Education for Workplace Diversity

Education for workplace diversity 133x200

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Do you think that communicating across cultural boundaries is a necessary skill in today's globalized economy? Do you believe that immersion in another culture automatically means becoming interculturally competent? Have you ever wondered why students sometimes come back from their placement abroad with negative stereotypes confirmed? What can universities do to ensure that students develop these skills? If these are issues you want to address, then reading this book may help you in finding relevant answers. This book provides a theory-based insight on why intercultural competence acquisition does not happen automatically when a student is exposed to a different organizational and host country culture environment, but requires well-designed intervention measures. The chapters present a comprehensive, but scalable support structure for students on work placements abroad based on the outcomes of the university-enterprise cooperation project SKILL2E. In this project seven universities and five enterprises from Austria, Finland, Spain, Romania, Turkey, the UK and the US have collaborated in designing a framework that supports intercultural learning for students on work placements abroad. These intervention measures include pre-departure training to raise awareness regarding sensitive issues in different organizational and host country cultures, guided reflection during and after the placement to trigger deeper learning, a model for cultural mentoring, and an evaluation concept to measure the effectiveness of the interventions in order to continuously improve. Real examples demonstrate how universities can prepare graduates for the networked workplace of tomorrow and how enterprises can integrate and benefit from the innovation and productivity potential of diversity.