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The multicultural workplace: interactive acculturation and intergroup relations

Wido G.M. Oerlemans (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Maria C.W. Peeters (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 6 July 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to introduce the interactive acculturation model (IAM) of Bourhis et al. to predict how disconcordance in acculturation orientations between host community and immigrant workers relates to the quality of intergroup work‐relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of 141 host community (Dutch) and 41 non‐western immigrant workers of a postal service company who filled out a questionnaire. Methods of analyses include analysis of variance and multiple regression.

Findings

In line with the IAM, results showed that a higher disconcordance in preferred acculturation orientations between host community and immigrant workers related to a poorer quality of intergroup work‐relations. However, intergroup contact moderated this relationship differently for host community and immigrant workers.

Research limitations/implications

Data are cross‐sectional and collected in one organization. Future studies should replicate the findings to other organizational contexts, cultural groups, and collect longitudinal data to determine causal effects.

Practical implications

Organizations should monitor disconcordance in acculturation orientations amongst host community and immigrant workers. A multicultural culture in organizations may reduce disconcordance in acculturation orientations between host community and immigrant workers.

Originality/value

The paper helps to explain the mixed findings in cultural diversity research so far, by demonstrating that disconcordance in acculturation orientations relates negatively to intergroup work‐relations in a multicultural workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Oerlemans, W.G.M. and Peeters, M.C.W. (2010), "The multicultural workplace: interactive acculturation and intergroup relations", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 460-478. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683941011048373

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited