The Development of Intercultural Relationships at Work Polish Migrant Workers in Finland

Malgorzata Lahti (1) , Maarit Valo (2)
(1) Dept of Communication (Z) , Finland
(2) Dept of Communication (Z) , Finland


This article offers an interpersonal communication perspective on relational processes in a workplace affected by the international flow of labor migration. We investigate how temporary migrant workers and their foreign colleagues perceive developing interpersonal relationships with each other through an analysis of in-depth interviews with employees of a Finnish recruitment agency and Polish metal workers it has recruited. The recruitment agents talk about their relationships with the recruited Polish workers; the Polish workers also describe their relationships with their Finnish colleagues at the customer company. The context under investigation emerges as rich in relational processes. The development of intercultural workplace relationships is analyzed in terms of motives for and against engaging in relational growth, as well as behaviors enacted to develop or not develop relationships.

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Malgorzata Lahti
Maarit Valo (Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Malgorzata Lahti, Dept of Communication (Z)

Malgorzata Lahti is a doctoral student in Speech Communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Her dissertation focuses on interpersonal communication phenomena in culturally diverse workplaces.

Maarit Valo, Dept of Communication (Z)

Maarit Valo is Professor in Speech Communication in the Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests include workplace communication, technologically mediated interpersonal communication, and communicative competence as part of professional expertise.

Lahti, M., & Valo, M. (2013). The Development of Intercultural Relationships at Work Polish Migrant Workers in Finland. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 13(1), 1–08.

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