Racial and ethnic groups make up a larger portion of today’s workforce and include Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. Organizations need to recognize and address the potential for discrimination and stereotyping by the managers and the employees that may stunt progress and career opportunities for these minority groups within the organization. Values are known as broad preferences with regard to appropriate courses of action or outcomes; they reflect beliefs of right and wrong and influence behavior and attitude.
Value sources that influence an individual come from external reference groups and include teachers, parents, and friends. Values may develop from learning experiences in the cultural setting where a person lives. Value differences result from each individuals learning and experiences. These differences can be deep seated making it something difficult to be changed because many of them are developed since childhood, linked to the way people are raised.
Values tend to be shared in organizational cultures and managers would benefit from this knowledge when dealing with workers. Values influence attitudes and come from the same source: teachers, parents, and friends. Where values are stable and more general, attitudes are directly related to people or objects. People have predispositions to responses positive and negative with regard to people or things in their environment. An attitude is translated through behavior and things a person might say.
An attitude results in purposeful behavior that may or may not be realized. Absenteeism, turnover, and tardiness could result from unfavorable attitudes in the form of low job satisfaction. Recognizing attitudes and their potential or intended behavior is an important responsibility of managers in the workplace. Schermerhorn et al. (2005) Today’s workplace is increasingly global and multicultural increasing the need for organizations to sensitize its employees to the practices and beliefs of different cultures to avoid cultural conflicts in the workplace.
This requires a concerted effort of the organization to impart the advantages of a multi-cultural workforce to the employees. With the inherent resistance among employees, the implementation of measures toward achieving these goals can be a challenge to large organizations. A globalized workforce that respects a multi-cultural environment can be a competitive edge in the marketplace for any organization. A workforce that respects a multi-cultural environment can be the competitive edge an organization needs to be successful in today’s global marketplace.