Acme and Omega

The Impact of Multicultural Workforce on
Organization Success

Aicha Kone
University of Maryland University College
Trude J. Fawson
May 2010

The concept of multicultural workforce as a reflection of cultural diversity within an organization has evolved over the years. While earlier discussions on organizational diversity may have been limited to issues of gender and racial differences, today it has grown to include range of factors that influence how individual interactions within an organization propel companies to success. Specifically, leaders of the cooperate world has began to realize the direct impact of diverse workforce on the bottom line as well as appreciate the potential values of the viewpoints that are shaped by different market experiences and the inherent risk of a culturally homogenous workforce. While multicultural workforce ensures several performance advantages over homogeneous workforce, its benefits come with some organizational costs. Some of the unquestionable real-world advantages of a multicultural workforce are high level of creativity and innovation, competitive advantage, adaptation to changes and more organizational flexibility, and better problem-solving abilities. On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of multicultural workforce are intergroup conflict, communication breakdowns, and negative group dynamics. The purpose of this paper is to highlight both the negative and positive impacts of multicultural workforce as it relates to the effectiveness or success of any organization.
As it has been realized by several successful organizations with diverse workforce and demonstrated in numerous studies, diversity creates competitive advantages. Organizations with multicultural workforce gain competitive advantage in the marketplace by drawing on wide-range of investment talents, market experiences and different perspectives. However, in order to attain this competitive advantage by way of improving...