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
Date Written: 2009
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.
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