Diversification of the American Workforce: Impact on Interaction between Managers and Employees
The diversification of the American Workforce has changed the way managers interact with employees. This diversification is due to tighter labor markets, increased immigration, and women entering the workforce. Cultural factors, not present before, have caused managers to develop new methods of tasking, motivating, and educating these diverse employees. Essentially these new methods have been a change in interpersonal behavior, the way a manager acts and re-acts to employees. This change in behavior was necessary to increase productivity and maintain a competitive edge in the market place.
In my Cultural Anthropology course, I had to learn and memorize the definition of culture; “Culture is an organized system of learned behavior patterns, always made manifest in a group, making that group distinctive from other groups…” This definition was the basis for my understanding and ability to learn about other people, different than myself and from different backgrounds, during my studies in Anthropology and Psychology. This definition has the key element of what culture is, a system of behavior distinctive to a particular group of people. These behaviors range from cultural norms to religious beliefs.
In business, the effectiveness of an organization rests on the ability of the management to interact with its employees and to motivate the workforce to accomplish the goals of the company. This ability of interaction between the manager and the employees depends on the managers understanding of the cultural differences between himself and his employees. The masculine form is only being used as example for the purpose of this paper. It is understood that the managers will most likely be male or female.
An organization is affected by cultural factors on many levels. The top management forms the basic foundation of an organization when they set the primary goals for that organization, the reason the organization is in business. An example would be that a car company in the United States of America would have the ultimate goal of making large amounts of profit for it’s stakeholders. This goal is derived in the root cultural tenant of capitalism. The United States was founded with capitalist ideas and so American managers will have capitalist ideas. Now the same type of company in the Soviet Union, before the end of the cold war, may have had an ultimate goal of making efficient military vehicles, not being concerned about the profit margin rather the purpose of the product. This goal would have been derived from the socialist belief of “all things are for the good of the state.”
As the influence of culture affects the direction of the company, it also affects the interaction between the managers and the employees. In the example of the American auto plant, the interaction between manager and employee was one based on western ideas...