The good and the bad: the impact of diversity management on co-operative relationships
Joffre, Olivier; Dameron, Stéphanie (2007), The good and the bad: the impact of diversity management on co-operative relationships, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 11, p. 2037–2056. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585190701639786
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
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Abstract (EN)This paper explores the consequences of cultural diversity on co-operative relationships. It postulates two different modes of co-operation: ‘community based co-operation’, based on the need to belong, and ‘complementary co-operation’, which seeks to harness strategic resources. These modes are combined with six dimensions of cultural diversity to create a cross-analysis framework. This framework forms the basis of our analysis of the interaction between cultural diversity and co-operation. Counterintuitively, the study of France Telecom Mobile and Orange UK’s integration team suggests that cultural diversity has little influence on issues of identity involved in co-operation. However, it reveals a strong link between cultural diversity and strategic rationale. The findings suggest that cultural confrontation affects complementary and community-based co-operation in different ways in the team studied. The former is hindered by stereotypes, while the latter is weakened by perceptions of injustice or inequity. Moreover, in the case studied, complementary cooperation is the operating mode most affected by cultural diversity: this diversity was always experienced by the team as a problem and never as an opportunity. However, this cultural confrontation was overcome and the group came together assisted by organizational mechanisms and procedures. The results bring into question the definition of culture as a stable set of values and behavioural norms, and highlight the representation of culture as a social construct. Furthermore, our findings help us to identify the factors that can reduce the major obstacles (stereotyping and perceptions of injustice) for teams within each co-operation mode.
Subjects / Keywordsmanagement de la diversité culturelle; case study; cultural diversity; cooperation
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