An often overlooked biased that can impact the workplace and team.
Cultural assumptions are essentially biases or prejudices concerning a culture. This occurs when an idea is assumed to be common throughout an entire culture. This is a bias or prejudice but applied culturally rather than on the basis of another factor such as race. For example, stating something like all Russians drink vodka is a cultural assumption. The problem with this thinking is that it is not accurate and often untrue.
In team and group decision or problem-solving situations this can impact the groups in two important ways. First, these assumptions can be harmful to the group is the group is diverse and people are assuming things about one another based on culture. This can create a situation in which decision making is flawed due to assumptions that certain individuals within the group may or may not be able to perform or act in specific ways.
The second way this impacts groups is by creating assumptions concerning external groups or situations. If the group or team is working on building community relations, for example, and the team is making assumptions about the community based on culture this can create serious problems for outcomes of the group.
Managers need to aware of this form of bias as much as any other because it can create conflict and in the worst cases litigation.