The ability to operate effectively across cultures is an important competence - it leads to positive outcomes and minimises the negative consequences of mishandling interaction. Intercultural effectiveness can help to reduce prejudice, build relationships of trust and generate creativity. It can also reduce the damage caused by low cohesion, high levels of miscommunication and personal stress.
In the business world it is common to hear of deals being lost or relationships becoming soured because of cultural differences. But are cultural differences really a source of such problems, or have they been unnecessarily exaggerated? Watch the clip below to hear Helen discuss these issues.
How 'global' are we?
The market for higher education is now truly global: potential students can make choices about study destinations from an enormous range of institutions in any of the five continents. The audience for research is also global, with a proliferation of domestic and international journals, a multitude of international conferences in every discipline and widely-disseminated international indices ranking universities in terms of their publication and teaching performance. The same is true of many different sectors.
Yet how 'global' are we, or our staff, in interacting across cultures? Does everyone have the competencies needed for effective interaction in such contexts, especially when operating under pressure. The importance of intercultural effectiveness for HEIs (and for other organisations and businesses) lies not only in the creation and management of suitable international partnerships - developing a higher level of sophistication in handling intercultural encounters is also a valuable internal strategy. Watch the video clip below to hear Nigel discuss such issues.