From Universalism to Poly-Culturalism

Cultural Dimensions > Best Practices > From Universalism to Poly-Culturalism

From Universalism to Poly-Culturalism
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Member
There used to be 2 paradigms of organizational culture:
  • The first is UNIVERSALISM, a belief in colorblindness and uniformity in the treatment of all people, by suppressing any individual cultural characteristics.
  • As the world became more globalized, this evolved to a secondly paradigm, MULTICULTURALISM, which sort of acknowledges other cultures, preserves them, and does not demand that people subordinate themselves to one type of code or behaviour. Note that when we say or use the word 'multicultural', what we are effectively doing is segregating the cultures, even the cultures within ourselves. Multicultural implies that cultures are fixed, discrete entities that exist side by side - a kind of zoological approach to culture.
With many companies operating in a more global world than ever before, the idea of encouraging cultural fluency is taking hold. More people want to work abroad and worker...Sign up

Amarnath Krishnaswamy, Professor, India, Member
Polyculturalism is just a stepping stone… It would lead to a new "culture" within the organization....Sign up

Instilling Polyculturalism in Organizations
CLAUDIUS RWODZI, HR Consultant, Zimbabwe, Member
The reality in the global business today is subordination of individual cultures and precedence is given to commonly acceptable cultures by all team m...Sign up

Moving from Organizational Multiculturalism to Polyculturalism
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks Gandhi for your most interesting post to our Cultural Dimensions SIG.
Indeed there is a big difference if your organization (or you yourse...Sign up

Mutual Respect
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
I have read, and tried to absorb, the blog spot and have come to the conclusion that, with respect, the missing term in all definitions is "mutual res...Sign up

Multiculturalism to Poly-culturalism
CLAUDIUS RWODZI, HR Consultant, Zimbabwe, Member
Culture change will always be a challenge to deal with, so once organizations understand that we are now living in a global village, a lot more needs ...Sign up

Multi- and Poly-Uniculturalism
Andre-Ambrosio ABRAMCZUK, Teacher, Brazil, Member
From my early years I was taught that "si fueris Rōmae, Rōmānō vīvitō mōre; si fueris alibī, vīvitō ...Sign up

Behaviour and Culture
bill kinlough, Lecturer, Member
I think when we say polyculturalism and then start talking about behaviour, we could get our wires crossed; if we acknowledge all different types of c...Sign up

Polyculturalism in Sweden
Borje Vickberg, Sweden, Member
There are, at least, two dimensions on this subject; The company you manage and the country you live in. My personal experience – Being the leader and...Sign up

Diversity in Culturism is Rich
Francis Joseph, United Kingdom, Member
This debate is not about culture change, culture change cannot be initiated or coerced, therefore perish the thought. Multiculturism is best defined a...Sign up

Cultural Sensitivity as a Skill
Cruijff, Manager, China, Member
Nice first post and interesting idea, Gandhi.
When reading this, I felt that Polyculturalism implies a skill within people to be flexible in thei...Sign up

Value-based Sensitivity to Cultural Differences
Sonny Vicente, Coach, Philippines, Member
I tend to subscribe to your proposed 3rd paradigm, Polyculturalism, Ghandi and totally agree with Andrew Blaine's introduction of the ingredient of Mu...Sign up

From Universalism to Poly-Culturalism
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
Whether you are an executive or an entrepreneur, the ability to bridge the cultural gaps and leverage foreign ideas and opportunities is critical to s...Sign up

Forget Poly Culturalism
Gian Singh, Lecturer, Malaysia, Member
Since immemorial times, this theme of poly culturalism did not work and biased racism is built in the human being. Remember the Neanderthals were slau...Sign up

The Matter is How to Influence Majority
kenji hachiya, Business Consultant, Viet Nam, Member
As a Japanese consultant who is supporting Japanese companies operating in Vietnam, the difficulty is how to blend Japanese company’s culture with the...Sign up

Establishing and Merging New Cultures in South Africa
Pieter Erasmus, Management Consultant, South Africa, Member
Then there is a group that migrated from the Northern African continent to the Southern African continent. These guys took over by numbers the local p...Sign up

We Need to Embrace Polyculturalism
eddie m, Interim Manager, Kenya, Member
Can’t agree more, indeed as somebody said 'the world is a small village' we need this to not only to co-exist but to add value to the 'village' organi...Sign up

Polyculturalism is a Must if we Want to Leverage our Differences
Hardtmann, Entrepreneur, Germany, Member
Giving everyone the chance to remain unique, and contribute in their own way is key to our success in future - it's the (only viable?) growth and deve...Sign up

Coexisting Reaching Project Goals
Johannes Vandeweijer, Entrepreneur, Germany, Member
Finally, if there was an invasion from Mars, all cultures would stand side by side fighting for the same (project) goal. And, for this one moment in t...Sign up

From Multiculturalism to Poly-culturalism
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Member
Thanks for all great reactions. I just would like to add further about traditional model and polyculturalism.
The traditional models of understan...Sign up

From Multiculturalism to Poly-culturalism
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
Thanks Mr Gandhi Heryanto, Totally I agree with your views. Yes, I agree Poly-colturalism offers a better lens of understanding cultural complexity....Sign up

Poly Culturism is Just the Outcome!
Ashwini Saxena, Operations Officer, India, Member
Coming from the Hindu philosophy of "Vasudheva Kutumbukam" meaning that the whole world is a family, to me poly culturism doesn't seem to be a new con...Sign up

Beyond Polly and Her Cultures
Brad Altemeyer, Professor, United States, Member
I just wrote a short article for our new faculty publication here at South Texas College (great place for international students *cheap!) on the topic...Sign up

Co-existing Reaching Project Goals: Mutual Respect
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
Yes, Mr. Johannes Vandeweijer, I agree with your views. In fact, during my early service years, when I was in charg...Sign up

Borje Vickberg, Sweden, Member
@Gian Singh: Extremely pessimistic and cynical attitude. We have in contrast to the Neandertals, many options of co...Sign up

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