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Challenges of Implementing Cultural Competence

For this Application Assignment, you evaluate the cost-benefit analysis of the program presented in the
article, �A Cost-Benefit Study of a Breaking the Cycle Program for Juveniles.� As you examine the
study, locate the key variables and consider the findings. Then consider whether you would continue or
discontinue the program, based on the evidence presented in the study. As you formulate your answer,
think about the advantages and disadvantages of continuing or canceling the program and the potential

consequences for the affected community.�
The assignment (2�3 pages):�

� Describe the key variables within the study and provide a summary of the analysis.�
� Explain whether you would continue or discontinue the program, based on the evidence provided in

the analysis, and why.�

� Finally, explain potential consequences of your decision for the affected community.�
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You
are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course


Challenges of Implementing Cultural Competence

Cross-cultural competence involve the ability, skills, and knowledge of how to deal
effectively with people from a variety of cultures. It should not be mistaken to imply a single
culture that one has studied for years. A person who has cross-cultural competence is able to
interact with people from various cultures comfortably (Eisenberg et al., 2013). It is specifically
important for companies that operate internationally as the management must be able to
communicate effectively with all its employees and customers. While it is possible to teach
cross-cultural competence, various challenges are likely to be experienced when attempting to
instill cultural intelligence into the workforce.
Differences in understanding among workers may inhibit an educational process. While
some workers may be fast learners, others may be slow at understanding hence calling for more
time to be put at helping them catch up. Specifically in regard to virtual communications, older
people may either be reluctant in learning about it. The younger generations may on the other
hand be reluctant to learn the theoretical part of cultural competence.
Goodman (2012) suggests using a program that is tailored for the company situation so
that employees can associate business and culture more easily. There is a likelihood that such a
program will be difficult to prepare. Instead, it may require testing over time before it is seen to
be effective. The testing time may be translated as wasted time as it may not contribute to the
productivity of either the employees or the company.
Language barriers may make creating a culturally competent workplace difficult. While
people may understand how to deal and understand each other, language barriers often associated
with cultural differences may cause difficulties in instilling the cultural competence (Eisenberg et

al., 2013). Even employees who wish to communicate respectfully may not be able to
communicate if the barrier is not overcome. Cultural barriers may also be difficult for those
learning new language since even directly translated phrases may imply different things in
different cultures.
The company requires allocating resources for the program. For a company to instill
cultural competence in the work place, it must be willing to go an extra mile and allocate
resources for the project (Parekh, 2000). For instance, learning materials must be either
purchased or created using the company’s financial resources. The company must also be ready
to dedicate its labor time to learning as well as to educate other employees. Employees may also
require getting study leaves in an attempt to be culturally competent.
Historical or contemporary differences between various groups may strain the
effectiveness of the program (Ewoh, 2013). Employees may either feel distrusted if they get into
contact with other communities or they may arouse such feelings from members of other
communities. Some employees may also be unwilling to interact with members of the other
community if there are similar differences. These will create a difficulty in the learning process.
In some cases the situations may arouse pre-existing conflicts.
Creating a culturally competent working often involves an overhaul of the entire
company culture. For a company’s workforce to become effectively culturally competent, the
idea must be integrated into the work culture (Ewoh, 2013). The overhaul comes with a
disruption of the company operations and a reasonable slowdown in production. The culture
change also comes with expenses to cover as well as broad consultation of the company’s
executives. The company may also require rebranding to show its compliance with certain laws.

Culture is ever changing. While there are certain aspects that are unique to certain
cultural groups, it is very difficult to obtain a program that accommodates the changes that will
often occur in cultures (Goodman, 2012). Furthermore, culture is not always the same for
members of a community. The differences in culture over time make culture difficult to learn.
Culture changes moreover do not change in the same direction. This implies that people may find
themselves in conflict with people in a cultural setting in which they are competent.
The diversity of culture is very extensive. Even within a foreign country, people can only
learn the basics that are generally accepted in the culture (Leavitt, 2010). The rest of the culture
is mainly dealt with as situations come up using concepts such as accommodation of those ideas
that are seemingly foreign. Learning cultural competence is a gradual process. A company may
have to wait for the entire (or most) of the workforce to become culturally competent. Once the
company gains momentum, it may make cultural competence a requirement for employment.
Before this though, a lot of devotion to the learning process along with patience must be
In conclusion, while cultural competence is very important to any workplace, it comes
with a variety of challenges especially to the initiating company. These challenges are mostly
those that arise due to difficulties in learning, resource allocation, and the change process. The
benefits, however, always outweigh the difficulties, and such constraints should not prevent the
implementation process.



Eisenberg, J., Lee, H., Bruck, F., Brenner, B., Claes, M., Mironski, J. and Bell, R. 2013. Can
business schools make students culturally competent? Effects of cross-cultural
management courses on cultural intelligence. Academy of Management Learning \&
Education, p.–2012.
Ewoh, A. 2013. Managing and Valuing Diversity: Challenges to Public Managers in the 21st
Century. Public Personnel Management, [online] 42(2), pp.107-122.
Goodman, N. 2012. Training for cultural competence. Industrial and Commercial Training,
44(1), pp.47–50.
Leavitt, R. 2010. Cultural competence. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Inc.
Parekh, B. 2000. Rethinking multiculturalism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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