Professor Nitin Patwa is deputy dean of the undergraduate program at SP Jain School of Global Management in Dubai which offers a unique try city undergraduate program in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, and Sydney with a diversity of approximately twenty different nationalities.
A multicultural education environment is more about learning from people with a lot to share, teach, and exchange ideas & experiences.
The environment at the workplace is very different from what it was a few years ago, characterized by an increase in competitive pressure, more customer-focused, and a rapid pace of technological development. These factors lead to frequent changes in business models that require employees to be “cognitively complex, team-based and collaborative. Also dependent on social skills, technological competence, time-pressured, more mobile and less dependent on geography,” resulting in the need for employees to become more agile and resilient. Organizations need to create a culture that supports and values self-development. In addition, economic globalization has integrated different markets and pushed organizations to improve their efficiencies by addressing the influence of culture on ethical sensitivity.
Resilient employees are more productive, durable, and reliable during times of ambiguity. They have a strong sense of purpose and perseverance; thus, they cooperate and collaborate for their survival and the company’s benefit. Organizations need to help employees become more resilient, deal with problems effectively, and take more responsibility for their progress. They should help build inner and outer resilience to address global challenges. Resilience has been identified as one of six critical job skills in employees in the most successful, innovative companies.
Resilience is a key to business success in the current era of rapid change and complex ambiguity as consumers’ desires change along with the business environment. What truly defines an excellent company in these times is its ability to foresee these changes and adapt to the new market requirements faster than its competitors, without compromising the quality of service to its customers. Responsive reactions subsequently lead to a firm’s competitive advantage, chiefly driven by the firm’s employees. Being high on adaptability suggests that a person can adjust to changes both within the environment and internally. For example, suppose an employee is said to be adaptable. In that case, they can adapt to conflicts of interest and disagreements arising in the workplace and progress through constructive collaboration. Those who are low on adaptability are more likely to participate in destructive arguments that hinder progress
Awareness of cultural differences and similarities exists and influences values, learning, and behaviour. Conflicts in multicultural settings can arise when people fail to understand cultural nuances. A multicultural learning environment can enable a person to develop an understanding of these components if the teaching methods, courses, and multicultural environment are conducive and responsive to the increasing diversity. Multicultural learning environments can promote the use of culturally sensitive communication skills, and results showed a definite improvement in the intercultural communication skills of students who had spent time abroad in a multicultural and diverse learning environment. Multicultural learning environments help to inculcate resilience within their members and could significantly benefit organizations and academic institutions.