AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Determining guidelines for effectively leading culturally diverse teams at Volkswagen South Africa

by Martha Nkholise

Institution: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Department: Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences
Degree: MSc
Year: 2014
Keywords: Diversity in the workplace  – South Africa  – Eastern Cape; Multiculturalism
Record ID: 1456282
Full text PDF: http://contentpro.seals.ac.za/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1010077


South Africa is a society of diverse cultures, and the workplace is one of the few places that serve as a melting pot for these varied cultures. If managed well, cultural diversity has numerous benefits that can help an organisation gain a competitive advantage. However, failure to manage it can pose challenges that can have serious consequences for an organisation. The purpose of this study was to analyse the leadership of cultural diversity at Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) and identify leadership guidelines to both enhance team performance and reduce the challenges faced by the organisation as a result of this cultural diversity. For the purpose of this study, a culturally diverse team was defined as a team of diverse individuals from different cultures or societies working together to achieve organisational success. The research was conducted by the use of questionnaire using a sample of 200 employees of the VWSA Paint Shop. The sample represents 42 percent of the total population of the Paint Shop. The study discusses the relationship of four leadership styles (Classical Leadership, Transactional Leadership, Transformational Leadership, and Visionary Leadership) with Cultural Diversity. Whilst strong cases were made for Transformational and Transactional Leadership style being the most suitable styles for leading culturally diverse teams, the researcher concluded that no single leadership style would be ideal for effectively leading culturally diverse teams at VWSA. The appropriate leadership style will instead be a hybrid of all leadership styles, thus being a leadership approach that works as a sort of “best practices” of various leadership styles.