Nissan also boasted a 50-50 ratio of women to men for non-engineer new recruits last year" (Tanikawa 2012). According to Nissan: "to meet the diverse needs in the global market, you need to have diversity in the composition of your employees" (Tanikawa 2012).
Condon, Stephanie. (2012). U.S. Supreme Court takes up affirmative action. CBS News.
Hsu, Andrea. (2012). Asian-Americans face dilemma in debate over affirmative action.
Moon, Rene. (2012). Koreans in Japan. Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural
Education. Retrieved: http://spice.stanford.edu/docs/koreans_in_japan/
Tanikawa, Miki. (2007). Japanese companies embrace diversity. The New York Times.
Two current challenges that may arise from cultural differences in today's world are the subjectivity of culture as well as the difficultly in measuring cultural values and beliefs. Because culture is so subjective, it is hard to compare and contrast differences within beliefs and values, especially when many of them are so intangible and hard to measure. We can describe and examine similarities and differences across cultures via cross-cultural research but we also have to include multicultural research which can be very complex (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2010). Humans are members of multiple social groups and have diverse roles. We need to acknowledge all of them. Unfortunately this is much easier said than done. Understanding how all the pieces come together to explain a person's behavior, is very complex. Again, cultural differences are hard to compare because who is to say what is better or what is wrong in comparison to another. Culture is very subjective and one who is not immersed in a certain culture will really struggle to understand another perspective unless they are fully educated and knowledgeable. Sometimes this is even near to impossible when you are an outsider looking in. And when one is immersed in a certain culture, it can be difficult to be unbiased because you are a part of this culture and do not know otherwise.
Addressing these issues is not an easy task. The first step would be to erase any bias one might have when conducting research. Certain expectations and biases will get in the way of obtaining accurate results. Cultural competence is significant. It includes, according to Harvard University, a researcher's understanding of his/her participants and awareness of how one's beliefs affect his/her actions within the research design, conduct, and interpretation (2009). For me personally, I believe all of this applies. I am not the most cultured of people as I have lived in New England my whole life. I have learned a lot through my academics in regards to cultural differences, but more training and education would be had, if I decided to conduct cross-cultural research. I don't plan on doing so, so this won't really be an issue for me, but I am aware that this would be a first step before any work in the area is done. Cultural sensitivity and awareness is very important and requires an individual to step out of his/her comfort zone. Cross-cultural developments have been found to have a profound impact on our views on human behavior (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2010).
Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H.R. (2010). Social psychology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
The Harvard Clinical and Translation Science Center (2009). Cultural Competence in Research. Retrieved on February 10, 2013 from http://www.mfdp.med.harvard.edu/catalyst/publications/Cultural_Competence_Annotated_Bibliograp
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