The challenge of managing diverse teams


A diverse team means the members in the organization have different backgrounds, culture and ability (Gardenswartz and Rowe, 1994). Additionally, some researches showed that diverse teams will bring some benefits to an organization. This blog will illustrate both strength and weakness about managing diverse teams. Simultaneously, how important this ability for e-commerce idustry will be justified before drawing a conclusion.

Part 1

Based on the McKinsey 7S framework, to manage a diverse team can get some advantages to organazaitions and also need to face some challenges. It is clear that strategy, systems and structures are the hard factors in running a business. Moreover, skills, style, staff and shared values are in an area of soft standards. To be more specific, as an important action, managing diverse teams really bring some vital impacts to a company (Acar, 2014). First of all, the creativety might promote when discussing a problem solusion. If in a meeting, each person can mind its own thinking and then compile together to be a better response for solving any problems. Furthermore, it may be an oppourtunity for improving the communication skills of staff in the company. Undoubtedly, the better communication skills workers have, the greater relationship they hold. Significantly, the market share might go up step by step if leaders manage well in a team which include people in different backgrounds. It is obviously that organizations need diverse culture in order to capture the global market (Andrade, 2010). However, some challenges appear in an organizasion when managing diverse teams. The complaint of the behaviour from the colleagues will be a huge problem for a company. As we know, the negative emotion could deeply affect the performance of an employer, even a team. In addition, the cultural differences between team members may easily let the misunderstanding happen, such as in communicating. Finally, how to make a diverse team be more efficient is a key issue that leaders should consider because time saving is quite important in operating a business (Majlergaard, 2012).

Part 2

E-commerce, one of the most popular business in IT industry, is a good platform for leaders to show their ability in managing a diverse team. As the most successful company in e-commerce industry, Alibaba actually to manage a diverse team as an important skill for its daily operation, even for its history. To be significant, the gender diversity is a special factor to lead Alibaba to be succeed than other e-commerce companies (Timmons, 2014). Jack Ma, the leader of Alibaba, set up his company in 1999 and his wife became the first employee. Moreover, in earlier period, 16 people who were all Ma’s friends in Hangzhou became the first leader group in Alibaba. In particular, half of them are women. Now, some of the important positions of Alibaba are all female, for instance the chief financial officer and the chief customer officer (McGregor, 2014). Absolutely, women take the great responsibilities and play a key role in the leadership of Alibaba. On the other hand, Alibaba enlarged its business though entrancing other industries, such as sports. Specifically, Alibaba cooperated with two football giants, Bayern Munich from Germany and Real Madrid from Spain in order to sell their products on e-commerce platform. What it means is a diverse team really be an essential part of operation in Alibaba’s leadership management.


In conclusion, to show a good ability in managing a diverse team is a key to be succeed (Phillips, 2008). For example, as mentioned above, Jack Ma put the gender diversity into one of the steps on the successful road in Alibaba. Furthermore, how to bring better results from diverse teams has become an important question that each leader should think of. According to an article, be fair to all employers and give them feedback might be two useful ways to manage a diverse team (Mitchell, 2013). It is easy to know that individuals may be satisfied if their manager trust them and provide a fair competition environment. Moreover, the feedback from leaders or colleagues is also a solution to improve the quality of diverse teams management. Definetely, this method can help leader know more about the features of all workers. Although some issues may be difficult for organizations to solve, like the cultural differences between each member, I still recommend the leaders keeping using abundant knowledge to manage a diverse team, especially in e-commerce industry because more benefits they could gain in the future.


Acar, F. (2014). Social identification and altruism in diverse teams. EJIM, 8(1), p.55.

Andrade, S. (2010). 6 advantages of Workplace Diversity. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2010].

Gardenswartz, L. and Rowe, A. (1994). Diverse teams at work. Chicago: Irwin Professional Pub.

Majlergaard, F. (2012). The top 5 challenges managers of cultural diverse teams are facing – Gugin. [online] Gugin. Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar. 2012].

McGregor, J. (2014). Five things to know about Alibaba’s leadership. [online] Washington Post. Available at: [Accessed 18 Sep. 2014].

Mitchell, S. (2013). Top Ten Tips: How to manage diverse teams – Management Today. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 May. 20136].

Phillips, K. (2008). Diversity and groups. Bingley, UK: JAI/Emerald Group.

Timmons, H. (2014). Alibaba’s gender diversity puts Silicon Valley to shame. [online] Quartz. Available at: [Accessed 08 May. 2014].


The challenge of managing diverse teams》上有7条评论

  1. culcchens40

    Diverse teams means different kinds of people and cultures. How to combine these different factors together is what a leader need to consider.

  2. culchuc9

    The article applies the theories about leadership into reality. The difficulties of Managing a diverse team is analyzed deeply and the related solutions are exhibited with logical thinking and diversified exploration.



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