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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0768

Abstract

JACKSON, Leon T.B.; VAN DE VIJVER, Fons J.R.  and  AL, Shanaz. Positive acculturation conditions and well-being in a mine in the North-West Province. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1, pp. 1-11. ISSN 2071-0768.

ORIENTATION: Multiculturalism seemed to have become the dominant strategy for dealing with pluralism in the South African public sphere. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The authors addressed the relationship between conditions that are considered to be conducive to multiculturalism and the practices perceived to accomplish this, vis-a-vis multiculturalism and well-being, as measured by ill-health and subjective work success. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Although multiculturalism has been recommended as an effective way of dealing with diversity at societal and local levels, little is known about its effects in the workplace. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: Following a quantitative approach, the authors utilised a cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 241 Black employees and White employees from a mine in North-West Province for the research. Exploratory factor analyses and Cronbach alpha coefficients were used to test scale validity and reliability. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and effect sizes were used to determine the effect of race on the experiences of miners, and multigroup path analysis (AMOS) was used to investigate whether or not identical relations between multiculturalism, work success, and ill-health could be found for Black employees and White employees. MAIN FINDINGS: Multiculturalism and mainstream tolerance coupled with ethnic integration demands at home and at work were associated with success at work but not with ill-health. Black employees experienced the workplace slightly more positively. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Multiculturalism and integration are related to subjective experiences of work success and, as such, should be supported in the workplace. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Our findings suggest that multiculturalism is relatively well supported by both groups in the workplace. This positive finding should not be regarded as obvious because empirical research has suggested that the majority of members of the host culture do not always favour multiculturalism.

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