DQ #1: Why do organizations miss the point when they focus on surface level behaviors?
The important feature of economic development at the beginning of the XXI century is a move from an industrial to a postindustrial economy. Globalization and “dramatic advances in technology that sustains work across vast spatial and temporal boundaries” (Hinds, et al., 2011, p.135) facilitated greater economic, social, and cultural connectivity, and sometimes interdependence between people in different parts of the world (Mohammed, & Angell, 2004). Organizations structures broke the frames of functional departments and business divisions. To survive in contemporary business environment organizations have to radically adapt their cultures, structures, systems and processes to cope with increasing functional and cultural diversity.
Whereas teams’ diversity and flexibility can bring added value to the organization, it can also bring challenges as it is extremely important that organization has access to right resource in right time and place. Management of teams with increasing diversity requires understanding and taking into consideration of the general context of the changes taking place in today's global heterogeneous organizations (Sadri, & Condia, 2012). “Surface-level or demographic diversity refers to the extent to which a unit is heterogeneous on characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, functional background, and organizational tenure” (Mohammed, & Angell, 2004, p.1015). Surface level or highly visible reactions are easily observed and measured. Whereas, patterns of human behaviors in organizations may be derived from deep-seated needs, lifetime experiences, or/and personal value systems. “The culture of a company is its collection of beliefs and organic reactions almost instinctive, … so deeply rooted, that their origin is lost in the darkness of the passed events, while others have living causes, visible” (Doina, Mirela, & Constantin, 2008, p. 559).
Team members’ psychological characteristics, diversity in their cultural values, different scope and levels of professional experience represent subjective reasons for conflict situations (Isaksen, & Ekvall, 2010). For example, “the mix of time-urgent and non-time-urgent individuals within a team may generate misunderstandings and significant amounts of relationship conflict, especially in a context of time pressure and deadlines”. (Mohammed, & Angell, 2004).
Tension has a potential to lead to the development of stress in opponents, lower level of cohesion and unity in the team, destruction of the communications, etc., whereas when the tension is caused by opposing ideas its outcome can be positive and productive. Tension is a natural consequence of the opinions diversity, but this diversity is necessary for the team to succeed. Contradictory opinions are important not only because they eliminate the false assumptions and expand the scope of information available, but also because they reveal what...