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 now starting a new study while I am in New Zealand that really zooms in 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. And that’s what I want to focus on in my new study while I am in New Zealand.

Looking for internationals and kiwis who work together

I am currently looking for people who work in such an international workplace in 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:

  1. International employees who have arrived to work in New Zealand after the COVID-19 pandemic and work regularly with local colleagues from New Zealand.
  2. New Zealand citizens (preferably having grown up in New Zealand) 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 New Zealand 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 hopefully 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.