Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment: Developing Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills
Publication Year: 2005
Paul B. Pedersen is the 2010 Recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology Award
“This is a well-written book. Quite simple and precise … The authors should be commended. This book deals with leadership from a very contemporary perspective that reflects the importance of multiculturalism.”
–Guo-Ming Chen, University of Rhode Island
No matter how culturally different the person or group, there will be common-ground similarities and no matter how similar the person or group, there will be significant differences. Culture influences our thoughts, words, and actions in ways that are often unrecognized, leading to misunderstandings. Each misunderstanding can become very expensive, both in terms of missed opportunities and less effective business outcomes. Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment provides leaders with the tools ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Making the Business Case for Increased Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills
- Multiculturalism and Diversity
- Multiculturalism is Inclusive and Broadly Defined
- The Need for Multicultural Skills
- International Perspectives on Managing Diversity
- Value Added by Multiculturalism and Diversity
- Why Focus on Leaders?
- Chapter 1 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: Culture and Performance Feedback
- Exercise 1: Coalitions and Trust Formation
- Chapter 2: The Complexity of Culture
- Cultural Similarities and Differences
- A Test of Reasonable opposites
- One Size Does Not Fit All
- The Multicultural Perspective Has an Upside
- Culture is Complex, Not Simple
- Culture Balance is Dynamic, Not Static
- The Dangers of Ignoring Culture
- White Privilege is Real
- Chapter 2 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: Is it White Privilege?
- Exercise 2: A Test of Reasonable opposites
- Chapter 3: Cultural Frameworks and Their Importance for Leaders
- Leaders and Culture
- Seminal Work on Culture
- Additional Important Research Related to Culture
- GLOBE Research
- Culture and Context
- Developing Intercultural Sensitivity
- Ethnocentric Stages
- Ethnorelative Stages
- Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Components
- A Three-Stage Developmental Sequence
- Chapter 3 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: Whose Holiday is it, Anyway?
- Exercise 3: Describing Cultural Identity
- Chapter 4: Where Does One Start on the Journey to Multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills?
- Ethnic Identity Models
- Racial Identity Models
- Black Racial Identity
- White Racial Identity
- Implications of Identity Models for Leaders
- Different Types of Intelligence
- Kolb's Learning Styles
- Gagne's Theory of Instruction
- Chapter 4 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: A Celebration-of-Culture Picnic
- Exercise 4: Interpreting Policy in a Cultural Context
- Chapter 5: The Development of Multicultural Competencies
- Global Leadership Competencies
- The Multidimensional Model for Developing Cultural Competence
- Dimension 1: Race- and Culture-Specific Attributes of Competence
- Dimension 2: Components of Cultural Competence
- Dimension 3: The Foci of Cultural Competence
- Chapter 5 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: I Had Them Right Where I Wanted Them … I Thought
- Exercise 5: Double-Loop Thinking
- Chapter 6: What Can We Do to Make Multicultural and Diversity Training More Effective?
- Needs Assessment
- Transfer of Training
- The Evolution of Diversity Training
- Problems with Diversity Training
- Chapter 6 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: With the Best of Intentions
- Exercise 6: A Self-Assessment of Multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills
- Chapter 7: A Training Program to Lead from Multicultural Awareness to Knowledge and Skills
- Establishing the Objectives for Multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills
- Design Techniques
- Design Techniques to Stimulate Awareness
- Design Techniques to Impart Knowledge
- Design Techniques to Develop Skills
- Training Approaches
- Examples of Multicultural Awareness Training
- Examples of Multicultural Knowledge Training
- Examples of Multicultural Skill Training
- Implications of Cultural Differences for Training
- Chapter 7 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: Flavor-of-the-Month Diversity Training
- Exercise 7: Predicting the Decisions of a Resource Person
- Chapter 8: Constructive Conflict Management in a Cultural Context
- A General Model for Handling Conflict
- A Culture-Centered Perspective
- The Intrapersonal Cultural Grid
- The Interpersonal Cultural Grid
- Western and Non-Western Alternative Models
- Conflict in an Asian-Pacific Context
- Constructive Conflict Management in the 21st Century
- Chapter 8 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: What Type of Conflict is This?
- Exercise 8: The Cultural Grid
- Chapter 9: Redefining Leadership Through Multiculturalism
- Leadership Styles and Multiculturalism
- Examining Mentoring Through a Multicultural Lens
- Ethical Dimensions of Multiculturalism
- Culture's Influence on Negotiation Styles
- Chapter 9 Discussion Questions
- Critical Incident: Ethics across Cultures
- Exercise 9: Four Contrasting Ethical Orientations
[Page ii]I am very happy to dedicate this book to my family and to all of the cultural teachers I have had throughout my life. I want to thank my family for their support and encouragement. I thank my cultural teachers for their patience, as I have learned that achieving multicultural competence is a journey and not a destination.
I dedicate this book to Richard Brislin, who first invited me to Hawaii, introduced me to the field of culture and psychology, and to whom I owe a great deal.
Copyright © 2005 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Connerley, Mary L.
Leadership in a diverse and multicultural environment: Developing awareness, knowledge, and skills / Mary L. Connerley, Paul B. Pedersen.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-7619-8860-1 (Paper)
1. Executives—Training of—United States. 2. Diversity in the workplace—United States. 3. Leadership—United States. I. Pedersen, Paul, 1936- II. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
11 12 13 14 15 9 8 7 6 5 4
Acquisitions Editor: Al Bruckner
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Like many human characteristics, leadership is in the eye of the beholder—in particular, of those led. Just as the consumer and not the producer is the proper judge of the quality of a product, so it is the followers and not the leaders themselves who know best about the quality and effectiveness of leadership.
Many people would like to be leaders, and there is a large and well-selling literature listing all the traits a leader should possess—combinations of eminent characteristics unlikely to be united in most of us mortals. Fortunately, in actual practice the effectiveness of leadership depends only to a limited extent on the leader's traits and to a much larger extent on who the subordinates are, what the task is, and what the environment is.
Mary Connerley and Paul Pedersen's book is about leading more than about leadership: a process rather than a property. It is about leading in the more and more frequent situation where the subordinates and/or the environment can be characterized as multicultural and diverse.
Learning to become an effective leader is like learning to play music: Besides talent, it demands persistence and the opportunity to practice. Effective monocultural leaders have learned to play one instrument; they often have proven themselves by a strong drive and quick and firm opinions. Leading in a multicultural and diverse environment is like playing several instruments. It partly calls for different attitudes and skills: restraint in passing judgment and the ability to recognize that familiar tunes may have to be played differently. The very qualities that made someone an effective monocultural leader may make her or him less qualified for a multicultural environment.
Multicultural leaders need to be context-sensitive. They need a broad interest and an eagerness to absorb new signals, including inspiration from fields like history, geography, religion, literature, and art.
As any intercultural trainer knows and professes, intercultural effectiveness inescapably starts with awareness. Our natural tendency is to watch the world from behind the windows of a cultural home and to act as if people from other countries, ethnicities, or categories have something special about them (a culture) but home is normal. Awareness means the discovery that there is no [Page x]normal position in cultural matters. This is an uncomfortable message, as uncomfortable as Galileo Galilei's claim in the 17th century that the earth was not the center of the universe.
Mary Connerley and Paul Pedersen's book undertakes the prime task to raise the readers' and students' awareness and enthusiasm for the subject. A book cannot turn one into a multicultural leader, no more than a book can teach one to play music. What a book can do is create awareness of what there is to be known, and motivate the user to find out what he or she will need to know in addition to what the book contains.
The student of this book will also discover the complexity of, and some of the value conflicts inherent in the multicultural environment. If he or she feels comfortable with this amount of intellectual and moral confusion, then maybe this is the first step to a productive career in multicultural leadership.Velp, the Netherlands
No matter how highly skilled, well trained, or intelligent you are, if you are making wrong or culturally inappropriate assumptions, you will not be accurate in your assessment, meaningful in your understanding, or appropriate in your interactions as a leader. The inaccuracy or misattribution resulting from wrong assumptions translates into defensive disengagement by leaders and those they lead, each trying to protect the truth as he or she perceives it. This will likely have a negative impact on meeting an organization's goals. Developing multicultural awareness is too often classified as a secondary or tertiary prevention strategy. This book addresses the implications of leading in a diverse environment with a culture-centered approach and examines multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills training through a three-stage developmental sequence as a primary strategy in leadership.
It is difficult to know the cultures of others until and unless you have an awareness of your own culturally learned assumptions as they control your life. The importance of unexamined underlying culturally learned assumptions is frequently underestimated by failing to recognize that our assumptions reflect our own cultural context. All behaviors are learned in a cultural context and displayed in a cultural context. Leaders who disregard others' cultural contexts are unlikely to interpret their behavior accurately. The same behavior across cultures might have a very different interpretation, just as different behaviors might have the same interpretation. Therefore, developing multicultural awareness is a primary prevention strategy for leaders who want to interpret the meanings of cultural similarities and differences accurately.
An organizational leader has only two choices: to ignore the influence of culture or to attend to it. In either case, however, culture will continue to influence the behavior of others, with or without the leader's intentional awareness. Multicultural awareness provides a safe and accurate approach to managing [Page xii]differences across groups in our multicultural populations. The importance of culture has been most evident in minority groups' political struggle for equity. Culture has provided the rationale and “roots” for unifying and defining ethnic populations of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, and, more recently, White ethnics. The same model has also coalesced support among the elderly, gender groups, the physically handicapped, gays, lesbians, and many other special populations. The importance of culture is broader than indicated by any one or two of these special interest groups. Culture provides a metaphor for better understanding how we are similar and how we are different across boundaries. Perhaps more important, multicultural awareness provides a metaphor for understanding different perspectives within each of us as our thousands of different, culturally learned social roles compete, complement, and cooperate with one another inside ourselves (Pedersen, 1977, 1997c).
AUTHORS' NOTE: Portions of this book are reprinted from Pedersen, P. (2000). A Handbook for Developing Multicultural Awareness. 3rd Edition. American Counseling Association. Reprinted with permission.
We are making several assumptions as we write this book and state these assumptions directly and explicitly:
- Culture is defined broadly and inclusively, in the tradition of Herskovits (1955) who defined culture as the human-made part of the environment and Hofstede (2001) who described culture as a collective programming of the mind that manifests itself in values, symbols, and rituals.
- All leadership takes place in a multicultural context, given the complexity of ethnographic, demographic, status, and affiliation variables in every leader-other interaction.
- Culture includes both the more obvious objective and verifiable symbols and the more subjective perspectives hidden within each of us, waiting their turn to become salient.
- Cultural similarities and differences are both equally important in the multicultural perspective to protect against exclusionary stereotyping or power exploitation.
- The most important elements of multicultural awareness can be learned but cannot be taught. Good training, however, can create the favorable conditions for multicultural awareness to occur and can provide the knowledge and skills necessary for effective interactions with ALL people.
Portions of this book are based on Pedersen's (2000) Handbook for Developing Multicultural Awareness, Third Edition, which was written by the second author for the field of counseling. The field of counseling has extensively examined the competencies associated with multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills and provides a solid foundation for developing multicultural competencies for leaders. No further reproduction is authorized without written permission of the American Counseling Association.
[Page xiii]The leadership literature is vast and expanding rapidly, and there are many sources of multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skill. Developing multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skill is complex. We wish to thank all of the authors of the sources cited in this volume; they deserve credit for their extensive and useful publications. No doubt other valuable authors have been inadvertently omitted from the rapidly growing literature on developing multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills in leaders as the pool of resources grows and develops. Our hope is that this book will lead readers to find examples of how multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills can make their leadership task easier rather than harder and can increase their satisfaction in working with others from dissimilar cultures and backgrounds. It is also our hope that individuals with whom leaders interact find the relationship more satisfying and that an organizational culture is established that embraces and celebrates differences. As we will discuss, this is, in our view, not only the “right thing to do,” it also has the potential to lead to many organizational and individual benefits.[Page xiv]
We wish to acknowledge the faculty and staff at the Summer Intercultural Workshop, Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It was here that we first met and the idea for this book was initiated. We also wish to thank the many publishers and authors who granted us permission to use figures, information, and exercises, especially the American Counseling Association. We also thank Al Bruckner, editor, and senior editorial assistant MaryAnn Vail at Sage for their encouragement and patience. Kristin Bergstad, our copy editor, also deserves recognition for her very sharp eyes. Finally we thank the reviewers who provided thoughtful guidance and constructive feedback.[Page xvi]
Appendix[Page 165]A Synthetic Culture Training LaboratoryObjectives
To simulate the interaction of four contrasting groups discussing problems caused by outsiders, who attempt to find common ground without sacrificing their integrityDescription
This activity provides a structured interaction for participants to rehearse the dangers and opportunities of interacting with other cultures around the world. A teacher/trainer who has experienced the Synthetic Culture Laboratory as a participant and who is familiar with Geert Hofstede's 55-country database will be well prepared to run this laboratory. The cultures are described as “synthetic” because they are each derived from one end of four dimensions in Hofstede's data, and as extreme examples they do not exist in the real world. This Synthetic Culture Lab includes only 4 types of culture; an expanded version of Synthetic Cultures describing all 10 types is available in Hofstede, Pedersen, and Hofstede (2002).
Time required: A half day
Risk/expertise level: Moderate
Participants needed: Any number of participants and a facilitator acquainted with the Synthetic Culture Lab and/or Geert Hofstede's researchProcedures
- Activities will occur according to the following approximate time schedule.
1 hour Introduction to four synthetic cultures: Alpha (high power distance), Beta (strong uncertainty avoidance), Gamma (strong individualism), and Delta (high masculine). Participants will be divided into four corresponding groups to do the following:
- Learn the assumptions and rules of their synthetic culture
- Discuss the problems created by the “outsiders” in each synthetic culture
- Select a team of two consultants from each synthetic home culture who will visit the other three host cultures to help them deal with the problem of “outsiders”
30 minutes By this time each of the four small groups should have completed the above three tasks and be ready to do the following activities: The first rotation will require sending teams of consultants from each synthetic home culture to each synthetic host culture for a 10-minute consultation in role, followed by a 10-minute debriefing out of role and 10 minutes to report back to their home synthetic culture on what they learned. 30 minutes The second rotation will follow the same pattern with the next synthetic host culture. 30 minutes The third rotation will follow the same pattern with the final synthetic host culture. 30 minutes Each synthetic culture group will report back to the assembled participants on how to find common ground and agreement between their own culture and persons from different cultural backgrounds. Synthesis of learning for the day and completion of evaluation forms.
- Role-play four contrasting synthetic cultures in a simulation, demonstrating the importance of identifying cultural similarities and differences.
- Listen to the four synthetic cultures as they are introduced.
- Select one synthetic culture identity for yourself, either because it fits with your own viewpoint or because it contrasts with your own viewpoint or for any other reason you choose.
- Assemble in a small group with your synthetic culture comembers to socialize one another into the new synthetic culture identity.
- As you discuss the written rules for your synthetic culture, incorporate them into your communication with other group members.
- Take on your new synthetic culture identity in everything you say and do.[Page 167]
- Review the list of problems created in your synthetic culture because of “outsiders.”
- Write a list of two or three specific problems that have resulted from interacting with outsiders.
- Select a team of two consultants who will be sent to another synthetic culture to help them work with the problems caused by outsiders.
- Send the team of two consultants to the next synthetic host culture and receive a team of two consultants from another, different synthetic culture.
- Complete the three rotations so that each home culture has sent a team to each of the three other host cultures in turn.
- Each synthetic culture community is having a problem with “outsiders” from the other three synthetic culture communities; outsiders are coming into the community as refugees, visitors, tourists, students, and immigrants.
- These outsiders have caused serious problems in your schools, institutions, and community because they disregard your way of doing things. They do not believe the same things you and your people believe.
- Outsiders cause problems in Alpha culture by emphasizing the equality of all persons, demanding accountability to the community of powerful people, encouraging shared responsibility in the family, promoting shared authority in classrooms, and advocating the decentralization of power.
- Outsiders cause problems in Beta culture by emphasizing the importance of uncertainty, dangers of stress and assertiveness, leniency of rules, interest in things that are different, open-ended learning situations, taking time off, flexibility of time, moderation, and the value of human rights.
- Outsiders cause problems in Gamma culture by emphasizing the importance of the group, welfare guarantees, the dominant role of government, harmony and consensus, avoidance of confrontations, diplomas as measures of credibility, and relationships prevailing over task goals.
- Outsiders cause problems in Delta culture by emphasizing caring for others, warm relationships, modesty, equal rights for men and women, tenderness in relationships, sympathy for the weak, promoting androgyny of gender roles, compromise, negotiation, permissiveness, preservation of the environment, and helping the less fortunate.
In debriefing the Synthetic Culture Laboratory it is useful to have each group discuss and present a report to the larger group on their advice to persons coming to their culture and their feedback to the other three synthetic cultures. Some discussion questions follow:
- Were you able to discover elements of all four synthetic cultures in your own culture?[Page 168]
- Were you able to find common ground without sacrificing integrity?
- Which synthetic cultures did you work with most constructively?
- Which synthetic cultures were most difficult?
- How will you use what you learned from this activity?
If the training context is safe and if you take some risks you can learn to find common ground across cultures without sacrificing integrity.Exhibit: Guidelines for the Four Synthetic CulturesAlpha Culture (High Power Distance)
Power distance indicates the extent to which a culture accepts that power is unequally distributed in institutions and organizations.Alpha Behaviors
Beta Culture (Strong Uncertainty Avoidance)
- Alphas will use the following words with a positive meaning: respect, father (as a title), master, servant, older brother, younger brother, wisdom, favor, protect, obey, orders, and pleasing.
- Alphas will use the following words with a negative meaning: rights, complain, negotiate, fairness, task, necessity, co-determination, objectives, question, and criticize.
- The Cultural Grid
- The following behaviors by Alphas will express the following expectations.
Behavior Expectation Soft-spoken, polite, listening Friendly Quiet, polite, and not listening Unfriendly Asks for help and direction Trust Does not ask for help and direction Distrust Positive and animated, but no eye contact Interest Expressionless, unanimated, but with eye contact Boredom
- Language: Alphas are very verbal but usually soft-spoken and polite.
- Nonverbals: Alphas are usually restrained and formal. 3.3 Stereotypes: Alphas are hierarchical and seek to please.[Page 169]
- Evaluation: Alphas tend to blame themselves for any problems that come up.
- Stress: Alphas internalize stress and express stress indirectly.
- Gender Roles
- Role of gender: Leadership roles may be held by either male or female. If the society is matriarchal, the visible power of women in decision making is likely to be more obvious than in patriarchal societies, where the visible power of males would be more obvious.
- Role of women: In home and family affairs, women are likely to be very powerful even though that power might be less visible than the more visible male roles. While women may seem subservient, that may not in fact be true.
- Role of men: Males in leadership roles are often held accountable for the consequences of their decisions. If they lose the support of the women, new leaders will emerge. While males may be the visible traditional leaders, the men may be much more subservient in less visible and more private social roles in a balance of power.
Uncertainty avoidance indicates the lack of tolerance in a culture for uncertainty and ambiguity.Beta Behaviors
Gamma Culture (High Individualism)
- Betas will use the following words with a positive meaning: structure, duty, truth, law, order, certain, clear, clean, secure, safe, predictable, and tight.
- Betas will use the following words with a negative meaning: maybe, creative conflict, tolerant, experiment, spontaneous, relativity, insight, unstructured, loose, and flexible.
- The Cultural Grid
- The following behaviors by Betas will indicate the following expectations.
Behavior Expectation Detailed responses, formal and unambiguous, specific Friendly Generalized, ambiguous responses; anxious to end the interview Unfriendly Polarized structures in response separate right from wrong unambiguously Trust Openly critical and challenging the other person's credentials Distrust Verbal and active questioning with direct eye contact, task oriented Interest Passive and quiet with no direct eye contact Boredom
- Language: Betas are very verbal and well organized, somewhat loud.
- Nonverbal: Betas are animated in using hands but with little or no physical contact.
- Stereotypes: Betas have rigid beliefs that don't change easily.
- Evaluation: Betas quickly evaluate a situation to establish right and wrong, sometimes prematurely.
- Stress: Betas externalize stress and usually make the other person feel the stress rather than themselves.
- Gender Roles
- Role of gender: The right and appropriate roles of men and women are rigidly defined and without ambiguity. The dress, behavior, and functions of men and women are defined by rules, traditions, and carefully guarded boundaries.
- Role of women: Women tend to be in charge of home, family, children, and religious or traditional spiritual rituals, as guardians of society through the romantic and idealized role of what a woman should be. Society can be very unforgiving to women who rebel or violate those rules, although elderly women may take on traditional power roles otherwise reserved for males.
- Role of men: Men are expected to take care of the woman and protect the home and family by providing for material needs and demonstrating strength in their public posture. Men are expected to be more visible in their public posture. Men are expected to be more visible in their public roles than women and women—especially younger women—might have difficulty sharing power with men in public or work roles.
Individualism indicates the extent to which a culture believes that people are supposed to take care of themselves and remain emotionally independent from groups, organizations, and other collectivities.Gamma Behaviors
Delta Culture (High Masculinity)
- Gammas will use the following words with a positive meaning: self, friendship, do-your-own-thing, contract, litigation, self-respect, self-interest, self-actualizing, individual, dignity, I/me, pleasure, adventurous, and guilt.
- Gammas will use the following words with a negative meaning: harmony, face, we, obligation, sacrifice, family, tradition, decency, honor, duty, loyalty, and shame.
- The Cultural Grid
- The following behaviors by Gammas will indicate the following expectations.
Behavior Expectation Verbal and self-disclosing Friendly Criticizes others behind their back, sabotages enemies Unfriendly Aggressively debate issues and control the interview actively Trust Noncommittal on issues and more passive, ambiguous, or defensive Distrust Loudly verbal with lots of questions, touching, and close physical contact Interest Maintains physical distance with no questions or eye contact Boredom
- Language: Gammas are verbal and self-centered, using I and me often.
- Nonverbal: Gammas touch a lot and are somewhat seductive.
- Stereotypes: Gammas are defensive and tend to be loners who see others as potential enemies.
- Evaluation: Gammas use other people and measure the importance of others in terms of how useful they are.
- Stress: Gammas like to take risks and like the challenge of danger to continually test their own ability.
- Gender Roles
- Role of gender: Power might as easily be held by females as by males, especially in urban and modernized areas. Gender roles are less rigidly defined, with each gender taking on the roles of the other—to serve individual self-interests—in public and/or private activities.
- Role of women: Women are free as long as they have the power to protect themselves. Attractive women can gain power by being manipulative and taking advantage of their beauty. Less assertive—and particularly older—women are likely to become victims of exploitation by both younger men and women.
- Role of men: Men excel in areas requiring physical strength. Younger, taller, and physically attractive men can be expected to be aggressive in asserting their power over others. Men who are uncomfortable being competitive—especially older men—are likely to be ridiculed as weak and losers.
Masculinity indicates the extent to which traditional masculine values of assertiveness, money, and things prevail in a culture as contrasted to traditional feminine values of nurturance, quality of life, and people.[Page 172]Delta Behaviors
Synthetic Culture: Expectations and Behaviors[Page 174]Mediating Conflict between Synthetic Cultures
- Deltas will use the following words with a positive meaning: career, competition, fight, aggressive, assertive, success, winner, deserve, merit, balls, excel, force, big, hard, fast, and quantity.
- Deltas will use the following words with a negative meaning: quality, caring, solidarity, modesty, compromise, help, love, grow, small, soft, slow, and tender.
- The Cultural Grid
- The following behaviors by Deltas will indicate the following expectations.
Behavior Expectation Physical contact; seductive and loud Friendliness Physical distance; sarcastic and sadistic Unfriendly Tend to dominate discussion and be competitive Trust Openly critical, disparaging; and attempts to end the discussion Distrust Sports oriented and eager to debate every issue from all points of view Interest No eye contact; discourteous and drowsy Boredom
- Language: Deltas are loud and verbal, with a tendency to criticize and argue with others.
- Nonverbal: Deltas like physical contact, direct eye contact, and animated gestures.
- Stereotypes: Deltas are macho, hero and status oriented, and like winners.
- Evaluation: Deltas are hard to please, tend to be overachievers, are defensive, and blame others for their mistakes.
- Stress: Deltas are Type A personalities, generating stress through fast-paced lifestyles.
- Gender Roles
- Role of gender: Men and more masculine women are typically more powerful and are highly favored in leadership roles. Passive and facilitating behaviors are tolerated in women but not in men. Men are stereotyped as strong and women as weak.
- Role of women: Women tend to be either masculine in their personal style as “one of the guys” or completely subservient and docile, with few women between these extremes. Young and attractive women can use their beauty to win, but without romantic illusions. Older or less attractive women are at a great disadvantage.[Page 173]
- Role of men: Young, strong, tall, and attractive men are idealized as heroes and are admired or envied by others. Men see life as a game played by men with women as cheerleaders.
Examine examples of conflict between the following synthetic cultures and identify examples of common ground in positive expectations and/or values that persons from both synthetic cultures share.1. Conflict between an Alpha and a Beta
Alphas emphasize a hierarchy of power where each person has her or his place, showing respect to those above and expecting obedience from those below that level. Betas dislike uncertainty and do not tolerate ambiguity, so there is a structure of laws that must be obeyed that goes beyond the needs of individuals or society. A possible conflict between Alpha and Beta might be a high power level group of Alphas who do whatever they like and disregard the rules in spite of objections by Betas in that society.2. Conflict between an Alpha and a Gamma
Alphas emphasize a hierarchy of power where each person has her or his place, showing respect to those above and expecting obedience from those below that level. Gammas are individualistic and believe everyone should take care of themselves and remain emotionally independent from groups, organizations, or society. A possible conflict between Alphas and Gammas might be a group of Gammas who fail to show proper respect to Alpha leaders.3. Conflict between an Alpha and a Delta
Alphas emphasize a hierarchy of power where each person has her or his place, showing respect to those above and expecting obedience from those below that level. Deltas are assertive, materialistic, and success oriented, seeking rapid progress and ultimate domination in their relationships with others. A possible conflict would be a group of Deltas who attack the Alpha hierarchy as uneconomic and inefficient and attempt to remove the Alphas from power.4. Conflict between a Beta and a Gamma
Betas avoid uncertainty whenever possible and prefer a structure of clear, unambiguous rules to define truth and duty in their relationships. Gammas are individualistic and believe everyone should take care of themselves and remain emotionally independent from groups, organizations, or society. A possible conflict between Betas and Gammas might be the increased power of Gammas who promote individual freedom where anybody can do whatever they want and where nobody has a right to control their behavior.[Page 175]5. Conflict between a Beta and a Delta
Betas avoid uncertainty whenever possible and prefer a structure of clear, unambiguous rules to define truth and duty in their relationships. Deltas are assertive, materialistic, and success oriented, seeking rapid progress and ultimate domination in their relationships with others. A possible conflict between Betas and Deltas might be the increased power of a small clique of Deltas who interpret the rules to their own advantage or find ways around the rules to increase their own power in society.6. Conflict between a Gamma and a Delta
Gammas are individualistic and believe everyone should take care of themselves and remain emotionally independent from groups, organizations, or society. Deltas are assertive, materialistic, and success oriented, seeking rapid progress and ultimate domination in their relationships with others. A possible conflict between Gammas and Deltas might be a power struggle where the Deltas use teamwork in their organization to destroy individualistic Gammas and take over power in society.
SOURCE: Adapted from Pedersen, P., & Ivey A. E. (1993). Culture-centered counseling and interviewing skills (pp. 67–75). Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.[Page 176]
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About the Authors[Page 215]
Mary L. Connerley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. She received her PhD in Human Resource Management from the University of Iowa and her master's and undergraduate degrees in Industrial Relations and Psychology, respectively, from Iowa State University. She has taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral levels, including Managing Diversity in the Workplace, Training & Development, Staffing, and Human Resource Management. She has been an active researcher and has published more than 20 articles on aspects of multiculturalism and diversity, cross-cultural and expatriate issues, and the staffing process. She is a member of the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists. She enjoys serving as a Multicultural Fellow at Virginia Tech and has chaired or been a member of the college's Multicultural Diversity Committee since 1996.
Paul B. Pedersen is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, Syracuse University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and for 6 years at universities in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He has authored, coauthored, or edited 40 books, 99 articles, and 72 chapters on aspects of multicultural counseling. He is a Fellow in Divisions 9, 17, 45, and 52 of the American Psychological Association.