Management of Cultural Diversity
A master's program about how to manage the impact of globalization on cooperation at work
Globalization means movement. People, images, symbols, information, capital, goods and so on increasingly move from one corner of the world to another and people communicate with other people many miles away. As a consequence, individual people are increasingly being confronted with (all kinds of) different influences and ideas from other parts of the world.
About collaboration between people with different cultural backgrounds and world views
Global communication media like the internet and means of rapid transportation facilitate encounters between people with very different backgrounds. The same holds true for multinational organizations that expand globally and thus incorporate people with all kinds of cultural orientations in their workforce. Some talk about multiculturalism, others about intercultural communication, we talk about cultural diversity.
Organizations, work places and institutions are increasingly made up of employees and citizens with different identities and have to deal with customers and citizens with diverse life-styles, identities, orientations and world views. All these people need to cooperate effectively, but how?
Numerous questions are raised regarding cultural diversity in organizations, such as:
- How are production and service delivery affected when people from all parts of the world come together to communicate and work in a company?
- What kind of language policies are needed to facilitate communication and learning in mixed schools of children and parents with origins in different parts of the world?
- Do people with different backgrounds get equal opportunities in the labor market? If not, how can we achieve equal chances?
- What needs to be done to allow refugees to get a job and perform well in their new jobs?
- What happens to expats when sent abroad with their families to represent their company? What affects their well-being?
- How to manage all these challenges?
Cultural diversity entails both risks and opportunities
- Risks: think of miscommunication, conflict and exclusion.
- Opportunities: think of innovating ideas, creativity and renewal of production and service delivery.
Consequently, there is need for management, policy and intervention to deal with these risks and opportunities, i.e. to neutralize the risks and take advantage of the opportunities presented by cultural diversity.
Do you want to study these issues and provide management and policy solutions?
There are as yet no one-size-fits-all management and policy solutions available. New answers need to be developed in each specific case, place, organization or field based on a sound understanding of the issues involved at that moment and in that particular context. Based on such a good understanding, effective management initiatives can be taken.
Tilburg University is well-positioned to offer such a program. It has at its disposal of high-level and internationally oriented expertise in the various relevant academic fields, embodied by teaching staff firmly embedded in and intellectually nourished by relevant research programs.