Showing posts with label #CulturalAssimilation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #CulturalAssimilation. Show all posts

Saturday, July 6, 2024


(IMOA) Imagine Pacific Original Article 

Crescendo Clashing and Pacific Global Innovation 

By James E. Faumuina, MBA, MPA 

Editor, Imagine Pacific Pulse    


Perhaps it is time to question, "Does western reductivism of indigeneity clash with the regional innovation in Pacific Islands?"

Cumberland et al. (2016) referred in their literature review to using a cultural assimilation mechanism to predict clashing behaviors (p. 309). Although cultural awareness is approached, there is further opportunity to investigate the rationale behind the clashing cultures of global leaders.

Contrary to the assertion that individual capacity depends on basic skills acquired through human resource development (Cumberland et al., 2016), Mao et al. (2024) provide the context that regional culture also influences human capacity, contending that inherent capabilities born of the cultural regions, such as regional innovation, play a role in shaping “values, behaviors, norms, and regional identity” (p. 24).

Cumberland et al.'s (2016) view of culture faces challenges with the emphasis on individualism in Pacific culture (Tiatia-Seath et al., 2020), in addition to what Mao et al. (2024) provided as a necessary tenet of regional culture. Cumberland et al.'s reference to cross-cultural training as a low-contact activity underappreciates Pacific culture but also presents an opportunity to be enlightened. Here, Tiatia-Seath et al. illustrate another layer of regional culture with their use of the sense of place to describe communal identity (p. 402). Through the literature, the authors capture how Pacific Islanders' perspective of what Cumberland et al. espoused as culture may be considered colonialism by those who have undergone the experience of Western cultural assimilation (Tiatia-Seath et al., 2020). 

These literary inclusions provide a perspective that presents the value of regional culture and how it can influence an interpretation of how innovation is contextually interpreted. The literature would recommend starting with the paradigms from settling in what Pacific Indigenous people consider contested spaces; this is an appropriate venue to gauge the Western perception of indigeneity (Tiatia-Seath et al., 2020). They offer an initial critique of the West by providing literature that speaks to Western reductivism of Pacific culture and recognition of the encroachment of the contested space, the same space that Indigenous Pacific Islanders align with their genealogy. The oversight of Western culture to align what Tiatia-Seath et al. refer to as people and place is illustrated throughout the author’s literature.

Revisiting Cumberland et al.’s (2016) reference to culture as low contact provides insight into its perceived value. Further evidence of this reductionism is in the literature in Tiatia-Seath et al. (2020), where examples of overlooking the value of Pacific indigeneity are provided in mental health services and seen in how adaptation is being conveyed in the Pacific in contrast to what literature imbues as the Western framework.

The clash heard is a crescendo awakening in the Pacific. Innovation is here and has been for millennia. A sense of place, indigeneity, and cultural practice require assimilation; however, the direction is prime to change course from West to the Pacific, not the other way around, as global literature tendencies have been conditioned to lean.


Cumberland, D. M., Herd, A., Alagaraja, M., & Kerrick, S. A. (2016).
Assessment and development of global leadership competencies in the workplace: A review of literature. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 18(3), 301–317.

Tiatia-Seath, J., Tupou, T., & Fookes, I. (2020).
Climate Change, Mental Health, and Well-Being for Pacific Peoples: A Literature Review. The Contemporary Pacific, 32(2), 399-430.

Mao, L., Lu, C., Sun, G., & et al. (2024).
Regional culture and corporate finance: A literature review. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 11(1), 59.

James is the owner of Imagine Pacific Enterprises and the Editor of Imagine Pacific Pulse (IMPULSE). He is a retired Lt Col, Hawaii Air National Guard. Former medical administrator, planner, program manager, and operations officer. Graduated from the USAF Air War College and is currently a Ph.D. student in the in Troy Global Leadership Program. He can be contacted at or

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