Cultural Assimilation and Organizational Assimilation

Hugh Fox Trujillo Peru

Objective: The student will be able to discuss cultural assimilation, ideologies of cultural assimilation, provide specific international examples, relate cultural assimilation to organizational assimilation and apply this knowledge to a practical scenario.

1) What is cultural assimilation

The process of inclusion through which newcomers become full members of another group or society

2) What are some ideologies of cultural assimilation?

a) The Melting pot ideology is the belief that the culture and society of each ethnic group should be blended with the culture and society of the host group to produce a new and different culture and society. This ideology lost favor with the rise of political liberalism in the 1960s.
b) Cultural pluralism: Horace Kallen (1915), Jewish philosopher, argued that members of every American ethnic group should be free to participate in all of the society’s major institutions while simultaneously retaining or elaborating their own ethnic heritage.

3) Does your country practice the Melting pot ideology or Cultural pluralism or something else?

4) What are some pros and cons to the Melting pot ideology?

5) What are some pros and cons to Cultural pluralism?

6) What do you think is the relationship between assimilation and globalization?

7) What are some minorities that have assimilated or not assimilated to your national culture?  See Table 1 below:

Country Assimilated   Minority None   Assimilated Minority
China Miao, Tujia   , Dai Tibetans , Uyghur,
Japan Ryukyuan Zainichi
Thailand Thai   Chinese Thai Malays (?)
US   European Americans African Americans, Mexican Americans (?),   Native   Americans

8) What is organizational assimilation?

Organizational assimilation is a process in which new members of an organization are integrated into the organizational culture. This concept, proposed by Frederic M. Jablin, consists of two dynamic processes that involve the organizational attempts to socialize the new members, as well as the current organization members. Organizational Socialization or Onboarding are both parts of the assimilation process. There are three phases in the assimilation process: Anticipatory Socialization, Organizational Encounter, and Metamorphosis.

9) Do you think there is a relationship between cultural assimilation and organizational assimilation?  Do the groups that are classified as none assimilated minorities in Table 1 in question 7 do well in organizations in their home countries?

10) Do you think there is a relationship between organizational assimilation and effective communication in an organization? 

11) Do you think the nationality of a worker affects organizational assimilation?  When I joined a university in Taiwan, I was taught the school song in Chinese as part of my new faculty orientation.  I had not nor have I ever learned Chinese, is this relevant?  What do you think of this practice?

12) Below is an edited new faculty orientation schedule for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Can you please adapt the schedule below for usage at your Asian university?  At the end of the orientation, the faculty should be closer to the goal of organizational assimilation.  The new faculty will be foreign nationals from Western countries:

8:30 to 9:00 AM, Registration (Coffee and light breakfast)

9:00 to 9:10 AM, Opening Remarks Samuel Allen Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Chair of the Faculty

9:10 to 9:20 AM, President’s Welcome

9:20 to 10:00 AM, Overview of the Institute Chris A. Kaiser Provost

10:00 to 11:00 AM, Transition to Faculty Life at MIT Georgia Perakis Professor, Sloan School of Management Panel facilitator

11:00 to 11:15 AM, Coffee Break

11:15 AM to 12:15 PM, Teaching and Learning at MIT   Daniel Hastings
Dean for Undergraduate Education
Panel facilitator

12:30 to 1:40 PM, Lunch with Department Heads/Deans
Stata Center, 32-G401 (Faculty lunch room, next to the R&D Pub)

1:45 to 2:45 PM, You and Your Students

2:45 to 3:00 PM, Coffee Break

3:00 to 4:00 PM, How to Set-up and Manage a Lab / Research Group

4:00 to 4:30 PM, Overview of Administrative Resources

5:30 to 7:00 PM, President’s Reception       


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