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Cultural Adjustment: Going and Coming

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  1. Cultural Adjustment: Going and Coming John R. Baldwin, Ph.D. Shannon O’Donnell, MA Illinois State University Chestnut Global Partners, NFP Normal, IL 61790-4480 Bloomington, IL 61701 USA USA jrbaldw@ilstu.edu sodonnell@chestnut.org +1 (309) 438-7969 +1 (309) 820-3557

  2. An Increasingly Global CommunityConsider • Colgate-Palmolive operates in 190 countries. 75% of its annual sales are from overseas markets • AT&T has over 55,000 employees working in 105 countries • ALCOA has 70% of its workforce outside the U.S. • Caterpillar and its dealers operate in over 100 countries. About 50% of their workforce is outside the U.S., up from only 27% ten years ago. • The U.S. is the #1 expatriate destination in the world • 40,000 multinational companies employee 75 million people worldwide

  3. Importance of Repatriation • 75% of Multi-national companies (MNCs) have an expat recall rate greater than 10%. • 22% of U.S. expatriate employees turnover within the first year of repatriation. • 50% turn over within 3 years. Harzig,1995. GMAC GRS – NFTC – SHRM Global, 2003. Black and Gregersen, 1991.

  4. A Question Before We Start • Make this practical! • What would the following material (in this unit) suggest practically regarding: • Employee selection (including yourself)? • View towards adjustment? • Behaviors traveler or others can engage in to reduce cultural adjustment difficulty? • Organizational training/policy?

  5. Cultural Adjustment: definitions • What is “culture shock” (TT&C, p. 115-116? • Types of “cultural adjusters” • Sojourners • Immigrants • NOT Tourists • Aspects of culture shock (Oberg, in TT&C) • Identity loss, deprivation • Identity strain • Identity rejection • Identity confusion (role ambiguity, unpredictability) • Identity powerlessness • Culture shock, or cultural transition? (p. 118)


  6. Culture shock: Symptoms • The ABC’s of culture shock symptoms: • A: • B: • C

  7. Culture shock: Factors • What are the Influences? (Will some people adjust better than others?)

  8. Cultural Adjustment: The Process? The “U-Curve”

  9. Stage-Models of Adjustment • The stages GOING (TT&C) • Initial adjustment (“honeymoon stage”) • Crisis (fight/flight): slump, hostility • Effective/Adjustment/Flex (“humor”) • Stability (“in-sync adjustment”)

  10. Theory on RCA: Psychological Model • The research • Church, 1982: Summary of 150 studies (Rev of Lit) • Kealy, 1989; Ady’s approach (next slide) • Tanaka et al., 1994 • Domains of adjustment: • Colleen Ward’s work; Website • Psychological • Sociocultural CONCLUSION RE: U-Curve/Stage Models

  11. High Psychological wellbeing Interpersonal Adjustment Degree of Adjustment Ability to get around Organizational Performance Low Time

  12. Can You Go Home? “Are you in pain, Frodo?” “Well, yes, I am. . . There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same, for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?” Gandalf did not answer. --Return of the King

  13. Coming Home: Re-entry Shock • The Stages (W-curve) • Ambivalence stage • Re-entry culture shock stage • Resocialization stage • The symptoms? (ABC) • The reasons? (TT&C pp. 134-135) • Clyde Austin: #1 reason: ____________________ • YOUR EXPERIENCES?

  14. Coming Home…It could be worse than you think…

  15. W-curve http://www.iastate.edu/~learncommunity/appendixa.pdf Entry into New Culture Re-entry into Own Culture Preliminary State Adaptation State Preliminary State Adaptation State Spectator State Shock State Spectator State Shock State Participant State Participant State

  16. Coming home: Possible approaches • Adler (1997, in TT&C): 3 patterns: • Resocialized returnee • Alienated returnee (think militant ex-smoker) • Proactive returnee • Martin et al: Students’ closeness to friends and family: Findings? Why? • Wilson (1985): Becoming a “mediating person”—that is, a bridge.

  17. Day 1: Strategies! • Strategies for going? • Strategies for returning? • Who has the responsibility?!

  18. Cultural Adjustment: The Process? Readings for Next Class Period: • Is this how culture shock works? Is it all bad? • What is the role of communication in alleviating culture shock (Kim, Ch. 26 in MN&F) • What are some things you can do before you go, while you are there, and when you return home? (Smith, Ch. 27, in MN&F)

  19. Maintenance of Cross-Cultural Identity - + Re-adaptation of Host-Cultural Identity + - Berry’s model of XC Adjustment

  20. Culture Learning Theory • Smith, 1998 • People have to relearn their cultures • Aspects of identity: scope, salience, avowal, ascription, and the everyday negotiation of ID • Extensions by Sussman (2000)

  21. Theory on RCA: Psychological Model • Young Yun Kim’s Interdisciplinary Approach • Aspects of the Person • Gender, age, religion, ethnicity, SES • Openness, strength, positivity • Preparedness for change • Aspects of the Culture and Context • Support system • Conformity pressure • Host (home) culture receptivity! • The role of Communication: • Own group & New Group • Interpersonal & Mediated

  22. Adaptation Growth over Time Stress

  23. Building Bridges: Success Strategies

  24. Building Bridges: Success Strategies (Based on conference discussion groups’ answers)

  25. Building Bridges: Success Strategies (Based on conference discussion groups’ answers)

  26. Building Bridges: Success Strategies (Based on conference discussion groups’ answers)

  27. Some sources with tips and models for Return Culture Adjustment: • Martin, J. N., & Harrell, T. (2004). Intercultural reentry of students and professionals: Theory and practice. In D. Landis, J. M. Bennett, & M. J. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook of intercultural training (pp. 309-336). Thousand Oaks: Sage. • Smith, S. L. (2002). The cycle of cross-cultural adaptation and reentry. In J. N. Martin, T. K. Nakayama, & L. A. Flores (Eds). Readings in intercultural communication: Experiences and contexts (pp. 246-259). Belmont, CA: Mayfield. • http://www.iastate.edu/~learncommunity/appendixa.pdf

  28. Success Strategies – Education • Devise a way to meet with students when they return • Encourage students to take things one day at a time. • Clearly define the students education goals. Use books such as Study Abroad: How to Get the most out of your experience -Dowell and Mirsky • Discuss the challenges of repatriation before the student leaves. • Establish a peer-mentor program • Encourage students to get involved when they return in international ways. • Work with students to recruit future study abroaders. • Introduce students to globally minded-jobs • Keep international media(s) available in the study abroad office • Suggest talking with a counselor if problems arise

  29. When is Repatriation Addressed • 44% Pre-Departure • 21% 6 months or more before repatriating • 23% Under 6 months before repatriating Not soon enough

  30. Success Strategies - Business • Make sure the right people are going abroad. • Clearly define the expat’s career goals before the assignment begins and make sure the goals reflect your company’s overall objectives. • Discuss the challenges of repatriation before the employee leaves. • Encourage expats to make regular visits to the home office through a home-leave policy. • Understand and educate management on the challenges of repatriation. • Find positions and activities that use repats’ new skills. • Provide support to the entire family. • Encourage repats to approach repatriation similarly to relocating overseas. • Once repats have returned home, offer a counseling program. • Create a mentor program for the entire process. Workforce, July 2002, pp. 40-44

  31. Example: Colgate-Palmolive Co. HR Magazine v.47 p.101-104, 107 Global Succession-Planning Database • Data on each manager’s experience with or awareness of a particular culture Extended overseas career track • 40% of the 300 expatriates have had four or more global assignments • 75% of the 300 expatriates have had two or more global assignments www.colgate.com

  32. Example: AT&T Safety Net Workforce, July 2002, p. 43 Three-part program • Proactive outreach to the employee & family pre-departure and throughout the sojourn • Mentor program with colleagues at their home office; pre-departure meeting before returning home • “Welcome Home” seminar one month after returning: Group counseling, individual check-ups www.att.com

  33. The Cost An effective repatriation program costs between $3,500 and $10,000 per family – Laura Herring, CEO of The Impact Group

  34. ROI Strategies

  35. Questions? John R. Baldwin, Ph.D. Shannon O’Donnell, MA Illinois State University Chestnut Global Partners, NFP Normal, IL 61790-4480 Bloomington, IL 61701 USA USA jrbaldw@ilstu.edu sodonnell@chestnut.org +1 (309) 438-7969 +1 (309) 820-3557