New research project: What happens when consumers meet sales people with an immigrant background?
Encountering an immigrant sales employee behind the counter is not an exception anymore as much as it is an expectation. For example, the EU has for some time now been a major immigration destination with an estimated 10% of the population being foreign-born.
But what happens when consumers meet sales people with a different cultural or ethnic background?
A new research project at CBS will contribute to our understanding of intercultural selling encounters in retail. The project is funded by Semper Ardens: Accelerate grant from Carlsbergfondet of 4,591,096 DKK.
Does origin impact effectiveness?
“A lot of previous research shows that it is a common occurrence that people coming from other cultural and ethnic backgrounds are being stereotyped. This is our way of simplifying the world around us. For instance, Spanish people are traditionally associated with warmth and friendliness,” explains Associate Professor Milena Micevski who received the grant.
“These sets of beliefs that we hold about the characteristics of other social groups intuitively transfer to our impressions of and our responses to individuals coming from these “other” or foreign backgrounds. So, the questions that arise and have mostly remained unanswered in a systematic manner are: What happens when consumers meet sales people with different cultural or ethnic backgrounds? Does the origin of sales people have an impact on the effectiveness of their selling techniques,” says Milena Micevski.
Ways to overcome integration barriers
Micevski expects the research to contribute actionable guidelines on how to overcome barriers to integrate the workforce with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The results are also expected to add to the debate and solution towards all members of society having equal opportunities to participate in the economy and gain equal access to the job market.
Milena Micevski, Associate Professor, Tel: 38152161, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne Bom,Journalist, Tel.: +45 41852631, E-mail: email@example.com