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Cultural Competency

  • Date Submitted: 05/20/2010 10:34 AM
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The Importance of Cultural Competency in Business

Understanding the importance of cultural, ethnic, gender, and other differences in a business setting should actually be a global priority.   Advanced technology has made it possible for many cultures to integrate diverse intellectual capabilities; therefore, it is imperative that businesses implement programs to enhance cultural competence and create a working environment of mutual respect.   Effective business managers and professionals now recognize that economic success in business is dependent on developing cultural competency with open lines of communication between all parties and a realization that cultural differences are actually assets when cultivated appropriately.
First, businesses must recognize that institutionalized discrimination does exist.   The presence of institutionalized discrimination often goes unnoticed by those who are not affected; therefore, awareness becomes a challenge but is achievable.   The discovery of one’s own cultural assumptions is the beginning of a “journey and a way of being” (Bhattacharya, Olsen, & Scharf, 2006).   According to Bhattacharya, Olsen, and Scharf (2006) the development of cultural competency in business is dependent on the policies, education, and practices that create cross-cultural understanding and awareness. Culturally competent businesses go beyond hiring and professional development to build mechanisms into the daily activities that foster continual learning. They also help in adapting working relationships to be more respectful, effective and appropriate to diverse populations (Bhattacharya, Olsen, & Scharf, 2006).
  Using the ping-pong experiment revealed how institutionalized discrimination encompasses daily lives and exposed feelings of awkwardness and alienation.   The ability to perform simple household duties, grooming, hygiene, housekeeping, and any other activities of daily living was severely impaired.   Most household appliances such as the...


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