Merging Competencies, Valuing Diversity: The Multicultural Enterprise as an Emerging Model

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29 oct 2020

Merging Competencies, Valuing Diversity: The Multicultural Enterprise as an Emerging Model

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This research, carried out by the University of Parma for IOM Italy, sheds light on the category of multicultural enterprises, which, despite being a spreading phenomenon, still seems to be a neglected topic in the Italian landscape. Such companies feature a culturally mixed management or staff and are the result of a social and economic merging process between cultures. Although not all multicultural enterprises are multicultural for a strategic purpose, those who tap the benefits of cultural diversity show interesting economic and behavioural performances that make them stand out from native or migrant monocultural enterprises. 

The research offers an analysis of the main characteristics of this specific category of enterprises, focusing on the factors that brought to this entrepreneurial set-up and on the challenges encountered by entrepreneurs and managers, eventually analysing how their multicultural background is an added value for their success.

  • Foreword 
  • Introduction
  • 1. Migrant Entrepreneurship and Multicultural Enterprises 
    • 1.1 Theoretical Overview 
    • 1.2 The Italian Context 
    • 1.3 Resources of Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Social and Gender Specificities 
    • 1.4 Beyond Community Networks 
    • 1.5 Towards a Conceptualization of Multicultural Enterprises 
  • 2. Multicultural Enterprises in Italy: Objectives and Methodology of the Survey 
    • 2.1 Definition, Research Objectives and Methodological Aspects 
    • 2.2 Results of the Interviews with Multicultural Enterprises: a Descriptive Analysis 
  • 3. Strategy and Identity of Multicultural Enterprises 
    • 3.1 Multiculturalism as a Strategy
    • 3.2 Multiculturalism as a Value 
  • 4. The Start-up Process of a Multicultural Enterprise and the Motivations Behind It 
    • 4.1 Seniority, Integration and Work Experience  
    • 4.2 Complementarity and Sharing Business Objectives 
    • 4.3 Transnationalism and Access to Foreign Markets 
    • 4.4 The Role of the Communities  
    • 4.5 Support from Institutions and the Role of Credit  
  • 5. The Evolution of Multicultural Enterprises: Perceived Advantages, Obstacles Encountered and Multicultural Competencies 
    • 5.1 Advantages: Complementarity, Innovation and Access to Foreign Markets 
    • 5.2 Obstacles Encountered: Personnel Management, Language Barriers and Bureaucracy 
    • 5.3 Management of Multicultural Enterprises 
    • 5.4 Customer Perception 
    • 5.5 Relationships with Universities, Entrepreneur Associations and Financial Institutions 
  • 6. Recommendations for Support 88 Interventions for Multicultural Enterprises 
    • 6.1 Possible Measures for Supporting Multicultural Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises 
      • 6.1.1 Support Measures and Initiatives for Shareholders, Partners and Employees in Multicultural Enterprises 
  • Annex 1 
  • Bibliography