June 12 2012 - In my experience, there is often a lot of confusion and massive assumptions about what culture means. Some organisations talk about working towards being one culture, because they want to achieve consistency in customer care, leadership and management styles, and ensure all employees demonstrate behaviours, which are professional, considered, and do not wittingly or unwittingly discriminate. In other words, they want to ensure that they comply with the equality legislation and their duty of care to promote good relations between all groups, prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination and provide equal opportunities. This does indeed require a shared understanding of what culture means. The term culture refers to the system of assumptions, beliefs and perspectives, many of them unconscious and taken for granted, which members of a group have in common. There can often be an overlap with religion; more so, should one religion be predominant in that area/country. This can sometimes lead to confusion, where people claim that they are following some belief, because it is part of their religion, whereas it is in fact something which has grown up traditionally from their culture, and may not be practised by people of the same religion and beliefs but who have a different culture. Most, if not all cultures are in a state of change and development, and are affected and influenced by other cultures. For example, there are statements which are culturally conditioned and which individuals / groups believe to be true, such as: 1. You should always be on time
2. If someone upsets you, tell them
3. Women should not wear make-up
4. You should always refuse an offer the first time
5. You should choose your own partner
6. Polite men will allow women to walk through doorways first 7. Individuals have the right to make...