Quiz 13: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Competence


People from some cultures accept the idea that members of an organization have different levels of power and authority. This postulate of acceptance of power and authority is a major dimension of difference in cultural values. Cultures that accept this readily are: • China • Malaysia • France • India For the American worker to adapt to the Malaysian customs, he/she should: • Practice high respect for elders. • Quickly understand the power hierarchy in the office. • Accept directions from superiors. • Do not question the authority of superiors. • Refrain from objecting or talking back to superiors.

One major dimension of differences in cultural values is the acceptance of power and authority. People coming from cultures who readily accept the idea that members of an organization have different levels of authority may face roadblocks in group/team dynamics, especially if there is little to no supervision. They may face obstacles, such as: • Lack of organization without an established leader. • Failure to accomplish set tasks without the authority of a leader. • The need to establish hierarchies within the group. • The need to establish power boundaries that all members agree upon. • A feeling of confusion from lack of a firm leader.

Stereotypes are patterns of thoughts and beliefs that are related to specific people doing or behaving in specific ways. Some are positive (Mexican laborers are hardworking and dependable), while some can be negative (blondes are not very intelligent). While considered positive, stereotypes categorize individuals with preconceived notions, which is not the best approach for building relationships. But focusing on the positives is still a good way to start. Here are a few more positive stereotypes: • Indians are skilled in technology and engineering. • Chinese workers are well-versed mathematicians. • French painters are the most artistic.