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Are future business professionals ready for multicultural marketing? An empirical investigation
As more companies establish specialist departments and tailor their activities to meet the growing multicultural market, there is a need for multicultural expertise within organisations. Marketing professionals however, are often guilty of using stereotypes and relying on generalisations that not only are inaccurate, but are also likely to turn off the very people a company wants to reach. There is a dearth of knowledge about the multicultural competencies that shape professional choices and behaviours. This paper uses survey data to examine undergraduate students’ ideologies related to multicultural issues. Results suggest business students, more than many other types of student, are less culturally competent. Implications for diversity training and education are considered.
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Sonja Martin Poole is an assistant professor in the department of marketing in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. She holds BA, MA and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Economics, African American Studies and Education Policy, Organisation, Measurement and Evaluation. She also has an MA degree in Economics from California State University, East Bay, and post-doctoral training in Marketing from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business in New Orleans. Dr Poole’s research centres on topics related to marketing knowledge transfers and development. Specifically, she investigates learning experiences and the extent to which individuals and organisations in for-profit, non-profit and public sector contexts acquire marketing capabilities and expertise. She also researches marketing topics related to multicultural segments, public policy and social welfare with particular attention given to the ways in which marketing is used to transform behaviour and improve society.
Ja’Nina Garrett-Walker is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of San Francisco. She earned her BA from the University of San Francisco and her PhD from the Graduate Center of City University of New York. Dr Walker is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on multiple identity development for black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) emerging adults. Dr Walker utilises quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine the intersections of multiple identities, specifically racial, religious and sexual identities. She is most interested in the ways in which black LGBT young adults navigate and negotiate social marginalisation in their multiple communities through negative religious rhetoric, racism, homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism. Dr Walker’s work has emphasised the role of identity in the development of culturally competent HIV prevention interventions and community resources.