Diversity and Multiculturalism in Team Settings

Diversity is the state of being composed in different elements and variety, and also different people from different cultural setting, different counties, race, and gender.

It can be uncomplicated or difficult depending on how it is viewed. Multiculturalism on the other hand, means acceptance, appreciation and consideration of multiple cultures and differences. This paper seeks to assess the tradeoffs of diversity and multiculturalism in team settings with regards to health care management.

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In health care management, it is very important to have diverse and multicultural employees. We cannot set aside multiculturalism because we all need health care. Unfairness while selecting the workforce is not good because it leads to discrimination. Multiculturalism is important because work teams from difference cultures might have a unique outlook to the problem which will be of much help to the health care system.

According to Griffin (2010), patients will feel much appreciated when their treatment is viewed from their cultural and traditional settings. This attracts the target market because they will view the company as non-discriminative. When diversity is involved, it is much cheaper compared to others because costs go down as the target market becomes bigger and it becomes affordable to the poor. The more the health care becomes multicultural, the more they are able to reach a large number of people in different states.

In order to provide better health services to patients outside the dominant culture, health practitioners must focus on these three approaches: awareness, knowledge, and skills (Parvis, 2003). Awareness can be achieved by putting into place staff training that gives a chance for self- reflection, which necessarily includes looking at one’s own culture, biases and reactions to diverse health values and cultures.

Understanding of the outlook, value, beliefs, and behaviors of different cultural groups, with the huge group of cultural, ethnic, national and religious groups such as the Unites States is relevant in health care management.

With pressures such as socioeconomic status and groups differences, it is difficult to learn a set of uniting facts or cultural norms. Thus, educational information is extremely useful in directing the health care provider to ask relevant questions within each personal cultural background.

The third approach is skills which are put into place in order to cater for customers’ needs. These approaches help the patient’s knowledge of their illness or state and allow health care providers to change their style and meet patient’s particular needs.

Each health care provider should take into consideration these three approaches in order to meet each patient’s demand. Failure to meet these demands might lead to misunderstanding and reduced quality of health care because of miscommunication.

However, there are several reasons as to why it might be irrelevant to have diverse work team in the health care management. The health care givers may develop cultural bias and hence discriminate others thus leading to poor services. Communication barrier is another factor which is mainly due to the difference in native language of the health care givers.

This hinders communication especially in decision making process and thus less productivity. Furthermore, it might be difficult for team members to understand each other and thus leading to slow implementation of health care plans.

In conclusion, having a multinational team is about increasing awareness, tolerance, skills, knowledge, and hence reducing conflict. Santana (2003) expounds that team building roles like supporting, summarizing, participation, communication and problem solving should be put into place in order to have a strong diverse team who will meet customer’s needs irrespective of cultural differences.

This will benefit the team, the customer and the entire organization because having a work team that reflects company values and customer needs is a good in business, hence hiring and supporting diverse and multicultural workforce is good for the health care organization.


Griffin, W.R. (2010). Management. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning

Parvis, L. (2003). Diversity and Effective Leadership in Multicultural Work Places”. Journal of Environmental Health, 65: 37-38.

Santana J. (2003, August 18). Learn to Harness the Full Potential of Diverse Work Force. TechRepublic. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/article/learn-to-harness-the-full-potential-of-a-diverse-workforce/5054005


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