As part of Christian Camping International/ Latin America, I have belonged to a number of multicultural teams but until this class, I never gave much thought to any of the cultural dynamics that might be at play as we worked together. This class with Jim opened my eyes to see how we may be misjudging some areas of conflict as "immaturity" or "difficult personalities" when in reality there was a strong cultural component. This article describes a bit of my journey as it explains the name of that cultural component (high and low power distance cultures or vertical / horizontal cultures) and provides some understanding as to how to maintain team harmony. I invite you to read the article below (or follow this link: http://www.commongroundjournal.org/volnum/v08n01.pdf to read it)
The abstract of the article reads:
Threats to multicultural team harmony may come from a variety of sources such as immaturity, lack of shared vision, or from a compelling task to unify everyone; but one aspect that tends to slip under the radar screen is difference in power distance. This article shows how characteristics of both high and low power distance in cultures influences team members’ concepts of what team harmony is and how it is created. The creation of a third culture, a counter-cultural temporary Christian community, can offer a multicultural team a way to suspend cultural expectations and work together.
I'd love to hear your thoughts-click on observations to share!