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 necessary to effectively interact with all individuals.
Although much of the research related to multiculturalism has focused on expatriates and international assignments, Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment also focuses on leaders in domestic organizations, as they can benefit from developing their own multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Effective leaders can shape the culture of their organization to be accepting of individuals from all races, ethnicities, religions, and genders with a minimum of misunderstandings.
Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment is well grounded in solid research, but written in an easy-to-comprehend style that:
Provides a “culture centered” leadership perspective allowing organizational leaders the opportunity to attend to the influence of culture; Helps the reader find examples of how multicultural awareness can make their leadership task easier; Promotes an organizational culture that is more satisfying to both individuals and their leaders by embracing and celebrating differences.
Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment is an ideal supplemental text for undergraduate- or graduate-level international management, leadership, or diversity-related courses taught in the business curriculum. It could also be used in leadership courses taught in education and communication departments.
The Complexity of Culture
To demonstrate the benefits of defining culture inclusively
- To demonstrate the importance of both similarities and differences
- To demonstrate the necessity of accepting cultural complexity
- To demonstrate the ever-changing dynamic characteristics of culture
Before identifying specific multicultural competencies and describing specific avenues to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills, a deeper understanding of multiculturalism would benefit leaders by providing a context for the complexity of culture. The word culture was first used in its anthropological and sociological context by E. B. T. Taylor (1871/1924) defined as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (p.1).
[Page 22]Before we were born, cultural patterns ...