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Examining the influence of transculturation on work ethic in the United States

Dwight M. Hite (Cameron University, School of Business, Lawton, OK, USA)
Joshua J. Daspit (Mississippi State University, College of Business, Mississippi State, MS, USA)
Xueni Dong (Mississippi State University, College of Business, Mississippi State, MS, USA)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of cultural assimilation – termed “transculturation” – on work ethic perceptions, thus this study examines trends in work ethic across ethnic and generational groups within the USA.


Following a literature review on work ethic, ethnicity, and transculturation, an analysis of variance based on 873 survey responses is presented. The sample includes undergraduate and graduate students at several public universities within the USA.


An empirical analysis supports the hypothesis that the variation of work ethic perceptions within the Millennial generation is significantly less than the variation among older generations. The authors find no significant difference in general work ethic perceptions among Millennial ethnic groups.

Research limitations/implications

While the study is conducted using a convenience sample, the demographics are closely representative of the USA labor force. The results suggest that Millennials, while a more diverse ethnic population, exhibit less variation among work ethic perceptions than earlier generational groups.

Practical implications

Understanding differences in work ethic perceptions across various ethnic groups is valuable for managers interested in designing jobs that appropriately exploit the full value of a multi-generational workforce.


The findings of this study offer new insights into how more recent generations, while more ethnically diverse, exhibit a convergence in perceptions of work ethic.



Hite, D.M., Daspit, J.J. and Dong, X. (2015), "Examining the influence of transculturation on work ethic in the United States", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 145-162.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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