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In What Ways Does an Ethnocentric Approach Affect HR?

Updated on January 9, 2015

An ethnocentric approach will definitely affect equality within an enterprise.

An ethnocentric approach can negatively affect the human resources department of a business or enterprise. This happens especially when working for international organizations. The ethnocentric approach works under the assumption that a business will do better if the manager and workers are primarily from the same nationality or cultural background as the enterprise who hires them. This causes many problems within an enterprise especially in the human resources department, which is in charge of dealing with these types of matters.

Community Perception

Whenever human resources takes an ethnocentric approach in dealing with personnel and the hiring processes, it causes a negative effect on the local community's perception of the business. For example, if a multinational enterprise decides to put a branch in Malaysia and they do not observe the local customs for conducting business -- such as national holidays, dress code or business etiquette -- this can impact the relationship of the enterprise and community. Local workers may feel the company is disrespectful and not willing to observe traditional cultural practices, ultimately affecting production.

Difficulties in Recruitment

Taking an ethnocentric approach can make the recruitment of qualified personnel more difficult and problematic. Since the requested employee profile is not only based on technique or skill but also in a certain culture background, the options for hiring will diminish. This is especially true if an enterprise is working in a foreign country, and they want to establish their own business culture. A typical example of this happens when businesses in Muslim countries don't observe religious practices of their human resources. Expecting that workers will pass above their cultural practices will slow down the business since there won’t be the personnel needed. Generally, the ethnocentric approach implies importing managers and workers in key positions from the country of origin of the business.

Conflicts and Tensions

When a business has a human resources department using an ethnocentric approach, conflicts and tensions will be frequent. This will happen because there will be a minority of workers who don’t feel represented by managers and business human resources policy. This will create an environment of tension that will, in one way or another, affect the convenience and production of the business.


An ethnocentric approach will definitely affect equality within an enterprise. This approach generally makes the link between nationality or cultural background, work position and remuneration. These three conditions are almost deterministic between them and therefore the lack of equality is evident. The human resources department should work to stop inequalities since every worker, no matter their ethnic precedence, should have the same conditions for ascending within the business.


  • CiteHR: Ethnocentric Approach of Recruitment -


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