Monday, April 28, 2008

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands

From Library Journal "Written by executives who prepare other executives for international travel and one Fulbright scholar in cross-cultural communication, this work is a godsend for rapidly growing international collections. It is affordable, to-the-point, and easily understood book by those who as yet have no stamps on their passports. The introduction discusses cognitive styles, value systems, and negotiation strategies in different cultures, explaining how delicate they make the process of intercultural relations. Sixty countries are examined in terms of background, cultural orientation, business practices (e.g., negotiating, entertaining), and protocol (e.g., gestures, dress). Morrison and cohorts cover some countries not included by more costly "Doing Business In" publications by Business International and Price Waterhouse. The average entry length is five pages-more than Brigham Young University's Culturgrams" (Garrett Park Pr., 1993. 2d ed.). Recommended for all business and international studies collections.Lisa K. Miller, Paradise Valley Community Coll. Lib., PhoenixCopyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

This is an excellent book for themoney. It covers some very pragmatic information about cultures, and activities that most people will find themselves in on many occasions. It covers such things as the gestures you should not do in countries such as giving the "thumbs up" sign in Australia, even color combinations that could offend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Challenges of International Human Resource Management

The Challenges of International Human Resource Management

Imagine working in a company where you have one person from every nationality, every culture, every religion, and every race. What kind of a place would it be? Would you need to walk around with a Star Trek Communicator? There would be conflict. Would the conflict always be a bad thing? No, conflict is not always a bad thing. There is a strong difference between the colloquialism of not “having a conscience” and those expressions that convey some sort of sociopathic tendency. A person suffering from the tendencies of sociopathic thinking will consider themselves right when and where most would consider themselves truly wrong or mistaken for sound reason. For instance; taking others lives to benefit and promote their beliefs about “that which is right.” All healthy humans consider kindness, love, charity, seeking of truth, meekness, goodness, and real humility characteristics of what is “right.” This view of health predates our religions.[i] Basically anything that builds the growth of human character and sustains the totality of human life is good and right. Anything that does not build the growth of human character and sustain the totality of human life is bad and wrong. These criterions are very simple and when anyone hears it or reads it I have yet to see or hear anyone disagree with it with any form of sound thinking. When we do not have a clear answer in our organizations as to what is "right" we usually seek to promote our own agenda and get rather scared because we know that there are others who are doing what they are doing and they will have to compete with them. When we are looking at this process from the view of an “Internal Organization” it magnifies the problems. If one believes they can only live in a "dog eat dog" world then there is a "scarcity mentality[ii]" that is created by the very way in which one thinks about what is right and what is wrong. The next level is where we attempt to negotiate our existence: We promise anything to "our perception of God" or "the universe" anything so long as we will get what we expect to get...we negotiate without siblings, our parents, our peers. We set up rules and normative values; we make laws and use contracts to make our lives predictable and safe. The next level of life is those who live for some sort of a cause. They are at times if they are healthy willing to use some sort of "civil disobedience" (not revolution) as did Dr Martin Luther King and Gandhi but they are not willing to lie, cheat, and steal in order to do good and be right. Those who live for a cause are seen as fakes to those who are the first level. They are seen as fakes because if they are seen as real people doing the right thing then it is too much of a challenge to them. The best way for anyone to go from any of the levels is through empathy. Empathy is the ability to identify with and feel what another person is feeling and probably thinking. Empathy is not in the sociopath’s tool kit. However, all of us at some point in time blocked our conscience or the goodness in ourselves in order not to deal with the fears we have of finding truth and doing right. We are going to look at what works in International Human Relations. We are going to examine the process in detail and seek a shared understanding of their pragmatic applications across boundaries so as to as to…

An excerpt from the book:International Human Relations, Interpersonal Work Skills” by Frank Mueller and Dena Mueller due out in May of 2010.

[i] The ideas supporting healthy humans considering kindness, love, charity, seeking of truth, meekness, goodness, and real humility characteristics of what is “right” concepts can be found in one of the oldest known writings in the world: The Epic of Gilgamesh
[ii] See the article by Tyson Yunkaporta concerning “Aboriginal Poverty Mindset” influenced and at times induced by “Western Scarcity Mentality” mindsets. also see materiel written by Stephen R. Covey concerning the topic:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best Practices of Overseas Recruiting and Finding Expatriates

Best Practices of Overseas Recruiting and Finding Expatriates

Here is a web site that might give you some ideas on describing "techniques you may need to employ or have used when recruiting or filling a position with an organization overseas." It has a large group of white papers that covers many aspects of recruiting in general.

You may want to see this concerning some "unique challenges" This is from the United States General Accounting Office . They are looking for people who have language skills in hard-to-learn languages to fill critical positions.

The “ Workforce best practice library ” Has a great section on Recruiting and Retention at