Week 5 Evaluating Your Research Process

Week 5 Evaluating Your Research Process

Review all your previous assignments and readings.
Write a 700- to 1,050-word self-evaluation of the research processes you undertook in this course. Include a discussion of your opinion, based on what you learned in this course, regarding the ethical responsibilities of journalists to society, to their organization, and to themselves.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Submit your assignment to the Assignment Files tab.

Week 5 Evaluating Your Research Process
Managing Multicultural Teams

If your company does business internation- ally, you’re probably leading teams with members from diverse cultural back- grounds. Those differences can present serious obstacles. For example, some members’ lack of fluency in the team’s dominant language can lead others to underestimate their competence. When such obstacles arise, your team can stalemate.

To get the team moving again, avoid inter- vening directly, advise Brett, Behfar, and Kern. Though sometimes necessary, your involvement can prevent team members from solving problems themselves—and learning from that process.

Instead, choose one of three indirect inter- ventions. When possible, encourage team members to adapt by acknowledging cul- tural gaps and working around them. If your team isn’t able to be open about their differences, consider structural interven- tion (e.g., reassigning members to reduce interpersonal friction). As a last resort, use an exit strategy (e.g., removing a member from the team).

There’s no one right way to tackle multicul- tural problems. But understanding four barriers to team success can help you begin evaluating possible responses.

FOUR BARRIERS

The following cultural differences can cause destructive conflicts in a team:

• Direct versus indirect communication. Some team members use direct, explicit communication while others are indirect, for example, asking questions instead of pointing out problems with a project. When members see such differences as violations of their culture’s communication norms, relationships can suffer.

• Trouble with accents and fluency. Mem- bers who aren’t fluent in the team’s dominant language may have difficulty communicating their knowledge. This can prevent the team from using their expertise and create frustration or perceptions of incompetence.

• Differing attitudes toward hierarchy. Team members from hierarchical cultures expect to be treated differently according to their status in the organization. Members from egalitarian cultures do not. Failure of some members to honor those expectations can cause humiliation or loss of stature and credibility.

• Conflicting decision-making norms. Members vary in how quickly they make decisions and in how much analysis they require beforehand. Someone who prefers making decisions quickly may grow frus- trated with those who need more time.

FOUR INTERVENTIONS

Your team’s unique circumstances can help you determine how to respond to multicul- tural conflicts. Consider these options:

Intervention Type When to Use Example Adaptation: working with or around diff erences

Members are willing to acknowledge cultural diff erences and fi gure out how to live with them.

An American engineer working on a team that included Israelis was shocked by their in-your-face, argumentative style. Once he noticed they confronted each other and not just him—and still worked well together—he realized confrontations weren’t personal attacks and accepted their style.

Structural intervention: reorganizing to reduce friction

The team has obvious subgroups, or members cling to negative stereotypes of one another.

An international research team’s leader realized that when he led meetings, members “shut down” because they felt intimidated by his executive status. After he hired a consultant to run future meetings, members participated more.

Managerial intervention: making fi nal decisions without team involvement

Rarely; for instance, a new team needs guidance in establishing productive norms.

A software development team’s lingua franca was English, but some members spoke with pronounced accents. The manager explained they’d been chosen for their task expertise, not fl uency in English. And she directed them to tell customers: “I realize I have an accent. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, just stop me and ask questions.”

Exit: voluntary or involuntary removal of a team member

Emotions are running high, and too much face has been lost on both sides to salvage the situation.

When two members of a multicultural consulting team couldn’t resolve their disagreement over how to approach problems, one member left the fi rm.

Managing Multicultural Teams

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