Cultural Assimilation in Business

Topics: Culture, Organizational culture, Sociology Pages: 66 (14378 words) Published: October 11, 2010



1.1 Introduction3
1.2 The study background4
1.3 The Problem Statement4
1.4 Aims and Objectives6
1.4.1 Objectives6
1.5 Scope and limitations6
1.6 Significance of the Study6
1.7 Conclusion7

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review8

2.1 Introduction8
2.2 Literature Review8
2.3 Definition of culture9
2.4 Cultural theory11
2.4.1 Cultural fit11
2.5 Acculturation12
2.5.1 Modes of Acculturation13
2.5.2 Models of Acculturation16
2.6 Cultural Assimilation17
2.6.1 Cultural differences and Challenges18
2.6.2 Direct effects of diversity20
2.6.3 Cultural and attitudinal diversity21
2.7 Organizational culture24
2.7.1 Subcultures31
2.7.2 Organizational climate and change32
2.7.3 Corporate Culture and Strategy36
2.8 Culture Management37
2.9 Different types of organizational cultures38
2.10 Classifying elements of organizational culture39
2.11 Perspectives of organizational culture43
2.12 Models of organizational culture46
2.13 The multicultural organization48
2.13.1 Characteristics of a multicultural organization48 2.14 Conclusion48

CHAPTER THREE: Methodology50

3.1 Introduction50
3.2 Methodology50
3.3 Target population51
3.4 Sampling Method52
3.5 Data collection53
3.6 Research Instruments53
3.7 Data analysis55
3.8 Conclusion55


4.1 Introduction56
4.2 Section A56
Personal information56
4.3 Section B (Management)57
4.4 Section B (Employees)60
4.5 General Comments64


5.1 Introduction65
5.2 Summary of the study65
5.3 Findings67
5.4 Recommendations68
5.5 Conclusion68

6. References69

7. Questionnaires74

7.1 Management74
7.2 Employees80


The study examined the impact of cultural assimilation in business. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact that cultural integration has made at Spoornet, its importance and the problems it is accompanied with when put into practice. According to Gugin ()Multi-cultural environment have the potential to create profitable synergies, but only in reducing the friction likely to emerge when people from various national or corporate cultures work together. Individuals are characterised by a cultural trait that determines their attitude towards the prevailing cultural norms in the economy. This study seeks to examine the impact of cultural assimilation in business. Spoornet, an organization that employs 587 people per year largely represents the different cultural groups in South Africa has been selected as a case study for this research.

The theoretical research objectives of the study focus on importance of cultural integration in business, the advantages and disadvantages of cultural divergence in business, the current improvements in cultural assimilation in businesses and to establish what problems businesses come upon in cultural assimilation in their businesses.


1.1 Introduction

According to Carte & Fox (2004:45), once you step outside your own corporate and national culture, you’ll find people whose attitudes towards power and authority are very different from your own and if you measure the way they behave against your norms, you could end up misinterpreting their motives. Carte & Fox (2004:45-46) further states that the modern business world is complex, diverse and often stressful and there is no panacea that will magically cure all these communication problems but if you try to show a bit of genuine empathy you will find that, at the very least, it can be an effective painkiller. Culture has always played an important role in people’s daily lives. This has even led to culture being absorbed in the business sector. The main reason for this is that there are different ethnic groups in most business sectors and this is due...
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