van Bakel, Marian5; Gerritsen, Marinel3; van Oudenhoven, Jan Pieter4
1 Institut for Ledelse og Virksomhedsstrategi, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU2 Department of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU3 Radboud University Nijmegen4 University of Groningen5 Department of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU
Intercultural competence is an essential asset for those who live abroad or who work with people from different cultural backgrounds. This longitudinal study examines the impact of contact with a local host on five attitudinal and behavioural aspects of intercultural competence. Sixty-five Western expatriates in the Netherlands were randomly divided into two groups: an experimental group (n = 33) that had contact with a Dutch host during 9 months, and a control group (n = 32) with no host. The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire was filled in at baseline and again after 9 months. A local host buffered a decrease in both attitudinal (Open-mindedness) and behavioural (Social Initiative) aspects of intercultural competence; although, in the case of Open-mindedness, this decrease was only buffered for expatriates with a partner. No effect was found for Cultural Empathy, Flexibility or Emotional Stability. The article concludes by discussing the various merits of contact with a local host as compared with cross-cultural training.
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2014, Vol 25, Issue 14, p. 2050-2067
buddy scheme; expatriate supporting practices; intercultural competence; local host; Multicultural Personality Questionnaire; Open-mindedness; Social Initiative