Pitfalls

While cultural diversity offers many advantages management also has to be aware of some of the pitfalls that have been addresses within academic research. 

In-group communication and performance
Communication is one of the issues that management has to take into consideration when dealing with cultural diversity. Cultural diverse groups, particularly those acting face to face, are likely to suffer from increased process losses and have lower group performance than homogenous groups (Thomas, 2002). This is mostly due to the fact that people with diverse backgrounds have different cultural perceptions and communication patterns. However over time cultural diverse groups tend to minimize process losses (Thomas, 2002). Groups with a high degree of diversity simply figure out ways of dealing with the problems of intercultural interaction (Thomas, 2002).

Management plays a key role in relation to solving the communication problems and minimizing process losses. As indicated above groups with a diverse cultural background tend to increase performance over time. Consequently it is important that management do not frequently change team structures, as most misinterpretations and communicational issues are likely to occur in the beginning of a teambuilding process. Instead management should build long-term sustainable diversified teams that will provide superior performance after the initial start-up period.

Another performance enhancing tool that management should continuously make use of is feed-back. Feedback may be very useful to culturally diverse work groups that are trying to overcome the problems of cross cultural interaction (Thomas, 1999). Feedback can be provided by individuals outside the group, but management may also empower in-group members to perform frequent evaluations. Such processes help group members to reflectively consider some of the issues that needs to be addressed.