Ethnic Identity’s Role in Organisational Socialisation
The socialisation process is vital for organisations’ coherence, working climate and overall effectiveness. Whereas ethnically homogeneous group offers common interfaces to relate to for the newcomer belonging to the same group, the ethnic minority member may fail to observe such interfaces. While even smaller organisations are beginning to recruit from various ethnic groups, this phenomenon is faced widely. This paper aims to map the role of ethnic identity in organisational socialisation process in a setting where the new hire is from ethnic minority group in the organisation. The data is gathered through interviews that are further analysed with discourse analysis. The identified discourses, their dynamics and possible linkages may unfold the key phases in socialisation process. From the practical angle, by understanding better the various dimensions of the ethnic minority members’ the organisation can generate supportive functions to ensure the successful socialisation. Theoretically the paper bases itself on the theories of socialisation and ethnic identity. The identified discourses are explanatory views aiming to objectively relate on the theoretical aspects emphasised. The findings hint that the newcomers seek actively familiar references from a working community to relate to. It seems that the minority members’ receptive perception of the organisation and the supervisor behaviour nominate largely the subgroup formation processes, relationship formation initiatives and overall the organisational socialisation’s success.
Keywords: Ethnic Identity, Ethnicity, Minority, Socialisation, Organisation
Jussi T. Leponiemi
Researcher, Department of Management, University of Vaasa