Islam

Over 1.2 billion people, or one-fifth of the world's population, from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe - from India to the southern Philippines to Nigeria - are united by their common Islamic faith. Ethnic and cultural issues have shaped the practice or interpretation of Islam, thereby adding to the complexity and danger of generalizing about Islamic practices, in addition to underscoring the flexibility of interpretations that Muslims employ. Nevertheless, Islam maintains its central role in establishing ethical and daily behavior for many in the varied cultures where it is practiced. Cultural Detective Islam gives a greater appreciation and awareness of how Islamic values and principles present a window of opportunity for non-Muslims to be more effective in their dealings with organizations that incorporate them. Further, it presents an opportunity for others to apply some of them in their own organizational practices.

Cultural Detective Islam contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Assessing Training Needs:

    A German training manager is frustrated in her attempt to build an efficient training function in an Emirati financial services organization.

  • Business Travel:

    A U.S.-born Muslim woman of Indian descent has culture vs. career conflicts on a business trip with her American male manager.

  • Finalizing the Deal:

    Lack of understanding of norms of politeness and miscommunications about a proposal's status have unfortunate consequences for a U.S. American consulting company with a Kuwaiti client.

  • Health Care Training:

    U.S. training providers are confused by the seemingly inconsistent behavior of Somali nursing assistant trainees.

  • Investing:

    A Lebanese Christian woman finds her investment advice to a Jordanian Muslim colleague goes unheeded.

  • More Prayer Time Issues:

    An Indonesian Chinese retail store owner has misunderstandings with the Indonesian Muslim staff over time off for prayers.

  • Performance Management:

    A British consultant is frustrated in his attempts to implement a best practice human resource process and policiy in a Bangladeshi nationalized financial institution.

  • Prayer Time Issues:

    In a U.S. factory, native-born and African immigrant workers experience mutual frustration over prayer time logistics and inconsiderate behavior.

  • Shaking Hands:

    A U.S. American female student is confused and hurt over a male Senegalese Muslim's refusal to shake hands with her or her friends.

Extra! Cultural Detective Islam includes a special section that discusses religion as culture, a list of common sayings of Muslims that are Qur'an based, and "Tips for Facilitating Sensitive Issues."

Cultural Detective Islam is authored by Marilyn Stanton, Karima Vargas Bushnell and Dianne Hofner Saphiere.

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