Title

Socialization of Foreign Information Technology Consultants in U.S. Organizations

Date of Degree

8-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Absael Antelo

Advisor

Dorothy Ettling

Advisor

Jessica Kimmel

Abstract

This research explores the socialization of foreign information technology (IT) consultants in the organizational culture of the United States. Cultural differences are present all across the world at national, cultural (ethnic & religious), and organizational levels (Nahavandi, 2000). IT consultants lived most of their lives studying and working in their home countries and their own culture had a very major impact on them. As Hofstede (2001) mentions, "By the age of 10, most of the child's basic values has been programmed into his or her mind" (p. 394). Most of these consultants came to the United States as adults in their mid-twenties when most of their basic values had already been formulated according to their home country's culture. This research was conducted using qualitative research methodology on a sample of 20 participants selected, using purposeful and convenience sampling techniques. Interviews were used as a primary data collection method, employing a semi-structured, open-ended interview protocol. A demographic questionnaire was used to gather basic information about participants. The results of this study uncovered the perception of the foreign IT consultants. It also shed light on the challenges and difficulties faced by these consultants in their jobs. And, finally, this study uncovered the impact of the U.S. education on their socialization. The main implications of this research were: (a) a need for the implementation of fair labor standards in consulting business, and (b) a need for protection of American workers against misconduct by consulting companies. This research also identified some topics for future research, including a need for detailed study about married consultants, and the need to conducting this research in other parts of America.

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