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“CROSS CULTURAL TRAININGS FOR INTERNATIONAL HRM" Authors: Awais Farooq Muhammad Ansab Qureshi Saad Sattar

Table of Contents


Abstract Increased internationalization in the economic, political, and social arenas has led to greater interpersonal cross-cultural contact. Because much of this contact has not been successful, cross-cultural training has been proposed by many scholars as a means of facilitating more effective interaction. A review of the cross-cultural training literature is presented, along with the literature of many of the theories which have been proposed by scholars regarding what makes cross-cultural training programmes effective.

Introduction In the past, commerce and busniness in a particular region prevailed and thrived in that particular region only. Whenever there were incedents of interregional commerce, business, and interaction, the scale was very large and the incedents were not frequent. Page 2 of 39


With the advent of advanced transportation, infrastructure, technology, and globalization, international business and cross-cultural interactions have become extreme widespread and commonplace. Studies have showen that not only large businesses partake in cross-cultural interactions; small businesses, students, employees, and even tourists come across a wide variety of different cultures on a very regular bases. Through everyone is now living a very culturally diverse life, for businesses, their managers, and their employees, the pertinance of effectively dealing with cultures different from their own is paramount. Researchers who have studied the importance of effective cross-cultural diversity management suggest that in today’s world, the costs for business to overlook the importance of effective cross-cultural diversity management is extremely heavy. This is so because managers who are dealing with different cultures are, in fact conducting business on behalf of their parent company and are behaving as that company’s agent, and if these managers do not effectively deal with crosscultural differences, the company as a whole takes a hit. This hit, researchers suggest, can well be in millions of dollars in net worth most of the times. Thus, in order to remain in business and combat competition, it would behoove the busnisses to take steps to better the cross-cultural management skills of their managers and employees. One such step, which has now become quite popular, is to have the managers and employees undergo corss-cultural training programmes. These programmes are aimed at bettering the crosscultural management skills of the managers and empolyees. Despite the apparent importance and benefit of cross-cultural training, crosscultural programmes still face many apprehensions from senior managers, who believe that these programmes are ineffective and merely a waste of time and money. To counter these cynicisms, researchers have long strived to prove empirically and theoretically that these training programmes are very effective. This paper goes over the literature which is extant today related to the need of cross-cultural training, their importance, their costs and benefits, and their current and future fate in the arena of international human resource management. The paper then moves towards presenting the current theories which have been proposed by researches which attempt to explain how and why cross-cultural training is effective, and which also attempt to describe how training programmes can be made more effective. Page 3 of 39


The paper ends with the analysis of the primary data which was collected to support the importance of cross-cultural training programms, their perceived importance, benefits, and costs. This data also attempts to pique the sample poopulation’s opionion regarding what theories enhance the effectiveness of cross-cultural training programmes.

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Literature Review The field of international management, up till the late 1980s, had been observed to be in a nascent, pre-paradigm state of development (Adler, 1983; Beaty & Mendenhall, 1989; Kyi, 1988; Roberts, 1970; Roberts & Boyacigiller, 1984; Schollhammer, 1975). Kyi (1988) perhaps best summarized these findings when he stated, "The paucity of papers in the hypothetico-deductive category ... is related to the stage of the development of the field and the nature of comparative analysis.At this stage, there are no deductively developed theories in [international] management and most socalled 'theories' are experienced-based hunches or empirical generalizations. Well-integrated deductive theories with a central core concept, such as 'market and rationality' in economic theory, have not appeared yet" (p. 209). This pre-paradigm state was especially descriptive of the newer subfield of cross-cultural international human resource management (Adler, 1983; Beaty & Mendenhall, 1989). Adler (1983) found that from 1971 to 1980 only one percent of the 11,000 articles published in 24 management journals focused on cross-cultural work interaction. Of the major international business journals from 1984 to 1988, only 9 percent of the articles were devoted to international human resource management issues, and in the Academy of Management Review, for the same period, only one and one half percent of the articles dealt with international human resource management issues; however, none were attempts at theory building (Beaty & Mendenhall, 1989). The decade of 1990-2000, however,saw rapid growth in the popularity of diversity training in corporate America. One indication of this can be seen in Training Magazine 's annual Industry Report, a survey of training practices in medium and large sized firms. In 1988, diversity management was not even listed among the 40 most common training topics (Rynes and Rosen, 1995). By 1994, more than half of the surveyed organizations reported offering diversity training. Data from the late 1990s showed that most government agencies and 60 per cent of Fortune 500 companies provided some kind of diversity training to their employees (Hemphill and Haines, 1997). Academic scholars have noted that substantive change is unlikely to be realized in a single diversity training workshop (Ellis and Sonnenfeld, 1994), and many Page 5 of 39


organizations no longer treat diversity training as a one-time seminar experience.

Need for cross-cultural training Work-related cross-cultural interactions are not always successful. For example, studies have found that between 16 and 40 per-cent of all expatriate managers who are given foreign assignments end these assignments early because of their poor performance or their inability to adjust to the foreign environment (Baker & Ivancevich, 1971; Black, 1988; Dunbar & Ehrlich, 1986; Tung, 1981), and as high as 50 percent of those who do not return early, function at a low level of effectiveness (Copeland & Griggs, 1985). Other studies have found that negotiations between businessmen of different cultures often fail because of problems related to cross-cultural differences (Adler, 1986; Black, 1987; Graham, 1985; Tung, 1984). Unsuccessful cross-cultural interactions become even more important when the costs of failure are high, and they often are. For example, studies have estimated that the cost of a failed expatriate assignment is $50,000 to $150,000 (Copeland & Griggs, 1985; Harris & Moran, 1979; Misa & Fabricatore, 1979). For a firm that has hundreds of expatriate employees worldwide, such costs can easily reach into the tens of millions of dollars. In fact, Copeland and Griggs (1985) have estimated that the direct costs to U.S. firms of failed expatriate assignments is over $2 billion a year, and this does not include unmeasured losses such as damaged corporate reputations or lost business opportunities.

Cross-cultural training: Costs and Benefits Cross-cultural training (CCT) has long been advocated as a means of facilitating effective cross-cultural interactions (Brislin, 1981; Landis & Brislin, 1983; Bochner, 1982; Harris & Moran, 1979; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1986; Tung, 1981). Despite the normative arguments for the use of crosscultural training, its use in American business organizations is not always very widespread. Various reasons have been cited by business organizations for the low use of cross-cultural training, and the most prevalent of these is that such training is not thought to be effective (Baker & Ivancevich, 1971; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985; Schwind, 1985; Tung, 1981; Zeira, 1975); thus, top management sees no need for the training (Runzheimer Executive Re-port, 1984) and is unwilling to support it, financially or otherwise. Page 6 of 39


Essentially, American top managers believe that a good manager in New York or Los Angeles will be effective in Hong Kong or Tokyo as well (Miller, 1973). This is illustrated not only in the lack of training provided but also in the use of the domestic track record as the primary criterion for selecting candidates for overseas assignments (Miller, 1973). Such a culturally insensitive perspective seems to be an important reason for many faulty international human resource practices and the high expatriate failure rates (Adler, 1986; Black, 1988; Baker & Ivancevich, 1971; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985; Ronen, 1986; Tung, 1982).�

Effectiveness of cross-cultural training While diversity training programmes have proliferated, the evaluation of these training programmes has not kept pace. Diversity training programmes rarely are subjected to systematic evaluation (Ellis and Sonnenfeld, 1994; Noe and Ford, 1992; Rynes and Rosen, 1995). When programmes are evaluated, qualitative feedback from trainees is the most prevalent evaluation method (Bhawuk and Triandis, 1996); few organizations measure how employees' behavior is influenced by the training (Carnevale and Stone, 1994). In addition, as in other types of training programmes, there has been little attention devoted to understanding how trainee characteristics influence training effectiveness (Kossek et al., 1998; Tannenbaum and Yukl, 1992). The lack of systematic evaluation of diversity training, especially with respect to trainee characteristics and behavioral outcomes, is an increasingly serious problem. In the absence of systematic evaluation efforts, human resource professionals are left uncertain about how to conduct training for maximum effectiveness (Day, 1995). In order to dispel the negativity surrounding cross-cultural training, and in order to prove that cross-cultural training is in fact effective in making managers more adept at managing organizational functions in foreign cultures, it is imperative to employ scientific, quantitative, and conclusive data and procedure to prove this point. It would seem, as is suggested by the study of Black & Mendenhall(1990), that an attempt to comprehensively review the empirical literature on cross-cultural training in an effort to examine its effectiveness or ineffectiveness and an attempt to advance a theoretical grounding for valid cross-cultural training program development and evaluation is especially important. However, no study so far has attempted a Page 7 of 39


comprehensive review of cross-cultural training and its effectiveness in an empirical manner(Black and Mendenhall, 1990). Mendenhall and Oddou's researchof 1985maintains that though no comprehensive review of cross- cultural training and its effectiveness in an empirical mannerexist, based on qualitative studies and experiential knowledge, researchers claim that the skills needed to be successful in a new culture can be included under three dimensions: skills related to the maintenance of self (mental health, psychological well-being, stress reduction, feelings of self-confidence), skills related to the fostering of relationships with host nationals, and cognitive skills that promote a correct perception of the host environment and its social systems (Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985).

Importance of cross-cultural training The importance of cross-cultural training for international human resource managers is critical, because the success of practicing management and business is directly related to the managers ability to understand and effectively navigate the culture in which the management and the business activities are being conducted. Kluckhohn and Kroeberg (1952) concluded that culture consists of patterns of behaviors that are acquired and transmitted by symbols over time, which become generally shared within a group and are communicated to new members of the group in order to serve as a cognitive guide or blueprint for future actions. Thus, cross-cultural interactions bring people together who have different patterns of behaving and believing and who have different cognitive blueprints for interpreting the world (Triandis, Vassiliou, Tanaka, & Shanmugam, 1972). Moreover, the importance of cross-cultural training practically speaks for itself when we consider the everyday duties which the new manager has to perform in the foreign culture, and the difficulties (s)he faces while interacting with other managers in the foreign culture. If people who have different culturally based behaviors and beliefs must interact, difficulties arise because faulty attributions are made about the motives and meanings of the others' behaviors since the attributions are based on the attributor's own cultural norms and worldview (Bochner, 1982). The research of Black and Mendenhall (1990) suggests cross-cultural training enables the individual to learn both content and skills that will facilitate effective cross-cultural interaction by reducing misunderstandings and Page 8 of 39


inappropriate behaviors. If this is accepted as the major objective of crosscultural training, it becomes necessary to understand how people learn to appropriately interact with others and how they use that knowledge for effective interactions (Black and Mendenhall, 1990).

Theories of cross-cultural training In an effort to focus learning theory on the more specific issue of training, Noe (1986) proposed a model of how training facilitates performance. This suggested that two aspects of an individual's motivation had an important impact on the effectiveness of training. Noe argued that an individual's motivation to learn and his or her motivation to transfer what was learned into action were critical elements in the relationship of training and performance. However, Noe did not delineate how individuals actually learn or how they transfer that learning to behaviors. In order to understand the relationship between training and performance, these aspects of the model require additional attention. Cognitive and behavioral theorists have long competed to explain how individuals learn and how they use this knowledge (for reviews on cognitive and behavioral learning theories and the debate between them see Bochner, 1982; Hilgard & Bower, 1975; Swenson, 1980). According to the cognitive theories of learning, learning takes place through the mental processing of information and the determination of subsequent behavior. Behavioral theories argue that learning is determined by behaviors and experienced consequences. Social learning theory (SLT) has been advocated as a synthesis of the cognitive and behavioral learning theories (Bandura, 1977; Hilgard & Bower, 1975). Davis and Luthans (1980), who compared SLT with other theories of behavior, argued that it is the most useful in understanding organizational behavior. Additionally, general reviews of learning in particular have argued for the superiority of SLT (Hilgard & Bower, 1975; Swenson, 1980). For example, Swenson (1980) stated that SLT was viewed as a consensus position on most aspects of learning. SLT not only integrates cognitive and behavioral theories, it also encompasses the motivational aspects stressed by Noe (1986) within the concept of self-efficacy, and it covers the issues of how individuals both learn and utilize what they learn during a training situation, aspects that Noe did not emphasize. In addition, SLT is becoming the dominant framework in U. S. management training (Latham & Saari, 1979; Manz & Sims, 1981). Page 9 of 39


These make for compelling reasons to use SLT as the theoretical framework for understanding cross-cultural learning and training. However, greater depth and breadth of novel behaviors that trainees must learn during cross-cultural training present a challenge to SLT's explanation of the success or failure of cross-cultural training.

Social Learning Theory: An Overview According to SLT, learning is affected by both observation and experience (Bandura, 1977). A central premise is that individuals use symbols to engage in anticipatory action, that is, they anticipate actions and their associated consequences. This enables people to determine how they will behave before an actual situation. Also, it is argued that individuals learn from experience and that the experienced consequences of their behavior shape what they learn as well as their future behavior. As described by Bandura (1977), SLT has four central elements: attention, retention, reproduction, and incentives. Attention Before behavior can be modeled, the subject must notice it. Several factors influence the attention process of the subject, including: (a) the status of the model, (b) the attractiveness of the model, (c) the similarity of the model, (d) the repeated availability of the model, and (e) past reinforcement for paying attention to the model (actual or vicarious). Retention Retention is the process by which the modeled behavior becomes encoded as a memory (Black & Mendenhall, 1990). Two representational systems are involved in this process. The imaginal system is utilized during exposure to the model. At this time the subject associates sequences of corresponding sensory images with the physical contiguity of the model. The research of Black and Mendenhall (1990) suggests that these images are stored as cognitive maps, which can guide the observer when he or she tries to imitate the behavior. In the second system, a verbal system, the coded information is abbreviated into verbal systems, and groups of constituent patterns of behavior are integrated into larger units. It should be noted that both the repeated

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modeling of a behavior and the repeated cognitive rehearsal of the modeled behavior help to secure the retention process (Black & Mendenhall, 1990). Reproduction The third major component involves the translating of the symbolic Figure 1: A Model of cross-cultural training and the social learning theory Source: (Black & Mendenhall, 1990 p.127) representations into actions. As individuals try to imitate the modeled behavior, they check their performance against their memory of what was modeled. Motoric reproduction of the modeled behavior can, of course, beinhibited by physical differences between the model and the person imitating the model, how well the model is observed, and how well the modeled behavior is retained. Page 11 of 39


Incentives and the Motivational Processes The fourth element of SLT, incentives, can come from the environment, from vicarious association, and from the individual. Each of these can affect several aspects of the learning process. For example, incentives (a) can affect which models are observed and how much attention is paid to them, (b) can influence the degree to which the modeled behavior is retained and rehearsed, and (c) can influence which learned behaviors are emitted. It is important to note that Bandura (1977) argued on the basis of empirical work that incentives play a much larger role in influencing what behavior is emitted as opposed to what behavior is learned. He concluded that individuals learn numerous behaviors that are not emitted because they are not positively rewarded. However, if the reward structure is changed, the behaviors are performed. In relation to the motivational processes of learning, Bandura (1977) distinguished between two types of expectancies: efficacy expectations and outcome expectations. Self-efficacy is the degree to which the individual believes he or she can successfully execute a particular behavior. This expectation is similar to the effort-to-performance expectancy proposed by Vroom (1964). In his review of the literature, Bandura (1977) found that higher levels of self-efficacy led individuals to persist at imitating modeled behavior longer and to be more willing to try to imitate novel behavior. The sources for increasing self-efficacy, in order of importance, include past experience ("I've done it or something like it before"), vicarious experience ("other people have done it"), and verbal persuasion ("people say I can do it"). Outcome expectations are people's beliefs that the execution of certain behaviors will lead to desired outcomes. There is a clear similarity between this type of expectation and the expectancy-of-performance-to-outcome (instrumentality expectancies) proposed by Vroom (1964). Bandura concluded that incentives influence what people learn and that incentives, efficacy, expectations, and outcome expectancies influence what learned behaviors are acted out.

Bandura’s empirical findings Although a number of empirical findings are reviewed by Bandura (1977), three are important to summarize because they provide insight about fundamental elements in the learning process. The first finding is that gradual modeling is more effective than one-shot modeling, especially if the modeled behaviors are novel. Gradual modeling Page 12 of 39


involves providing successive approximations of the final behavior and it is more effective because (a) observers pay more attention to models and modeled behaviors that are familiar, (b) observers can more easily retain models that are similar to cognitive maps they already possess, (c) observers have higher expectations of efficacy and outcome of behaviors that are familiar, and (d) observers are more likely to be able to reproduce familiar behaviors. The second finding is that individuals can learn completely through symbolic modeling, that is, by watching actions and mentally rehearsing them. As previously mentioned, this symbolic learning process can be facilitated by other variables and by the use of multiple models. Finally, Bandura found that participative reproduction, in general, is more effective than symbolic processes. Participative reproduction simply means that the observer actually practices (compared to only cognitively rehearsing) the modeled behavior. The external, and especially the internal, feedback processes serve to refine the observer's ability to reproduce the modeled behavior at a later time.

Designing Effective Diversity Training How should training groups be formed (demographically heterogeneous or homogeneous) to enhance the effectiveness of cross-cultural training? To answer this question, the research of Lorainn Roberson, Carol T. Kulik and Molly B. Pepper of 2001 offers some insight, as well as some theories.

Training group composition The diversity/cross-cultural literature frequently advises organizations to assemble

groups

of

trainees

who

are

demographicallyheterogeneous,particularlywith respect to visible dimensions of diversity such as gender, racioethnicity, and age. For example, Ellis and Sonnenfeld (1994: 101) recommend that organizations 'try to recruit a mix of participants that minimizes the likelihood that individual participants will be obligated to assume token roles as unwilling representatives of their racial, gender, or other such group.' Kirkland and Regan (1997) advocate the use of mixed race groups for racial diversity training not to protect individuals with Page 13 of 39


token status, but for the educational benefits. They argue that the quality of discussion around racial issues is enhanced by racial heterogeneity. These suggestions for diverse training groups may be taken quite seriously. In some organizations employing limited numbers of racioethnic minority employees, the few employees of color have been asked to attend multiple training sessions so that group heterogeneity could be achieved (Caudron and Hayes, 1997; Markels, 1997). But are demographically heterogeneous training groups desirable? There is another side to this debate. Some diversity trainers argue that racially mixed groups are more likely to reinforce prejudiced attitudes among trainees (Gordon, 1995) and advocate racially homogeneous training groups instead. Groups homogeneous with respect to gender or racioethnicity may reduce complaints of white males who say that they sometimes feel threatened or attacked in diverse training groups (Galen and Palmer, 1993). Homogeneous groups may enable trainees to engage in frank discussions about the training content, without feeling distracted by impression management concerns or pressures to behave in a 'politically correct' fashion (Allen, 1995; Kitfield, 1998). In addition, homogeneous groups avoid placing minorityparticipantsin the 'hot seat' of educatingthe majoritygroup (Katz, 1978). Kirklandand Regan (1997) and Alderfer et al. (1992) also see a place for same race groups in racial diversity training, again for educational purposes. Theories of group relations (Alderfer, 1986) argue that people must learn about how they relate to their own group as well as how they relate to other groups. The process of learning about one's own group membership is facilitated by a same-race training group. While both sides of the heterogeneous/homogeneous debate have passionate supporters, many researchers, Black and Mendenhall to name a few, have been unable to identify any research that systematically evaluated the effect of training group composition on diversity training outcomes. It may be, however, that the effects of training group composition depend on another factor that has received little attention in the diversity literature-the experience level of the trainee (Black & Mendenhall, 1990).

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Trainee experience The research of Black and Mendenhall (1990) proposes that the trainee's prior experience with diversity training may influence the relative effectiveness of demographically heterogeneous and homogeneous diversity training groups. Noe and Ford (1992) emphasize that evaluations of diversity training programmes need to consider individual differences to determine what kinds of people are most affected by the training. In the training literature, the trainee's knowledge of the subject matter is an important individual difference variable, and has been found to interact with training methods to affect outcomes (Tobias, 1987). Experience with the subject matter is also theoretically important in the intercultural training literature. When trainees have had little exposure to diversity issues, they are likely to be at very early stages of cultural competence. In these early stages, activities focusing on raising cultural awareness are most effective (Landis and Bhagat, 1996) and heterogeneous training groups may facilitate the learning process. Hearing about the experiences of different others can increase the ability to empathize, and meeting members of different groups face-to-face is a potent technique for countering racial and national stereotypes (Rossett and Bickham, 1994). Awareness training frequently emphasizes having people share experiences with one another (Loden, 1996), and, for trainees with limited diversity training experience, interactions within heterogeneous groups may help them to recognize the need for change. As trainees gain more experience with diversity issues, their needs are likely to change. Trainees need to know what to do with their new learning and how to apply that knowledge in the work setting (Carnevale and Stone, 1994). At these more advanced stages of cultural competence, diversity in the training group may not be an advantage. As trainees try to generate and practice alternative strategies for managing diversity, they may use the other trainees as models. Behavioral modeling is more likely to occur if the model is perceived as similar to the trainee (Decker and Nathan, 1985), because trainees can easily visualize themselves performing the newly learned behaviors. However, behavioral modeling is also facilitated when trainees experience rewards as a result of adopting the model's behavior (Decker and Nathan, 1985). Homogeneous groups may offer greater intrinsic rewards to trainees, since interactions among similar individuals are generally viewed as more satisfying Page 15 of 39


and rewarding than interactions among dissimilar individuals (Triandis et al., 1993). In addition, behavioral learning is more likely to increase anxiety than is cognitive learning (Landis and Bhagat, 1996). Trainees need a safe environment in which to rehearse new behaviors and feelings of psychological safety may be enhanced with similar others. Paige and Martin (1996) suggest that trainees are likely to be resistant to behavioral learning unless they have formed relationships among themselves. Because of the greater attraction and rapport among similar others (Alderfer and Tucker, 1996; Millikin and Martins, 1996), relationships may form more quickly in a demographically homogeneous group.

Diversity training outcomes Authors have expressed concern about the best way to evaluate the effectiveness of cross-cultural training (Deering and Stanutz, 1995; Wiggins and Follo, 1999). Although attitudinal, behavioral, and cognitive changes are expected from diversity training, diversity training typically is evaluated using trainees' reactions to the training (Rynes and Rosen, 1995), ignoring other outcomes. Training evaluations focused solely on reactions can give misleading results regarding training effects (Goldstein, 1993), and although reaction measures are important, they cannot substitute for measures of learning. Kraiger et al. (1993) argued that learning is a multi-dimensional construct, including changes in affective, cognitive and behavioral (skill-based) capacities.

Development of Theory-Based Assimilators Another development deals with the role of culture theory in cross-cultural training (Bhawuk,1998; Bhawuk & Triandis, 1996b), and the development of a theory-based culture assimilator,which is based on the concepts of individualism and collectivism (Bhawuk, 1995, 1996). Bhawukand Triandis (1996b) proposed that culture theory could be effectively used in cross-culturaltraining. Bhawuk (1998) further refined this model by integrating the literature on cognition andstages of learning, and presented a model of stages of intercultural expertise development. Hedefined a lay person as one who has no knowledge of another culture, a novice as a person withextended intercultural experience, which is acquired through overseas experience or an interculturaltraining program, an expert as a novice who has Page 16 of 39


acquired knowledge of culture theories that arerelevant to a large number of behaviors so that they can organize cognitions about culturaldifferences more meaningfully around a theory, and advanced experts as experts who have had thenecessary practice to perform relevant tasks proficiently, almost automatically. He postulatedthat experts are different from novices in that they use theory to organize knowledge as well as toretrieve information to solve problems, and that a theory-based training would lead a lay personto become an expert, whereas,

a

culture-specific,

a

culture

general

and

a

behavior

modificationtraining would lead a lay person to become a novice. The model also postulates that to become anadvanced expert, one would have to go through additional behavior modification training, or liveabroad for crosscultural experience. To test the model, Bhawuk (1995) developed a theory-based culture assimilator using the fourdefining attributes and the vertical and horizontal typology of individualism and collectivism(Triandis, 1995b; Bhawuk, 1999). He argued that a theory-based assimilator using fewer categoriesis likely to avoid the cognitive load experienced during a cross-cultural interaction, and carried outa multimethod evaluation of cross-cultural training tools to test this. In this study (Bhawuk,1998), he found that, trainees who received the theorybased Individualism and CollectivismAssimilator (ICA), compared to a culture-specific assimilator for Japan, a culture-generalassimilator (Brislin et al., 1986), and a control group, were found to be significantly moreinterculturally sensitivity, had larger category width, made better attribution on given difficultcritical incidents, and were more satisfied with the training package. The findings of this studyshow promise for using over-arching theories like individualism and collectivism in cross-culturaltraining, and it can be expected that many such theories will be used in future for developingtheory-based training tools. There is also some evidence that some researchers are developing exercises for cross-culturaltraining that are grounded in theory, and two volumes of such exercises have appeared recently(Brislin & Yoshida, 1994; Cushner & Brislin, 1997). Development of many training videos hasmoved the field away from the paper medium to other media (Copeland & Griggs, 1985). There isalso a move toward the development of multimedia based culture assimilators Page 17 of 39


(Bhawuk, Lim,Copeland, & Yoshida, 1999), which may change the way crosscultural training has been.Institutional developments include Summer Workshop for Intercultural Coursework Developmentat Colleges and Universities at the University of Hawaii and the Intercultural Summer Instituteat Portland. The creation of the International Academy of Intercultural Research is also likely toshape the research in this field.

Alternative Criterion Measures The search for appropriate criterion measures to evaluate cross-cultural training programscontinues. The most acceptable framework for evaluation of training programs includes reaction,learning, behavior, and performance related criteria (Kirkpatrick, 1987). A number of tests haveevolved in the past, and more theory-based measurement instruments are likely to emerge infuture. Some of the promising paper-pencil-tests include intercultural sensitivity inventory,category width, reaction measures, and learning measures (Bhawuk, 1998). Behavioral measuresare also being tested (Harrison, 1992; Bhawuk, 1998). Some of these tools are discussed below.

Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI) Intercultural sensitivity is a concept that is frequently viewed as important in both theoreticalanalyses of people’s adjustment to other cultures and in applied programs to prepare peopleto live and work effectively in cultures other than their own. Attempts to measure this concepthave not always been successful, and one reason is that researchers and practitioners havenot specified exactly what aspects of the other culture people should be sensitive to duringtheir sojourn. Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) developed a scale to measure intercultural sensitivity by examining(a) people’s understanding of the different ways they can behave, depending upon whetherthey are interacting in an individualistic or a collectivist culture, (b) their open-mindednessconcerning the differences they encounter in other cultures, and (c) their flexibility concerningbehaving in unfamiliar ways that are called upon by the norms of other cultures. TheIntercultural Sensitivity Inventory is a 46-item scale that was developed and tested amongparticipants at the East-West Center in Hawaii and among graduate students in an MBAprogram who were contemplating careers in international business. The instrument wasfound to have adequate reliability and validity. Page 18 of 39


Category Width Categorization is an organizing process through which the human mind creates a cluster ofsimilar things, to reduce the complexity of the environment and to reduce the necessity ofconstant learning. For example, the human mind can discriminate about 7,500,000 differentcolors, but most English speakers find it functional to categorize the color spectrum into adozen or so frequently cited color categories (Triandis, 1972). Some people categorize differentthings minutely while others categorize things broadly. “Category width” is a term used todescribe the amount of discrepancy tolerable among category members (i.e., how similarthings have to be, to be called by the same name?) (Detweiler, 1978).According to thisdefinition, a narrow categorizer would put highly similar things in a category, whereas abroad categorizer would put more discrepant things in the same category. Narrowcategorizers, compared to broad categorizers, make different attributions concerning foreignersand non-foreigners (Detweiler, 1975), adjust less well to different cultures (Detweiler, 1978),and are more ethnocentric (Rokeach, 1951). Detweiler (1980) validated his instrument by using a sample of Peace Corps volunteers. Hefound that volunteers who had a broad category width score were able to successfully completetheir tasks overseas when compared to those who had a narrow category width score, whooften returned without completing their assignments.

Reaction Measures Bhawuk used six items, adapted from Harrison (1992), to measure generic reaction to tapparticipants’ opinions about the training. These included: “I knew everything that was a partof the training,” “The training was a waste of time,” “I think the program was much too short,”“I enjoyed the training program very much” “I would tell my friends to avoid such a trainingprogram,” and “I enjoyed learning at my own pace.” These items measure the opinion of theparticipants about training program. In addition, Bhawuk (1998) used 8 items identified asimportant goals of cross-cultural training programs in the literature (Underhill, 1990) tomeasure the relevancy of the material in preparing people for cross-cultural interactions. These included items like “I learned from the training program to effectively solve seriousproblems with people who are culturally different from me” and “The training program helpedme to understand the difference between the Page 19 of 39


values of the host culture and those of NorthAmerican culture.� Underhill (1990) found that stakeholders agreed upon nine objectives asthe most important ones for cross-cultural training programs and of these nine, eight wereincluded, with minor adaptations, to examine the participants satisfaction with the trainingprograms in achieving these objectives. These items also measure reaction since they ask forparticipants’ self-report about the effectiveness of the training, and are relevant because oftheir specific focus on cross-cultural interactions. These items could be used as a measure ofthe relevancy of the material used in training programs. Brethower and Rummler (1979)suggested that negative reactions may result from poor design, unrealistic expectations fromthe training, and inclusion of irrelevant material in the training programs. By including thereaction measures discussed here would allow the researcher to examine if the training materialgiven to various treatment and control groups caused negative reactions among theparticipants.

Learning Measures Bhawuk (1998) used nine difficult critical incidents to measure their skills in making correctattributions in intercultural interactions, and found them to be useful as a measure of learning. Some of the critical incidents were selected from Brislin et al. (1986), which have been used inthe past as criterion measures (Broaddus, 1986; McIlveenYarbro, 1988; Cushner, 1989), andothers from Bhawuk (1995). Bhawuk (1998) also asked participants to recall five conceptsthat they had learned from the training program. The purpose of this measure was to see ifthere was a significant

difference

in

recalling

information

learned

through

differentassimilators. This method did not distinguish treatment from control groups, but it may beuseful in other situations, e.g., when comparing a culture assimilator to a behavioral trainingprogram. Behavioral Measures Harrison (1992) developed a cross-cultural interaction task as a measure of behavioral change.In this task, participants are required to interact in the capacity of a manager with a Japaneseworker, who was a confederate. The interaction is analyzed by using the five-item criteriarecommended by Harrison (1992). These items measure the extent to which a participantwould show personal concern, reduce conflict, maintain harmony, emphasize group Page 20 of 39


consensus,and solicit employee input. By examining the audio or video taped interactions, two or morejudges can rate each of the participants’ conversation with the confederate on a five-pointLikert scale for each of the five criteria of personal concern, reducing conflict, and so forth. Itis recommended that the judges discussed their ratings, and to achieve a consensus rating foreach of the interactions. This procedure of obtaining a consensual rating for an interactiontask has been recommended by Latham and Saari (1979) since it avoids the mechanicalcalculation of the average of the independent ratings.

Experiential Learning Theory Yoshitaka Yamazaki of the International University of Japan and D. Christopher Kayes from The George Washington Universityadvocate that experienceforms the basis of cross-cultural learning, we begin with details of experiential learningtheory.

Experiential Learning Process and Cycle Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory (ELT) remains one of the mostpervasive theories of how managers learn from experience (see Kayes, 2002; Yuen &Lee, 1994). The theory continues to exert broad influence in a number of professionalareas including education, psychology, medicine, nursing, general management,computer science, accounting, and law (Kolb & Kolb, 2004). The broad influence ofELT is evident in the more than 1,800 studies that have either directly used or beeninfluenced by the theory in the last 30 years (Kolb & Kolb, 2004). Basing this integrative model of learning on the works of Dewey, Lewin, Piaget, James,and Freire, Kolb argued that experiential learning encompasses the totality of the humanlearning process, where experience forms the foundation for four modes of learning:feeling, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Taken in order, these four modes represent afour-phase learning cycle. The learning cycle describes how immediate concreteexperiences (CE) serve as the basis for observation and reflection (RO), in which theexperience is subsequently assimilated into abstract conceptualization (AC). From AC,the experience is then formed into active experimentation (AE) with the world. AE bothcompletes the cycle of learning and ensures that it begins anew by assisting the creationof new CE experiences. Experiential learning theory Page 21 of 39


makes important distinctionsbetween learning abilities, learning style, learning skills, and adaptive flexibility.

Theoretical Framework

Dependent Variable

Independent Variables

In this research paper and the questionnaire which was developed to support this paper, one dependent was identified which was dependent upon three independent variables. These dependent and independent variables and their relationship is demonstrated in the above hierarchy. As shown, the effectiveness of the cross-cultural training programme is dependent, among other things, upon employee motivation, trainer and trainee experience, and the sound understanding and knowledge of the foreign culture. Higher the employee’s motivation in doing well at the training programme, higher is the effectiveness of the training programme. Likewise, the training programme is likely to be more effective if the trainer and the trainee is experienced. Lastly, if the effectiveness of the training programme will be greatly increased if the trainer and trainee have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the foreign culture in question.

Methodology The date gathered to test and support the claims of this research paper has been gathered through the primary data gathering technique of questionnaires. This technique has been used so as to ascertain the opinions of people from different walks of life regarding the importance of cross-cultural training, upon what factors is the effectiveness of cross-cultural training dependent, and in case they have partaken in cross-cultural training programmes in the past, how effective they think these programmes have been in improving their performance. The sample comprised of 60 individuals. Following are the particulars regarding their occupational background: Occupation Number Student 41 Faculty 9 Page 22 of 39


Professional

10

Using this data, the SPSS statistical software was used to analyze the responses. Following is the rendering of the Chi-square analyzes performed by this software:

Chi-square analyzes Frequencies

Q1 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

3

12.0

-9.0

Disagree

8

12.0

-4.0

Not Sure

22

12.0

10.0

Agree

22

12.0

10.0

5

12.0

-7.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q2 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

2

12.0

-10.0

Disagree

17

12.0

5.0

Not Sure

11

12.0

-1.0

Agree

21

12.0

9.0

9

12.0

-3.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q3 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

7

12.0

-5.0

Disagree

29

12.0

17.0

Not Sure

9

12.0

-3.0

Agree

9

12.0

-3.0

Strongly Agree

6

12.0

-6.0

Total

60

Page 23 of 39


Q4 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

4

12.0

-8.0

Disagree

14

12.0

2.0

Not Sure

9

12.0

-3.0

Agree

17

12.0

5.0

Strongly Agree

16

12.0

4.0

Total

60

Q5 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

6

12.0

-6.0

Not Sure

9

12.0

-3.0

Agree

31

12.0

19.0

Strongly Agree

13

12.0

1.0

Total

60

Q6 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

6

12.0

-6.0

Disagree

9

12.0

-3.0

Not Sure

18

12.0

6.0

Agree

22

12.0

10.0

5

12.0

-7.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q7 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

8

15.0

-7.0

Disagree

29

15.0

14.0

Not Sure

10

15.0

-5.0

Agree

13

15.0

-2.0

Total

60

Page 24 of 39


Q8 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

7

12.0

-5.0

Disagree

21

12.0

9.0

Not Sure

13

12.0

1.0

Agree

17

12.0

5.0

2

12.0

-10.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q9 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

7

12.0

-5.0

Disagree

22

12.0

10.0

Not Sure

14

12.0

2.0

Agree

13

12.0

1.0

4

12.0

-8.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q10 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

3

12.0

-9.0

Disagree

19

12.0

7.0

Not Sure

15

12.0

3.0

Agree

19

12.0

7.0

4

12.0

-8.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q11 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

7

12.0

-5.0

Not Sure

9

12.0

-3.0

Agree

28

12.0

16.0

Strongly Agree

15

12.0

3.0

Total

60

Page 25 of 39


Q12 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

2

12.0

-10.0

Disagree

9

12.0

-3.0

Not Sure

6

12.0

-6.0

Agree

28

12.0

16.0

Strongly Agree

15

12.0

3.0

Total

60

Q13 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Disagree

5

15.0

-10.0

Not Sure

8

15.0

-7.0

Agree

35

15.0

20.0

Strongly Agree

12

15.0

-3.0

Total

60

Q14 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Disagree

7

15.0

-8.0

Not Sure

4

15.0

-11.0

Agree

36

15.0

21.0

Strongly Agree

13

15.0

-2.0

Total

60

Q15 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

10

12.0

-2.0

Not Sure

8

12.0

-4.0

Agree

30

12.0

18.0

Strongly Agree

11

12.0

-1.0

Total

60

Page 26 of 39


Q16 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Disagree

6

15.0

-9.0

Not Sure

15

15.0

.0

Agree

31

15.0

16.0

8

15.0

-7.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q17 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

5

12.0

-7.0

Not Sure

8

12.0

-4.0

39

12.0

27.0

7

12.0

-5.0

Agree Strongly Agree Total

60

Q18 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

19

12.0

7.0

Not Sure

18

12.0

6.0

Agree

14

12.0

2.0

8

12.0

-4.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q19 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

19

12.0

7.0

Not Sure

17

12.0

5.0

Agree

20

12.0

8.0

3

12.0

-9.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Page 27 of 39


Q20 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

8

12.0

-4.0

Disagree

29

12.0

17.0

Not Sure

7

12.0

-5.0

11

12.0

-1.0

5

12.0

-7.0

Agree Strongly Agree Total

60

Q21 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

9

12.0

-3.0

Disagree

21

12.0

9.0

Not Sure

15

12.0

3.0

Agree

13

12.0

1.0

2

12.0

-10.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q22 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

1

15.0

-14.0

Disagree

17

15.0

2.0

Not Sure

10

15.0

-5.0

Agree

32

15.0

17.0

Total

60

Q23 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

6

12.0

-6.0

Disagree

23

12.0

11.0

Not Sure

12

12.0

.0

Agree

14

12.0

2.0

5

12.0

-7.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Page 28 of 39


Q24 Observed N

Expected N

Residual

Strongly Disagree

1

12.0

-11.0

Disagree

3

12.0

-9.0

Not Sure

20

12.0

8.0

Agree

26

12.0

14.0

Strongly Agree

10

12.0

-2.0

Total

60

Q25 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

2

12.0

-10.0

Disagree

21

12.0

9.0

Not Sure

13

12.0

1.0

Agree

20

12.0

8.0

4

12.0

-8.0

Strongly Agree Total

60

Q26 Observed N Strongly Disagree

Expected N

Residual

7

12.0

-5.0

Disagree

22

12.0

10.0

Not Sure

20

12.0

8.0

Agree

5

12.0

-7.0

Strongly Agree

6

12.0

-6.0

Total

60

Page 29 of 39


Summary Of Sample’s Cultural Interactions Following is the compilation and computation of the data related to the different cultures which the sample has interacted with and had cross-cultural interactions with: Countries/Culture People Have Interacted With 1. USA 2. SCOTLAND 3. YAMEN 4. UK/ENGLAND 5. SAUDI ARABI 6. SRI LANKA 7. MALAYSIA 8. DUBAI 9. CHINA 10. NEPAL 11. NIGERIA 12. INDIA 13. OMAN 14. UAE 15. THAILAND 16. IRAN 17. AFGHANISTAN 18. CANADA 19. AUSTRALIA 20. GERMANY 21. TUNISIA 22. SWEDEN 23. NORWAY 24. FINLAND 25. GREECE 26. France 27. BANGLADESH 28. PALESTINE 29. MOROCCO 30. JORDAN 31. NETHERLAND 32. ITALY 33. RUSSIA 34. EGYPT 35. QATAR TOTAL

Number Of People 11 2 1 13 6 2 3 3 7 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 3 5 4 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 90

Page 30 of 39


Conclusion

The first purpose of this paper was to provide a comprehensive review of the extant empirical literature on cross-cultural training. This review suggests that cross-cultural training has a positive impact on the individual's development of skills, on his or her adjustment to the cross-cultural situation, and on his or her job perfor-mance in the cross-cultural situation. However, compared to the training literature in general (see Latham, 1988, for a review), the area of cross-cultural training has received little empir-ical attention. Several conclusions are worth noting. First, based on the published empirical evidence, it seems that cross-cultural training is effective in developing important cross-cultural skills, in facilitating cross-cultural adjustment, and in enhancing job performance. Second, most past empirical research on this subject has lacked theoretical grounding. The area of cross-cultural training will be facilitated by correcting this practice, and using SLT as a heuristic framework is a first attempt to move the field in a more theoretically based direction. Third, although SLT seems to be a robust theory that can be applied to both domestic and international training contexts, the importance of certain variables of SLT is different in cross-cultural training situations. The primary data collected through questionnaires suggests that, even though most of the sample population comprised of students, the number and variety of corss-cultural interaction which the sample has had is impressive. This goes to show that cross-cultural training is extremely important.

Page 31 of 39


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