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A 5 Pages Term Paper on The effects of culture on communication within a corporation


     The definition of culture is not limited to national culture alone. There exist many different people and cultures in a nation. Culture is different for different people based on their regions and religions. The most important and basic constituent of any culture are the individual people. Due to immigration people coming from diverse backgrounds form an important part of the American economy? Many culturally diverse people have grown and risen to the level of the middle and upper classes. Furthermore, the 43 million citizens who change their residence each year create multiplicity throughout the nation.

      Communication with in a corporation is one of the many challenges facing the corporate America. Most corporations have now induced effective strategic panning deal better with the new and emerging challenges in accordance with the continually changing corporate environment.

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     Diversity has always been a central part of the American history. Culturally diverse populations and communities are not just contained in bigger cities but are scattered throughout the country. Since each of the world’s 210 nations is represented in the U.S. population, this results in the combination and mixing of different cultures. As a result, the draft U.S. Census for 2000 recognizes 66 different categories of cultural and national integration.

    Communications is no doubt the most the effective tool to develop interpersonal and cultural relationships with in an organization. The effective implementation of this tool can create a working environment in the organization that supports and encourages a relaxing and comfortable working atmosphere.

     Organizational Culture -- organizational culture consists of five components: environment, values, heroes, rites and rituals, and communication      Networks. (Keener)1

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    The workers are inclined to put their best talent to perform in an ideally friendly atmosphere. This is in the best interest of the businesses as it increases productivity and yields higher profits.  More and more companies have over the years produced and created specific programs such as interpreter programs, recruitment strategies, and workforce training to develop the capacity of its management and workers to better understand and communicate with different communities.

     The organizational development often comes across difficulties such as racial discrimination, not having enough knowledge of various languages, and is short of organizational variety. Cultural proficiency gives a company an aggressive function in all the varied cultures of the society, which is a big lead for the company. Secondly, a policy to advance the understanding of talent among all staff should be developed. These involve attempt to expand diverse cultural knowledge from the organization and into the society. Now that the country's workforce is continually and rapidly changing, cultural diversity is a new force to reckon with. Workplace diversity presents innovative and fresh prospects for both employees and employers of the companies. It is essential to get the most out of the capabilities of the human resources from diverse surroundings. Diversity at work place and offices facilitate businesses to attract fresh market and also growing efficiency and output. Through cultural diversity organizations learn to become broader by changing various features and characteristics of their own culture.

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    In Valuing Diversity: New Tools for a New Reality (1995)2, the editors have called relationship as the most important tool in effectively managing a diverse work force. In answering the question ‘How can an organization call on relationship to address the challenges facing the workplace today, especially the diversity challenge?’ the writers affirm that ‘every initiative or program developed in response to any human resource challenge; every effort to improve management, recruitment, training brainstorming, education, research, or productivity is completely and absolutely dependent upon the capacity of its workforce to form productive relationships. ‘Accordingly, every organization's mandate is to create an environment that enables relationships to form and to work constructively toward common goals...whatever the organization's bottom line-profit, quality of service, or quantity of clients served....’

     In a culturally diverse work force it is expected that workers would bring a variety working techniques from their varied cultures. Dissimilar operational approach is often taken as inconvenient and a hindrance to the working environment. But instead of treating workers from diverse background as an obstacle to deal with, they should be considered an asset for the organization. By acknowledging their diversity and encouraging them to produce a combination of different cultures could help to increase their work satisfaction and as result the organization can take full advantage of their potential.

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    Culturally diverse employees often are cut off in a standardized organization. If there is not enough stress-free and comfortable communication and coordination connecting diverse population of the company it tends to create segregation of the work force. The already existing homogenous or native-born workers tend to repulse the inclusion of workers who are not members of their own cultural or racial group. Change needs to be brought in the mental approach and thinking of the employees who may not clearly appreciate the idea of diversity. It is an expected phenomenon that people are more disposed to feel relaxed and comfortable working with people they can relate to on cultural basis. This may have no foundation of discrimination due to race or gender, but a simple desire to be with people who are like them. The segregation or grouping of the work force creates deep-rooted problems for the organization. The atmosphere of mistrust and hostility not only produces workers restlessness and lack of satisfaction with their respective jobs but also hurts the interest of the businesses. The lack of optimum performance by the workers results in reducing the productivity of the business and bringing down profits and income potential. This challenge can be exasperating, but it can be met efficiently and successfully. This problem of dealing with resistance of the employees to change in a rapidly and continually changing national environment demands a lot expertise from the managers in order to properly utilize the talents of every individual worker.
Culturally diverse may not perform well or give their best to the company if they are kept away from the higher and decision- making levels of management. As a result the organization suffers from inefficiency and incompetence of the culturally varied workers. This sense of isolation and segregation produces disappointment and unhappiness in the staff about their jobs and working environment. The organizations need to prepare a study regarding this problem. The strategic planning of any organization should include communication with in the organization as an extremely important principle. Communication and interpersonal relationships help to lesson the differences and increase understanding of other people’s values and traditions. It helps to build bridges among cross-cultural work force.

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     Use team building, interpersonal and communications skills as means to individual and organizational success (STRATEGIC PLANNING)3

    One more aspect of diverse workforce is problem of language. Lack of knowledge of each other’s language on part of supervisors and the workers can create serious communication and understanding problems. Supervisors and managers face the problem of communication with employees who do not speak English easily. In Bridging Cultural Barriers for Corporate Success (Lexington Books, 1991)4, Sondra Thiederman has suggested realistic thoughts for making better communication with workers from diverse background. The best part of non-native English speakers want to do well, and are intelligent and hard-working enough to do so. When people find it hard to communicate, they tend to lose confidence and suffer from dissatisfaction about their work and themselves. It is the job of the supervisor to be tolerant and considerate. This technique can help in getting the workers get rid of their complexes and improve their performance. It is important to understand the workers' position and realize that they want to express themselves clearly and be fully understood as much as anyone. They also want to understand well what managers try to get across. Supervising across language barriers is not easy but by developing essential communication skills will help make the organization more strong and effective

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    Understanding culture and cultural diversity at work place is indeed a tough task to handle. Therefore learning to manage diversity and acquire techniques to make the best possible use of the diversity of culture brought to the workplace by different segments of the society is a pressing need of the present day America. To attain and retain a productive diversity in the organization people should be made to be more receptive of people and cultures different from their own. For this purpose an awareness and responsiveness program should be initiated both for the benefit of the management as well as employees. To become more communicative organizations should provide more educating openings to fully develop and understand cross-cultural value. These learning opportunities should be designed efficiently and should deal with individual and collective concerns of the organization. The important barrier of staff intolerance towards people of diverse backgrounds can be removed by enhancing better staff communications and perception of the ethics, thinking, traditions, and preferred way of life of other groups. People tend to categorize and differentiate reflexively but they must be made to reorganize their assessments and reform their thinking according to changes in the society. Managers should pick up their skillfulness to help employees advance their abilities of communication and interactions. They should be able to decide disagreement through cooperation and compromise. A developed consideration of the viewpoints of other regions of the world is beneficial in the realization of this goal. The cultural and personality conflicts among a work force should be based on the complete understanding of the issue. Roosevelt Thomas, in his foremost work, Beyond Race and Gender-Unleashing the Power of Your Total Workforce5, wraps up, "those who try to force today's reality into yesterday's management will seriously jeopardize the viability of their enterprise."

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    Thomas warns, "Changing a corporation's way of life is equivalent to changing an individual's personality”. It is a difficult task to achieve. He called attention to fact that employers who get started to put into practice lasting and continuing revolution are obliged to initiate primarily with them selves. They should make clear their individual idea of multiplicity and communicate this image from corner to corner of the organization. They should be supposed to understand and acknowledge the realism of being a driving force. They should keep up on an evenness of provisions and explanations, and also cultivate an original strength of mind and an enduring prospective. They should carry out problem-solving study and underline on learning before training for the reason that learning facilitates to modify thinking. They ought to also engage line management, keep on assenting achievement and accentuate the internal relationships amid further projects and diversity management. Numerous change agents must be taken on at every level.

     Bringing about a real and effective change in the communication policy of any organization requires a strong sense of purpose and genuine efforts on the part of the leaders and employers. Change in organizational culture is all about changing behavior. If detailed and explicit hard work were put into improving the interpersonal relationships of the staff in an organization, it would bring success in the form of enhanced profits and achievements.

     For the most part the biggest limitation and restriction to accomplish intercultural workforce communication is that leaders and employers are found to be deficient in their commitment to improve the working atmosphere of the organization. Also budget control and staff cut back serve to deteriorate the situation. 

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     An important aspect of all efforts to understand and promote communication in an organization is to make certain the establishment of learning techniques through lectures, seminars, and educational workshops of workers and the management level supervisors. The corporate environment should have a well-built element of a communication networking. This should be developed at all levels.

     Another important function of effective communication is the deliverance of the vision of the leaders for the organization to the grass roots level. The goals that have been set for the company, short-term or long-term in nature, need to be properly made understood to all the workers and managers to enable them to carry out their jobs in accordance to those specific instructions in that particular direction. A deficiency in the communicative process could result in dissatisfaction for both leaders and the employees. Those workers or the staff members who are under skilled and not qualified enough may need a more thorough briefing of their assignments. This requires patience and tolerance on the part of the managers. If due to improper communication channels the workers develop a sense of inefficiency about their jobs as a result of their inability to understand orders perfectly, this would put a negative effect on the entire work force.  An organization may still be unable to make best use of its human resource. It is very important to encourage involvement of the workers at the decision making level.  They should be permitted to involve themselves and contribute according to their capabilities. In a real and effective work force there should be a mixture of thoughts and talents. The sense of being heard and being involved enhances job performance.

     Further outstandingly, the impact of the changes in improving communication network with in an organization result in the capability of the workforce to give their best to these organizations and support their undertakings and aspirations. In order to succeed and compete in today’s tough and ever changing corporate environment it is important to take into account and properly understand all the factors bringing a change in the American society.  The new century finds an American society fundamentally different than a decade ago. The basics of this society and community including family, education and employment concerns continue to change. The positive result of these changes will directly affect the American economy and the society.

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  1. Keener, J. 10 Good reasons why people resist change. Www. Jameskeener.com
  2. In Valuing Diversity: New Tools for a New Reality (1995)
  3. STRATEGIC PLANNING Www.orgchangers.com/strategic.html
  4. Thiederman, S. 1991 In Bridging Cultural Barriers for Corporate Success (Lexington Books)
  5. Thomas, R. Roosevelt, Jr. Beyond Race and Gender.
    American Management Association. New York, NY. 1991.

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