Unpacking multiculturalism in the ICT workplace: Differences in responses to workplace situations for English and non-English speaking backgrounds


Multiculturalism is one of the many factors contributing to the growing diversity found within the

workforce comprising today’s organizations. This is particularly true in the ICT workplace. Diversity

is often investigated in the context of teams and global organizations seeking to improve knowledge

management and/or innovation strategies and practices. Understanding the role that culture plays in a

multicultural society is complex, understudied and not well understood. Past studies into identifying

and comparing dif erent national cultures are dif icult to apply to the multicultural context. Even the

operationalisation of the culture construct can be problematic or impractical when many ethnic

minorities exists. One approach commonly used in Australia is the categorization of individuals and

groups into English (or Anglo) background and Non-English Speaking Background (NESB). In this

paper we use these categories to investigate if dif erences can be found in the way in which individuals

in these two cohorts respond to workplace situations.

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