Our cross-national findings in SIETAR Congress 2017

Katerina Pouliasi presented at SIETAR Europe Congress 2017

I was honored and proud to present our unique cultural priming techniques, we use in our surveys, to identify which invisible factors contribute to satisfaction in cross-national partnerships. The title of our paper was:

‘The role of Cultural Frame Switching and Cultural Conflict in developing intercultural competence in context of cross-border interactions’

A paper for the Academic Track of SIETAR Europa Congress, Dublin 2017, organised by IACCM (International Association of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management) presented on Thursday 25th of May 2017, Morning session: 10:30-11:00.

What the ‘blind’ reviewer wrote about my contribution :

“This research can definitely serve as a foundation for cultural fluency training among highly skilled staff or IT developers worldwide. Overall, paper is well organized, different conceptual frameworks are merged together in order to elicit uniqueness of professional intercultural encounters among representatives of two different cultural backgrounds.”

Intercultural Management  in cross-border co-operation? Focus on the role of the cultures.

In our present-day interdependent economies, experts and managers interact at a distance, “virtually”, inevitably subordinating physical presence . Yet, decades ago, cross-national research has demonstrated that being raised in different cultures influence the ways individuals think, feel and behave and how  consequently, different tendencies  affect communication style  in interpersonal interactions and at the end, and satisfaction in Global partnerships .

We have presented a unique approach on revealing critical issues arisen from distant cross-border co-operations. We explored them with in depth interviews with the key stakeholders of each company considering the cross-cultural latest findings and theories. We then, measured the strength of the individual factors among the staff members regularly interacting with their ‘distant’ counterparts with our on-line questionnaires. Consequently, we analysed the interviews and the data qualitative and quantitative to report specific advice on smoothing conflicting communication style and organisational cultural procedures.  Findings based on both sides input, enormously stimulate participation and focused attention during the workshops  towards intercultural competence for the key players and CEO’s in the interface of  cross-cultural partnerships  or co-operation.

Culture influence satisfaction of cross-border partnerships

Through the interviews we identified the tacit signalers of the differences to time management (e.g., attitude to issues of deadlines), to decision making practices, to dealing with unpredictable situations, in which context participants have experienced  (in their primary culture) concepts like ‘initiative’ and  ‘effective use of time’ and how these pinpoint  to professional personal or collective accountability, attitudes or, for example,  personal sensitivities to honor-oriented behavior. We assessed then, with our thoroughly structured intercultural surveys,  which factors factors may be critical. We revealed  the actual underlying dynamics not only at the level of involved organization but at the individual’s level within each organisation as well. We clarified the predictors and explained which predictors are strong in eliminating the obstacles and increasing the levels of satisfaction.

IT IS  the kind of feelings people have about their experience of another culture. Those with NO or Low-Conflict feelings are the best ambassadors

Cross-national partnerships are readily hampered by issues of conflicting motivation styles, transparency, existence or  absence of honor-oriented behavior, eventual in-group favouritism and out-group attitude.

Intercultural competence is defined as the ability of behaving in a way that fits the patterns of expectations and behavior in settings of the salient cultural context, thus beyond the habitual patterns of own culture. We apply established methods and experimental conditions derived from international seminal research on the ability of the Multicultural Minds (see literature bellow, including our previous papers on navigating the bicultural mind). The priming method of Cultural activation was originally applied on individuals who physically live in ‘another’ culture. We replicated these findings and could thus, reliably advice on  how individuals interacting cross-nationally can develop intercultural skills. We demonstrated examples of IT experts in Southern Europe and in North Europe working for their local branch of the same multinational telecommunication corporation.

Academic interest lies in a. the replication of findings by the new population employed, namely, highly skilled staff operating  internationally in a remote and virtual mode b. the specific implications for avoiding cultural misunderstandings and mis-functions in steadily increasing cross-border co-operations.

Basic Literature

Benet-Martínez, V., Leu, J., Lee, F., & Morris, M. W. (2002). Negotiating Biculturalism: Cultural Frame Switching in Biculturals with Oppositional Versus Compatible Cultural Identities. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33(5), 492–516.

Friedman, R., Liu, W., Chi, S. C. S., Hong, Y. Y., & Sung, L. K. (2012). Cross-cultural management and bicultural identity integration: When does experience abroad lead to appropriate cultural switching?. International Journal of Intercultural Relations36(1), 130-139.

Higgins, E. T. (1996). Knowledge activation: Accessibility, applicability and salience. In E. T. Higgins & A. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 133-168). New York: Guilford.

Hong, Y. Y., Morris, M. W., Chiu, C. Y., & Benet-Martínez, V. (2000). Multicultural minds. A dynamic constructivist approach to culture and cognition. The American psychologist, 55(7), 709–20.

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: international differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Morris, M. W., & Ho-Ying, F. (2001). How does cultures influence conflict resolution? Dynamic constructivist analysis. Social Cognition19(3), 324.

Pouliasi, K., & Verkuyten, M. (2007). Networks of meaning and the bicultural mind: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(6), 955-963.

Verkuyten, M., & Pouliasi, K. (2002). Biculturalism among older children cultural frame switching, attributions, self-identification, and attitudes. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology33(6), 596-609.

For more specific  information about our approach and paradigms,

Please do not hesitate to ask us!

Katerina Pouliasi is active member of the IACCPIACCP_logo-300x24