Professor James Sun says the study shows there is a correlation between people's types of employment and cross-cultural adjustment.
Chinese immigrants in New Zealand employed by non-Chinese-owned organisations find life more satisfying than those employed by Chinese ones, a new survey shows.
The University of Auckland Business School study, carried out in conjunction with research and consultancy company Trace Research, found Chinese immigrants employed by non-Chinese or New Zealand organisations, self-employed individuals, and business owners typically had higher levels of life satisfaction than those employed by Chinese organisations.
The study surveyed 500 people aged between 18-65 nationwide, with the majority having lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years.
Life satisfaction was defined as an overall assessment of an individual's quality of life according to respondents' personal judgment and criteria, the report stated.
Chinese Aucklander Erica, who didn't want her surname used, said she agreed with the findings of the survey based on her 15 years' experience working in the science and technology field for two Chinese companies and two Kiwi companies.
Dr Andrew Zhu, of research and consultancy company Trace Research, with professor James Sun of the University of Auckland.
"Chinese-owned businesses don't pay as well as Kiwi companies, and they often don't observe the rules that well," she said.
"The only thing good about working for a Chinese-owned business is that the communication is easier."
Non-Chinese businesses had better work cultures, which was "much more positive to be in",said Chinese Kiwi Amy, who also preferred to withhold her surname.
She had worked for both types of companies in Auckland and Wellington in administrative and communication roles for six years.
"Chinese companies are more hierarchical whereas it's less obvious in Kiwi companies. Managers treat everyone as equal and you can befriend them. Everyone treats each other with respect."
She also agreed non-Chinese businesses often paid their employees better.
A few other Chinese immigrants Stuff spoke to said they didn't have a preference, given there were advantages and disadvantages for both, but generally agreed that non-Chinese organisations were more attentive to regulations, while there was less of a cultural barrier in Chinese ones.
People employed by New Zealand or non-Chinese organisations also scored higher than those of Chinese ones in cross-cultural adjustment.
This was defined as "the degree to which Chinese immigrants were psychologically comfortable and familiar with different aspects of a new environment", according to the report.
Professor James Sun, who initiated the study and was looking to submit the report for publication, said it seemed there were no conclusions like these before.
"There is a correlation between people's types of employment and cross-cultural adjustment, but as of the causal relationship, which leads to what, still needs to be examined further."
Trace's Dr Andrew Zhu said immigrants had more exposure to local culture and values working in a Kiwi environment and were more likely to integrate into the mainstream.
"Kiwi employers might also offer a better work-life balance to new immigrants."
The average life satisfaction score of Chinese immigrants in the survey was 4.9, out of the scale of 7, meaning people were generally satisfied with life in their new country, Zhu added.
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