Occupational Stereotypes, Perceived Status Differences, and Intercultural Communication in Global Organizations

Communication Monographs, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 478-502, 2013

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2013 Last revised: 27 Jan 2015

See all articles by Paul M. Leonardi

Paul M. Leonardi

University of California, Santa Barbara

Carlos Rodriguez-Lluesma

IESE Business School

Date Written: June 23, 2013

Abstract

This paper offers a novel perspective on why individuals in global organizations make culturally based attributions of their colleagues that impede effective working relations. Drawing on observational and interview data from an ethnographic study of product development work at a global automaker’s engineering centers in Mexico, the United States, and India, we show the important role that occupational stereotypes and perceived status differentials play in global workplace interaction. The findings demonstrate that individuals who consider themselves to be "low-status" attempt to increase their status by leading high-status individuals to believe that they work in ways that reflect dominant occupational stereotypes. However, because these stereotypes are often inaccurate, members of the high-status culture assume that the stereotype-imitating behaviors of low-status individuals represent deficiencies in how they work. These findings have important implications for intercultural interaction in the global workplace and for theories of communication in multinational organizations.

Keywords: stereotype, communication, global, organization, culture

Suggested Citation

Leonardi, Paul M. and Rodriguez-Lluesma, Carlos, Occupational Stereotypes, Perceived Status Differences, and Intercultural Communication in Global Organizations (June 23, 2013). Communication Monographs, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 478-502, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2283961

Paul M. Leonardi (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

Phelps Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.tmp.ucsb.edu/leonardi/

Carlos Rodriguez-Lluesma

IESE Business School ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Águila
Madrid, 28023
Spain

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
194
Abstract Views
1,702
Rank
294,062
PlumX Metrics