The Reality Gap – How Enterprises Perceive Intercultural Management

Gabriele Abermann


Purpose – The article documents the findings of semi-structured interviews with human resource managers and project leaders, mostly from Austrian enterprises, on their attitude towards the relevance of intercultural management and the measures they have taken to address this issue.
Methodology/Approach – The interviews were conducted in the context of the EU-funded university-enterprise project SKILL2E, aimed at designing and promoting cultural mentoring at the enterprise as a means to sustainably raise awareness and competence for an increasingly globalized workforce.
Findings – While a large majority attested to the relevance of intercultural management, only a small portion actively engaged in activities to recruit and integrate employees with diverse backgrounds. Additionally, a number of enterprises indiscriminately equated induction or buddy programmes with cultural mentoring. It also became evident that the potential of transnational student placements as a recruiting instrument and a learning opportunity for both universities and enterprises has not yet been fully realized.
Originality / Value – This case study demonstrates the gap between the perception and attitudes of enterprises in regards to diversity issues and the actual implementation status.


human capital; globalization; intercultural competence; mentoring; sustainability; higher education

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Data publikacji: 2015-08-10 11:19:06
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-08-10 11:06:26


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