Exploring the perceptions and attitudes of students on being prepared for the multicultural workplace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Are indigenous students prepared for employment in a multicultural working environment?This is a relevant and important topic as every year at least 1 in 3 of our students in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management decides to go International for their placement experience of 48 weeks at level 5. Many of these students will then return and enter the workforce in the Hospitality and Tourism sectors either here in Northern Ireland, the wider UK or abroad. In recent years the Hospitality and Tourism sectors in Northern Ireland have become increasingly multi-cultural in that 1 in 4 (25%) employees are born abroad (Labour Force Survey, 2015), therefore new graduates, ready to enter employment need to be prepared and be more culturally aware when interacting with both the employee and customer alike. Cultural Diversity is an increasingly important factor in working life as tourism organisations, worldwide, become more diverse in terms of the race, ethnicity, natural origin and other personal characteristics of their members, Shaw and Barrett-Power (1998). The terms multiculturalism and cultural diversity in this paper is used interchangeably, aiming at providing and yielding important insights into the students’ learning and knowledge of cultural awareness issues. It is hoped that the findings from this research will help us as academics to release how best to prepare our students to become global citizens before going on international assignments and/or entering the multi-cultural world of work. If the preparation is successful then harnessing cultural differences will create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, where their talents are being fully utilised and in which organisational goals are met (Devine et al, 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherCouncil for Hospitality Management Education
Number of pages15
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Apr 2016
EventCouncil for Hospitality Management Annual Research Conference - Ulster University, Belfast
Duration: 25 Apr 2016 → …


ConferenceCouncil for Hospitality Management Annual Research Conference
Period25/04/16 → …


  • Hospitality Curriculum
  • Tourism
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Cultural awareness education
  • Indigenous staff/students
  • Global Citizens.


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