Aspects of the Use of the Faultline Theory
Being aware of the key limitations and incorporating them into the further strategy of communication with a particular group is vital for a successful multicultural conversation. However, the quotation under analysis correctly states that the faultline theory has a significant limitation. Namely, the assumption that faultlines will necessarily pose a threat to successful learning appears to be an overstatement. Being central to the entire faultline theory, the described assumption makes it easy to criticize the entire premise and question its legitimacy.
Moreover, it is necessary to examine how the ideas represented in the theory have evolved. Namely, the faultline, or limitation, within the cross-cultural communication of individuals appears to have transformed into an opportunity for the greater appreciation of cultural differences and a chance to learn about the said differences, thus, enriching one’s cultural competence. Furthermore, the idea in question implies a rather simplified interpretation of the error culture theory, which, in essence, suggests that errors are largely inevitable and, therefore, should be used to encourage progress (Rupert, 2019). Specifically, the faultline theory not only presumes that errors are inevitable, but makes them unavoidable, which is rather questionable as a framework for learning.
Indeed, there is a significant difference between error prevention an error facilitation. For example, Rupert (2019, p. 702) explains that errors should not be feared since the fear in question reduces openness of the participants. Likewise, Robbins & Judge (2012) outline the need to face emerging errors as learning opportunities. However, none of the authors recommend creating scenarios in which these errors become unavoidable. Therefore, in the context of learning and the development of cultural competence, the use of the faultline theory can be seen as a step backward due to the need to return to making obvious mistakes as opposed to learning in a natural way.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2012). Essentials of organizational behavior. Pearson.
Rupert, J., Homan, A. C., Jehn, K. A., & Blomme, R. J. (2019). Diversity composition and team learning: the moderating role of error culture. Group Decision and Negotiation, 28(4), 695-722. Web.