Managers’ and Diversity Experts’ Perceptions of Multiculturalism and Internationalism in Organizations

Nurcan Ensari, Denise Lopez, Elena Shackelford


Multiculturalism and internationalism are not consistently defined in the academic and professional fields. In today’s global environment, multicultural and international challenges within organizations are likely to be broader and more complex than previously described in the diversity literature. Lack of understanding of how these constructs apply within a specific organization can be detrimental to the development of relevant strategies and initiatives. Managers and diversity experts were interviewed about their perceptions of how multiculturalism and internationalism apply to organizations; associated issues and challenges; and thoughts and suggestions about programs and initiatives for enhancing multiculturalism and internationalism. Managers’ perceptions varied depending on their organization’s strategic orientation, as well as their own work roles and national backgrounds. It was also noted that though multiculturalism is typically associated with domestic/US issues, it can be applied internationally. However, multiculturalism must be carefully adapted to fit the context in which it is practiced.


Multiculturalism, Internationalism, Diversity, Organizations, Culture

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