With reference for your request for exercises to "accept mulitple
viewpoints". Whilst working as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of
Cape Town in South Africa, I am doing a Masters degree in conjunction with
a local Company, using Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as a
framework. A core team of five from the Company is both helping me with
the inquiry and learning about SSM at the same time.
In order to introduce them to the concept of multiple perspectives on a
particular problem situation, I used two exercises. Firstly, one borrowed
from Checkland, in which I asked them to identify the purposes of a
prison. Ideas such as a place to keep criminals away from the rest of
society, a punishment, a place for reform etc. should come out the the
discussion. One can then explore the percieved objectives of a prison from
the perspective of the police, judges, criminals etc.. The conclusion can
be that a prison system is best designed using more than one world view of
its purpose. (Another similar examples would include the purpose of a
The second exercise was along similar lines, though the topic was chosen
to be very relevant to South Africa at the moment, that of Affirmative
Action (AA). (My perception of the aim of AA is to get all structures
(public, police, government, business) to reflect the demographics of the
country rather than being white male dominated. )
Having discussed and reached conscensus on the objective of AA (similar to
the above), we then looked at how to achieve this. I had in advance
discussed the issue with a wide range of people (admittedly my friends,
colleagues and students) to gain world views that may not necessarily be
present in a discussion with white managers. Some of the views were as
replacing white managers with black ones
compensating for actual past descriminations (promotional or
AA won't work, education is the key
We then discussed these and, if one thing was evident, it was that many
people did not have a clear model of how AA was meant to work.
I hope that this may be of some help.
> From: DZITEK <email@example.com>
> I am teaching a college-level course in cross-cultural communications
> and need some exercises to help students learn more about the
> following areas and any others you may think are appropriate.
> 1) stereotyping
> 2) mental models about cultures
> 3) interpreting another person's culture through one's own standard.
> 4) accepting multiple viewpoint.
-- Paul Middleton
Mechanical Engineering Department Private Bag University of Cape Town Rondebosch 7700 South Africa
Phone : 27 21 650 3242 Fax : 27 21 650 3240 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org _________________________________