Acculturation experiences and workplace cultural diversity dynamics: a comparative study of Chinese, Indian and Eastern European migrants in New Zealand

McIntyre, Nancy Chee Fun
Waring, Marilyn
Davies, Sharyn G
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

As a migrant-receiving nation, New Zealand’s workplace is culturally diverse. Given the culturally diverse backgrounds of the migrants from Asia and Eastern Europe, this research investigated how Chinese, Indian and Eastern European migrants in New Zealand interact with their co-workers, and how these encounters and dynamics shape their learning and behaviour over time. The investigation answers the two research questions: (i) What are the acculturative dynamics , encountered by migrants in their New Zealand workplaces? (ii) How have these encounters and migrants’ responses informed, and impacted on, individual learning and behaviour in the New Zealand workplace?

Multi-cultural workforce dynamics have important repercussions for management, staff, and their organisation. Interpersonal dynamics invariably generate learning experiences for all parties. This study aimed to make a significant contribution by understanding how migrants interpret, adjust and apply their learning in the workplace. The thesis provides managers with an informed understanding of the dynamics of a diverse workforce, with implications for maximising the uniqueness and advantages of that workforce.

Numerous studies have examined diversity in the workplace. But very little research has been done on the experiences of Chinese, Indian and Eastern European migrants in New Zealand, and none has compared and contrasted their experiences and learning from an organisational-behaviour perspective. This research makes an important academic contribution by adding a new dimension to the existing scholarly literature on the acculturative processes of migrants from an organisational-behaviour perspective within a workplace environment, enriched by providing perspectives from managers, supervisors and/or work colleagues of migrant participants.

Workplace diversity , Acculturation , Interpersonal dynamics , Cross-cultural studies , Cultural differences , Organisational behaviour , Diversity management , Migrants and immigrants , Chinese , Indian , Eastern European , New Zealand
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