Cultural identity and its impact on today’s multicultural organizations

Within the context of the internationalization of organizations and, in particular, growing numbers of staff members from different cultures, the number of studies on the management of cultural differences has increased considerably. However, as several authors have observed, studies on cultural differences and the concept of cultural identity remain limited, in large part due to the influential studies of Hofstede, which led to increased interest in national cultures.

The objective of this study is to demonstrate the importance of cultural identity, which is a broader concept than national identity and only partly determined by it. Cultural identity is based on the distinctiveness or specificity of a given community, encompassing certain characteristics common to its people. A distorted view can significantly hinder understanding and communication with citizens of a specific nation. Today, as many authors observe, there is renewed interest in the complex, multidimensional process of identity construction in cross-national, cross-cultural work settings.

The aim of the present study is therefore to review the processes involved in the formation of cultural identity and its importance for understanding individuals’ distinctive, culture-specific traits and to show how individuals with plural identities influence and transform contemporary organizations. Finally, a research program focused on recontextualizing cultural identity in contemporary organizations is proposed.

The research of Helena Karjalainen.


One of the main challenges for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is how to leverage their R&D activities in the international markets but current literature offers mixed evidence and inconclusive models in this regard.  The relationships among SMEs’ international R&D activities, dynamic capabilities and performance are still not well understood, despite their importance for the managerial practices in […]

Family firms are widespread among public companies in France. In a recent paper, Ben Ali, Boubaker & Magnan, provide evidence that the presence of multiple large shareholders (MLS) beyond the largest controlling shareholder (LCS) mitigates the agency conflicts between large and minority shareholders, hence reducing the level of audit fees paid by family-controlled firms. Using […]

When it comes to work engagement (one’s vigor, dedication, and absorption directed to work tasks), some job resources are more important for some, but not for others – and it is largely dependent on your office location. Halinski and Harrison (2020) recently published an article in the International Journal of Public Sector Management, exploring this hypothesis with public service employees in […]