1 Department of Language and Business Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Knowledge Communication, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Cultural Research Unit, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Business Communication, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
- or, how long does culture shock last?
This essay combines theories of sojourner adaptation with the qualitative results of field work among Scottish immigrants in Copenhagen. I argue that theories of acculturation often presuppose a limited time-frame; that the usefulness of Lysgaard's acculturation model may be questioned; and that companies lose valuable intercultural competence by recalling sojourners before they have completed their process of integration. Learning from practice, the analysis demonstrates how sojourners change as a result of their stationing overseas; that the intercultural skills obtained by employees during their sojourn represent a valuable resource for international business; and that companies have an obligation to assist sojourners upon their return to their home culture.
Journal of Intercultural Communication, 2005, Vol 10