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The Multicultural Organization

Taylor Cox, Jr.
The Executive
Vol. 5, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 34-47
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165006
Page Count: 14
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The Multicultural Organization
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Abstract

Organizations are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality. This diversity brings substantial potential benefits such as better decision making, greater creativity and innovation, and more successful marketing to different types of customers. But, increased cultural differences within a workforce also bring potential costs in higher turnover, interpersonal conflict, and communication breakdowns. To capitalize on the benefits of diversity while minimizing the potential costs, leaders are being advised to oversee change processes toward creating "multicultural" organizations. What are the characteristics of such an organization, and how do they differ from those of the past? What mechanisms are available to facilitate such a change? This article addresses these questions. It also describes a model for understanding the required features of a multicultural organization and reviews tools that pioneering companies have found useful in changing organizations toward the multicultural model.

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