UK: The Obama effect?

The Obama magic is spreading to British academe: the US President has now been cited by a Leicester University researcher as "a glorious mascot for biethnic people as highly successful and able individuals, who rise and succeed against many odds". Postgraduate student Rana Sinha interviewed people from mixed race or ethnic parents in Finland to find out if their backgrounds helped them in their work. Overall, the findings were positive.

Sinha, who is of Indian-Finnish origin, reports his study on his website www.dot-connect.com. He said the number of biethnic or biracial people had grown rapidly across the globe but there was little research on how they adapted to the workplace.

Workers fitted in well but many organisations in Finland did not have any measures for "facilitating the socio-cultural adaptation of employees by focusing on norms and behavioural skills requirements", he said, adding that "they often have normative systems for inducting new employees by guiding them through work processes, organisational systems, and task requirements".

His report continued: "The findings suggest that organisations should consider integrating norms and behavioural skills requirements into strategies for improving organisational socialisation of employees in addition to task and process induction."