I say tomato, you say domate:Differential reactions to English-only workplace policies by persons from immigrant and non-immigrantfamilies [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 52 (4):365 - 379 (2004)
Immigrants now compose approximately 12 of the population of the United States and a sizable proportion of the workforce. Yet in contrast to research on other traditionally under-represented groups (e.g., women, African Americans), there are relatively few studies on issues related to being an immigrant in the U.S. workforce. This study examined English-only workplace policies, focusing on reactions to business justifications – explanations that justify managerial decisions as business necessities – for these policies. We contrasted the reactions of individuals coming from immigrant families, where at least one parent was an immigrant to the U.S., with those of persons from non-immigrant families. Results of an experiment indicated that business justifications were successful in influencing the attitudes of non-immigrants toward the English-only policies, but did not influence the attitudes of individuals from immigrant families. Probing the reasons for this effect, a thought-listing protocol suggested that non-immigrants mentioned more of the business benefits of the English-only policy than did individuals from immigrant families. Further, business justifications for the English-only policy led individuals from immigrant families, but not those from non-immigrant families, to view the organization as being less ethical and less concerned with the welfare of its workers. The implications of messages from management being understood differently by different demographic groups are discussed.
Keywords Disclaimers  English-only workplace policies  Immigrants  Social accounts
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