Bidhan Chandra Promotes Global Cross-Cultural Diversity in State Agencies; "A First Step in a Diverse Business World"
By Dana Henson, academic advisor/mentor, Center for Distance Learning
December 11, 2012
"Hola. Ciao. Ni hao. Namaste. Kali mera. Merhaba. A simple hello in the language of the person you are meeting can be more than just a greeting. It can open doors for you in an unfamiliar cultural setting. This could be the first important step in being able to communicate effectively in a culturally diverse business world,” says Center for Distance Learning Associate Professor and Area coordinator Business, Management and Economics Bidhan Chandra, at right, standing.
That's why Chandra chose to focus his business research around intercultural communications and diversity issues in the workplace. Chandra has been delivering his professional development workshop, “The Global Cultural Diversity: Working Together in a World of Difference,” in a range of settings - from New York state government agencies and organizations to some Fortune 500 companies in the Silicon Valley in California. The workshop addresses subjects such as defining culture, identifying the impact culture has upon business relations and the dimensions of cultural differences in global workplace behaviors.
Chandra’s most recent volunteering work for promoting cultural diversity was with the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) in Albany, where he provided free workshops for about 80 state employees in three separate groups.
Chandra’s use of concrete examples and his in-depth explanations of the reasons why people from different countries react and express themselves in culturally-specific ways has proven to be a very effective tool for OMIG staff, who were able to take away from the workshop strategies for communication that they could begin using immediately.
Two similar workshops were facilitated recently by Chandra for state employees at the college’s location at the Empire State Plaza and one for CDL’s faculty, professionals and staff in Saratoga Springs.
“Assume difference until similarity is proven,” advises Chandra, who holds a Ph.D. in international business from the University at Buffalo. "Working with organizations around the world, I realize how important it is for people to truly understand unspoken words and the way they are received and interpreted in other cultures. It is critical to the business relationship, and a foundation for success in working with people in a diverse environment."
Chandra’s goal is to improve communication and overall morale in the workplace.