Publication Date

1999

Abstract

Based on interculturalist skills, basic teamwork skills, effective multicultural team criteria and performance characteristics of leadership within highly effective groups, this study examined key characteristics of efficacy in the formative stages of a diversity working group. The research was conducted with YouthBuild USA's Diversity Working Group. A demographics questionnaire was used to establish primary and secondary dimensions of diversity within the group. A second, extensive questionnaire used theories on the above skills, criteria and characteristics to identify group potential for efficacy. The study found favorable signs of individual interculturalist skills and effective group and multicultural team characteristics. Variables on the continuum from never to always (low to high) or disagree to agree (unfavorable to favorable) were predominantly on the more favorable end of the spectrum for each variable. The most salient and transferable knowledge from this research comes primarily from seeing the second questionnaire as a diagnostic tool that is helpful in opening necessary conversations, highlighting areas needing attention and acknowledging and fostering the continued exhibition of effective knowledge, skills and attitudes. Implications for organizations and for further research are offered.

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