Workplace Culture

of 20 /20
Western/Northwestern/RCH Alliance


Workplace Culture

Transcript of Workplace Culture

Page 1: Workplace Culture

Western/Northwestern/RCH Alliance

Page 2: Workplace Culture

AimsBe aware of the importance of cultureBe able to identify cultural barriers to

communicationLearn strategies to overcome these barriersDevelop “cultural competence”

Page 3: Workplace Culture

CultureA pattern of ideas, rules, values, beliefs,

habitsAcquired through interactions with peopleInfluenced by age, gender, family, economic

status, personality, experience, career, etcProvide a value systemDynamic: evolving over timeDifficult to define!

Page 4: Workplace Culture

Cultural AwarenessThe ability to recognize your own cultural

values, and those of other culturesBeing respectful and open-mindedAvoidance of stereotypingSensitivity to culturally-specific needs

Note: awareness can be a passive process

Page 5: Workplace Culture

Cultural CompetenceThe ability to maintain positive outcomes in

cross-cultural encountersIt is an active processRequires attitude, knowledge and experience

Page 6: Workplace Culture

DifficultiesIt is normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed,

misunderstood, or threatened when facing people from an unfamiliar culture

Things which seem logical to them will make no sense to you

You may find yourself being stereotyped, or be tempted to stereotype them

Culture is complex

Page 7: Workplace Culture

Cultural DimensionsAll cultures lie between these two extremes of




Gender indifference

Shades of grey

Short-term values



Gender differentiation

Black and white

Long-term values

Page 8: Workplace Culture

Individualism versus CollectivismIndividualism CollectivismPrivacyRightsPersonal ResponsibilityPersonal choice

LoyaltyFriendlinessPart of a groupSocial obligations

Where does Australia lie on this cultural dimension?Where does your own culture lie?

Page 9: Workplace Culture

Power DistanceEquality HierarchySocial welfareSocialising is casual,

lack of rulesEqual rights for all


Unequal distribution of wealth, status and power

Rigid rules governing social behaviour

Where does Australia lie on this cultural dimension?Where does your own culture lie?

Page 10: Workplace Culture

Gender DifferentiationMale / Female Distinction

Gender Indifference

• Men and women take on different, and non-interchangeable roles

• Affects clothing, language, behaviours, sometimes rights

Men and women are seen as equivalent in terms of roles they can take on

Gender does not define how you behave

Where does Australia lie on this cultural dimension?Where does your own culture lie?

Page 11: Workplace Culture

Tolerance for UncertaintyBlack and White Shades of GreyBelief in absolutesRules and regulationsRisk avoidanceOften single viewpoint

No ultimate truthAnarchisticRisk takingMultiple perspectives

Where does Australia lie on this cultural dimension?Where does your own culture lie?

Page 12: Workplace Culture

Time frameShort-term values Long-term orientationRapidly changingInnovationsToday’s problems are

more important than those in 50 years’ time

Tradition and stabilityDislike of changeConservativeMakes sacrifices for

long-term gain

Where does Australia lie on this cultural dimension?Where does your own culture lie?

Page 13: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture/CommunicationVerbal communication

Direct, to the pointBrevity versus decorationInterrupting a speakerDifference of opinionUse of humourEmotions

Page 14: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture/CommunicationNon-verbal communication

Facial expressionEye contactGesturesTouch and personal spaceDegree of emotion

Page 15: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture/CommunicationWritten Communication


Page 16: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture / Sense of TimeMonochronic time sense

Strictly punctualAttention is given to the current taskInterruptions are avoided

Polychronic time senseTimetables and schedules are less important

than other obligations

Page 17: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture / Approach to Illness and DeathDenial of illness and deathMuch effort spent on avoiding itLack of acceptance of one’s “fate”

Page 18: Workplace Culture

Australian Culture / Legal Issues in the WorkplaceEqual opportunityMulticulturalismConsentConfidentialityBoundaries to sexual advancesFormal complaints procedure

Page 19: Workplace Culture

Specific Issues for doctors working in AustraliaAlcoholSexuality - attitudes and behavioursAboriginal healthMental healthAgeing and community care

Page 20: Workplace Culture

Your InputWhat have you experienced?

Problems with cross-cultural encounters? Misunderstanding or being misunderstood?Surprising elements of Australian culture?Stereotyping or pre-formed opinions?Interesting differences between cultures?