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Managing the multi-cultural laboratory, Part II: Tools for managing the differences

Managing the multi-cultural laboratory, Part II: Tools for managing the differences

Clinical Laboratory Management Review 6(6): 521

This second article provides practical advice from managers in a variety of industries who have first-hand experience as multi-cultural managers. It will help laboratory professionals make practical application of two conceptual models in managing their culturally diverse employees. The advice covers such areas as performance standards, interpersonal skills, language issues, and other management practices. The first article explained what is meant by "culture" and featured the research-based model set forth by Dutch social psychologist and management consultant, Dr. Geert Hofstede. His four dimensions of culture (Power Distance, Masculinity/Femininity, Individualism/Collectivism, and Uncertainty Avoidance) provide a useful framework for assessing the different values, attitudes, and behaviors exhibited by those of different cultural backgrounds. In this article, abbreviated reference tables are presented that make these cross-cultural data more useful for management decision making. Laboratory supervisors can use both the models and the advice to challenge their own built-in cultural biases and to meaningfully interpret some of the attitudes and behaviors of culturally diverse coworkers and employees.

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Accession: 046619070

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PMID: 10128839

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