Multicultural Teams in
During the last few years, we started noticing an incredible increase in the number of European citizens traveling to Asia for work; one of the most common destinations has always been Singapore, probably because of its modern lifestyle and fast-growing economy, making it the center of attraction for workers from all around the world. The European Unionnoticed huge cultural differences between Asians and Europeans, and that is why they asked our company to open a center, whose job would be training people to work in multicultural teams. Given the difficulty of this project, The European Union decided to subsidize our center and collaborate with famous institutions, including the Harvard Business School.
Singapore’s choicewas not random at all, quite the opposite. The republic of Singapore is the world’s forth leading financial centre and occupies a major role in international trade and finance. The city’s port in one of the five busiest ports in the world, and it has a diverse population of Chinese, Malays, Indians and other various descents. More than 42% of the population in Singapore is foreigners, and around50% of the workers there are not Singaporeans. Most of the countries have 1 or 2 official language(s), but Singapore has got 4: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. The economy is very prospering in Singapore, competitive and innovative, making it one of the Fours Asian Tigers and the world’s fourth largest foreign exchange centre after London, NY and Tokyo. Adding to that, their economy isconsidered as the most business-friendly economy in the world, which encourages hundreds of thousands of foreign expatriates to choose Singapore as their workplace. Besides economy, Singapore is a popular travel destination for more than 10 million visitors each year, and it also maintains diplomatic relations with 175 countries, in particularly the European nations.
Interesting facts:-Population: Singapore’s population is ethnically diverse, and mainly consists of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other.
-Religion: the most common religion is Buddhism, but we can also find a huge number of Muslims, atheists, Christians, Hindu and other…all living in harmony and treated equally by the constitution.
-Language: besides the 4 official languages (English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil), afurther 20 languages are also used. But English remains the language of education and administration in the country.
-History: Singapore’s history is very rich, which explains all its cultural diversity; during the First World War, it was occupied by Britain, while during the Second World War, the Japanese occupied it. In the 60’s, Singapore became part of Malaysia before they separate onceagain.
-Economy: Singapore has one of the highest standards of living of any country in the world. It is a trading centre for Asia, with the world’s busiest harbor. Industry is strong, and its commercial influence continues to grow.
All this diversity made it obvious that we need to do something to avoid troubles and complexities between cultures. That is why, with the help of the EuropeanUnion, we opened the first centre in Singapore which taught workers how to behave in Multicultural Teams.
Nowadays, crossing the borders from one country to another has become a lot easier than before, which explains the increase of multicultural teams that have become very common in the past few years. The skills needed for managing with people from diversebackgrounds can be very different than those needed for managing with workers who have the same culture. In the case of misunderstandings between the different team members, it is crucial to find solutions as soon as possible, especially that most of the people actually spend more time awake with their colleagues than with their family.
We can identify 4 main factors that affect multicultural team...
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