Understanding the challenges of managers from non-Indigenous backgrounds working in remote Australia: A cultural competence perspective

Understanding the challenges of managers from non-Indigenous backgrounds working in remote Australia: A cultural competence perspective Thesis

Flinders Business School

  • Author(s): Whittle, Michelle
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: Flinders University
  • Volume: Hons

Abstract: This study explores the challenges non-Indigenous art centre managers face, from a cultural competence perspective, when they work in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Other cultural challenges were also examined and how these challenges influenced managers’ decision to remain in their job or resign is discussed. Besides contributing to cultural competence research, the research also finds that a multi-theoretical perspective is needed to explain the complexities of working in remote Australia. The study is also significant as it will help provide a deeper insight into improving various human resource management (HRM) issues at remote art centres including: high employee turnover, difficulty attracting suitable, qualified staff, inefficient training programs, unmet worker expectations and no career path or career development. To explore these issues, 22 in-depth, semi structured interviews of non-Indigenous managers were conducted. From these interviews several cultural competence challenges were identified including: relationships, status, communication differences and differing views of time. In addition, four other cultural challenges emerged: the intracultural gap in Indigenous communities, the physical urban-remote cultural gap, culture shock and unmet expectations. Furthermore, two non-cultural tangible aspects were identified, monetary challenges and conflict and violence. Lastly, two other important findings also emerged from the interviews including, adaptation to remote communities/job and the reasons why managers stay or leave. The reasons managers resigned from their job were a significant finding and included: being tired or burnt out, feeling that goals had been achieved and/or for personal reasons.

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Suggested Citation
Whittle, Michelle, 2013, Understanding the challenges of managers from non-Indigenous backgrounds working in remote Australia: A cultural competence perspective, Volume:Hons, Thesis, viewed 08 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2982.

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