Influence of Cultural Diversity on Team Integration in Organizations



By Ramaz Issa

Dubai, UAE



1 Executive Summary

This paper argues the significance of cultural diversity in enhancing team integration within organizations in terms of creativity and innovation, organizational flexibility and group’s cohesiveness using a conceptual model built based on previous literature; it defines cultural diversity within the organizational culture.

Furthermore, it studies some organizations assumptions that culture diversity doesn’t play an important aspect in business, taking into account other arguments which state that cultural diversity increases complexity, confusion, difficulty in communication and it has no effect on teams’ performance. Finally, it examines the influence of cultural diversity on group’s integration in construction organizations, by analyzing a selected team using the cultural diversity model from the findings of the literature review.

It aims to guide project managers to the main concept of cultural diversity and it encourages organizations to emphasize on enhancing organizational culture and organizational behavior to expect better results than less diverse organizations.

2 Introduction

(Cox, 1994) Stated in his book “The Cultural diversity in organizations: Theory, research and practice” that the emphasis on global marketing and multinational business is increasing and it is one of the major factors for organizations to grow and expand. United Arab Emirates is one the fastest growing countries in the world; hence it has one of the highest rates of diversity in the world with more than 202 Nationalities (Times, 2006).

Cultural diversity in terms of business in the United Arab Emirates is a major matter to deal with, although economy is growing so fast, the need to expand is essential, however some organizations assume that culture diversity doesn’t play a significant aspect in business, however, many organizations in the UAE succeeded in using this diversity for the benefit of the business like “Emirates Airline” with more than 48,000 employees (Gale, 2009).

(Vidhi Agrawal, 2012) Defined Diversity as “Otherness”, differences in human qualities from outside the groups and our own, this means diversity among individuals who are different in age, origin, physical appearance, gender, educations, culture and regional origin …etc.

Diversity in a project can be organizational, functional, geographical or cultural, it is a challenge that project managers should be familiar with in terms of controlling and directing his/her team.

Scholars argued that in organizations cultural diversity provides three essential elements; interaction, awareness and perception, which allow employees to share similar interests or goals, and come together to achieve tasks (Coetzer, et al. 2007; Eisenberg, December 1999; Gladwell, 2008; Merchant; Bartels, January 2005; Llopis, 2011; Chavan, 2005). However, others argued that cultural diversity in organizations can affect these elements and create conflicts or miscommunication because of differences in dimensions like nationality, religion, race, color, and age…etc. (Fershtman et al., 2003; Thomas & Ely, 1996; Alesina et al., 2002; Fearon, 2002).

In this paper we are going to study the team integration in cultural diverse organizations, the influence of Cultural diversity in organizational behavior in the United Arab Emirates and cultural diversity reinforcement with groups and teams integration. Furthermore, how individuals and groups would behave with such diversity, moreover we are going to recommend and promote cultural diversity in the United Arab Emirates.


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About the Author

pmwj40-Nov2015-Issa-PHOTORamaz Issa

Dubai, UAE




Ramaz S. Issa is a Civil Engineer, Masters of Science in project management student in the British university in Dubai, and PMP candidate. Ramaz S. Issa is a Civil Project Engineer in Dubai, UAE and has participated in managing more than four multimillion Dollars projects which includes, complex of four residential buildings, container terminal works building package that includes offices & various Industrial buildings, and four stars hotel, and 282 luxurious villas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Sharjah and aims to finish his Master of Science degree in project management from the British University in Dubai in 2016.

Email: [email protected]