Interesting chapter in my Negotiation text tonight about the emphasis some people place on recognising differences and similarities in particular cultures and the reality of how irrelevant it sometimes is. Here’s a poignant section from the text:
It is important, however, to recognise the existence of cultural diversity and it is advisable to acquire knowledge of the relevant cultural imperatives and how they interact for working in, or managing, a group of culturally diverse employees. Ignorance is never bliss, and it can be positively disastrous in certain circumstances. Cultural knowledge has the same significance as that of language fluency but fluency will not save you if your negotiating skills are primitive. It is more important, therefore, that negotiators understand the universality of the negotiating process if they are to make sense of the cultural conflicts sometimes evident in their negotiations. Cultural relativism misses the target.
Almost at the end of it now. Just in time to start revising for my exams in 5 weeks time.