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Biculturalism in Management: Leveraging the Benefits of Intrapersonal Diversity

UNDERSTANDING CULTURE: THEORY, RESEARCH, AND APPLICATION, pp. 343-360, Robert S. Wyer, Chi-yue Chiu and Ying-yi Hong, eds., Psychology Press, 2009

18 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2012  

Ray Friedman

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior

Wu Liu

Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In this paper, we ask: Can biculturalism help in management? Why should scholars in organizational behavior and international management pay attention to biculturalism? We will argue that biculturalism offers two elements that can benefit organizations: adaptability and boundary spanning. Adaptability is the ability to shift one’s actions to the demands of a particular cultural audience, and boundary spanning is the ability to serve as a conduit between cultural groups. The first quality affects individual interactions with others. The second quality affects the network structures of organizations. Further, we discuss how bicultural people’s adaptability and boundary spanning benefit managerial activities, including teams, decision making, leadership, and dispute resolution. We are also aware that the benefits of biculturalism are not unconditional. We will discuss the boundary conditions and potential negative sides of biculturalism along our discussion.

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Ray and Liu, Wu, Biculturalism in Management: Leveraging the Benefits of Intrapersonal Diversity (2009). UNDERSTANDING CULTURE: THEORY, RESEARCH, AND APPLICATION, pp. 343-360, Robert S. Wyer, Chi-yue Chiu and Ying-yi Hong, eds., Psychology Press, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2079700

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

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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