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EUDiM – Managing cultural diversity in small and medium-sized organizations

Sponsor European Commission
Support project EUDiM
Project website www.eudim.eu
Project partner BF/M-Bayreuth (consortium leader)
efms in Bamberg, Germany
Gabinet d’Estudis Socials in Barcelona, Spain
IIB in Vienna, Austria
Lunaria in Rome, Italy
Cooperation partner GGS in Heilbronn, Deutschland
Duration of the project 15.12.2013 – 14.06.2015
Responsible board member Prof. Dr. Torsten Kühlmann
Responsible employees Ramona Heinz, M. Sc.

Project Background

Not only in Germany, but also in other European countries, a demographic change in our society has been taking place for several years. In addition to an aging population, caused by both increased life expectancy and declining birth rates, steady immigration into the EU promotes cultural diversity in the individual EU countries. The workforce of companies and institutions made up of employees who were not born in Germany bring their standards of conduct, values, and views with them. German employees often show rejection, exclusion, and discrimination against foreign colleagues. Since companies of all sizes have recognized immigration as an opportunity to counteract the noticeable shortage of skilled workers, they face the challenge of managing diverse workforces. While numerous large companies have already taken up this challenge and are implementing measures to integrate foreign employees, the level of knowledge on how to deal with a diverse workforce is patchy in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The EUDiM project addresses this gap. In four European countries, the project will analyze goals, form the results of diversity management in SMEs and show ways for successful handling of cultural diversity in companies. The focus will be on immigrants from non-EU countries.

Project Objectives

1.To provide an international overview of existing diversity management measures in SMEs.

2.To identify both facilitating and hindering factors that influence the implementation and success of diversity management in SMEs.

3.To develop recommendations and effective strategies for dealing with cultural diversity and to derive pointers for future research.

4.To promote the exchange of experience between decision-makers and immigrants regarding the objectives, measures, and effects of diversity management.

To put this project into practice in the best possible way, scientists from different countries, institutions, and disciplines will work together in the project and contribute their specific experience. This will enable the different aspects of the project, such as migration, cultural diversity and work in SMEs, to be thematically covered and country-specific findings to be compared.

Project Schedule

Under the coordination of the BF/M-Bayreuth, four other organizations from Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy are involved as project partners: The Forum for European Migration Studies in Bamberg (efms), the Institute for International Business of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (IIB), the Gabinet d’estudis socials in Barcelona (GES) and the non-profit organization Lunaria from Rome.

The work packages will be worked on in parallel in the countries. Regular meetings of the participants during the project and the joint development of the procedure and instruments ensure uniform processing of the sub-steps and thus also the comparability of the results.