Workaholic or easygoing?
Interpretations of National Culture in Industries with Immigrant Workforce in Finland
Keywords:national culture, stereotypes, migrant labour, transnational interaction
Growing immigration creates linguistically and culturally diverse working environments. National cultural characteristics are common concepts in everyday discourse in culturally heterogeneous workplaces as well as in academic research on work environments and management. By analysing empirical interview data from two arenas of productive activity in Finland, we show how national cultural characteristics are understood differently depending on the structural positioning of the arena in the local–national–transnational–global continuum. The data consists of a total of 53 in-depth interviews of foreign-born and Finnish-born experts working in high tech industries and research organizations, and white-collar and blue-collar workers in metal industries. Results illuminate how national interactive specificity is interpreted differently in global and local–national productive arenas. For instance, depending on the type of work, Finns could be describe as workaholics or as easy-going employees. The most central national cultural stereotypes have different interpretations among employees in the high tech business (global arena) and metal industries (mainly local and national arena).
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