than the sum of all the individual’s efforts. Team interaction must be structured so that team members coordinate their actions in the cooperative pursuit of both their individual objectives and the team’s goals. The understanding of the team concept is vital if the organization. An organization will function effectively if its employees function not just as an individual but as members of effective and efficient performing work group. The emotions and feelings of each individual towards work comprise some kind of a behavior that normally affects the team’s performance. The most important activity in the organization is to maintain and enhance the work groups. The abilities and the skills of the leaders must have to be brought out in order to fully perform in their duties and obligations in the work groups to guild the team members; participation, leadership, and motivational skills can greatly impact a team’s performance. The more efficient a work group is, the better the drive to success of the organization.

Team dynamics in many organization improve both productivity and employee satisfaction. Teams are formed to accomplish what individuals can not achieve on their own. Many work organizations tend to have a growing trend of implementing new work teams; a collaborative team is able to bring many creative ideas and improve productivity to the organization. Today’s increasing popularity of teamwork in the workplace setting requires adequate individuals that can show teamwork tactics in their job qualification. The importance of teamwork has now become a critical segment in the way organizations operate in today’s globalization business world. Any given team comprises of a various group of employees, which will now share the responsibility in the area of problem solving processes, and are also involved in decision-making as well as implementing the changes.

The team’s dynamics are made up of the selection of team members and a leader that will encourage team participation and cooperation while the leadership also provides the guidelines that will maximize the strengths most effectively within the team. The team will also be accountable in providing itself with the corrective properties of conflict resolution skills through team communication. In addition, participating as a team member, individuals are expected to share their ideas, knowledge, past experiences, and skills. Each team members has to convey courtesy to each of his or her teammates and respect the views of one another. All the team members must be willing to share their ideas, but remain open minded while listening to the others express their ideas and opinions. To work well collaboratively, each individual requires adaptability and a willingness to learn from the skills of others. An open minded team member can effectively criticize or expand through discussion the ideas or views that are presented.

Effective team work begins with the collaboration of a variety of employees. In a team, even there is a nominated leader, real leadership will surface automatically and dynamically in the team; skills, knowledge, and experiences are some strengths and attributes of a leader. Five theoretical approaches to leadership; trait theory, styles theory, situational theory, functional theory, and transformational theory.

When developing an organization structure from ground up, a very important strategy is to establish leadership ideals right from the beginning. One aspect of this strategy includes establishing a theory and style of leadership, which will best apply to the organization. The first to consider is the trait theory; Trait theory attempts to identify and prescribe individual characteristics and behaviors needed for effective leadership. Trait theory is the idea that leaders are born with certain character traits. However, someone possessing such traits does not suggest he or she would be an effective leader. Some of these traits are drive, self-confidence, and knowledge of the business. These are only certain leadership characteristics and behaviors that help in the quality of a leader.

The second approach to consider is the style theory to leadership. Such theory focuses on the actions of a good leader that includes three categories; autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Unfavorable leadership styles will hold back a team’s functioning. These three categories are behaviors and styles related to team maintenance, task performance, and employee participation in decision-making; basically, the theory describes how a leader leads his or her team.

The third theory is the situational theory to leadership. This theory focuses on how a leader fits into his or her leadership tasks. Situational leadership considers the absence of traits and styles; the theory describes nearly everyone can become an effective leader. Under situational theory, leaders must analyzed themselves and adapt their styles to fit into the situation. A leader in a team, the method of leading should be adjusted continually depends on the different situation and environment; a leader can not use the same method to lead his or her team without any changes. A good situational leader is the one that can quickly adopt different leadership styles based upon situational variable. In fact, situational theory expresses that an effective leadership depends on the situation at hand, which requires leader to interact with his or her team members.

The last two theories are functional theory and transformational leadership theory. Functional theory suggests that leadership is a job rather a person, and anyone in the team can assume leader’s job at any time to perform the tasks and reach the goal. Functional leadership is an approach that focuses on how leadership occurs instead concentrates on who leads the team. Team members at all levels can participate in leading the team to reach their goal or objective.

The transformational leadership theory looks at how leaders affect their team members in terms of how they motivate and transform their team members from self-interests to collective interests. Transformational leaders are able to create trust, respect, admiration, and loyalty amongst their team members. As more works are becoming more knowledge based, which in turns demands highly skilled employees, and as leaders must realize that poor motivation is a lack of capability of the leadership not a lack of desire within employees. People with different needs are motivated differently.

Leadership in today’s globalization business world demands a special skill set of skills because of the fast changing pace of business environment, unstable market situations, raised competitions, and changes in the labor force. Successful leadership is vital to successful organizations, so it is crucial that today’s leaders are well trained at using techniques that fit our globalization business world. Leaders must have the ability to act in an interpersonally competent manner, yet they also need to learn the techniques of good listening, honest and open communication, delegating, conflict resolution skills, etc., It is generally accept that good leadership is essential to the functioning of an organization. Organizations are constantly seeking leaders with a set of skills at all levels, which can inspire team members to achieve goals and earn the loyalty of customers. Leadership is the process of interaction between situations among team members. Thus, an effective leadership is contingent upon a number of variables, such as trait, leading styles, communications skills, conflict resolutions, and be able to motivate team members.

Each team member also has a role that specifies his or her contribution. Teams are set forth to establish roles to accomplish common goals. All team members should have a clear idea of their own roles, own duties, and responsibilities in the team and have a good understanding of how they contribute to achieve the team’s goal. The role assigned to each team member should reflect individual strengths and interests as much as possible to maximize each member’s contribute to the fulfillment of the team’s objectives. It is important that the abilities and skills of the employees must have to be brought out in order to fully perform in their duties and obligations in the workplace. The more efficient the member is the better the drive to success of the team. A team member is usually chosen based on their expertise, qualities, and what he or she can provide for the team. Therefore, an effective leader should understand his or her team members strengths and weakness to properly assigned tasks.

To conclude, an organization will function effectively only if its personnel function not just as individuals but as members of effective and efficient performing work team. Leadership is a factor that contributes to effective team work. Leaders use their skills and techniques to lead their team members to achieve goals. Teams are not formed overnight, and creating a successful team is not an easy task. An effective leader should able to establishing a clear, compelling direction, creating an appropriate structure, selecting the right team members, supporting the team, and providing opportunities for development.

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