Introduction
xi
How This Book Is Organized
The activities in this book are organized for practical hands-on application, to a great degree in
the order in which they are required for training sessions and seminars.
Part I—Icebreakers
We begin with a collection of Icebreakers, activities that can be used at the outset of a program
to introduce participants to one another from an intercultural perspective. These activities intro-
duce the topic of culture and get the group ready for further discussions on culture.
Part II—Culture—General Activities
Following this we have organized the activities from general to specific and into practical cate-
gories. Participants coming from an intercultural background might recognize the distinction
between the culture-general and the culture-specific focus.
For those new to this work and those who want to bring their diversity experience to global man-
agement issues, this simply means that there is a dimension of intercultural work that teaches
how to learn about culture itself and how to recognize the dynamics of culture that apply to
learning about any and all cultures.
On the other hand, there are countless values, languages, customs, ethics, etc., that are particular
to specific cultures. Culture-general and culture-specific, quite simply, can be explained like this:
When you enter any new cultural environment, you should look for differences in authority,
delegation, management habits, and etiquette; this advice belongs to the area of culture-general
knowledge and skills. On the other hand, knowing that in Culture A you always call your man-
ager by his/her title and family name, while in Culture B informal nicknames are standard for
everyone in the department is an example of culture-specific information.
Generally speaking, culture-general competence is needed for the successful interpretation and
use of culture-specific information. This minimizes culture shock and reduces the possibility of
stereotyping.
Culture-general learning activities cover the dynamics of culture and cultural values, intercultural
communication skills, activities to reduce ethnocentric thinking, speech, and behavior, and
activities that help us understand and use time the way other cultures do. Many of the activities
in this book are culture-general and can be applied to a variety of cross-cultural situations. These
culture-general activities are divided into three sections:
1. Cultural Dynamics: The activities in this section effectively transform the theories of
leading interculturalists into practical activities to raise awareness of the impact of culture
at work. The cultural issues raised as a result of these activities can be applied to a variety
of cultural situations.

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