Published on December 30, 2008
Cultural Diversity, Values & Ethics Impact on Communications : Cultural Diversity, Values & Ethics Impact on Communications Lecture 5: COMM 400: Management Communications Skills Diversity in the workforce : Diversity in the workforce U.S. workforce getting older More women in the workforce Hispanics are fastest growing minority in the workforce Immigration will add 880,000 new workers every year through 2005 Many languages spoken (few in common) Cultural values differ Work ethic may vary depending on country of origin The workforce is multi-hued Lifestyles now play a role in corporate diversity Prejudice 1 : Prejudice 1 Definition: An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. (American Heritage Dictionary, 1994 CD edition) Creates barriers to communications by setting up negative assumptions, without supporting facts, about the intelligence, capabilities, background, knowledge, and experience of the individual Prejudice 2 : Prejudice 2 Blocks listening by creating negative expectations about what the speaker will say. Blocks speaking by creating a negative expectation that what is said will not be understood or accepted Stereotyping : Stereotyping Definition: Applying “a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image” to a group or an individual. (American Heritage Dictionary, 1994 CD edition) Although not always negative, creates barriers to communication by making judgments about the intelligence, capabilities, background, knowledge, and experience of the individual based on assumed knowledge about the group to which the speaker or listener belongs. Ignores unique capabilities of the individual in favor of assigning him or her the assumed characteristics of the group Tips for managers communicating with diverse workforce : Tips for managers communicating with diverse workforce Accept cultural differences Withhold judgment Show respect Empathize Tolerate ambiguity Look beyond the superficial Be patient and persistent Recognize your own cultural biases Be flexible; emphasize common ground Deal with the individual (not the group or culture) Values: : Values: Enduring concepts held in high esteem by everyone in an organization Principles that guide day-to-day operations Guides that provide direction in ambiguous situations and offer a rationale for decisions and actions Manager communicates organizational values: : Manager communicates organizational values: Through words and by modeling desired behaviors. For example: Honesty Openness Communications Thrift Through the questions they ask (questions show a manager’s focus) Manager communicates organizational values: : Manager communicates organizational values: Through their reactions to problems and crises (the behavior of a manager under stress reinforces his or her commitment to organizational values and the values themselves) Through what they reward Through what they punish Manager’s role in creating ethical communications climate : Manager’s role in creating ethical communications climate Business ethics: Applying ethical principles to: How an organization conducts its business How it treats its employees How it interacts with the surrounding community The implementing of an organization’s mission, goals and values into daily practice Ethical communications requirements: : Ethical communications requirements: Be knowledgeable about ethical issues and understand organizational values Participate in the decision-making process regarding ethical issues Communicate decisions regarding ethical issues to employees Keep communications channels open for all employees to feedback information without fear of reprisals Ensure relevant information is passed on to those who can act on it Stimulus Questions : Stimulus Questions What new communications skills do you think managers will need to develop to function effectively in an increasingly diverse workforce? How do you feel the globalization of companies and their workforces will affect organizational ethics and values? Stimulus Questions : Stimulus Questions What are some of the organizational “costs” when managers do not handle prejudiced and/or stereotypical behavior appropriately? What action do you think a manager should take when an organizational-value conflicts with a personal value? It has been said that an organization cannot be any more ethical than its least ethical employee. If you agree with this statement, what kinds of responsibilities does a manager have to ensure ethical standards are maintained in his or her workgroup?
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