Immigrants’ and Natives’ Intra- and Intercultural Co-worker Relations and Their Associations With Employee Well-being

Event start date
Event start time
12.00
Place

Linna building, auditorium K 103, address: Kalevantie 5

Doctoral defence of Lic.A. (Psych) Barbara Bergbom

Immigrants’ and Natives’ Intra- and Intercultural Co-worker Relations and Their Associations With Employee Well-being : A study in an urban bus transportation company

The field of science of the dissertation is Psychology.

The opponent is professor Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti (University of Helsinki). Professor Ulla Kinnunen acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is Finnish.

Immigrants’ and natives’ co-worker relations and their associations with employee well-being

Workplaces are becoming more culturally diverse due to increased migration. Employees are thus increasingly working together with people from other cultures. Studies on immigrants’ and natives’ co-worker relations and their associations with employee well-being are, however, still scarce in Finland as well as internationally. This study explored relations between immigrant and native employees, exposure to workplace bullying and the associations of intra- and intercultural co-worker relations with employee well-being. The participants were immigrant and native employees working as bus drivers and mechanics in an urban bus transportation company in Finland.

The results showed, that intra-cultural co-worker relations were in general perceived as more positive than intercultural co-worker relations, among both immigrants and natives. The co-worker perceived to be the closest one also originated most often from the same culture or country. Close and positive co-worker relations existed, however, also between immigrants and natives and between immigrants from different countries. Every sixth immigrant and every tenth native reported their closest co-worker to be somebody from another culture than oneself. Immigrants’ cultural distance from the Finnish culture was associated with their relations to native co-workers. The more culturally distant, the less positive the relations to natives were perceived. The greater the distance, the greater also the risk of being subjected to workplace bullying and social exclusion. The more positive the co-worker relations were perceived to be, the higher the levels of job satisfaction and psychological well-being. Co-worker relations between immigrants and natives, however, were more strongly associated with job satisfaction than other co-worker relations, among immigrants as well as among natives.

The findings of this study suggest that attention should be paid to fostering the development of positive co-worker relations between immigrants and natives, as this may enhance employee well-being, notably job satisfaction. Furthermore, culturally distant immigrants may be at a particular risk of social exclusion and subjection to workplace bullying. Hence, it is recommended that culturally diverse workplaces with immigrant and native employees should focus on social inclusion of all employees, and take measures to prevent workplace bullying.

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The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2281, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1783, Tampere University Press 2017.

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