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Cultural Differences In Academic Settings

The Impact to Future Health Equity

 With my current setting in a business environment that does not interact daily with clinical or academic settings, there is a broad mix of cultures, ethnicities, and diverse racial interactions. To anticipate a future stater whether in a business setting or moving to an academic teaching setting, I anticipate encountering a myriad of cultural differences that will influence the dynamics in a learning environment with more impact than the business setting. Raithel, van Knippenberg and Stam (2021) identified that cultural differences were increasingly significant among work teams due to the internationalization of companies. This diverse and mixture of team members from multiple countries, time zones and ethnicities impact how teams work positively and negatively. Working in a multi-cultural environment, people will at times demonstrate biases that can create tension yet the diverse and the more differences within a team can add perspective and the team has more dimensions (Raithel, et al (2021).

It is important to remember that leaders set the tone whether it is a classroom, or boardroom. Understanding the cultures and acceptance of the cultures that present themselves in an organization, on teams or even people who collaborate will perceive acceptance or bias based on the direction in which the leader has demonstrated tolerability of actions. Whittaker and Montgomery (2022) studied several factors related to the role of leadership and setting the culture of a team in an academic setting. The top down authoritative, transactional style of leadership will not be as tolerable since COVID-19 or the exposure of social injustices with the deaths of George Floyd and others. Whitaker and Montgomery predicted that academic leaders will be more collaborative and more receptive of diverse cultures.

 

Strategies to Mitigate Differences

To address the increased diversity whether generationally, language or ethnicity, cultural awareness and sensitivity training should be anticipated. The best teacher of cultural awareness programs is the person who represents the culture when possible. Billings and Halstead (2020) reference diversity among nursing students and suggests that to better reach and impact the diverse communities that nurses will care for, the faculty will need to be more diverse.

 

 By fostering an environment that encourages collaborative learning and group activities would enhance cross-cultural understanding.  Christ demonstrated how to love and show compassion to all those that we encounter regardless of background. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus encounters people who are young, Samaritan and He was Jewish, rich rulers and the poor. He visited their homes, healed the poor, the rich and the outcast sinners (NKJV, 2011).  For students of varying backgrounds, I would aim to embody Christ-like qualities such as empathy, compassion, and respect. By fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and appreciation for diversity, I hope to create an inclusive space where every student feels valued and supported in their academic journey, regardless of their cultural background.




References

Billings, D. M., Halstead, J.A. (2020). Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

English Standard Version Holy Bible. (2011). Zonderdan.

Raithel, K., van Knippenberg, D., & Stam, D. (2021). Team leadership and team cultural diversity: the moderating effects of leader cultural background and leader team tenure. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 28(3), 261-272. https://doi.org/10.1177/15480518211010763

 

Whittaker, J.A., Montgomery, B.L. Advancing a cultural change agenda in higher education: issues and values related to reimagining academic leadership. Discov Sustain 3, 10 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43621-022-00079-6Billings, D. M., Halstead, J.A. (2020). Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

English Standard Version Holy Bible. (2011). Zonderdan.

Raithel, K., van Knippenberg, D., & Stam, D. (2021). Team leadership and team cultural diversity: the moderating effects of leader cultural background and leader team tenure. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 28(3), 261-272. https://doi.org/10.1177/15480518211010763

 

Whittaker, J.A., Montgomery, B.L. Advancing a cultural change agenda in higher education: issues and values related to reimagining academic leadership. Discov Sustain 3, 10 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43621-022-00079-6



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