Educational Attainment-Btechnd Assignment

Immigrant People’s Educational Attainment

A study of Algan et al. (2010) shows that there is an important improvement made between the first and the second generation in terms of educational attainment. Algan’s study was conducted in three countries in Europe, namely France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In all three the countries there was a narrowing gap in the existing education level between the first and second generation immigrants. Another study of Taylor, Cohn and Gonzalez-Barrera (2013) confirms the motion that second generation immigrants are doing better compared with the first generation immigrants with respect to educational attainment. This study was conducted in the United States of America (USA) and shows that 36% of the second generation Americans had a college degree compared to 29% of the first generation Americans. In Table 3, statistics of the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS,2015) in the Netherlands show that the number of second generation immigrantsgraduates from University has increased in the period of 2001-2010. This means second generation immigrants are becoming more educated. Many believe being highly educated can lead to an improved well-being.


The purpose of this study is to facilitate awareness for organizations about employee well-being, especially immigrant employees. This study provides an overview of the well-being and the educational level of  employees in the Netherlands. In this chapter, the supermarket Albert Heijn will be used and a suggestion will be given on how to improve the well-being of immigrant employees.

Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn is a company which is one of the largest supermarkets in the Netherlands. Table 7 shows that in 2014 Albert Heijn dominates 34.1% of the market share and therefore owns the largest market share in the Netherlands. In this study Albert Heijn was used to compare and identify whether the theory can be applied in practice. Therefore, data was gathered from the departments ‘verkoopafhandeling’ and ‘counter’, which stands for the cash register department. Team ‘verkoopafhandeling’consists of cashiers and team ‘counter’consist of ‘teamleiders’. Two stores are used in this study, one store which is located in the city centre of Amsterdam and one in a village which is located in Driebergen-Rijsenburg. The data is included in the appendix in Figure 8. Due to privacy reasons the birthdate and first name of the employees are censored.
In Amsterdam, 100% of the ‘teamleiders’ are second generation immigrants, compared to Driebergen-Rijsenburg where only 25% of the ‘teamleiders’ are second generation immigrants and 75% are dominant Dutch. The composition of the cashiers in Amsterdam is as follows: 78.13% of the cashiers are second generation immigrants, 12.50% is dominant Dutch and 6.25% is first generation immigrants. In Driebergen there are no first generations immigrants employed, 32% is second generation immigrants and 68% isdominant Dutch. An overview of the employee composition
According to the Multicultural Model of Cox and Blake (1991), Albert Heijn in Driebergen-Rijsenburg can be considered as a plural organization and Amsterdam is rather a multicultural organization.

Burnout at Albert Heijn

In Albert Heijn there were four cases of burnouts known in 1) Driebergen-Rijsenburg where there were two cases of burnouts; one manager and one ‘teamleider’ and 2) in Amsterdam where there were also two cases known in which both of the cases were ‘teamleiders’; one with an “almost” burnout and one with a depression. What is remarkable is that all ‘teamleiders’ are second generation immigrants with a college degree and there are no cases known of cashiers showing symptoms of burnouts in either Driebergen-Rijsenburg or in Amsterdam.
What can be concluded here is that the information obtained by Albert Heijn is partly consistent with the CBS statistics and the letter of the Minister of Health (2014) (Appendix figure 1). There are indeed burnouts regarding immigrants, but surprisingly it is not the first generation immigrants, but with second generation immigrants. This can be explained by culturally-based internal conflicts (Giguère, Lalonde, and Lou, 2010). Second generation immigrants can have the feeling of being ‘caught between two cultures’. They can experience difficulties with their heritage culture which is learned through family and the mainstream culture which is learned through peers, school and the broader social context(Giguère, Lalonde, and Lou, 2010). Another explanation for this could be that in the Albert Heijn in Amsterdam as well as in Driebergen there are almost no first generation immigrants, because one of the requirements when working for Albert Heijn is that the individual has to speak Dutch at a certain level, and has to possess a certain degree of intellectual capacity as defined by the Dutch.

Educational Level at Albert Heijn

It seems at Albert Heijn, there is a highly educated second generation immigrant employees. In the centre of Amsterdam the team ‘counter’ consists of five ‘teamleiders’. Two have a university college degree and the other three are studying for a university college degree. In Driebergen-Rijsenburg the team ‘counter’ consists of four ‘teamleiders’, where two ‘teamleiders’ have a college degree and two are still studying. In Amsterdam, as well as, in Driebergen-Rijsenburg, all employees have at least finished high school.

Improving Employee Well-Being

This section explains how to improve the well-being of employees, special attention is given to second generation immigrants. Human Resource practices tend to have a positive impact on employee well-being (Renee Baptiste, 2008). A managers’ support at all levels is vital as is the engagement of employees (Renee Baptiste, 2008).This is also reflected in the Psychological Contract. First, managers need to accept and embrace cultural diversity for the sake of the organization and the well-being of the employee. Organizations can do this by having for example a network of relationships that are supportive and nurturing. Also managers should not underestimate physical complaints, which could be symptoms of a burnout or other mental dysfunctions. Organizations can counteract this by enhancing the psychological contract.By developing relationships between manager and employees, symptoms may be identified earlier so an employee burnout could even be prevented. In the long term this could have advantages as well as disadvantages. An advantage, regarding the organization is saving costs. By developing relationships health costs could be saved, because illness of an employee results in organizational costs such as healthcare.Also, by enhancing the psychological contract, mutual understanding and expectations are created.Additionally, managers should make it possible for employees to discuss personal problems and to make it easy approachable, either with each other or in groups.A disadvantage could be for a manager being too involved with employees, which could produce problems in the future when instances occur which merits employment termination.Another method to ensure functional employee labour relations is for organizations to give consideration to the work design. In other words, burnout could indicate there is an underlying problem causing mental dysfunction. It could indicate that employee workload is too high and needs to be addressed, or perhaps reduced.


In this chapter the conclusion is presented. The purpose of this study is to facilitate awareness for organizations about employee well-being, especially immigrant employees. Therefore,Cox and Blake’s Multicultural model (1991) and the Psychological Contract were presented in the theoretical framework. The Psychological Contract can be a useful to tool for managers to improve employee well-being. The importance of the well-being of the immigrant employee is explained. Based on the literature used for this study the following research questions were addressed:

  • How does cultural diversity influence second generation immigrants’ well-being in the workplace?
  • To what extent does educational level play a role in the employee well-being?

Each organization should consider the well-being of employees, especially immigrant employees, as in today’s society, cultural diversity cannot be ignored. Based on the literature, in case of cities in the Netherlands, it can be concludedthere is more cultural diversity than in small villages. According to Cox and Blake’s Multicultural model (1991) in case of Albert Heijn, the supermarkets in cities  such as Amsterdam can be considered as a multicultural organization, but in the villages such as Driebergen-Rijsenburg Albert Heijn is more a plural organization. Although the composition of employees in both cities differs from each other, there were in both cities two cases of burnouts. Therefore, it appears that cultural diversity in the workplace does not influence the well-being of second generation immigrants, because the composition of employees differs in both cities.
In the Netherlands, it appears second generation immigrants’ educational status has improved when compared with the first generation immigrants. The position of second generation immigrants in the labour market has improved. According to the Minister of Health (2014), first generation immigrants experience more symptoms of burnouts, than second generation immigrants. However, in the case study of Albert Heijn, data did not support this statement. The employees with symptoms of burnouts in Amsterdam, as well as, in Driebergen-Rijsenburg were second generation immigrants and all were highly educated and most hold a university degree or are presently studying. Therefore, it appears that education does improve the position in the labour market, but it does not necessarily improve the well-being of second generation immigrants.
Therefore,managers must become aware of the relevance of employee well-being, because it could have consequences for organizations as well as for the employee itself, when an employee has a burnout and must be absent. Based on the literature, managers can do several things to improve the well-being of immigrant employees. Firstly, managers need toembrace cultural diversity. Secondly, is reinforcing the psychological contract. This can be done by creating relationships with their employees, so the symptoms of burnout can be identified earlier. Another way to improve the employee well-being is to ensure burnouts and any other personal problems are discussable on the workplace. Lastly, organizations and managers should reconsider the work design and research if there is an underlying problem if burnouts happen frequently, because it can be an indication that the workload is too high and needs to be addressed or perhaps reduced.

Limitations and Recommendations

This study has limitations. The main one being that there were no participants in this study.Second, only a few Albert Heijn supermarkets were investigated in this study. There are a lot of studies of burnouts in organizations. However, there are fewer studies about burnouts regarding immigrants, especially second generation immigrants.Therefore, further research could be done in the future to investigate the underlying causes of burnouts for second generation immigrants in the Netherlands.


Algan, Y., Dustmann, C., Glitz, A., & Manning, A. (2010). The Economic Situation of First and     Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Economic Journal, 120(542), pp.F4-F30.
Armstrong, M. (2006). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice (10th edition), London: KoganPage.Order Now

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