The editors and some of the contributors are in diversity work in their own countries and abroad.
However, while many of the activities found here will be useful for domestic contexts, the focus
is on culture, not politics. We are concerned here with getting things right operationally, rather
than rectifying things organizationally or socially. Though we realize the continuing importance
of that objective, we deliberately take this path because of the lack of reliable training designs for
intercultural effectiveness. As you will see in Part VII of the book, this choice of direction
reflects the wide international training experience of the editors and contributors to this volume.
Human resource professionals who seek to hire professionals to do work such as that suggested
in this book should be clear that all diversity experts are not interculturalists per se. The careers
of many professionals incorporate both disciplines (and diversity experience might help in the
transition), but domestic diversity efforts are usually very ethno-specific. Many of the people
doing good work in these areas have little or no international experience or competence.
Conversely, interculturalists, though they often possess extensive knowledge of culture-general
theory and considerable hands-on experience living and working in cultures not their own, are
not often grounded in the principles, perspectives, and politics of domestic diversity. In many
initiatives, “cross-cultural” teams of diversity and intercultural experts will be required if the job
is to be done well.
Who should use this book?
This book focuses on the world of global commerce. It was compiled for individuals involved in
international and domestic organizations that are learning to work, market, negotiate, and other-
wise do business with people of other cultures. The activities in the book focus on the awareness,
knowledge, and skills required by the new global manager: the impact of culture on communica-
tion; business interactions; and how we form relationships. The activities will be useful in ser-
vice, manufacturing, financial, not-for-profit, and governmental sectors. Those who educate
others for work in a global economy and who teach in universities, trade schools, and other edu-
cational institutions will also find this material very helpful.
The activities as contained here are targeted for trainers or facilitators who
• have conducted training. Basic information about needs assessment, instructional design,
and facilitation skills is not included.
• have worked with multicultural groups and who understand the dynamics involved in the
processes of establishing credibility, group participation, debriefing, etc., across cultures.