Evaluate Australian Historical factors that are hindering the success of Multiculturalism and diversity at the workplace
Cultural Diversity is a critical component of Australia’s nationhood, influencing the country’s socio-cultural and economic potential. Since the early years of British settlement in the eighteenth century, Australia’s society has been characterized by ethnic, cultural, and linguistic variety. Malays, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Afghans, and Irish, English, Scots, and Germans immigrated after colonization. In recent years, Australia’s cultural diversity has increased dramatically, and the Indigenous population via immigration. Instead, Australia has emerged as one of the highest immigration populations in the world. According to the key statistics, nearly 7.6 million migrants live in Australia, and approximately 29.8% of the country’s population is born overseas as of June, 2020 (ABS, 2020).
Consequently, the Australian government has incorporated a policy approach on Multiculturalism to identify, manage and maximize the benefits withdrawn from the diversified culture group. This policy approach aims to promote culture for strengthening respect for each other culture and boost the level of social interaction between the cultural groups for addressing social disadvantage and community relations and providing equal opportunity to participate liberally in social, cultural, and economic life prevailing in Australia. This research essay is primarily written to highlight the benefits of Multiculturalism and discuss the numerous Australian Historical factors that impede the success of Multiculturalism and diversity at the workplace.
Multiculturalism helps sustain economically beneficial ties with the worldwide diaspora and supporting businesses in pursuing export markets. Businesses in a multicultural society achieve success by dealing with different cultural behaviors, which is advantageous when expanding. Moreover, Multiculturalism has helped Australia foster creativity and innovation, as a wider scope range of cultural and geographical perceptions enables more informed thinking and decision-making. This argument is made in terms of the additional talents that migrants bring to the table in comparison to the current capabilities of local employees and business owners. A multicultural workforce has increased production flexibility by enabling more rapid structural adjustment as a result of the diversity of talents, access to other languages, diverse thought processes, and cognitive flexibility. Moreover, diversity of cultures in the product market has resulted in the development of new items and services in the marketplace, thereby facilitating a more diverse production base for the economy and promoting economic growth. Businesses have been able to build an extended network of social and financial capital through maintaining linkages to their ethno-religious communities, in addition to the structures and connections in broader society which further has spurred innovation, creativity, and corporate growth in the nation.
Despite the immense benefits of Multiculturalism, there are numerous struggles and challenges that hinder the success of diversity at workplace. Firstly, the struggle for equality and the promotion of diversity in Australia necessitates a change in mindset and behavior at all stages, yet logic alone would not change people’s feelings. This is because some people are naturally drawn to diversity and find different and new cultures, customs, and experiences illuminating and engaging, others see diversity as a threat and see “others” with distrust and animosity. Despite the fact that the vast majority of populates say that they were contented with different cultures, there was a high degree of intolerance toward some out groups, particularly Aboriginal and Muslim Australians. This was the biggest challenge. There are still explicitly racist and intractable lawmakers in prominent roles in Australia, who spend significant resources denigrating, dehumanizing, and demonizing asylum seekers and individuals. Additionally, there is a mindset that encourages everyone to believe that people who are born within the borders are entitled to a higher level of respect and dignity than what the migrants are as a universal birthright (Dunn et al. 2004).
Another notion of thought argues that cultural diversity is detrimental to society due to causes such as division (cultural groups ‘sticking together’ and refuse to assimilate into mainstream Australian culture), the presence of discrimination, the importation of interpersonal conflicts from abroad, criminality, and socioeconomic inequality (Dandy and Pe-Pua, 2010). Third concerns with the problems and challenges associated with the Australian model of immigration and Multiculturalism. The fundamental feature that enabled Australia’s tightly restricted entry system is its geography: the country’s geographic isolation and proximity to the ocean make immigration laws easy to execute. The relevance of this appears to be diminishing in the long term: factors increasing the propensity to relocate to Australia and making migrations more difficult to police encompass advancements in transportation, increased capital accumulation maneuverability in the Pacific region, the growth of momentary movements, the institution of migrant linkages, and the presence of ethnicities within Australia. If tight entrance controls are the fee that immigrants to Australia must pay in exchange for a rich system of rights after they arrive, then both sides of the argument may soon become unsustainable.
The most significant issue is migration’s uneven influence on our countries and towns. In Australia, immigration is not uniformly spread; it is disproportionately concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne, whereas other cities, particularly remote areas, are left out. This results in significant congestion, blockages, and issues with the substandard necessity to outlying locations. Numerous government policies to solve this issue – such as incentivizing migrants to live in rural areas – have had some success on an individual basis but have had minimal impact on overall numbers. Furthermore, there is a problem for the political system, particularly Australia’s political parties and legislatures. These critical democratic institutions are just no longer indicative of society’s diversity. The immigrant composition has shifted dramatically – mostly from Indo-Pacific, instead of Europe, like in the past. India and China have outstripped traditional migration countries like the UK and New Zealand as the top source countries. But the national policy hasn’t remained consistent, and has shown that national parliaments are highly undemocratic of national diversity. Australia is considerably behind other advanced nations, and in some ways, the issue getting worse, not better (Babacan, 2005).
While there are many advantages connected with workplace diversity in firms, yes, diversity while being purposefully desired, has snags that sometimes hampers its efficient implementation in organizations. Workplace diversity can result in interpersonal conflicts, unconscious discrimination, restriction, bias and preconceptions, escalating hostilities, and retaliation. That is, variety could result in organizational employees engaging in hemophilic behavior or consorting only with individuals of their own very kind, thus preferring separation and restraining integration efforts (Kamp et al., 2019), culminating in miscommunication, undesirable competition, decreasing morale and motivation. Unfavorable attitudes and behaviors could undermine workplace relationships, morals, and job performance. Also, the organizations face immense challenges in blending workers from different ethnic backgrounds. Australian organizations in both the public and corporate sectors continue to be modeled after those in the UK and the US and—to a lesser extent—Western Europe. Their organizational structure and culture tend to disadvantage individuals who differ in appearance, speech, behavior, or values from positions of authority. The political job of transforming core institutions to reflect a heterogeneous community entirely remains unfinished (Castles, 1992).
Such negative perception towards the multicultural landscape creates immense problems for corporate organizations, which can only be resolved by undertaking educational initiatives and helping the masses understand and deal with the dynamics of culturally diverse nations.
ABS, 2020. Migration, Australia. Available from <https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/migration-australia/latest-release >. [Retrieved on 1 July 2021]
Babacan, H., 2005. Challenges of inclusion: cultural diversity, citizenship, and engagement.
Castles, S., 1992. The challenge of Multiculturalism: Global changes and Australian experiences.
Dandy, J. and Pe-Pua, R., 2010. Attitudes to Multiculturalism, immigration and cultural diversity: Comparison of dominant and non-dominant groups in three Australian states. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 34(1), pp.34-46.
Dunn, K.M., Forrest, J., Burnley, I. and McDonald, A., 2004. Constructing racism in Australia. Australian journal of social issues, 39(4), pp.409-430.
Kamp, A., Alam, O., Blair, K. and Dunn, K., 2017. Australians’ views on cultural diversity, nation, and migration, 2015-16. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 9(3), pp.61-83.