IMPACT OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF EMPLOYEE IN AN ORGANIZATION
Background of the study
Creating a competitive edge via an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity is gaining widespread acceptance among businesses today. This is mostly due to the fact that they have the chance to make use of a large array of information, skills, and capabilities available in a workforce comprised of people from a variety of cultural backgrounds (Stahl, Maznevsk, Voigt & Jonsen, 2020). Irina (2017) proposed the idea that all organizations, no matter where they are located, operate inside a certain culture. It is becoming more widely recognized in modern discussions of organizational productivity that managers and other organizational practitioners need to develop an understanding of their cultural settings if they want their organizations to perform effectively. This is because understanding the cultural settings in which their organizations operate is essential to the success of their organizations. There is a correlation between membership in certain groups or cultural affinities and overall productivity in many different types of organizations (Cox, 2019). The degree to which companies are diverse, whether in their official or informal structures, will have an effect on aspects such as inventiveness, problem-solving abilities, and communications inside the company (Ang et.al, 2017). The cultural ideas, social conventions, and value system of a group of people have a significant impact on how its members experience and think about their employment and employers. According to Shinnar (2022), this is very important since one's actions are determined by their interpretations of the world around them. It is of the utmost significance what individuals think about the possibilities available to them in their working environments, regardless of whether or not these ideas are in line with the realities of their situations (Kochan, Bezrukova, Ely, Jackson, Joshi, Jehn, & Thomas, 2019). Cox (2019) goes on to state that a person's values as well as their connection to both other workers and consumers are greatly influenced by the ways in which cultural differences manifest.
The effects of greater globalization on cultures throughout the globe have led to a significant widening of cultural gaps in the workplace. The presence of different people within a community who are distinct from one another in terms of their race, ethnicity, language, country, religion, or sexual orientation gives birth to cultural differences. Culture is defined as a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that members of a society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through the process of learning. In order to fully appreciate the influence of cultural differences in organizations, culture is defined as a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts. It includes components of behavior such as language, religion, values, standards, and conventions that are shared by a group of people. These elements are referred to as cultural norms (Faranani, 2021). A cultural difference may be defined as the representation, within a same social system, of persons whose group connections of cultural importance are distinct from one another (Ang,Van, Koh, Templer, Tay & Chandrasekar, 2017). It is not the nature of the values and attitudes themselves that distinguishes one culture from another but rather the degree to which the culture as a whole upholds those particular values and attitudes. The ways in which individuals dress, behave, develop connections, address one another, build ties with others, form relationships with food, and many other areas of everyday life may be influenced by cultural variations. When we speak about national cultures, we should be clear that we are not implying that national cultures are all the same. It is conceivable to discuss about the presence of different cultures depending on a country's area or its geography in many different nations. For instance, in the African nation of Nigeria, the country's southern, eastern, western, and northern areas are each linked with a significantly diverse culture. It would appear that there is a consensus among most people that cultural differences, when properly managed, can be an asset to organizational productivity. On the other hand, if these differences are ignored or managed improperly, they have the potential to reduce the productivity of an organization. The discipline of developing and putting into action organizational structures and procedures to manage people in such a way that the potential benefits of diversity are maximized while the potential negatives of diversity are minimized is what is meant by the term "managing cultural differences" (Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt & Jonsen, 2020). According to Jehn and Bezrukova (2018), the purpose of managing cultural differences is to maximize the ability of all employees to contribute to the goals of the organization, and to allow employees to reach their full potential without being hindered by cultural identities such as religion, symbols, norms, values, and language. In other words, the goal of managing cultural differences is to maximize the ability of all employees to contribute to the goals of the organization. Organizations that are sensitive to the cultural variations present in their surroundings have a higher rate of success than those that are indifferent to these differences (Ang, Van Dyne, Koh, Ng, Templer, Tay & Chandrasekar, 2017). Culture is something that is cherished dearly and is widely shared; in addition, it is very resistant to change (Day, 2021). Canella, Park, and Lee (2018) point out that despite the large number of studies that have been conducted on cultural differences and diversity, the majority of these studies have so far yielded inconsistent results. This has led to the question of whether or not cultural differences really are advantageous to the productivity of organizations. According to Ang et al. (2017), it is acknowledged that cultural differences may have both good and negative affects on productivity in companies; however, the nature of the impact is dependent on the sort of diversity environment that exists rather than the fact that there is diversity itself. Disparities in culture make it harder to capitalize on general managerial and technical know-how, and differences in cultural context make it less effective for business units to share activities and establish synergies with one another (Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt & Jonsen, 2020). Based on the foregoing, the study examined impact of cultural differences on the productivity of employee in an organization.
Statement of the problem
The workforce is growing more diverse in cultural backgrounds. Differences in cultures may have an effect on how employees see both themselves and their fellow workers. These views influence how they engage with one another. There is a possibility that some workers will be dissatisfied with the fact that other workers discriminate against them on the basis of their cultural differences. Because of this, it is challenging for them to experience feelings of worth and appreciation. It is possible that their morale, as measured by their work relationships inside the company, and the enjoyment they obtain from going to work, would suffer as a result. Cultural distinctions highlight each workers' distinctiveness independent of tribe, culture, beliefs, and values. Because of this, if these disparities are not appropriately handled, they create barriers to having excellent working connections, which in turn leads to conflict, dysfunction, and lost man-hours (Ukachukwu & Iheriohanma, 2020). As a consequence of this, it contributes to working conditions in companies that are contentious, unproductive, and prone to conflict. In addition, the misunderstandings and disagreements that result from these cultural differences might be found among workers. They can cause tension and dissatisfaction among workers because they make workers feel as if they are being forced to conform to cultural norms and ideas that are not their own. The staff are likely to get tense as a consequence of this. Mistrust and misunderstanding are inevitable outcomes of the composition of work teams comprised of personnel from from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This is particularly true when members of the team exhibit ethnocentric tendencies. If they are not handled effectively, variations in culture may have a detrimental impact on the workplace. This might occur in the form of misunderstandings in communication, the building of unnecessary barriers, or dysfunctional responses to changing circumstances. The presence of cultural differences in the workplace has been shown to heighten the propensity of organizational staff to engage in hostile interactions with one another. Workers who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds can have contrasting points of view, ways of thinking, beliefs, conventions, practices, values, and trends. These differences of viewpoint and other factors may be a barrier to the building of unity in a workforce that is culturally varied and has been brought together to work toward a common goal via the application of mutual effort and cooperation. In addition, Lazear (2019) found that cultural differences can have a negative impact on the productivity of organizations. This is because cultural differences can prevent potential knowledge transfers among workers due to linguistic and cultural barriers; they can reduce peer pressure by weakening social ties and trust among them; and they can create a non-pecuniary disutility of joining or remaining in a demographically diverse firm. Hence, this study seeks to examine the impact of cultural differences on the productivity of employee in an organization.
Objective of the study
The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of cultural differences on the productivity of employee in an organization. The specific objectives of the study is as follows:
Determine whether there is a significant relationship between cultural differences and employees productivity.
Ascertain the impact of cultural differences on team-work among employees in an organizations.
Ascertain the impact of cultural differences on employees commitment in an organization.
Determine the extent cultural differences influences employees performance in an organization
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
Is there a significant relationship between cultural differences and employees productivity?
What is the impact of cultural differences on team-work among employees in an organizations?
What is the impact of cultural differences on employees commitment in an organization?
What is the extent cultural differences influences employees performance in an organization?
Significance of the study
This study is significant as it will it will enable management understand and manage cultural diversity among employees, nurture their creativity and innovation as well as tap their innate capacities for efficiency which will translate to organizational growth and improved competitiveness.
The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on the impact of cultural differences on the productivity of employee in an organization. The study will be carried out in Nigerian Breweries, Delta state.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Definition of terms
Cultural difference: the integrated and maintained system of socially acquired values, beliefs, and rules of conduct which impact the range of accepted behaviors distinguishable from one societal group to another