Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Judith Booth
PhD student, Lecturer, Deakin University, Geelong

Critiquing 'Cultural Fit' in the Australian Workplace:
A Case Study of Recruiters and Indian Information Technologists

'Cultural fit' is an expression used by recruitment agencies when seeking to place overseas-trained professionals into professional employment in Australia. A crucial decision to be made by recruiters in the short-listing process for clients is "How will the candidate fit into the workplace?". In this study I critique the notion of 'cultural fit' through focusing on a case study of Indian Information Technologists who are recruited by large companies for the Y2K project. The data is in the form of ten videotaped interviews in Bangalore and the recruiter commentary on those tapes back in Melbourne. I take an interdisciplinary approach drawing principally on the research traditions of workplace linguistics, the discourses of critical linguistics and interactional sociolinguistics.
Taking into account Bourdieu's notion of 'cultural capital', I argue that there is a need for both overseas-trained professionals and recruiters to widen their cultural repertoires. The study will have training implications for management and course providers to migrants.

I completed a PhD this year in the area of cultural diversity in the context of globalization. I have worked in the ESL Industry (academic skills) for 10 years in Melbourne and have taught overseas in China, England and Italy. Have set up an Intercultural Communication Consultancy.

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper

Equipment Requirements:


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001