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Cultural diversity is a source of competitive advantage. Discuss

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Globalization today.
  3. Diversity and encouraging employees to develop their individual skills and perspectives.
  4. Group and inter-group factors.
  5. Globalisation and businesses.
  6. The cost.
  7. People as customers and firms representing a sort of microcosm of clients.
  8. Conclusion.
  9. Bibliography.

« To succeed internationally, we need to understand the cultures of the world; and we have all the cultures of the world represented right here ? a tremendous competitive advantage. »
? Ernest Thompson, Proctor and Gamble
Nowadays, globalisation, which is a phenomenon mainly generated by the application of new technologies such as Information Systems and Internet, represents a ?survival? challenge for international firms.Changes of consumption, modernity and the integration of minorities tend to suggest that an adaptation of products and services is necessary and even obliged. (C.f. Maslow Pyramid, where a need creates a need more important and more complicated to realize)This implies the application of modern principles of free trade in a global market. That is why international companies need to reach the necessary competitiveness to obtain positive results in order to elaborate contents for global satisfaction. It is undoubtedly an obligation to reach the results expected.

[...] It includes personnel transfers across cultures in order to contribute to organisational development. the extent that organizations can capitalize on the potential benefits of cultural diversity in workgroups, they will gain a competitive advantage in creativity, problem solving, and flexible adaptation to change.? (The Multicultural Organization, Academy of Management Executive, Taylor Cox, 1991) This perspective insists on the fact that organizations can utilize the individual skills of their employees and embrace their differences in order to obtain more flexibility in developing strategies. [...]


[...] However even if employees' training courses are organized by firms to improve the resistance of the staff in a context of quick adaptation, it is important to underline the fact that diversity is sometimes perceived as a threat by individuals. The main cause is the fear to be replaced by somebody with better qualifications. It can also be difficult to build a strong corporate culture internationally, a technical culture worldwide or a strong financial / planning system (E.g. IKEA, Elf Aquitaine, Emerson Electric were concerned). [...]

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