Ethnic employees' behaviour vis-a-vis customers in the service sector
AbstractModern societies in the western world are increasingly faced with cultural diversity as a result of international migration. The socio-economic position of ethnic groups in a globally mobile society has extensively been studied in recent years, from the perspective of their skills, language abilities, adjustment behaviour, and so forth. This study investigates the social and economic performance of ethnic workers in cities by addressing the question whether these groups have a higher or lower reputation or esteem on the labour market than their indigenous equals, seen from the perspective of the customer's perception and satisfaction. There is a popular feeling that ethnic employees in the service sector are less client-centered than indigenous employees. Sometimes, stigmatization is mentioned as a factor that acts as a negative predictor for someone's position on the job market. This phenomenon calls for a careful and critical assessment, as it may also rest on an unjustified stigma. Therefore, it is an interesting research question whether workers of ethnic origin, e.g., in the service sector, are more or less client-friendly than others. How do others judge their social or economic performance? After an extensive literature review, we formulate relevant hypotheses on the actual behaviour of ethnic employees and test these on the basis of empirical fieldwork in the service sector notably in the retail sector in the city of Amsterdam. Our conclusion is that, in general, there is no ethnic bias in the behaviour of these employees, although our findings suggest that gender bias does occur.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0002.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.feweb.vu.nl
Client-friendliness; Culture; Ethnic groups; Migration; OCB (Organizational Citizenship Behaviour); Performance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
- J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-29 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Borjas, George J, 1995.
"Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
- George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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