Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions

Philip R. Harrs (Harris International Ltd, La Jolla, California, USA)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



Harrs, P.R. (2004), "Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions", European Business Review, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 429-429.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

With the emergence of a more diverse, global workforce, coping with cultural differences in all industries and professions has taken on added significance. Developing such skills has special relevance for dealing with customers and suppliers in a global marketplace. Unfortunately, the typical education of engineers, scientists, and technical personnel rarely makes provisions for preparation in cross‐cultural communications. That is why this new book by Dr Lionel Laroche, an engineer himself, is so timely. This Canadian author deftly examines the differences in the education and training of technical personnel, as well as their career expectations and communication styles world wide. Succinctly, he explains cross‐cultural concepts and competencies required today by technical professionals of all types, especially those in high tech and Internet services.

This volume is primarily for technical management types, but it does have an appendix directed to human resource managers, diversity trainers and consultants engaged in career development of this special audience. The writer draws upon his own extensive experience as an instructor and consultant with technical personnel. He provides strategies to improve employee effectiveness, useful anecdotes and case studies, as well as quantitative data offered through charts, tables, and other exhibits.

Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions is organized into six pithy chapters. The contents cover appropriate topics on culture and differences, technical management, multicultural teamwork, technical communications, career management and planning ahead. Anyone who has struggled with detailed and incomprehensible technical manuals and instructions written by technical people recognize that this book's message is very needed and long overdue. Other helpful appendices analyze technical education from a cultural perspective, in addition to professional associations and requirements. Although this work addresses an international problem and challenge, it does so from the perspective of North America, thus including an appendix on new immigrants to that continent along with a glossary of terminology.

This is the latest release in the publisher's Managing Cultural Differences Series (, MCD Series). The subject matter of Laroche's volume is supplemented in its recent titles, such as: Managing Cultural Differences (5th ed.); Intercultural Services; Competing Globally; Global Strategic Management; Eurodiversity; Succeeding in Business in Central and Eastern Europe; Uniting North American Business (NAFTA).

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