Orientation: Acculturation strategies are utilised to overcome the challenges posed to an individual employee's culture by the reigning organisational culture. Research purpose: The purpose of this research is to conceptualise young, black, African, female (YBAF) employees' ethnic identities, to describe the everyday challenges that they encounter in South African corporate organisations, and to explore the strategies that this particular group employs in order to acculturate in the work place. Motivation for this study: After the democratisation of South Africa in 1994 organisations were demographically transformed. Tension between the (Westernised) individual culture and the (African) collective culture challenged the successful implementation of an inclusive organisational culture. Research design, approach and method: Employing a qualitative inquiry strategy, traits of a netnographical design and internet-based research were combined to warrant the electronic focus-group discussions and email interviews as data collection methods to gauge the lived experiences of one specific in-group within the organisation. Main findings: The findings are discussed according to the in-group's ethnic identity, the cultural challenges they experienced in the organisation, and the acculturation strategies that they employed. The following strategies emerged from the data in this study: managing language as an important acculturation agent; utilising corridor talk by means of obtaining essential information; sharing and voicing beliefs of own cultures with colleagues to ensure mutual respect; actively countering current stereotypes and prejudice in the workplace, employing shifting as a positive strategy to acculturate; and recognising whiteness as an unconscious and privileged position that needs to be dealt with sensitively and effectively in organisations. Practical/managerial implications: The identified acculturation strategies in this study could assist employers in induction programmes or on-boarding processes and possible interventions to facilitate acculturation of new employees in organisations. It could be possible to develop a general guideline or manual from the findings of this research that would be relevant to everyday practices in the workplace. Contribution/value-add: The academic value of this study lies in the identification, description and evaluation of one particular in-group: the YBAF employees, which is coined for the first time in this research. This study voices these employees' challenges and experiences in a corporate South African environment.
Mini Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2016.