acculturation, assimilation, diversity, minority employees


Acculturation refers to the process of change and adaptation that occurs between members of cultural groups, especially when one or more minority groups merge with the majority (Berry, 1980). In order to effectively manage diversity, organizational leaders are beginning to realize the importance of understanding the dynamics associated with cross cultural interactions in the workplace. This dissertation focuses on the acculturation mode of assimilation relative to the experiences of 101 African Americans employed in faculty and staff positions in colleges and universities located in the Southeastern United States. Specifically, the moderating role of ethnic identity on the relation between perceived pressure to assimilate and compliance, and the relations between compliance and both work stress and turnover intentions were assessed. The concept of perceived pressure to assimilate in organizations suggests that employees perceive that they are expected to deny their ethnic identities, or at least their expression, at work in order to conform to the norms of the organization. However, for employees with strong ethnic identities, their ethnicity is an essential component of their self-concept and pressure to deny that aspect of themselves may result in a conflict where they must decide whether to comply or to leave the organization. A Model of the Individual Consequences of Assimilation Pressure is presented based upon the Role Taking Model (Katz & Kahn, 1978), the Model of the Effects of Culture on Role Behavior (Stone-Romero, Stone and Salas, 2003), the Acculturation Typology (Berry, 1980), and the Model of Social Influence (Kelman, 1958). The participants completed questionnaires designed to assess the following constructs: perceived pressure to assimilate, ethnic identity, compliance, work stress, and turnover intentions. In order to obtain an additional assessment of compliance, the primary participants compliance behavior was rated by their coworkers. As hypothesized, the results supported a positive relation between compliance and work stress. The other hypothesized relations were not supported. The implications of these results, a discussion of the study s limitations, and directions for future research are presented.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date



Jones, Foard


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration



Degree Program

Business Administration








Release Date

December 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)