Cross-Cultural Management and Bicultural Identity Integration: When Does Experience Abroad Lead to Appropriate Cultural Switching?

International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36 (2012) 130– 139

10 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2012

See all articles by Ray Friedman

Ray Friedman

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior

Wu Liu

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Shu-Cheng Chi

National Taiwan University - Department of Business Administration

Ying-Yi Hong

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Nanyang Business School

Li-Kuo Sung

Independent

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

As the business world becomes more global many managers have spent significant time studying and working abroad. Does this overseas experience re-shape how managers think about the world? In this study we examined attribution patterns of Taiwanese managers who have studied and worked abroad. We found that managers who have been abroad switch their cultural orientation as a result of being shown Western or Chinese cultural icons, but this effect only occurs for those high in bicultural identity integration (BII). We confirmed that this effect occurs when “environmental” priming is used, and also confirmed that this effect is found when examining pay allocation decisions (a typical managerial issue) in addition to attribution patterns. These results point to the benefits of hiring internationally experienced managers, but also suggest that international experience may not be enough — companies need to also assess managers’ BII to know if foreign experience will truly translate into culturally appropriate cognitive flexibility.

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Raymond A. and Liu, Wu and Chi, Shu-Cheng and Hong, Ying-Yi and Sung, Li-Kuo, Cross-Cultural Management and Bicultural Identity Integration: When Does Experience Abroad Lead to Appropriate Cultural Switching? (2012). International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36 (2012) 130– 139, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2071246

Raymond A. Friedman (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-3992 (Phone)
615-343-7177 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/rfriedman.cfm

Wu Liu

Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

Hung Hom Kowloon
Hong Kong

Shu-Cheng Chi

National Taiwan University - Department of Business Administration ( email )

No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd.
Taipei
Taiwan
+886 2 236 3 0231 Ext. 2942 (Phone)
+886 2 236 8 9305 (Fax)

Ying-Yi Hong

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Nanyang Business School ( email )

Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Li-Kuo Sung

Independent

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