Canadian Organizational Culture

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CANADIAN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE STUDY
Waterloo Wellington

WWTAB is funded by and

Prepared for WWTAB by Tamara Darling

August 2005

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WWTAB would like to acknowledge project support and assistance from: The Waterloo Region District School Board and The New Canadian Program

The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada or the Government of Ontario

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CANADIAN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE STUDY

Table of Contents Summary……………………………………………………………………………..2 Background…………………………………………………………………………..2 Research Procedure…………………………………………………………………..3 Phase I: Questionnaire to Employers Background………………………………………………………………………4 Program Awareness……………………………………………………………...6 Integration Process………………………………………………………………8 General Comments………………………………………………………………13 Phase II: Employer Interviews Positive Feedback About Hiring Immigrants Skills…………………………………………………………………………13 Work Ethic…………………………………………………………………...14 Other Advantages…………………………………………………………....14 Communication: The Biggest Challenge Factors Which Determine Language Requirements………………………...14 Importance of Communication Level……………………………………….15 Interpersonal Comprehension……………………………………………….16 Overcoming Communication Challenges…………………………………...16 Integration and Cultural Differences Integration Time……………………………………………………………..17 Cultural Difficulties………………………………………………………….18 Expectations…………………………………………………………………18 Structure……………………………………………………………………..18 Authoritarianism……………………………………………………………..19 Shyness………………………………………………………………………19 Intercultural Socialization……………………………………………………20 Advice to Businesses Training Immigrants…………………………………………………………21 Advice to Employers from Employers………………………………………22 Advice to Immigrants Get Involved…………………………………………………………………23 Sell Yourself!………………………………………………………………...24 Advice to Immigrants from Employers……………………………………...25 Advice to Immigrants from Immigrants……………………………………..25 Support Recommendations Services for Immigrants……………………………………………………...26 Services for Companies……………………………………………………....27 Conclusions………………………………………………………………………….27 Appendix A…………………………………………………………………………..29 Appendix B…………………………………………………………………………..30

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CANADIAN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE STUDY Summary There is concern that new Canadians (immigrants who have been in Canada less than 5 years) are not being adequately prepared to meet the social expectations of Canadian employers due to their differing native cultural perceptions of appropriate behaviour in corporate settings. The consequences of this range from unintentionally offending non-immigrant co-workers to feeling isolated within the company. A successful cultural adaptation affects an immigrant’s interpersonal skills, level of promotion, and social life. Due to clashing cultural differences between new Canadians and the Canadian organizational culture, it is important to find out how new Canadians or Canadian employers of immigrants, or both, can be better trained in ways to increase immigrant integration into the work setting. This research project surveyed and interviewed employers to find out their experiences with the integration process of new Canadian employees. The project also surveyed new Canadians who have passed the stage of integration in Canadian businesses. These interviews will help programs that work with immigrants to modify their training programs to equip new Canadians to make a smooth transition into the Canadian organizational culture. The information will also help organizations, and community support agencies to know where modifications and/or training may benefit organizations in creating an inclusive organizational culture. Background The increasing rate of immigration to Canada is an example of the importance that immigrants have in our society. Although immigration rates slowed down in the early 80’s due to an economic recession, demographic projections indicate that a shortage of labour will be created when the baby boomers retire....
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