Developing a Climate for Effective Communication in a Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Organization

Many companies across the globe have noted the strength that comes from promoting a culturally and ethnically diverse workforce. Strategies that are developed by most companies to develop a diverse workforce apply to any given segment of the population. The strategies could target women, workers with disabilities, and staff with various religious beliefs.

ExxonMobil Company, being present in nearly two hundred countries, has the task of promoting cultural and ethnic diversity in all the countries it operates. Diversifying organizational space is important because the organization would commence to address actively the organization’s barriers, encourage self-reflection, and foster an environment that promotes the development of personal skills, creativity and innovation (Kreitz, 2007).

Challenging racism in an organization like ExxonMobil may be a complicated process since the entire process would involve going against all sorts of cultural ideas that are entrenched in the ways in which the organization functions. Recognizing personal biases and prejudices is important in engaging in a cross-cultural communication in an ethnically diverse organization.

Cultural diversity in an organization is, therefore, described as differences in age, ethnic heritage, race, gender, sexual orientation, and physical abilities of employees at the workplace. Multicultural sensitivity in the workplace should thus be treated as a primary goal by large companies such s ExxonMobil.

Understanding Cultural Diversity at Workplace

Research indicates that women are underrepresented at the managerial level in most companies. In a bid to understand the differences in gender aspect of diversity, research information suggests that communication differences between men and women in an organization exist in several contexts.

Get quality help now
Doctor Jennifer

Proficient in: Communication

5 (893)

“ Thank you so much for accepting my assignment the night before it was due. I look forward to working with you moving forward ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

There is a difference in superior-subordinate and peer communication in organizations. It is noted that the manner in which peers communicate in an organization is slightly different from the manner n which their superiors highlights ideas to them.

There is, therefore, the need to develop a climate for effective communication in the ExxonMobil Company as the gender aspect tends to be a hindrance to good communication between juniors and superiors (Bazelais, Page, Weintraub & Fraone, 2016).

An ethnically and culturally diverse organization such as ExxonMobil lack effective approaches to conflict resolution. The organization, therefore, needs to train its members on supervision and leadership styles even as it builds a sense of community for the company to operate as a team. Different research also indicates that differing cultural and ethnic values affect teamwork due to poor communication between members of the organization.

The culturally and ethnically diverse organization consist of people who perceive relations in terms of the chain of command, thus, they have a fondness for highly planned squads. On the same note, the organization is composed of persons from customs that perceive interaction in terms of sets of people, hence, they prefer to operate as a team. Other cultures also emphasize individualism and, therefore, the people are comfortable with informal teams. Developing a climate for effective communication in such an organization would be vital in blending all the different types of people to come up with a strong and reliable team (Bazelais, Page, Weintraub & Fraone, 2016).

Cultural and ethnical diversity in the organization might be a hindrance to effective communication as different cultures have different value orientations. What other cultures perceive to be normal may be absolutely strange to people from a different culture. Cultures also differ in non-verbal behavior, personal space, eye contact, and time orientation. Developing a climate for effective communication, therefore, ought to be aimed at blending the different values from various cultures to build a affiliated organization for better performance.

The creation of a climate for effective communication should be motivated by the fact that disabled persons are not abnormal people in the society. For instance, Americans who are disabled benefit from the same rights and privileges afforded to all American employees. A good climate for communication in an organization such as ExxonMobil ought to emphasize the employees, not the disability in the workers.

The individual and group orientation of various cultures also has an impact on the performance of large organizations such as ExxonMobil. The cultures differ depending on how the individual roles are viewed by the people. Individualistic cultures value the distinct and unique characteristics of human beings while group centered cultures emphasize on the significance of belonging to, and promoting the overall objectives of a team. An effective communication environment needs to take note of the individual-group orientation of different cultures to avoid conflicts at the workplace.

The ExxonMobil organization comprises of both low-context and high-context cultures since it accomplishes its objectives globally. Low-context cultures emphasize on one-way communication while other cultures see the need for speakers and listeners to coordinate their meaning from the context. Low-context cultures do not value feedback in communication as much as it is valued in high-context cultures.

ExxonMobil has to create an effective climate for communication by training its members on the differences between low-context and high-context communication. Employees from the different cultures should be informed of the existing cultures with different views on communication to get rid of confusion at the workplace. For success to be achieved in the communication process in the entire organization, members need to be trained on the importance of communication responsibility in the communicators; the sender and the receiver.

Today’s Racially and Culturally Diverse Workforce

The workforce in the modern society has grown to be more varied than it was in the past. The workforce has changed over years due to the alterations in the employee demographics, the impact of worldwide bazaar and the occupation objectives of individuals. Personnel in current organizations originate from diverse settings; hence, they introduce new priorities upon their employment.

Organizations have a task of maintaining the motivation that employees tend to apply in their work. The bureau of labor statistics indicate that foreign workers in the United States made up to 15 percent of the worker’s population. Large organizations such as ExxonMobil have to be forced to come up with models that would guarantee the organizational promptness for efficient arrangement of policies. The strategies could involve those of communication since without effective communication; the organization cannot achieve growth, profitability, and sustainability (White, 1999).

An appropriate climate for effective communication in today’s diverse organizations involves the aspect of shared accountability and responsibility. The establishment of Employ Resource Groups in the ExxonMobil Company is significant in the development of a climate for effective communication. The groups serve in the development of new products in the company.

They are also concerned for the growing market segments that require people from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The creation of Employee Resource Groups in organizations is a sure way of developing a climate for effective communication. The resource groups work towards directing employees on the most suitable ways of communicating with different segments of the population. Moreover, the groups are often involved in the identification of innovative business solutions.

Increasing globalization in doing business creates the need for large organizations to develop a climate for effective communication. ExxonMobil has to create an environment in which its members can communicate effectively with people who speak different languages. The organization hiring people from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds is a sure way of enhancing international communication. Information from business journals indicates that ExxonMobil has a presence in about two hundred countries, with exploration projects in about 50 states.

Moreover, the company supplies chemical substance in about 120 nations, and lubricants in several states. The organization also has manufacturing facilities for the products in 24 countries. There is, therefore, the need to develop a climate for effective communication by hiring workers from all corners of the world. Again, the company has to employ people who can speak in more than two formal languages for purposes of doing business with countries where language barrier might be a significant challenge (Corporation, 1999).

Effective communication would enable ExxonMobil to develop messages that are a true representation of the products they deal in. a good environment for communication should give room for the publication of advertisements in different languages to make known to the people what the company sells. Developing messages in different ethnic languages would be a significant way of developing a good climate for effective communication. Again, ExxonMobil need to ensure that the messages it would publish are not offensive to the existing companies that deal in the same line of products. An effective climate for communication would ensure that the messages do not confuse its international audiences in one way or another (TREMBLAY, 2009).

International Communication Challenges

The effects of cultural and ethnical diversity in an organization are very powerful and complex. Several challenges are experienced in large organizations that have a diverse identity of its employees. It is factual that people who come from different ethnic background poses different attitudes, values and norms, hence, the existence of a variation of performance at work.

The greatest obstacle to developing an effective climate for communication in large organizations such as ExxonMobil is language barrier. From the existing business trends, it is not reasonable to assume that that employees or business associates will automatically learn any native language. Although learning the native language can be vital in avoiding costly business mistakes, it may take quite a long time to be fluent in the given language (White, 1999).

Researchers note that most people believe in their native languages being superior to the languages that other people speak. The perception of employees regarding other languages is, therefore, a hindrance to the development of an effective climate for business communication. Such people who are known for linguistic ethnocentrism may not be easily convinced to learn other languages.

A negative attitude concerning other cultures and ethnic identity attracts distracts people from been attentive to the people from some ethnic backgrounds. Important business information may be lost due to lack of concentration by employees. ExxonMobil, therefore, has a task of educating its workers on the importance of holding a positive attitude in every business environment, despite the existence of people from inferior ethnic backgrounds (White, 1999).

Dishonesty may be a big problem of communication in the organization because of despising certain people. ExxonMobil has to strive and create an environment for competent intercultural communication. The organization must develop a climate that would encourage open and honest communication among all types of people. The business has to develop unique intercultural skills that lead to competent communication.

Competent Communication in a Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Organization

ExxonMobil can encourage a climate for an effective communication by encouraging its employees to be bold and communicate with other employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. Consistent communication is a useful tool for the exchange of new ideas among organizations. Through the process of communication, employees of the organization would cultivate knowledge and skills among culturally diverse employees. Developing strategies for competent communication would allow ExxonMobil to deliver objective performance evaluations that emphasize skill, but not race or cultural practices.

The organization has to develop a climate that would major on the advantages of cultural diversity. The organization has to focus on creating a better working environment by taking advantage of cultural diversity. The management team of the organization has to ensure that the employees are motivated to communicate effectively when representing the organization or when accomplishing their day to day duties within the organization. The creation of a more sincere interest in the organization is a perfect way of promoting an effective climate for communication (Kreitz, 2007).

Business researchers state that changing stereotypes regarding cultures and Ethnic groups have an impact on the climate for effective communication. ExxonMobil has to come up with ways of appreciating the cultural differences that exist. The organization has a role of motivating its associates look for the positive elements in other people’s cultural heritage and focus on the favorable qualities. Emotional meanings play a crucial role in the process of communication; thus, they ought not to be ignored. Understanding emotional meanings gives room for clarification while remaining flexible in the formation of assumptions (Kreitz, 2007).

Organizations have to come up with the appropriate channel of communication since some messages require richer or poorer media than other messages. Developing a climate for effective communication should include the application of modern technology that is acceptable in various cultures. An environment that is free from distractions becomes the most conducive place for communication. The organization has an obligation of using English as the formal language in communication. Other languages may be used when doing business transactions in nations where English is not the formal language spoken.

Building a shared culture that allows mutual understanding is effective in creating a conducive environment for communication. A shared culture may involve sharing of languages, beliefs, and behaviors of various people. The understanding of the shared message in any organization is more important than the sharing itself. Mutual understanding of organizations and their employees is, therefore, vital in the development of a suitable climate for communication.

Organizations such as ExxonMobil can settle on the educational approach as the most suitable way of creating a climate for effective communication. Both managers and employees may have the fear of saying what is perceived to be wrong or discriminatory to some people. The organization ensuring that employees follow specific standards and expectations for appropriate behavior in the workplace may ensure that effective communication is enhanced. Diversity in culture and ethnic background does not entirely entail being perfect (Kreitz, 2007).

In conclusion, diversity and inclusion without bias is best nurtured in organizations where mistakes can be used for learning. A climate for effective communication is, therefore, developed by creating a platform where workers learn through mistakes. Learning about cultural and ethnical diversity may be useful in improving interpersonal effectiveness, hence, increasing employees’ personal and professional opportunities. Recognition and respect of other people’s opinions, practices, and behavior is significant in the development of a climate that supports effective communication in an organization.

Cite this page

Developing a Climate for Effective Communication in a Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Organization. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7