1. Define a multicultural issue of your choice using Lowman’s categories.
According to Lowman (2016), there are two broad categories of multicultural and international issues. These are working with marginalized and oppressed employees, and addressing diversity issues. For this paper, employee diversity is used as the multicultural issue. The issue involves a French consulting psychologist working in the U.S. The psychologist was hired by a private firm and the majority of the employees were Americans. The psychologist started getting a poor response during the first month. The employees complained that he was distant and cold. He rarely talked about his family and wasn’t interested in such issues. The problem was that Americans are more open and willingly talk about their families in offices. This is different from French people who rarely discuss personal matters with colleagues at work.
2. Analyze the situation using Glover’s value dimensions to describe differences
Glover & Friedman (2015) identify seven value dimensions for describing cultural differences. One of the value dimensions is specific versus diffuse. Using this value dimension, it is possible to explain the cultural differences in the multicultural issue. According to Glover, some countries prefer a specific relationship in business while others prefer and consider necessary a diffuse relationship. A specific relationship means the specific relationship as agreed in a contract. Diffuse relationship means involving the whole person in the business.
Based on the value dimension, France seems to prefer a specific business relation as agreed on a business contract. This explains why the psychologist wasn’t interested in personal life. On the other hand, America seems to prefer diffuse business relationship. This involves going beyond what is prescribed by the contract to knowing more about colleagues including knowing about their leisure activities and families (Glover & Friedman, 2015). The specific versus diffuse value dimension helps in understanding the cultural difference essential for recognizing and respecting the differences.
Glover, J., & Friedman, H. L. (2015). Respecting cultural differences. In Transcultural competence: Navigating cultural differences in the global community. (pp. 43–59). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Lowman, R. L. (2016). Multicultural and international issues in consulting psychology. In An introduction to consulting psychology: Working with individuals, groups, and organizations. (pp. 101–110). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.