By Maureen Guirdham (auth.)
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Additional resources for Communicating Across Cultures
Even in these organisations, however, the 'hidden presumption' often is that the moral values of the social majority will prevail, and that individuals who adhere to other values will adjust. For example, most OK organisations would make no commitment to supplying food prepared in ways which are acceptable to people of Jewish or Islamic faith. These minorities among employees are simply expected to make their own arrangements for eating according to their religion. Using the pool of talent to the full.
2. ' Sources: Guardian, 21 March 1997; Channel 4 programme, 20 March 1997. In general, the UK has been found to exhibit high levels of discrimination against 'minorities'. For example, in the findings of the 1996 World Competitiveness Report, 14 issued by an independent body based in Geneva, out of 48 nations surveyed, the UK ranked 38th for career opportunities for women and 39th for equal opportunities regardless of background. ) The US State Department Report on Human Rights for 1997 said of the UK: 25 COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES Although the law prohibits discrimination based on race, persons of African or South Asian origin face substantial unofficial discrimination.
More loosely controlled systems are better able to tolerate the behavioural differences which come with diversity; tightly controlled systems require all individuals to conform to a single model. Pragmatic versus normative cultures. Pragmatic cultures have flexible ways of dealing with the environment, especially customers; rigid cultures do not. The distinction reflects the organisation's degree of 'customer orientation'. Since flexibility is both a necessary condition and an outcome of diversity, pragmatic cultures are better adapted to benefit from it.
Communicating Across Cultures by Maureen Guirdham (auth.)