1. Cultural Engineering: Beyond Cultural Relativism
2. Cultural Reverse, Forward Engineering And Beyond
3. Cultural Quantum Engineering: Mapping Of The Cultural Engineer’s Mind And Identification Of Its Structural And Functional Axiomatic
3.1 The Completion Of The Intercultural Edifice
3.2 Design Of A Scientifically-Based International Diversity-Integrative Transcultural Profiler - The State Of The Intercultural Art And Science: On Human Relativity In Intercultural Research
3.3 On Enhancing The Intercultural Art And Science: Sources, Models And The Achievement Of Supreme Cultural Intelligence
4. Cultural Engineering Toolkit
1 Cultural Engineering Beyond Relativism
Cultural engineering refers to the engineering of the human cultural mind in a way that allows the management of all human cultural challenges. As technical engineering has enabled the conquest of outer space, so will cultural engineering enable mankind to effectively manage inner and outer human cultural space.
If in a family, in a company, in a nation everybody wants to have his way at the expense of the other, the notions of democracy, equality and freedom are thrown overboard. The relativization of everything by one's personal circumstance, though intellectually intelligible, can be used as a pretext and licence to throw the acquis of millennia of human civilization over board and to legitimize precivilized total predatorism. Thus culturalism and relativism become a dangerous -ism, comparable to the fascisms and communisms etc. of the past century, yet quantitatively magnified because so many would like to expand their ISM, their cultural and religious and ethnic ISM which means reducing that of others'. This centrifugal tendency challenges the response of centripetal forces to keep societies viable. The centrifugal and the centripetal, the universalist and the particularist tendencies need to be reconciled. This is the only way to ensure viable human societies, which ensure individual freedom while maintaining functional collectivities: the best of individual uniqueness and collective uniqueness, the superiority of a functional totality. This is the royal path, the cultural superhighway into the future. The metaphor of the highway is very apropos, because there, in order to ensure maximum speed and efficiency in the respect of everybody's direction a very strict highway code has to be adhered to. Only by meeting the standards of this code of conduct, everybody's individual freedom is ensured. So, individual freedom presupposes universal rules to be respected in order to ensure individual freedom while safeguarding the freedom of everybody. It is the formula of freedom for everybody and the realization of the deepest human aspiration.
Relativism makes sense if it is thought through to its logical end, that is, if one does not only want to see one's own relative culture imposed, but if one also admits another culture's or individual's relativism and provided that we are reconciling it with the whole, with everybody's relative needs. Then we have solved relativism at least intellectually. But the competing relative position is viewed as a threat to the imposition of one's own relative approach which would like to be universally applicable. A third quid is necessary to resolve the perennial conflict between competing relativisms. The technical term centrifugality - and its needs to be checked physically in order to prevent the destabilizations of systems - is an apt term to summarize individualism, particularism and relativism. Increasing that centrifugality indefinitely needs the checks and balances by centripetality. The physics metaphor, here again, is useful because it is technical.
In the legal domain, international law has been trying to establish such a universal code of conduct to counteract the relative positions of international players. Yet this did not prevent international conflict. In the moral, political and economic domain universal codes of conduct are equally ineffective, unless the players have the will and the understanding of the whole picture.
The same issues are magnified by the cultural challenge, which multiplies the relative positions and increases the centrifugal tendencies along with the risk of destabilizing systems as a whole at the collective culture level. The further relativization of moral and ethical individual standards of anything goes multiplies centrifugality by the number of relativizing individuals - infinitely.
The technical metaphor of centrifugality calls for a cultural engineering approach that integrates the two forces of centrifugality and centripetality in a functionally integrated totality. But who should be the engineer to integrate the two forces in society. Neither politics nor law nor ethics have managed to integrate these antagonistic forces. As in an ocean one centrifugal -ism rises to dominate in order to be resorbed by the centripetality of the ocean so that centrifugality repeats the game. And so it goes on and on, the waves, the tides and the times. Can one understand this game of forces, so as to rise above it and not be its plaything? Any system being dialectically construed, the ocean, the cosmos with its planetary systems and galaxies or man himself, these forces need to be in balance.
While nature has provided programs to keep up the balance, in the psychological domain these programmes are not as deterministic as biological or nature or machine coding. So the human mind stands out in that it can reverse the biological codes. This is most clearly visible these days in bioethical relativism as a response to the scientific possibility of reversing the natural biological coding to serve particular interests without paying sufficiently attention to possible requirements of the integrity of human life in its totality.
In the international political domain there must be an awareness, an understanding and an agreed code as well as a will to abide by this supranational code. But if one element in this chain is missing harmonious international politics and diplomacy remain ineffective and even a jungle of predators. The cultural challenge simply magnifies the challenge, quantitatively and qualitatively: There are a greater number of players and cultural issues are deeply rooted in emotions which leads to uncontrollable escalation. And international politics and law have not proved to be effective without the cultural challenge, so how could they manage the culturally magnified international challenge?
The international politics approach works if the phases are correctly implemented: awareness, understanding, code, political will. Maybe the technical approach of cultural engineering, topical, accessible in the global high-tech-determined civilisation today's generations are living in, can add an objective dimension to the resolution of the age-old and universal problem of centrifugality versus centripetality in the interest of human survival with the maximum of cultural relativism in the interest of the human civilization as a whole.
The problem is partly defused, because we have reformulated it and transposed it to a culture technological level through the cultural engineering approach. At this level we can tackle the problem technically, from a systems and efficiency standpoint. Also we use the mind correctly in the sense that it is said to be a problem solving machine - and while in the psychological domain we are said to still be in the cave, technologically we are on the moon and on the way to other planets. So, the technical capabilities of man seem to exceed by far the psychological capabilities. Therefore it may be useful to look at a socio-psychological problem technologically in order to draw on the best capabilities of the mind that few things can resist, not even the biological codes of life itself nor of the inorganic nature. With this nearly unlimited problem-solving capability one might attempt a new solution to an age-old problem, whose hubris might become uncontrollable. The political approach has been formulated above. But it can be supported by the engineering approach which has to provide an answer as to the integration of centripetal and centrifugal forces so as to ensure the smooth functioning of social systems. This is the formulation of the challenge at a constructive cultural engineering level.
However, while the engineering paradigm can help us, the engineer must work on the mind. We must use the genius (a root word of engineer) of the engineering paradigm to integrate the specific cultural fragments as useful components of a holistically highly performing socio-cultural system. This is only feasible, in engineering, by the unconditional observation and the use of the laws of mechanics, thermodynamics and so on, that is, a set of axioms that have the capability of configuring the whole meaningfully. No engineering genius would question that. While man is not a steam engine, which even Freud seems to have assumed, the genius of the culture technological approach can be useful: the ability to create integrated wholes out of myriads of diverse specific components based on a set of axioms to be used and complied with. Can the political mind use some of the awareness and logic of this genius? Can it raise the issue from the subjective to a more objective level beyond relativism in order to see the universal dynamics and axiomatics of the natural forces in mind and matter to be understood and controlled? This technical insight into and the engineering formulation of the cultural diversity challenge brings with it the obligation to approach the issue rationally and holistically as opposed to a particularist approach that wants to universalize. The enhanced political approach thinks in terms of objective systems needs and requirements and less in terms of personal political will. It enhances awareness by the genius (root word of engineer) of culture-technical insight, the knowledge of international codes by imperative engineering axiomatics; the subjective political will by objective systems needs in the interest of a functional system as a whole. This results in a culture technology or cultural engineering skill which transcends relativism. Thus the combined cultural, political and engineering approaches can lead to a superior transdisciplinary and transcultural policy.
While the microphysics paradigm has shifted the focus of awareness from outer culture to the human psyche, the engineering approach refocuses on an objective culture systems approach. The linking of the microphysics and the engineering paradigms combine and synergize to form a superordinate culture technology with enhanced capabilities, fused by a new culture consciousness that thinks in twenty first century, nay in third millennium planetary categories: an integrative culture paradigm. This is transcultural management.
2 Cultural Reverse, Forward Engineering And Beyond
The human mind has distilled approaches to best practice solutions to its existential problems from its experience in its specific spacio-temporal contexts; those arising from its relationships with its physical, human and intraindividual environments. As time as well as spatial references are not unchangeable in today’s world, approaches to problem-solving have to meet the spacio-temporally relative changes as well. What is termed the collapse of time and space due to technological developments that interlink the whole planet instantaneously is one of those factors that additionally need to be taken in account by cultural problem solving approaches.
Multicultural encounters that involve many ethnic and cultural groups of the world at the speed of light simultaneously or sequentially and that encompass the entire planet of the earth, either face-to-face or virtually, are the rule in today’s more complex world. This complexity needs to be addressed by modern culture management approaches, which therefore have to provide specifically adapted mental software to solve the new scope and scale of spacio-temporal problems through appropriate forms of communication. This requires man to draw on adequate functionalities in his mind that is supposed to be a problem solving instrument to viabilize life, technically and humanly. Technical and human relational engineering are but two projections and applications of human mental engineering capabilities for the solution of domain-specific problems.
Intercultural approaches have started by reverse engineering in order to identify statistically and analytically the key components of what G. Hofstede has termed man’s software of the mind or collective mental programming. Now the components of the mental software have been specified and accepted as the essential parts of the cultural mind with which it solves its context-specific problems and reconciles its dilemmas.
The quantitative changes of the post spacio-temporal collapse era need to be paralleled by a qualitative change in specific problem solving capabilities that respond effectively to changes in scale, speed, number and diversity of players etc. Reverse cultural engineering does not satisfy the need completely and therefore requires complementary forward engineering capabilities of the human cultural mind so as to be able to effectively respond to quantitative changes.
The human mind is the subject as well as the object of the engineering efforts. Its processes occur beyond electronic speed of light. They are instantaneous. There is little delay compared to time consuming technical engineering in the conventional sense. These two aspects, the identity of the subject and of the object of the cultural engineering process and its instantaneousness are two major differences between human cultural engineering and technical engineering.
Explosion of space and progressive transcendence of time through speed have created a new spacio-temporal environment in which man has to position himself anew in order to respond to these changes. An inner-outer interconnectedness of the mental and physical environments dawns on him, as the inner space needs to expand due to the impact of outer space expansion. He realizes that he can read reality from diverse vantage points within his widened inner-outer world. And he also has a progressive inkling of a possible causal interconnectedness of both. The range of options in the wider context has increased accordingly and the mind has to learn to deal with it and move in it effectively. Its margin of engineering and responding innovatively to challenges has to increase, so that quantitative changes are paralleled by qualitative adaptations to them.
The focal point of the mind can respond flexibly to challenges, once the mental engineering capability dawns in that mind. The product of cultural reverse engineering is relatively static. Once the mind becomes aware of its engineering capability, it becomes flexible and able to respond adequately by choosing hitherto unexplored positions.
The cultural reverse engineering capability of the human mind has produced a Newtonian cultural environment with fixed cultural categories manifesting as the dimensional intercultural reference frameworks, while the cultural forward engineering capability of the human mind additionally provides less static and determinist capabilities to that cultural problem solving mind.
Cultural quantum engineering (physics terminology is used metaphorically as a rule) capabilities of the mind postulate complementary aspects to Newtonian cultural conceptualizations. Post-Newtonian quantum cultural engineering reveals new dimensional capabilities of the cultural problem solving mind. The Newtonian static, fixed dimensional categories approach to culture is a one-dimensional reduction of the cultural mind with its equally one dimensional cultural problem solving capabilities. In complementary theory terms it represents the particle aspect of culture. But based on the hard science paradigm shift from Newtonian determinism to the quantum lead paradigm we may also postulate a complementary aspect to the particle aspect in physics with regard to mental cultural assumptions. Then the question arises what the equivalent of the wave conception of nature and energy could possibly be in the domain of the cultural mind.
It must be a mental function that transcends its a priori determinist analytical categories that characterize the reverse cultural engineering product with its more limited cultural capabilities. If it was easily determinable and formulable in words the sought for more dynamic wave aspect of culture might still be within the Newtonian cultural assumptions realm in a more sophisticated garb and might therefore not be the complementary quid, we are seeking.
But the wave is a completely different reading of the matter under review and seems to escape the mind that is trained in the Newtonian culture of a fairly deterministic universe. We must not forget that the particle or smallest building blocks of nature assumption took millennia to be enhanced by quantum physics wave-particle duality assumptions. The complementary wave aspect of culture requires the ending of the sole determinist particle approach to culture. It reminds of the sage J. Krishnamurti has termed the ending of time, which ends known psychological functions of the mind that are based on its accumulation in time. And as long as the mind functions from that background it remains within the groove of the particle logic which we seek to enhance by the quantum metaphor.
But what applies to nature and energy applies to the mind and its cultural processes. So, we may infer that there are, however hidden, complementary mental and cultural capabilities that correspond to the wave aspect of nature and energy of which the mind can be said to be part. It could be approached as the difference between the whole of the mind or human consciousness and its temporally derived memory aspect that provides the concepts that feed and condition human perception and that also form the basis for its anticipations and thereby of most of its activities. Conventional cultural competence deals very much with predictability based security derived from the possibility of cultural behavioural anticipation on the basis of the Newtonian cultural paradigm.
When the memory-anticipation process is understood the possibility of a time transcendent capability or funcdtionality of the mind dawns. Transcending psychological time it can respond form a depth and width of consciousness which is beyond the range of the background of the previous paradigm.
It is not common sense to reduce the universe to what we know of it. Similarly it is not advisable to reduce the mind and the cultural mind with its processes to what we know of it based on the preceding paradigm. The sensitization to its limitation reduces its weight and conditioning and thereby opens the doors of perception wider. In cultural terms it corresponds to a sensitization not only to culture, but also to the culture processing mind it, to the actual source of culture perceptual processes. By following that path of a higher spiral turn of cultural sensitivity one becomes aware of the quantum cultural engineering capabilities of the mind in the sense that the perception of culture is relative to the cultural perceiver or the positioning of the perceiver of culture within the wider space of consciousness that may transcend the known fixed dimensional categories space of the mind.
A quantum cultural effect dawns in the sense that one may talk as much of a diversity of perception of culture as of cultural diversity. One can choose between diverse levels of response to cultural diversity issues.
The perceptual relativity assumption of cultural diversity or the „there is no diversity of culture, there is a diversity of perception” hypothesis.
No cultural diversity but rather a perceptual diversity:
THERE IS NO CULTURAL DIVERSITY
THERE IS, HOWEVER, A DIVERSITY OF THE DEPTH OF PERCEPTION OF EXISTENCE!
The experience of diversity arises as a consequence of a lopsided perception that ignores or refuses to perceive the wholeness of existence referred to metaphorically as the cultural complementarity principle of unity and diversity that has an inkling of the integrality and integrity of creation. The cultural spell under which the world presently is appears therefore as a consequence of perception that is a culture consciousness with limited awareness. Culture seen as such is an act of consciousness. And the type of culture consciousness a player has cocreates the cultural reality within and around him.
From there one may even infer that culture being an act of consciousness based on perception and awareness it cannot be conceived of apart from the human dimension of consciousness. The cultural discourse that fills libraries and the pockets of culture gurus and the lecture halls of universities alike is based on a culture paradigm that cannot have any permanence and sustainable impact on globalization. If it is not enhanced and complemented it can mislead the whole world as fascism and communism have misled the millions and the masses until they were put in their true context and understood more fully. If culture that some assume holds the place of these worldviews and errors of the past at present is not put in its true context likewise it may have the same impact and destiny as those cultural errors. Therefore the present cultural paradigm imperatively requires the correction and completion of its edifice, which is the purpose of the inquiry.
This epistemological perception of culture and cultural diversity does not altogether eclipse the practical value of cultural diversity. The first is helpful in cultural problem solving, the second for evolving. Its dialectics help the world to grow and develop based on the dialectics of diversity. When that causes problems the complementary epistemological perception of culture can be used as a cultural problem solver. So the epistemological and the pragmatic standpoint are the complementary aspects of a culture theory and management practice in accordance with man and his needs. And it does neither sacrifice uniqueness to a heresy of an irenology of misconstrued equality, nor unity to unbridgeable diversity.
In the following chapter a holistic visualization of the human space of culture consciousness with a legend and summary explanation may explain this matter in line with present day learning culture. There the complementary particle-wave duality is culturally framed as the complementary intercultural and transcultural aspects of culture and depending on the positioning of the perceiver of culture the observer of culture will produce a cultural quantum effect according to the culture perceptual capabilities of either the inter- or transcultural mode of perception. By using the complementary approaches to culture the cultural observer, processor or engineer may use, synergize or affranchise himself of human mental cultural programming. The understanding of the “cultural quantum effect” is a path towards cultural freedom! It represents the qualitative response to the epochal quantitative changes referred to above, which were the object of our cultural engineering solutions quest. And the first step towards their implementation consists in the initialization of a higher spiral turn of cultural sensitization.
3. Cultural Quantum Engineering: Mapping Of The Cultural Engineer’s Mind And Identification Of Its Structural And Functional Axiomatic
3.1 The Completion Of The Intercultural Edifice
When one leaves the land of diversity-based duality knowledgeably one enters the “promised land” of human unity. In hindsight the former can be seen in the latter’s likeness. Both are part of a complete map of culture.
The title „The completion of the intercultural edifice” implies the end of a process; the process of reading the book of culture and to behave and act on the basis of the contents of the book. The contents are either fully understood and the book can be shelved to be reopened occasionally for purposes such as educational ones, for example, or, alternatively, the paradigm contained in the book has been transcended and the contents have become partly or fully obsolete.
The present exposé can be considered as a process of returning for a moment to the old paradigm in order to connect it to the new, supposedly more advanced one. When we look back at the brief history of culture, interculturalism and associated intercultural research that has been inaugurated in the late 20th century, we note that it responds to perceived needs in the world of globalizing business, diplomacy and strategy. Among the first intercultural scholars in the modern sense therefore were theoreticians who were more or less involved in these domains and institutional or organizational environments. One thinks of the American anthropologist Hall and the Dutchmen G. Hofstede and F. Trompenaars. The former has been the head of the Foreign Service Institute, whose task consisted in the preparation of US diplomats for international assignments and the two Dutchmen were employed by US or European global corporations such as IBM and the Shell Corporation. With the progress of globalization and information science the field of intercultural research has been pushed further by some scientists who tried to solve the enigma of cultural diversity in more sophisticated ways to further the needs of their institutional or organizational environments. If we try to recapitulate this brief history of intercultural research we can systematize it as follows
A synopsis of modern intercultural studies
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Finally, I would like to sum up the totality of intercultural research at a paradigmatic level:
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
(All these authors have undertaken their research many decades after the appearance of the quantum paradigm; Hofstede, THT and Brannen’s and Salk’s cultural assumptions are increasingly characterized by indeterminism. The table is an approximation.)
It seems to me that the history of intercultural research replicates the lead science paradigms within a more limited temporal horizon that the wider ones in which they have evolved. The development of hard science paradigms took centuries to evolve from a deterministic world view represented by Newton, for example, via quantum physics to the most modern physics of our time. See the lower table above highlighting the progression from determinism, via indeterminism to probabilism with their scholarly representatives and the associated metaphorical translation to assumptions and approaches within the field culture and its management. Of course, this replication of centuries of scientific investigation in the hard sciences could be replicated epistemologically in less than half a century because the fundamental sciences that were dealing with the foundations of existence and nature had done the preparatory work at a fundamental level whose insights could be transposed from natural to social sciences
With the advent of global strategic interests in the late 20th century and on the basis of the foundations laid by natural sciences, man became similarly puzzled by the diversity of man as the diversity of fauna and flora had been puzzling him already centuries earlier, whereupon he undertook research into the outer domain of nature. The biologist and zoologist therefore have finished their classificatory work of nature long ago and provided extensive taxonomies with associated characteristics of the organisms within the field of their interest. Therefore we know, for example, how many variations of particular animals and plants - how many phenotypes of a genotype – have been developing as well as their biological and behavioral profiles along with full information on their ecosystems and the complex interrelations of those organisms and their ecosystems. In other words outer nature, from the aunt to the galaxy, has been mapped rather completely. And the translation of this process of mapping of non-human nature to human nature has been attempted by more external criteria along with a correlation of assumptions about human internal features. But it was progressively abandoned as it was seen to promote racism and fascism.
So, the intercultural process could only be triggered when man was ready - after his inquisitive gaze had completed the outer horizon - to also direct his eyes to the inner horizons of man in order to complete a 360° perception of man. After all one had noticed that man had a cultural, an inner dimension that was part and parcel of his make-up and could not be ignored, as it was seen to determine parts of his behaviour. And when this 360° perception of man is completed the classification of the human species would be completed and fill the reference books as do the books on animals, plants and stars for example. This process is coming to an end in the same way as the processes of classification of the outer world were completed. Then the deeper inquiry in the nature of the information began that determines the live of plants and creates in general. This was the biological paradigm with the genetic highlight and its genetic engineering application which is not yet conclusive for human cultural, ethical as well as technical reasons.
Animals and plants behave according to their genetic information. There is little alternative for them. In the human case, however, things a more complex as man enjoys a greater range of freedom. And as soon as man deals with his own diversity he steps out of the realm of oneness with nature into duality and therefore dialectics between the diverse components of the landscape of human diversity. These dialects are very frequently antagonistic and produce the opposite of what they are intended to produce, which is more duality and dialectics-based antagonisms because man has only classified the distinctive features without also covering complementary human psychological characteristics of concomitantly existing integrative psychological features. In other words he has disassembled for classificatory purposes, without being able to provide the integrative information about human integrative features, within and between men. All he managed to do was to provide approaches to the reconfiguration of cultural profiles to benefit vested interests in the domain of strategy, business and other cross-border activities. The notion of synergy has arisen to consecrate the apogee of this approach, without however being able to cut the Gordon knot of the “missing link”, i.e. the identification and revelation of the whole picture of complementary differentiative-integrative information about man and in particular human psychological culture.
In other words the fundamental information that transcends the process of duality and often antagonizing dialectics of culture, which deals with a return to unity, has been disregarded so far by mainstream interculturalism. And as long as the complementary human characteristics to his diversity characteristics, i. e. his also existing characteristics of integration and return from the state of division and divisiveness of the intercultural approach, are not likewise considered, the mapping of the human cultural mind is not completed. And as long as it is not completed it does not truly reflect the more complete nature of man. And an incomplete information, however well assembled and configured, yields similarly deficitary results.
That which was supposed to solve human diversity challenges seems so be at times part of the problem rather than part of the solution. As long as one remains in the cultural space of duality and diversity one cannot expect anything else but products of duality which are frequently characterized by antagonism, because that is what is contained in the seed of this approach and, however sophisticated the approaches, they cannot transcend their dualistic nature. The state of affairs of the world that coincides with this era of research and the attempts to reconfigure international/intercultural processes based on intercultural research testify to the limited applicability of these approaches in global business and geopolitics… alike.
That does not mean that intercultural approaches are false. A child that is not fully developed is not in any way incorrect either. It has just not fully realized the information of completeness in his make-up. They are a promise. Similarly the intercultural approach is incomplete and a promise of completion. If it is not completed, however, it will not go beyond childlike solutions of playing with diversity rather than dealing with it in a truly complete and therefore much more effective way, in line with the need of our time. They real need of the completion of the intercultural edifice is bound to challenge the complete information about cultural man.
In order to complete the intercultural edifice one has to provide the complementary information about human integrative characteristics along with the divisive characteristics. That completion provides the information for the return from duality to unity. This more complete cultural information provides sustainable cultural solutions. And we can learn from the evolution of science paradigms what steps may to be taken to advance and complete the intercultural edifice. The complete information about cultural man is similarly more effective as the more complete information about nature proved to be more effective in other domains.
By now we can specify the title of the treatise by saying that the book of culture that operates in the domain of duality should be closed in order to inaugurate the paradigm shift towards complementary diversity- unity information about man that is supposed to be more in line with today’s world’s needs and human aspirations. There can be nothing new unless the old is put where it belongs, i. e. on the shelves of the archives of time and social science to give way to the new, for duality, dialectics and antagonism, though engineered as complementarity, deny the unity assumptions. Duality and unity are causally connected but they simultaneously exclude each other. However the design of man and hard science paradigms instructs us however how these two are causally connected and how they can be reassembled and reintegrated in a sense making way. Indeed their integration is the break-through to a new paradigm that provides the complete cultural information about man. This completeness provides more complete and sustainable results. So, we are, in a way, using hard science and human science to complete the comprehensive cultural mapping of man, in line with the assumption of the replication of hard science paradigm shifts in social science, within more limited temporal horizons. We are closing Volume 1 of the book of culture and we open Volume 2 which provides the complete informational mapping of cultural man whose provisional wholeness provides more wholistic cultural solutions.
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- intercultural management global management multicultural management reverse/forward/quantum engineering international communication intercultural research/education/comnpetence internationial diversity management