Cultural Diversity Management : A Study of a Swedish Multinational Company
Abstract: Globalization has opened up national borders, which has led to a spread of companies globally and a culturally diverse nature of labor. Efficient cultural diversity management (CDM) has become a significant challenge for organizations and managers have to find ways of managing a cross-cultural staff, as a disregard of cultural dissimilarities is the cause of most failures by cross-national businesses. The literature on diversity management has mainly been focused on domestic models, resulting in a lack of research regarding how this is done in an international context and how multinational companies (MNCs) are answering to an increasingly globalized staff. To address this gap, this study contributes to the existing literature by examining CDM within a MNC. In order to provide a better understanding of how to manage cultural diversity in a multinational company, two research questions were stated, which focused on approaches and managerial skills within CDM. The study was conducted using a qualitative case study approach and data was collected through three semi-structured interviews with managers within a Swedish MNC. The findings showed that the investigated MNC uses five out of seven approaches outlined inprevious literature regarding CDM, whereas four of them are used to some extent and one to agreater extent. Furthermore, the literature outlined 29 managerial skills, whereas the findings supported 12 of them but also contributed with a number of additional managerial skills perceived as necessary. Overall, the findings showed that the investigated MNC both encourages and is positive toward cultural diversity at the workplace.
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