Developing Cross-cultural CommunicationDeveloping Cross-cultural Communication
by Frank R. Oomkes, Richard H. Thomas
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited (December 3, 1992)
Reviewer: George F. Simons
Cross-Cultural Communication: A Trainer's Manual by Frank R. Oomkes and Richard H. Thomas provides not only a large collection of exercises and activities, but also training outlines and planning tips to assist the cross-cultural trainer to conduct and evaluate cross-cultural training events. It is reminiscent of the Pfeiffer and Jones Annuals published by University Associates in that permission to reproduce the contents is given with the purchase of the book. The handouts are clearly marked and laid out for photocopying on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. The creative trainer can use the richly annotated index to mine the volume to customize her or his own interventions
While a good part of the manual is focused directly on Cross-cultural Communication as the title suggests, there are sections on handling conflict, culture shock and culture learning, values and beliefs. In short, Oomkes and Thomas provide a general course in cultural competence, Wile there is little culture specific information, many of the exercises are structured in such a way as to bring out such details about other individuals and groups in an anecdotal fashion.
Both those in global businesses and management, as well as consultants and academics will find much that is useful in these pages. The approach is distinctly European and has to do more with working across national boundaries and being effective away from home than it does with the acculturation of a culturally diverse workforce or the issues of racism, sexism and the other "isms" which are more familiar approaches to North Americans. Managing diversity is itself diverse as this European resource reminds us.