The Global Diversity Desk Reference: Managing an International Workforce


Written by a team of experts in the field of workplace diversity, The Global Diversity Desk Reference offers a strategic approach for international organizations that want to succeed in the worldwide marketplace by maximizing the potential of all their employees. You'll discover how to increase effectiveness in managing diversity at three levels—the individual, interpersonal, and organizational. You'll also get the practical tools, concrete suggestions, and pragmatic methods you need to successfully manage a ...

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Written by a team of experts in the field of workplace diversity, The Global Diversity Desk Reference offers a strategic approach for international organizations that want to succeed in the worldwide marketplace by maximizing the potential of all their employees. You'll discover how to increase effectiveness in managing diversity at three levels—the individual, interpersonal, and organizational. You'll also get the practical tools, concrete suggestions, and pragmatic methods you need to successfully manage a global workforce and create and align organizational systems, policies, and practices with the requirements of an international workforce.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I highly recommend The Global Diversity Desk Reference. I've already recommended the purchase of this book to several clients." (Training Media Review, 6/11/2004)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470571064
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/7/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe are partners in the Los Angeles, California—based management consulting firm of Gardenswartz & Rowe. They are the authors of nine books including Managing Diversity in Health Care and Managing Diversity in Health Care Manual: Proven Tools and Activities for Leaders and Trainers, both from Jossey-Bass.

Patricia Digh’s firm, RealWork, focuses on the human, business, and societal costs of exclusion and discrimination. Her book Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures was named by Fortune magazine as a best business book of the year 2000.

Martin F. Bennett is a principal in Bennett Consulting, a training and management consultancy that focuses on nationality, ethnicity, and spirituality in the workplace.

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Read an Excerpt

The Global Diversity Desk Reference

Managing an International Workforce

By Lee Gardenswartz Anita Rowe Patricia Digh Martin Bennett

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2003

Lee Gardenswartz, Anita Rowe, Patricia Digh, Martin Bennett
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7879-6773-4

Chapter One

What Is Global Diversity?

Over the last forty years, the word "diversity" has become part of the language
and management of North American firms and increasingly of European-headquartered
corporations as well. However, the rise in
globalization requires us to expand our vision of what "diversity" means in the

When used to address this new business reality, the term "global diversity"
does not yet have a broadly shared or universally understood meaning. For
some it denotes race and gender, for others it means accepting all things "that
make us different," and for others it means ethnicity and culture.

Often, those varying interpretations stem from the user's national context,
political agenda, dominant culture, or minority group identity-making the term
"global diversity" even more complex. For example, many people in the United
States connect issues of diversity to human rights and civil liberty; Europeans
may connect them to cultural heritage and language differences; many inLatin
countries focus their diversity dialogues around the innate dignity of the individual;
and many Asian societies interpret diversity in terms of collective
accountability. This chapter will examine this dilemma and suggest a new
model, the Six Spheres of Inclusion (SSI) Model. It will also provide tools to
apply the model to global organizational development as well as interpersonal
assessments. Last, it will provide a process to evaluate your company and its
current stage of global diversity management.


Domestic diversity models often examine exclusion and inclusion in terms of
who is left out or deprived of opportunity. For example, in the early stages of
diversity evolution in the United States, these included factors such as race, gender,
and sexual orientation. Each nation has its own historical context-that
shapes its reactions to diversity and helps determine what constitutes an injustice,
a violation, or an affront. What is considered discriminatory in one nation
may be labeled as a national cultural preference or style in another. How do professionals
committed to diversity evaluate this range of responses?

Such segmentation often reflects the history of a specific nation. In the United
States, diversity initiatives began in the military and the YWCA in the 1940s. It
the 1960s, U.S. corporations, legislators, and their respective constituents
addressed the fact that the "American dream" was inaccessible to some citizens-primarily
African Americans, who were excluded from many aspects of
social and corporate life.

At that time, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity (EEO)
programs were seen as appropriate devices to address inequities faced by
African Americans as well as the inherent moral imperative facing the United
States regarding the civil rights of all individuals. This approach initially focused
on compliance to quotas. While compliance is not the only diversity focus in
corporate America today, it still exists in the United States and is gaining
momentum in Europe. In London, for example, police services' hiring quotas
have been established and the BBC has declared quotas to hire minorities in
proportions exceeding the proportions in the United Kingdom's population.

In addition to racial issues, gender has been a consistent theme in domestic
diversity efforts. In the early part of the twentieth century, women's suffrage in
the United States provided a legislative response to a clear diversity injustice-the
inability of women to vote-yet only recently have other gender inequities
been more fully addressed. In other countries, the same is true. It is surprising
that only in August 2001, after twenty-six years of debate, the Brazilian Congress
approved a legal code that for the first time in the country's history makes
women equal to men in the eyes of the law.

In the United States in the 1970s, women's issues and the interests of other
minority groups expanded the parameters of diversity to include not only women
but Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, and dimensions such as physical ability
and age, among others. This broadened definition of diversity in the United States
gained legislative and moral clout with the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, protecting individuals against employment discrimination on the
basis of race and color as well as national origin, sex, or religion.

However, Title VII governs U.S.-headquartered companies in their domestic
operations and some global subsidiaries, but does not travel well abroad. Legislation
in other nations responds differently to inclusivity in the workplace as
well as to whether the country in question is more intent on maintaining societal
homogeneity or building the heterogeneity that the economy of the world
increasingly demands.

In the 1990s and into the 2000s, rapid internationalization requires a fresh
look at diversity. Rolling out a U.S.-centric diversity program designed for the
needs of one nation will not address the complexity of a multicultural, global
workforce. Simplistic definitions related to parity and individual rights may not
apply in counties that prescribe gender definitions or hierarchical societies. A
new model is necessary, one that incorporates new perspectives of civilization
and nationality as tools to use global resources. The Six Spheres of Inclusion
Model is an attempt to fill this void.


The Six Spheres of Inclusion (SSI) Model is a tool that helps us to understand
what is at play in any global diversity encounter, either interpersonal or
organizational. It allows us to break out of a domestic diversity bias that might
thwart the broader development of employees and the organization itself.

This tool identifies six key areas that are core to global cross-cultural diversity
interchanges-whether in a performance review, a sales call, a multicultural
presentation, a team meeting, or a virtual conference call. In the SSI
Model, six dimensions of global diversity will be identified: civilizational orientation,
national identification, organizational factors, societal formation, individual
identification, and individual personality/style.

Civilizational Orientation

The outer layer of the SSI Model shown in the figure focuses on eight civilizations
that are most significant in global business today: Western (European and
North American), Middle Eastern (Islamic and Judaic), Confucian or Sinic
(China and Chinese-influenced subsocieties), Japanese, Latin American,
Slavic/Orthodox (Eastern European and Russian), Hindu and Sub-Saharan

Understanding corporate global diversity begins when an employee identifying
himself or herself as influenced by a core civilization or, as Samuel Huntington
notes, "The 'we' of our civilization, against the largest 'them' of another

Our individual civilizational heritage shapes how we understand life. It contextualizes
relationships with others, especially those we perceive as different.

To be inclusive of the heritage of others requires moving beyond the artifacts of
culture-art, literature, music, architecture, and food, to name a few-to accepting
the diversity of thought, belief, and values in people who may advocate very
different approaches to human existence.

The man who identifies himself in Asia as a "Westerner," the woman who
claims her Asian heritage in Brazil, the African who affirms his tribal heritage in
Europe, or the Japanese who speaks to an American and indicates that the American
will never understand Japan are all people acknowledging the civilization
with which they most identify while also signaling their desire to affirm interpersonal
civilizational differences.

The tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States in
which thousands were murdered, as well as other historical crusades, intifada,
revolutions, riots, and mass genocides are committed and rationalized, at least
in part, because of the inability to understand, acknowledge, or even value the
deep civilizational heritage of others. These frequent eruptions and conflicts
press the need for a reconciliation process that values the diversity of civilizations.
It also goes beyond reconciliation to learning from others whose values
and beliefs will bring positive value and enrichment. Why is it we can be
enriched by experiencing another civilizations art, let us say an African Black
Madonna, yet not equally be enriched by the inclusion of African civilizational
values in our lives or corporations?

At the corporate level, confrontations that arise when civilizational mindsets
collide-as well as our inability to leverage the strength inherent within civilizations-can
result in lost income, depreciated corporate capital, and the loss
of talented staff.

National Identification

While values and beliefs shape civilizations, geopolitical and natural boundaries
define nations, creating sometimes artificial, but very real, barriers between
people who share a common belief system, that is, civilization. Those boundaries,
whether they are rivers, walls, or passport gates, signal a departure from
one political, economic, and social state and entrance into another.

As citizens of a nation-state-even if we belong to a subgroup within that
country-we regularly mirror to varying degrees the dominant beliefs, behaviors,
and styles of the nation itself, as seen in the figure. We learn its anthem,
its governmental process, the ways to confront those governmental processes,
its language(s), and cultural norms. To a large degree, nations demonstrate a
national mindset or way of living in the world that is unique to that territory.

The research of Fons Trompenaars and Geert Hofstede has shown that
national orientation affects the way we do business. Political and economic
structures, wealth distribution, whether we identify primarily as an individual
or as a member of a group, and social as well as functional hierarchy all have
an impact on national culture and consequently on the international workplace.
These national dimensions of diversity create inclusionary patterns between
individuals, work units, and functions. They are legitimate areas of diversity
that require reconciliation.

National identity still matters, even in a global environment. Many members
of the European Union share a history and its unifying Western civilization, yet
the resurgent cultural behavior of countries like France and Germany signal that
nationalism is still strong and needs to be respected. In the same way, although
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations seek stronger
cross-national economic relationships, national pressure between Singapore and
Malaysia continues to demonstrate that nationalism plays an important role,
even among relatively young nations of similar civilizations. Mastering an
understanding of national identity is important for the resolution of global diversity

Multicultural nations formed voluntarily by immigration, such as Canada and
New Zealand, or involuntarily because of exploitation or political upheavals,
such as the United States, Australia, Singapore, Israel, India, and Pakistan, have
all attempted to achieve cultural respect between diverse citizens who profess
opposing social beliefs and cultural patterns. They have done so successfully at
times and chaotically at other times.

To begin the international differentiation process, carefully consider how
nations vary according to the following dimensions:

The degree of independence-dependence-interdependence of their citizens
and their relationships with other nations in their region of the

The inclusion and exclusion processes for minorities, be they ethnic,
racial, religious, or any other subset;

The establishment or not of interpersonal and intergroup hierarchy;

The strength of the political structure and the process of influence;

The range of formal and informal social hierarchy among its citizens;

The balance of individualism and collectivism among people;

The distribution of wealth and sharing of national assets;

The structure and purpose of the national economy; and

Mechanisms to reinforce-and in some cases enforce-national identity,
such as governmental communication, public relations campaigns, or

Each subcategory highlights a potential national dilemma that must be
addressed. For citizens within a nation, how does the inherent conflict become
resolved? Externally, in examining multiple nations, how do we cross-reference
international dilemmas to reconcile them? The SSI Model allows us to make
those comparisons for dialogue and resolution. The global diversity dilemma of
a corporate manager is the degree to which we include or exclude the contributing
values and beliefs of a different nation.

Organizational Factors

A core premise serves as the framework for this book's approach to global diversity.
To effectively address global diversity issues, organizations must understand
how having diversity in their workforce and in the way they think and
approach strategic issues will bring greater value to the company and its stakeholders.
In addition to civilizational orientation and national identification, organizational
factors impact how diversity is used, as shown in the figure. Global
diversity is the search for value drawn from the richness of the human capital
of an organization's employees.

Understanding this informs our approaches to organizational dimensions of
diversity such as management status, work location, union affiliation, division/department/work unit,
function/level/classification, seniority, and work content
or field. Are some divisions favored in budget deliberations? Is an engineering
mindset preferred over a legal one? Do the judgments of nonnational staff
carry more weight than the judgments of local nationals? Is input solicited from
those at lower levels in the hierarchy? Are all employees, regardless of global location,
able to have equal opportunity to advance within the corporation?

Domestic diversity efforts have long identified these organizational dimensions.
They are seen as areas in which exclusion or inclusion can occur to the
detriment of workers and the organization. In a global context, resolving these
organizational dimensions provides an opportunity to create diversity programs,
policies, and structures that bridge the values of the civilizations and nations.

In the SSI Model, the organization serves as mediator between the broader
diversity influences (such as civilization and national identity) and those personal
diversity dimensions that employees bring to the workplace.


Excerpted from The Global Diversity Desk Reference
by Lee Gardenswartz Anita Rowe Patricia Digh Martin Bennett
Copyright © 2003 by Lee Gardenswartz, Anita Rowe, Patricia Digh, Martin Bennett .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

List of Models, Tools, and Exercises
CD-ROM Contents
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Foundations of Global Diversity 13
1 Beyond Diversity: What Is Culture? 15
2 What Is Global Diversity? 90
Pt. 2 Managing a Global Workforce 133
3 Communicating Effectively Across Cultures 135
4 Maximizing Global Teams and Work Groups for Higher Performance 187
5 Managing Conflict in an International Environment 237
6 Problem Solving in Global Organizations 274
Pt. 3 Developing Your Organizations Global Competence 313
7 Systems for Using People Effectively in Global Organizations 315
8 Managing Performance in an International Workforce 364
9 You as a Tool: Leader as a Change Agent 409
Pt. 4 Resources and Appendix 431
Resources for Managing Global Diversity 433
Appendix 447
Index 459
About the Authors 473
How to Use the CD-ROM 477
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