I remember how must of the participants were a bit taken aback when speaker after speaker emphasized the importance of fitting into the culture of a work place. After all, we are all individuals and want to be recognized as such.
I can see why indeed this is so important. In order to work well, to show up at work every day in a good mood and motivated in order to be productive, you need to feel in sink with your work environment. If you rub yourself all day against how people think and do things, you will not enjoy yourself, the work you do and it will show. Yet, the questions remains: how far can you go to fit in?
This insistence on fitting into a work-culture is perhaps more of a problem in South Africa than anywhere else around the globe as apartheid has separated people by force into different 'cultures', all deemed incompatible. Rather than fitting in, South Africans would demand respect for cultures and their particularities.