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Cross-Cultural Training to Improve Intercultural Understanding and Communication . Kenneth Cushner, Ed. D. Kent State University U. S. A.

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Cross cultural training to improve intercultural understanding and communication l.jpg

Cross-Cultural Trainingto Improve Intercultural Understanding and Communication

Kenneth Cushner, Ed. D.

Kent State University

U. S. A.


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Increased Intercultural Interaction is Evident in: expected to engage in interpersonal interactions with people from cultures different from their own

  • the global business marketplace;

  • international tourism;

  • changes in immigration policies and domestic diversity;

  • movement of international students;

  • changes in school curricula in response to above.


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Goals of Intercultural Training small planet

  • Interculturally effective people are:

    -able to deal with psychological

    stress

    -able to communicate effectively

    -able to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships

    -able to complete task


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Goals of Intercultural Training small planet

  • Teach people to distinguish between two aspects of culture:

    • Objective culture – or “Big C”

      • Tangible, visible aspects of people

    • Subjective culture – or “little c”

      • Invisible, intangible elements


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Objective - Subjective Culture small planet

  • Culture, like an iceberg, tends to show only a small portion on the surface


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Objective - Subjective Culture small planet

Objective culture

Subjective culture

It is at the level of subjective culture where most intercultural misunderstandings occur.


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Goals of Intercultural Training small planet

Transcend ethnocentrism, thus help people become more ethnorelative

  • Understand processes of perception and categorization.


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Goals of Intercultural Training small planet

  • In general, reduce culture shock and ease adjustment to new cultural patterns

  • U-Curve Hypothesis

    U


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Goals of Intercultural Training small planet

  • Teach people to suspend judgment about others until more information is available by making isomorphic attributions

  • the judgments people make about others

  • Explain another’s behavior in the same way they would


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Approaches to Intercultural Training small planet

  • Most Common Training Strategies

    -Cognitive/University Approach

    -Experiential Approach

    -Interaction Approach

    -Attribution Training


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2000)

Identified 18 culture-general themes found to be common in people’s intercultural interactions, regardless of where they are from, their particular role in society, and with whom they will interact;

3 general categories


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2000)

Experiences Which Engage People’s Emotions

Knowledge Areas

Bases of Cultural Differences


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2006)

  • EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES

    • anxiety

    • belonging

    • ambiguity

    • confronting prejudice of self and others

    • disconfirmed expectations


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Anxiety reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • People tend to feel uncertain and anxious when in interaction with people of other cultures

  • People with high anxiety may have a tendency to avoid the situation


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Belonging reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • All people have a need to belong and feel as if their contributions are welcome

  • When people do not feel as if they belong they may feel rejected and alienated, and may stop contributing


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Ambiguity reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • When interacting with other cultures, all the necessary information may not be apparent

  • People may then act from their own knowledge base, which may not be accurate

  • People who work well across cultures have a high tolerance for ambiguity - and ask may questions.


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Prejudice reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Prejudice refers to the application of stereotypes to all members of a group,

  • Also, when in an intercultural situation, people may confront knowledge and beliefs about others that they previously held that they may no longer support.


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Disconfirmed Expectations reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Most people expect others to think and act as they do

  • They also have a tendency to expect certain outcomes

  • If what they expect does not come to pass, they may become quite upset


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2006)

  • KNOWLEDGE AREAS

    • work

    • time/space orientation

    • language and communication

    • roles

    • group versus individual orientation

    • ritual and superstition

    • class and status

    • values


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Work reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • People’s orientation toward work-related behavior can be significantly different. This is evident in such areas as:

  • problem solving

  • time-on-task versus emphasis on social relations

  • decision-making practices


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Time and Space reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Various attitudes exist on the importance of adhering to ‘clock’ time, relational time, flexible time, and so forth;

  • People’s orientation toward others in terms of spatial distance, placement of furniture, etc.


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Communication and Language Use reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • One of the more obvious difference between people

  • Refers to verbal as well as nonverbal communication differences

  • Nonverbal differences account for most communication problems at the subjective level


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Roles reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • A generally accepted set of behaviors people perform in relation to a position

  • Respect across cultures may differ in different roles

  • Cultural differences in roles may be evident with regard to age, position, gender, family, and so forth.


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Group versus Individualism reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • The degree to which people act according to their individual needs or group needs

  • Differences across groups are most significant in this regard


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Rituals and Superstition reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • One groups’ rituals are often seen as superstitions by another

  • What one group views as intelligent behavior may be seen by another as superstitious


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Social Class reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • People tend to divide themselves according to some hierarchy

  • They may make distinctions based on various markers of high versus low status

  • Status differences may be quite different from culture to culture


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Values reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Refer to internalized views of broad areas as religion, economics, education

  • Accepted as proper and ‘right’

  • Can be defended in extreme ways


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2006)

  • BASES OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

    • categorization

    • differentiation

    • ingroup-outgroup distinctions

    • learning styles

    • attribution process


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Categorization reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Refers to the act of grouping similar information together

  • Culture determines how people form categories

  • For example, in some cultures a dog is an animal to avoid, in others it is an important member of the family, in others it is food.


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Differentiation reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Fine distinctions people make in large categories of information that is important in their culture

  • For example, not all breeds of cattle do well in Turkey

  • People who do not differentiate categories in the same manner as locals may be viewed as ignorant.


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Ingroups versus Outgroups reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Refers to major distinctions all people make regarding others

  • Ingroup members are those one is close to, shares critical information, will marry, etc.

  • Outgroup members are those often kept at a ‘respectable’ distance

  • Different groups form ingroups in different ways


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Learning Styles reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Culture teaches people how to learn

  • Those serving as trainers should match their instructional style with people’s preferred method of learning.


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Attribution Process reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Attributions refer to the judgments people make about others

  • People judge others by such things as their behavior, speech, and other mannerisms

  • The goal is to judge people the same way they would judge themselves.


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2000)

The themes are introduced through Critical Incidents, or short stories that bring people from different cultures together to solve a problem

Individuals read many critical incidents and begin to understand that subjective cultural elements at play


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18-Theme Culture General Framework reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding(Cushner and Brislin, 1996; Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2000)

The critical incidents are used to introduce readers to the important 18 culture general themes

You may use critical incidents in a variety of ways


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Impact of Intercultural Training reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Has positive impact on cognitive, affective and behavioral domains

  • People learn a significant amount of useful information

  • Both parties in interaction feel more positive

  • People are more effective in their work


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Incident Review reflect a cross-cultural misunderstanding

  • Read one incident

  • Discuss the incident in your group.

  • For incidents 1 and 2, identify which explanations best explain the situation.

  • For incident 3, what do you think is the problem?

  • Identify which of the 18-themes are evident

  • How are these themes evident in your work or experience?


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