The role of corporate culture in managing cultural diversity - A case study on a German multinational company

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi; Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för ekonomi

Abstract: Research Aim: Our aim is to understand how multinational companies integrate cultural diversity of employees in their corporate culture. To achieve this objective, we compare the employees’ perception with the company's view on the topic. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative case study is conducted with three sets of questionnaires. Two sets of questionnaires were designed for the foreign and the local employees. The third set was created for the department of human resource management who represented the company’s view. Analysis is done by comparing the theories with empirical findings of the study. Findings: The findings revealed that corporate culture is inspired by the national culture. By implementing a proper recruiting process, socialization and teamwork, multinational companies can integrate cultural diversity successfully in their corporate culture. Several tools such as offering language courses, announcements in both languages, a welcoming at the new country booklet, mentors, anonymous feedback on cultural issues and sports or cultural outings are proposed to manage cultural diversity. These tools can be used for both the foreign and the local employees. The integration relies on both employees and the companies. However, upper management should support the department of human resources management to find solutions for the integration of a culturally diverse workforce. Practical implications: Contemporary studies propose tools like mentoring programs that are costly and may ignite stereotyping while managing cultural diversity. This study proposes tools that are cost-effective and functional in integrating and managing cultural diversity of employees. Originality/Value: Previous studies do not emphasize the role of corporate culture in integrating cultural diversity of employees. This study focuses on the empirical gap of employees’ perception on the role of corporate culture in integrating cultural diversity. It proposes, that to manage cultural diversity, companies should only focus on the national and corporate culture of the company and not necessarily of the employee’s culture.

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