Cultures at work and beyond: Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Internationalisation of companies and migration of people have directed much attention towards culture and the way in which individuals interact in multicultural settings, such as organisations. In this chapter, we present the results of our research on a group of Latin American and Spanish employees working at a multinational company in Denmark. The aim is to interpret employees’ reflections on culture, both in their working place and in their everyday life in Danish society. We apply a socio-cognitive approach to our analysis of the way in which representations of social groups are produced on the basis of the information provided by interviewees. Three themes are identified to structure interviewees’ reflections: 1) work place; 2) Danish culture; and 3) changing identities. The categories are flexible and are redefined according to the position assumed by the interviewees. Thus, the idea of ‘internationalisation’ is understood as being in contrast to the Danish environment, for example, and ‘being Danish’ acquires positive or negative connotations depending on whether or not it is considered to be a part of the cosmopolitan world to which the interviewees themselves think they belong. We also find that the conceptualisation of Danish culture is changeable, and generalisations and stereotypes coexist with nuanced explanations on their relation with Danish and other national cultures. This flexibility in cultural representation is due to the ways in which individuals acquire cultural identity by placing themselves in contact with several group identities and changing positions depending on the situation. The reflective dimension on culture turns out to be relevant in order to understand the way in which individuals conceive culture as based on their intercultural exchanges and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture and Identity in Organisations : A Discourse Perspective
EditorsLise-Lotte Holmgreen
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Publication dateDec 2012
Pages31-49
ISBN (Print)9788771120431
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Cite this

Dam, L., & Agustin, O. G. (2012). Cultures at work and beyond: Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company. In L-L. Holmgreen (Ed.), Culture and Identity in Organisations: A Discourse Perspective (pp. 31-49). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag.
Dam, Lotte ; Agustin, Oscar Garcia. / Cultures at work and beyond : Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company. Culture and Identity in Organisations: A Discourse Perspective. editor / Lise-Lotte Holmgreen. Aalborg : Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2012. pp. 31-49
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Dam, L & Agustin, OG 2012, Cultures at work and beyond: Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company. in L-L Holmgreen (ed.), Culture and Identity in Organisations: A Discourse Perspective. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, Aalborg, pp. 31-49.

Cultures at work and beyond : Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company. / Dam, Lotte; Agustin, Oscar Garcia.

Culture and Identity in Organisations: A Discourse Perspective. ed. / Lise-Lotte Holmgreen. Aalborg : Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2012. p. 31-49.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

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Dam L, Agustin OG. Cultures at work and beyond: Latin American and Spanish employees in a multinational Danish company. In Holmgreen L-L, editor, Culture and Identity in Organisations: A Discourse Perspective. Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag. 2012. p. 31-49