Unearthing Hidden Issues in Workplace Diversity: We Talk the Talk, but Do We Walk the Walk?

By Joe Greenholtz.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper outlines how Bennett and Hammer's Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), its underlying theoretical framework, were used to help a training institute to understand and begin to deal with feedback from some clients that they felt they had been treated in a culturally insensitive manner, despite the institution's stated values of inclusiveness and respect. The IDI was administered to some members of the instructional staff in a pilot faculty development workshop. The faculty's group IDI profile revealed unresolved issues on the Minimization scale, an ethnocentric worldview underpinned by the idea that despite surface differences in language and customs, people share universal goals and values. This worldview, of which the instructors were unaware, predisposed them to believe that clients shared their (the instructors') cultural values and to interact with them on that basis. This lack of awareness kept the instructors from perceiving the clients' differing cultural realities and engaging them in culturally appropriate ways.

Keywords: Workplace, Diversity, Intercultural Development Inventory, Cross-Cultural Sensitivity, Professional Training and Development, Worldview and Values

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 8, pp.45-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 645.560KB).

Dr. Joe Greenholtz

Managing Partner, HJG Cultural Solutions, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Dr. Joe Greenholtz is an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia and Managing Partner of HJG Consulting. Joe was Executive Director of the UBC-Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Programme where he taught a cross-cultural communication course in addition to his administrative duties from 1995 to 2006. Prior to coming to UBC, he served for 5 years with the Canadian diplomatic service, including a 3-year posting to the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Joe’s research interests include the use of the IDI as a quantitative measure of intercultural sensitivity, cultural identity, comparative cross-cultural education, and language proficiency. Beyond his academic pursuits Joe is Treasurer of STEPS Forward Inclusive Post-secondary Education Society, a non-profit dedicated to expanding and supporting opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities to attend post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, and a member of the Board of Directors of Tonari Gumi, the Japanese Volunteer Association, a member of the City of Richmond’s Sister City and Intercultural Advisory Committees and sits on the Inclusive Education Committee of the BC Association for Community Living (BCACL).

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