The Intercultural Competencies Required for Inclusive and Effective Culturally Diverse Work Teams
journal contributionposted on 08.06.2017 by Lloyd, Shannon, Hartel, Charmine E. J.
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Culturally diverse teams provide the opportunity for a greater number of cross-cultural interactions and, are proposed to present a number of benefits for teams including increased innovation, creativity and problem solving capabilities. At the same time, however, they also provide opportunity for greater miscommunication and misunderstanding, which can impede the social and task-related functions of the team. Consequently, cultural diversity itself will not generate benefits in teams, rather it is learning to work with cultural diversity effectively that will allow a team to realise these benefits. We discuss the essential intercultural competencies identified in the literature and provide recommendations that will aid practitioners in implementing these competencies in their teams. We show that, if the potential synergies available from cultural diversity are to be realised, organisational and team members need to be interculturally competent, involving not only an ability to understand differences, but also to continue to communicate effectively and integrate across these differences.