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Intercultural integration of international skilled employees in small and medium enterprises in Germany: the multicultural organization as a strategy to increase sustainable competitiveness?

  • The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how small and medium enterprises in Germany are dealing with the increasing importance of the cultural diversity within a company which is caused by the complex growth of the external economic factors through the rising internationalization as well as the demographical change, whereby the integration of international skilled employees is seen as a key role. The first part of the thesis focuses on the framework between the basic component of the topic, the value of the company’s culture which is based on Hofstede´s theoretical approach, and diversity management. The following part indicates on one hand the opportunities as well as the threats which can arise when implementing an intercultural integration approach. This comparison should give the possibility to get a better overview of how complex the topic is and how many influencing factors are to be considered for a successful integration. The thesis then covers strategic aspects of how to proceed. Thereby it refers to the acculturation model of Berry and his four acculturation strategies. Furthermore, the comparison of the assimilation and segregation approaches are mentioned and analysed as well as their golden mean. The method to underline the theoretical part is supported by interviews. These interviews, which were held with two “best-practice” companies as well as one independent diversityexpert, give the possibility to get a real overview of how companies deal with this approach and which problems as well as advantages they are facing. The interviews which are not only held with the manager rather than German and foreign employees are important to get a feeling how companies handle the intercultural integration on different hierarchical levels which might prove useful in discovering potential in their own company. The conclusion of the thesis is that cultural homogenous societies rarely exist today, which means that the cultural diversity shouldn’t be seen as a trend rather than a constant conditionality. Small and medium enterprises should also stop seeing the downside to their size rather than their advantages which also come with their size. Companies have to build a true understanding and consciousness in order to create a cultural diverse friendly environment. Nevertheless, in an ideal case a company does not see the cultural diversity as something special, but more likely as something normal, regardless from which cultural background an employee is, he or she is a member of the company.

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Author:Anna Jantke
Advisor:Heike Stengel
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2017
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2017/02/28
Release Date:2017/01/11
Page Number:82
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Business Strategy
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt