ERIC Number: ED333510
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-26
Reference Count: N/A
Multicultural Voices in the Workplace: Organizational Communication in the Year 2000.
Fine, Marlene G.
Demographic trends reported in "Workforce 2000" by the Hudson Institute in 1987 demonstrate a need for organizations to develop opportunities for individuals to better understand their own discourse patterns and the patterns of others. Human resource executives surveyed in 1990 were concerned about (1) the ability to motivate diverse groups of employees; (2) differences in values and cultural norms among employees; and (3) the challenge of communicating when employees speak different languages and have different cultural assumptions. At the present, time organizations attempt to fit everyone who enters the workforce into a preexisting vision of corporate culture. A multicultural organizational discourse would invite everyone to participate in the dialogue in their genuine voices. Conceputalizing and creating such a discourse, however, is not easy. In conversations between privileged and non-privileged participants, the privileged voices dominate the discourse. Resisting privileged discourse, however, is a necessary prerequisite to creating harmonic discourse. White male discourse needs to move out of the center of the conversation. Once people learn ways to resist privilege, either asserting their own or allowing others to assert theirs, pragmatic considerations will force the creation of harmonic discourse, a discourse in which all voices retain their individual integrity yet combine to form a whole discourse that is orderly and congruous, in much the same way that musicians create harmony through the combination of simultaneous notes to form chords. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discourse; Discourse Aims; Organizational Culture
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 25-28, 1991).