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4.0 out of 5 stars Well Organized, Informative - Great Book, Jan. 20 2014
By 
glen cochrane (Kyoto) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
Ilike how this book was organized - everything is laid out, with the causes and solutions following a very logical order. The examples given are spot-on, as well as numerous.

One of the strengths of this book is the scope of perspectives that are presented. For problems that arise in teamwork or communication, the different angles (North American, New North American) are covered, including such variables as global teams (that communicate through technology) vs multi-cultural teams (that all work in one location), and including commentary on group dynamics (as opposed to when only one member of a team is from a different culture.

I found the information quite relevant, if not a bit on the basic or repetitive side. Often solutions to problems were just simple reminder to do this opposite thing that created the difference in the first place. I guess sometimes it is that simple, though, and awareness is a good portion of the solution. Overall, this is a useful book, easy to read, and full of worthwhile, research and anecdotally supported communication strategies. Especially, it would be useful to anyone working in a different culture, yet concerned about their career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid misunderstandings, Jan. 18 2003
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
Based on my managerial experience of working for 10 years in the Far East, this book provides a lot of useful advice that helps avoid cross-cultural misunderstanding. This book is well written. Some of the figures are more explicit than a long description. I strongly recommend this book to anyone involved in international management.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five of my friends have asked to borrow my copy!, Jan. 11 2003
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
When it comes to understanding and adjusting to Canadian workplace culture most new Canadians learn their lessons the hard way. Usually, this is a lengthy and painful process, which can be made more enjoyable and far shorter if one knows the right approach. "Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions" offers a systematic approach to understanding cross cultural issues and the importance of cultural differences in the Canadian workplace, showing the path one has to take to win the battle for a successful career.
It is also a book written by someone who has a deep understanding of cross cultural issues and a fine ability to convey thoughts in a concise and crystal clear manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help for foreign students and their professors!, Jan. 24 2003
By 
diane michelangeli (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
I am a professor of atmospheric chemistry at York University. Most of the people in my research group have done their studies (either graduate or undergraduate, or both) outside of Canada. I have found the content of this book and the suggestions it provides invaluable. Last Christmas, I gave each of my students and postdocs a copy of this book. The feedback I got from them has been very positive.
I strongly recommend this book to any foreign student who is studying in Canada and wants to pursue a career here. I also recommend strongly to professors and researchers who work in groups as diverse as mine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best in class, Oct. 14 2011
By 
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
I am a professional cross cultural / cultural awareness trainer working mostly Canada, North Western Europe and South East Asia.. Most of my clients are large manufacturing, petro-chemical and chemical multinationals. Therefore, I spend a lot of time in front of technicians and engineers on assignment in foreign cultures. Anyone who has done this type of training before would know what a challenge it is to keep the engineer-mind interested in hard to define concepts and soft skills. Generally, they are, to say it in the kindest possible way, totally disinterested and don't really see the value in it. It is however generally understood that the one factor that may make or break a foreign assignment is the assignee's ability to bridge the culture gap. The assignments often cost companies close to a million dollars and more. Dr. La Roche knows what he he doing, and he does a great job at helping trainers to make these soft skills palatable to the black & white mechanically minded person. I use this book as a prescribed textbook for multicultural teamwork skills. Makes for an excellent reference book and course content.

I love culture and it comes naturally to me to observe differences, nuances and idiosyncrasies. As an author of philosophical and lifestyle books, cultural awareness is food for my soul. The technical professional, however would be happier to get a manual on human behaviour and learn which dial to tune, and what gauge to tweak to make people work properly (their way). The author of this well-written book knows all about that and is he a great resource to trainers and technical professionals alike.
Well done Lionel, you are a life saver.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions, Jan. 10 2011
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
I use this title as a textbook in courses designed for Bananabelt Culture & Training to transfer skills to technical professionals bridging cultures from Sarnia (Canada's Chemical Valley) to Western Europe and South East Asia. Have used the book in this capacity for courses designed for junior (operator) level and very senior level technical managers.

Dr. Laraoche helps us understand the limitations of technical professionals when it comes to learning soft skills. Armed with this understanding we can, and do, design and deliver courses that do a better job at transferring these essential skills.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great textbook!, Sept. 23 2003
By 
Marcia Friesen (Winnipeg, Manitoba) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
I am using this book as a textbook in a course that I facilitate for international engineers at the University of Manitoba. We're using the text to explore cultural parameters and the different ways they manifest themselves in different cultures, both generally and specifically in engineering business. I value the book for the work it does in framing the larger concepts behind specific cultural differences, but also for the practicality it offers through anecdotes and tips for working with other cultural styles.
While it's early in the academic term, this book has already been extremely useful in framing discussions in our class. Also, as I talk to employers in Manitoba, many have asked for the bibliographic reference to source the book for their corporate library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Multicultural Teams to Work!, Feb. 22 2003
By 
Mike Jackson, P.Eng. (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
We all know how much difference there is when a team functions well - the tricky part is getting it to happen. This new book tackles this topic in the context of Canadian engineering teams, which are almost all composed of people from many cultures. In this insightful book, Dr. Laroche includes lots of material to help get multicultural teams firing on all cylinders.
Written for both managers and technical contributors, the book uses a multicultural lens to look at management styles, teamwork, communication and career management. This new perspective drives home a central theme that cultural differences are key in how our teams work, and not widely recognized in their importance. In these kinds of abstract topics I find concrete examples very helpful, and the author includes numerous anecdotes drawn from his consulting background. These vivid examples show the profound impact of what sometimes seem like small issues, like the Mexican engineer who resigned the day after getting some negative feedback in front of his colleagues.
The book also includes a number of quantitative charts and tables showing how different cultures have quite different expectations of the importance of hierarchy, individualism, and risk tolerance. Having read this book, I now much better understand the experience I had in Canada managing an employee from another culture. What I experienced as a lack of assertiveness was actually the case of an employee expecting highly directive management, and their way of showing respect. Had I understood that well at the time, I would have approached the situation quite differently, even starting at the interview stage. On the flip side, the book would have helped me a lot during my two-year stay in France. In particular, it wasn't until I read this book that I realized that when my French colleagues were jumping in and finishing my sentences, they were demonstrating their agreement by showing they knew how my sentences were going to end!
The book closes with a number of interesting comparisons, like the different emphasis on theory and hands-on work that exist between engineering schools in Canada, the United States, France and Mexico. And to finish off, an entertaining appendix containing explanations of expressions which we take for granted from such diverse areas as baseball ("to be out in left field" - to make no sense at all) and warfare ("loose cannons" - ones which are not fixed down, and fire a different direction each time).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Multicultural Teams to Work, Feb. 22 2003
By 
Mike Jackson, P.Eng. (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
We all know how much difference there is when a team functions well - the tricky part is getting it to happen. This new book tackles this topic in the context of Canadian engineering teams, which are almost all composed of people from many cultures. In this insightful book, Dr. Laroche includes lots of material to help get multicultural teams firing on all cylinders.
Written for both managers and technical contributors, the book uses a multicultural lens to look at management styles, teamwork, communication and career management. This new perspective drives home a central theme that cultural differences are key in how our teams work, and not widely recognized in their importance. In these kinds of abstract topics I find concrete examples very helpful, and the author includes numerous anecdotes drawn from his consulting background. These vivid examples show the profound impact of what sometimes seem like small issues, like the Mexican engineer who resigned the day after getting some negative feedback in front of his colleagues.
The book also includes a number of quantitative charts and tables showing how different cultures have quite different expectations of the importance of hierarchy, individualism, and risk tolerance. Having read this book, I now much better understand the experience I had in Canada managing an employee from another culture. What I experienced as a lack of assertiveness was actually the case of an employee expecting highly directive management, and their way of showing respect. Had I understood that well at the time, I would have approached the situation quite differently, even starting at the interview stage. On the flip side, the book would have helped me a lot during my two-year stay in France. In particular, it wasn't until I read this book that I realized that when my French colleagues were jumping in and finishing my sentences, they were demonstrating their agreement by showing they knew how my sentences were going to end!
The book closes with a number of interesting comparisons, like the different emphasis on theory and hands-on work that exist between engineering schools in Canada, the United States, France and Mexico. And to finish off, an entertaining appendix containing explanations of expressions which we take for granted from such diverse areas as baseball ("to be out in left field" - to make no sense at all) and warfare ("loose cannons" - ones which are not fixed down, and fire a different direction each time).
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tool for cross-border technical professionals, Feb. 22 2003
This review is from: Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions (Paperback)
This book is extremely reader-friendly and substantive at the same time. The reader will find practical applications for many of the cross-cultural insights presented. More importantly, international managers of technical employees and leaders of cross-border technical teams will not only recieve sound advice about what to do or not do in many situations, but will also understand why. I recommend the book without reservation.
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Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions
Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions by Lionel Laroche (Paperback - Nov. 18 2002)
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