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Managing Team Diversity

You are a supervisor in a factory in downtown Brooklyn, a current day melting pot of numerous ethnic, religious, and racial groups. Your department has 2 devout Muslims, a person of Jewish descent, 5 African-Americans, 3 Hispanics, and 5 Caucasian employees. In recent months, tensions have been mounting in the department because of a variety of differences in opinions and values among the workforce. Although departmental output has met the scheduled work, it has done so just barely, and you are convinced your department could do much better. Your boss has indicated that unless the overall plant efficiency improves significantly, he cannot guarantee that some of the factory's work will not be outsourced to a factory in another state or country where the workforce is more homogenous and has less employee tensions.

You plan to meet with your department tomorrow and discuss all this.
What would be at least 3 of the key points you would discuss at the upcoming meeting?

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At the meeting I would tell the employees that the overall plant efficiency must improve significantly in order to avoid closure. I would be direct with the group and point out that the workplace tensions are causing the entire factory to be less productive and that if all involved do not straighten up, we?ll each have the bigger problem of being unemployed.

Then, I would point out that in ...

Solution Summary

This solution deals with managing team diversity in a situation in which department is underperforming due to ethnic and cultural tensions that have developed.