Working with Cultural Differences: Dealing Effectively with Diversity in the Workplace

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Given the internationalization of business, and the increasing need to work effectively with culturally diverse people in one's own country, people are facing new and more common challenges in developing workplace relationships. The challenges include communicating across differences in the use of silence and indirectness, dealing with negative exchanges, or neutral exchanges that one party perceives as negative, making decisions, working through criticisms and disagreements, and interpreting changing workplace dynamics. In this book, Distinguished Professor Richard Brislin shows us that helpful guidelines for everyday intercultural interactions are clear in information that has been gathered across the fields of cross-cultural psychology, organizational behavior and intercultural communication. A psychologist and a professor of management, Brislin uses actual examples he calls critical incidents to illustrate the basic psychological processes that play a part in effective, and ineffective, intercultural relationships across workplaces. The differences they face include individual and collective cultural background, the relative emphasis placed on the importance of status and power, behaviors relative to a culture's social norms, and gender expectations of males and females in the workplace.

Insights explained here allow readers understand how they can benefit from, rather than be frustrated by, intercultural experiences, and how to better develop such relations. Short stories throughout the text demonstrate how actual people in business recognized and dealt with intercultural issues, at home and abroad.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Psychologist Brislin (management, Univ. of Hawaii) examines how to deal with cultural differences from a psychological perspective. Rather than approach the topic from a country-by-country analysis, he organizes his work by focusing on specific psychological topics such as individualism, silence, direct communication, criticism, decision making, gender differences, status, power, social norms, workplace dynamics, and interpersonal relationships….Recommended. Professors, practitioners, and students interested in international business and workplace diversity."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313352829
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Series: International Contributions in Psychology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 812,873
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD BRISLIN is a Shidler College Distinguished Professor, and Professor of Management, at the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii. He has been awarded the University of Hawaii Regents' Medal for excellence in teaching, and is frequently asked to give workshops for American and Asian managers working on international assignments. He is co-developer of materials used in cross-cultural training programs and is author of a text in cross-cultural psychology. Brislin's PhD in Psychology is from Pennsylvania State University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Increasing Intercultural Interactions 1

2 Adjusting to Other Cultures 9

3 Individualism and Collectivism 21

4 Communication: Interpreting Silence, Quiet, and Indirectness 33

5 Communication: Interpreting Directness and Potentially Negative Exchanges 45

6 Dealing with Criticisms and Disagreements 57

7 Decision Making 67

8 Interactions among Males and Females 81

9 Status and Power 93

10 The Number and Importance of Social Norms 107

11 Workplace Dynamics 121

12 Developing Interpersonal Relationships 133

13 Basic Psychological Processes at Work during Intercultural Interactions 145

14 Some Final Pieces of Advice and Some Concluding Perspectives 159

References 171

Index 179

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