Working together interculturally

Many organisations hire international talent to meet the needs of their business. These international employees have to work well together with the locals who already work there. I am starting a new study in both Denmark and New Zealand in September/October 2024 that focuses on these working relationships. Interested to share your own experiences or just to hear more? Let me know!

Benefits of contact between internationals and locals

Plenty of research has shown that good connections between expats and locals are important for performance, knowledge sharing, culture learning, social support and adjustment. But we actually don’t know all that much about how these relationships develop, and how the locals experience it. This is also vital knowledge to better manage these relationships and might also help retain both international and local talent.

Looking for internationals and locals who work together

I am looking for people who work in such an international workplace in either Denmark or New Zealand, where international and local employees often work together. I am looking for people who would like to (anonymously) share their intercultural interactions during 4 workweeks in September/October 2024:

  1. International employees who have arrived to work in Denmark or New Zealand since 2021 and work regularly with local colleagues from Denmark or New Zealand.
  2. Danish or New Zealand citizens (preferably having grown up there too) who regularly work with international colleagues within the same workplace.

Sharing your experiences

The research takes the form of a diary, where you tell me about your (significant) interactions with people from the other group (max. 5). For every interaction that lasts more than 5 minutes or is meaningful to you in some way, you shortly describe what happened (e.g. length and place of the interaction and what you talked about). To help you share your experiences, which can be both positive and negative, you will get a prompt every workday for 4 weeks.

Data are gathered via an app or a browser, are strictly confidential and will only be used in anonymised form (you can pick your own pseudonym!). One can participate individually, though it would be ideal if an international and a local colleague from the same workplace would participate, so I get a more complete picture.

What’s in it for you?

You will be able to let your experiences be heard. The lessons that will be derived from this study will contribute to improving intercultural relations between international and local colleagues in the future. Additionally, you will receive a free electronic version of my new book Breaking out of the Expat Bubble which is about making intercultural connections and friends, both within and outside of the workplace. I will also keep you posted on what I learn from this research – since 2013 I have been sending a yearly research update to all my research participants and others who are interested. Please also keep an eye on this blog where I post blogs about my research.

Are you interested in this study, send me an e-mail at msvb[at]!

This study is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation.