AbstractDespite its increasing popularity, much intercultural training is not developed with the same level of rigour as training in other areas. Further, research on intercultural training has brought inconsistent results about the effectiveness of such training. This PhD thesis develops a rigorous model of intercultural training and applies it to the preparation of British students going on work/study placements in France and Germany. It investigates the reasons for inconsistent training success by looking at the cognitive learning processes in intercultural training, relating them to training goals, and by examining the short- and long-term transfer of intercultural training into real-life encounters with people from other cultures.
Two cognitive trainings based on critical incidents were designed for online delivery. The training content relied on cultural practice dimensions from the GWBE study (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman & Gupta, 2004). Of the two trainings, the 'singlemode training' aimed to develop declarative knowledge, which is necessary to analyse and understand other cultures. The 'concurrent training' aimed to develop declarative and procedural knowledge, which is needed to develop skills for dealing with difficult situations in a culturally appropriate way. Participants (N-48) were randomly assigned to one of the two training conditions.
Declarative learning appeared as a process of steady knowledge increase, while procedural learning involved cognitive re-categorisation rather than knowledge increase. In a negotiation role play with host-country nationals directly after the online training, participants of the concurrent training exhibited a more initiative negotiation style than participants of the single-mode training.
Comparing cultural adjustment and performance of training participants during their time abroad with an untrained control group, participants of the concurrent training showed the qualitatively best development in adjustment and performance. Besides intercultural training, multicultural personality traits were assessed and proved to be a powerful predictor of adjustment and, indirectly, of performance abroad.
|Date of Award||2007|
- Intercultural training
- international placements