My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship

 

The workplace is a field in which a friendship can be both a challenge and an opportunity. There are cultural differences pertaining to work performance. Individualists were found to perform better when working individually, while collectivists where found to perform better when in a group (Earley, 1993). Cultural differences were found to exist and create difficulties in communication also in virtual work tasks (Fujimoto et al., 2007; Staples & Zhao, 2006). One of these cultural differences pertains to the concept of time. Different perceptions of time are often an obstacle in intercultural business endeavors. Numerous studies on business negotiations relate to the difficulties in overcoming cultural differences in the perception of time (Adair & Brett, 2005; Alon & Brett, 2007; Brislin & Kim, 2003; Macduff, 2006).

 

As regarding business and friendship, it is commonplace in the West to think that they do not mix well and that one had better keep the two separated. However, many people in different societies make friends at work, and in recent years, this axiom has been questioned. Several studies pointed at the positive sides of business friendships (Ingram & Roberts, 2000; Spence, 2004). It was found that the importance of relationships and interdependence in collectivistic communities have direct impact on work values (Hartung et al., 2010), with those from a collectivistic culture expecting more socio-emotionally oriented relationships at work than those from a Western culture (Sanchez-Burks et al., 2000).

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About the Author

Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations. Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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