Building a Multicultural Team Case Study

Abstract

Kalia manages a culturally diverse team in a large organization. We will first explore the major issues we have in the case study. We will discuss Kalia’s self-Efficacy. We will explore how her self-efficacy does impacts her leadership. We will recommend Kalia at least ways to develop her cultural intelligence and self-efficacy. And finally we will make some suggestions to Kalia to make her team a culturally intelligent one.

Keywords: stereotyping, generalization, cultural intelligence, self-efficacy

How do you describe Kalia’s self-efficacy? Is she showing levels of high and/or low efficacy? Discuss how her behavior exhibits each level.

            Kalia has 8 employees working under her. 4 of them are Caucasian and other 4 are Hispanic, Asian, African and African- American. They come from different age groups and they have a different amount of experience. 2 of the employees are in the 20s, 2 are in their 30s, 3 are in their late 40s and the last one is in her late 50s. The younger employees have the least amount of work experience, which is around 2 years, most other have anywhere between 5 – 10 years and the senior most employee have 25 years of experience. Kalia has 15 years of experience in managing the team.

            The major issue is being from different cultural background Roberts is not very pleased with Ana who happens to be Hispanic and Margaret. Margaret is pretty senior, and when she offered to mentor Roberts, he rejected it saying she would not understand most probably because he does not consider to understand them. I am not entirely sure if Margarete had the different cultural background, as the case study does not explicitly say anything, but it definitely says that Margarete was senior to Roberts and she felt Roberts’s behavior was disrespectful.

            Kalia was aware of the tension among employees, especially she knew about Roberts’s feelings towards Ana. Kalia almost refused to take control as she wanted people to just get along and adapt to each other’s working style. There is one more important point we need to remember that her previous experience in resolving such issues is not very encouraging. But her current goal is to resolve these intercultural issues because she knows that a good leader would do so.

            Self-Efficacy is a foundational component of cultural intelligence. It is like self-confidence. Self-efficacy is the self- perception of one’s own ability to reach goals. Self-efficacy is our perception of our abilities to meet goals we have set for ourselves. (Saylor, 2012, p.96)  We see Kalia has the goal to resolve intercultural issues in her team but she has doubts over her own abilities to fulfill this goal, based on her past experience. Keeping these in mind it is difficult to conclude Kalia has high self-efficacy.

            Kalia has shown both high and low level of self-efficacy. She has set a goal to resolve the intercultural issue in a year and this time she is basically re-trying to resolve this issue since in past she did fail. So these are the indications of high self-efficacy.

But on the other hand, she has been a leader for 15 years, the youngest employee has 2 years of experience, so Kalia has known about these intercultural issues for a while and she did not take any action to resolve this issue. She expects employees to resolve the issue, so we see a tendency to avoid dealing with the problem and finally, she is not very confident of achieving her goal to resolve intercultural issues because she failed in past. These all indicate that she has a low level of self-efficacy.

How does Kalia’s self-efficacy impact her leadership?

            Kalia was aware of the intercultural issue but did not address this issue and wished that employees would learn or adapt to work with each other. Now that she sets a goal to resolve this issue, she is not sure if she would be able to resolve it. So, we can see how she is not a decisive leader or she does not take control of the situation, although she is aware what a leader should do, she is hesitant to do those things. Kalia’s self-efficacy makes her weak leader who is not confident or who does not lead from the front.

What strategies do you recommend to Kalia to help her improve her cultural intelligence and develop her self-efficacy? Discuss at least two specific development approach.

            Kalia should find a mentor who has experience in working with a similar cultural team and find out how she should manage such issues she is facing.

            Kalia needs to be an observer and an active listener for each employee. She needs to know more about each employee. So she gets to know them individually and understands the root cause of the intercultural issue. These will help Kali acquire the knowledge she would need.

As part of the build, she can develop a personal rapport with employees and make employees understand each other’s strength and what value each team member add and how their cultural background is relevant and valuable.

Kalia needs to contemplate on her own issues and how she can overcome issues such as not willing to get between intercultural issues. She needs to work with a mentor and find out how to be confident about handling such issues in the future.

So Kalia needs to find a mentor who can help her prepare to handle such intercultural issues and she needs to identify the skills she would need. She can contemplate on what skills she has and what she needs to do. One important part will be developing self-efficacy. The management of cultural intelligence requires to develop a high level of self-efficacy while dealing with unfamiliar cultures. One needs to adopt a high level of self-efficacy in such situations (Open Text Books, 2015).

To develop her self-efficacy Kalia should practice mindfulness, adaptability, and initiative. Kalia needs to have more mindfulness so she can understand what is going on around her. She will be in sync with her work environment and understand her employees better.  As it is found that leaders with mindfulness skills, observe and experience another person’s emotional state better that might guide that person’s response in a way which is beneficial to accomplishing goals (Yale University.010).

As she understands her employees better, she can be more adaptive. She would understand the cultural background of the employees and she would know how to handle each employee. The employees might throw new challenges and with adaptability, Kalia will be able to handle more challenges and changes.  

Kalia can take little more initiatives since she already knew that leaders have to solve intercultural issues and turn those into opportunities to be a better leader and make those employees more productive.

What suggestions do you have for Kalia in leading her staff to be a culturally intelligent team?

            Kalia needs to be the mentor or bring in a mentor for her team. Someone who has experience of working in such culturally diverse and in diverse age group. The mentor can help them understand and navigate through the work situation.

            Kalia should lead from the front and set examples for her employees. She needs to ask employees to be more observant so that they can learn more about each other. The employees should actively listen to each other, so they can understand each other better. And more importantly, Kalia needs to make sure that the employees change their perspective and attitude. They should never think that someone will never understand him or her because he or she is from a different age group or different culture.

References

Saylor. (2012). Cultural Intelligence for Leaders. Saylor Academy: Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0.

Open Text Books, (October, 2015). Mindfulness and Self-Efficacy. Creative Commons-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Retrieved on Oct. 3rd, 2018, from http://www.opentextbooks.org.hk/ditatopic/28265

Yale University (July, 2010). Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k8TcF-3ofY

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