The importance of cultural relations is also increasingly recognized at the supranational level. In 2016, the European Commission and the High Representative published a joint communication on international cultural relations to determine how the European Union could cooperate with other countries in this area, including Ukraine. Three priorities have been identified: in some cases, greater cultural diversity in the workplace makes companies stronger, more innovative and more flexible. But in other cases, cultural diversity in the workplace can lead to a divided and unproductive workforce. The key is to understand which types of cultural diversity are most useful or detrimental to business performance. What is the right balance between cultural agreement and diversity in corporate culture? And what is the impact on the real evolution of business for companies? How should leaders think of the two types of cultural diversity studied in this study? One simple example is one way to identify the difference between composite cultural diversity and content diversity. As another example, imagine a company with three departments and three cultural themes that they all focus on, not just one company — profits, customer satisfaction and technological progress. Imagine that all three of these cultural themes are shared in the same way by each department. This time, the members of the product department are taking care of the technical progress, but are also attentive to the needs of customers and the profits of the company. And they can focus on one of these cultural priorities in different situations. In this case, the corporate culture is also diverse, but it is not shared – employees share different cultural perspectives that can make them more flexible and innovative. On the other hand, a company that has too much cultural homogeneity may end up with a rigid culture that lacks diversity of ideas.
Lack of cultural diversity in the workplace can undermine creativity and innovation, make it more difficult for companies to access new business opportunities and a company`s ability to attract and retain talent from different backgrounds. The study examined two types of cultural diversity in the workplace. First, the diversity of “composition.” Employees then disagree on what the corporate culture is. The second type is “content-based” diversity. Second, corporate culture consists of a wide range of diverse themes. In this hypothetical undertaking, the culture of each department is sometimes at odds with other departments. If no department is willing to compromise, the operational effectiveness of this company may be affected by this type of cultural disagreement. Thus, a diverse but divided corporate culture can hurt performance. But we are also using the UK`s expertise to address the educational, social and cultural consequences of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We have trained all student associations in the displaced universities of Donbass and Crimea, created English after-school clubs in 20 schools in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and worked with municipalities and local governments in the same regions to transform young people into active citizens engaged through training and social action. We expect our work in these areas to intensify in the years to come. The study is entitled “Duality in Diversity: Cultural Heterogenity, Language, and Firm Performance.” It uses data from Glassdoor employee evaluations to categorize the cultural agreement or disagreements of companies that end up in the Standard and Poor`s 500 index, and tracks how cultural diversity in the workplace is linked to real innovation and business performance.
Here at the British Council, for example, since the Dignity Revolution, our objectives have been to support the European decision and Ukraine`s ambitions for an international partnership, while making the UK a partner of choice for Ukraine in reforming its education system and reviving its cultural sector.