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A business guide to managing differences
by George F. Simons, D.Min., et al

Published by BUTTERWORTH-HEINEMANN, an imprint of Elsevier Science,
Oxford, UK and Woburn, USA
Date of Publication: August 2002. 368 pp. Hardover, $37.99

Reviewed by PHILIP R. HARRIS, Ph.D., management psychololgist and author of LaJolla, California. Dr. Harris is a member of the European Business Review Editorial Advisory

For those concerned about doing business within the European Union, EURODIVERSITY is an invaluable resource for dealing with its multinational cultural differences . The primary author, Dr. George Simons of France, is world-renowned as a diversity consultant and prolific writer on the subject (www.diversophy.com). His five fellow contributors also are distinguished as diversity practitioners throughout Europe - Arjen Bos of The Netherlands, Marie-Therese Claes of Belgium, Elena Garcea of Italy, Nigel Holden of the United Kingdom, and Michael Stuber of Germany. All are noted as experienced consultants and writers in the field of intercultural relations, having served clients in many countries and international agencies.

The ten stimulating chapters cover a wide range of topics related to cross-cultural business issues. The senior author, Simons, provides an overall introduction, followed by pithy treatment of "The Diversities of Europeans and their Business Impact;" " Europe's 'New' Economy and Virtual Collaboration;" and "Who is European? Prognosis and Recommendations." His central thesis is that in 21st Century business , "diversity is about globalization, organizational learning, and knowledge management, as well as about recruitment, equal opportunity, workforce demographics, and social integration." Dr. Simons focuses upon the particular challenges facing Europeans in a wired world, especially with the influence of new communications technologies.

Dr. Elena Garcea of the Universita di Cassino, Italy, contributes three chapters dealing with differences in terms of past legacies; as well as, current crises and foreseeable futures; plus, managing diversity so as to create market value. She carefully examines managerial leadership in terms of attitudes and bias; crises management; regional cultures and in-country challenges; and the new roles of women. Garcea confronts critical issues, such as shifting demographics, illegal migrations, aging, and strategic alliances. This professor of philology and history analyzes EU's stresses and strains, as well as the Union's weaknesses and opportunities.

Four insightful essays are provided by other members of this team of multicultural educators and trainers....Michael Stuber, founder of Mi-st Consulting in Cologne, is concerned about business-related, strategic approaches to diversity, especially within European subsidiaries of global corporations. This industrial engineer's mind-provoking deals with diversity as it affects human resource development, as well as organizational culture, communications, and change....Dr. Nigel Holden is a professor of cross-cultural management at the Kassel Management School, as well as, a visiting lecturer at the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration, in addition to the Leiden University School of Management. His principal emphasis is upon the emerging field of knowledge management, the subject of his latest book from Prentice Hall. Holden shares astute best practices in this regard by key world corporations....Arj en Bos, an organizational anthropologist, is the principal of a Utrecht consultancy, Engage! InterAct. He shares here his thoughts on integrity, business ethics, and how to practice good corporate citizenship....Dr. Marie-Therese Claes of the Institut Catholique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales and Brussel's Business School, offers observations on Europe's gender mainstreaming, labor market and wage imbalances, women in management, and the influence of electronic communications upon quality in production and services.

The writers offer helpful case studies and annecdotes, numerous exhibits and illustrations, plus a listing of diversity resources. The latter include sections on references and bibliography, including a very useful listing of Internet resources of Major European and international organizations. To further assist readers, the co- authors have provided five appendices - policy declarations on cultural diversity and new information technologies; Commission of the European Communities; EU Survey of Diversity Challenges, and Benchmarking Initiatives. In all, the six collaborators have presented European business leaders with a practical, inexpensive guide to Europe's multinational and multicultural communities!

This is the latest release in Butterworth-Heinemann's MANAGING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES SERIES. In this management development collection of some fifteen titles, there are two recent volumes which complement the coverage of EURODIVERSITY - namely, SUCCEEDING IN BUSINESS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE; and INTERCULTURAL SERVICES - A WORLDWIDE BUYER'S GUIDE AND SOURCEBOOK.


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