INTERCULTURAL INTERACTIONS AT MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS’ WORKPLACE: GROUNDED THEORY
Keywordsintercultural interactions, cultural diversity, multilingualism, agent, thriving, positive psychological capital
Purpose: Due to globalization and the global mobility of workforce, working in multicultural environments is a new challenge for employees and managers. The aim of the paper is to analyze the social interactions in multicultural environments of multinational corporations (MNCs) as well as to propose a model of intercultural social interactions in MNCs’ specific context.
Design/methodology/approach: The grounded theory approach was applied to create a model of intercultural interactions in MNCs. The data was obtained during the qualitative research based on comparative case studies collected in 5 MNCs’ subsidiaries.
Findings: The proposed model refers to the following concepts: 1) Lazarus’s transactional stress theory states that job demands may be assessed as hindrances or challenges. The specific job demands that affect intercultural interactions are multilingualism, cultural diversity, cross-cultural adjustment and team work. 2) Positive psychological capital and an individual’s acquired resources are in relation with intercultural interactions. 3) According to Bandura’s agentic perspective, individuals take an active role in shaping social interactions and work environment. 4) Being an agent relates to Spreitzer’s thriving concept that can serve as a mechanism of relations between the interactions undertaken due to MNCs’ specific job demands and their outcomes.
Research limitations/implications: The qualitative methodology applied to the research does not allow for a broader generalization of the results. The outcomes of intercultural interactions depend mainly on how individuals assess their job demands in MNCs.
Practical implications: Since the workplace in MNCs is abundant in learning opportunities, the managers of MNCs need to hire employees who exhibit needs for growth and development to boost thriving in their organizations. Additionally, these managers should search for employees with experience of multicultural settings and a signifi cant capacity of positive psychological capital, thanks to which they are likely to benefi t more from intercultural social interactions. More concern should be put on training the employees’ language skills since it may build their self-eff icacy in intercultural interactions.
Originality/value: The proposed model focuses on social interactions in MNCs’ unique context. The empirical fi ndings were interpreted with regard to psychological and sociological theories and the Positive Organizational Scholarship lens.
Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., Koh, C., Ng, K. Y., Templer, K. J., Tay, C., Chandrasekar, N. A. (2007), “Cultural intelligence: Its measurement and effects on cultural judgment and decision making, cultural adaptation and task performance”, Management and Organization Review, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 335–371. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j. 1740–8784.2007.00082.x
Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., Jensen, S. M. (2009), “Psychological capital: A positive resource for combating employee stress and turnover”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 677–693. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20294
Ayoko, O. B., Konrad, A. M. (2012), “Leaders’ transformational, conflict, and emotion management behaviors in culturally diverse workgroups”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 31 No. 8, pp. 694–724.
Bakker, A., Demerouti, E. (2014), “Job demands-resources theory”, in: Chen, P. Y., Cooper, C. L. (Eds.), Work and Wellbeing: Wellbeing: A complete reference guide, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 37–64.
Bandura, A. (2000), “Exercise of human agency through collective efficacy”, Current Drections in Psychological Science, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 75–78. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1111/1467-8721.00064
Bandura, A. (2001), “Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective”, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 1–26. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev. psych.52.1.1
Brien, A., Smallman, C. (2011), “The respected manager… the organisational social capital developer”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 639–647.
Caligiuri, P., Tarique, I. (2012), “Dynamic cross-cultural competencies and global leadership effectiveness”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 612–622. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2012.01.014
Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., Quinn, R. E. (2003), “An introduction to positive organizational scholarship”, in: Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., Quinn, R. E. (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, pp. 3–13.
Caprar, D. V. (2011), “Foreign locals: A cautionary tale on the culture of MNC local employees”, Journal of International Business Studies, Nature Publishing Group, Vol. 42 No. 5, pp. 608–628. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2011.9
Carmeli, A., Brueller, D., Dutton, J. E. (2009), “Learning behaviours in the workplace: The role of high-quality interpersonal relationships and psychological safety”, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 98 No. November 2008, pp. 81–98. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sres.932
Cavanaugh, M., Boswell, W., Roehling, M., Boudreau, J. (2000), “An empirical examination of self-reported work stress among US managers”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 85 No. 1, pp. 65–74.
Cooper, D., Doucet, L., Pratt, M. (2007), “Understanding ‘appropriateness’ in multinational organizations”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 303–325.
Corbin, J., Strauss, A. L. (2008), Basics of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Darawong, C., Igel, B. (2012), “Acculturation of local new product development team members in MNC subsidiaries in Thailand”, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 351–371. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13555851211237867
Dearnley, C. (2005), “A reflection on the use of semi-structured interviews”, Nurse researcher, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 19–28. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7748/nr2005.07.13. 1.19.c5997
Dollwet, M., Reichard, R. (2014), “Assessing cross-cultural skills: Validation of a new measure of cross-cultural psychological capital”, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 25 No. 12, pp. 1669–1696. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.10 80/09585192.2013.845239
Edwards, B. D., Franco-Watkins, A. M., Cullen, K. L., Howell, J. W., Acuff, R. E. (2014), “Unifying the challenge-hindrance and sociocognitive models of stress”, International Journal of Stress Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 162–185. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1037/a0034730
Fisher, G. B., Härtel, C. E. J. (2006), “Cross-cultural effectiveness of western expatriateThai client interactions: Lessons learned for IHRM research and theory”, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 32–62.
Glaser, B. G., Strauss, A. L. (1999), The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, Aldine De Gruyter, Hawthorne.
Goulding, C. (1998), “Grounded theory: the missing methodology on the interpretivist agenda”, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 50–57. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13522759810197587
Graham, J. L. (2010), “Culture and human resources management”, in: Rugman, A. M. (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of International Business, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 502–536.
Hassi, A., Storti, G., Azennoud, A. (2011), “Corporate trainers’ credibility and cultural values: evidence from Canada and Morocco”, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 499–519.
HRM spreads word to the world, (2012), “HRM spreads word to the world: When culture and country affect company”, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 18–21.
Johnson, J. P., Lenartowicz, T., Apud, S. (2006), “Cross-cultural competence in international business: toward a definition and a model”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 525–543. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/pal grave.jibs.8400205
Kempster, S., Parry, K. W. (2011), “Grounded theory and leadership research: A critical realist perspective”, The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 106–120. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.010
Lauring, J. (2009), “Managing cultural diversity and the process of knowledge sharing: A case from Denmark”, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 385–394. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2009.09.002
Lauring, J., Klitmøller, A. (2014), “Corporate language-based communication avoidance in MNCs: A multi-sited ethnography approach”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 1–10. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2014.01.005
Lauring, J., Selmer, J. (2011), “Multicultural organizations: common language, knowledge sharing and performance”, Personnel Review, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 324–343. DOI: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483481111118649
Lazarus, R. (1991a), “Cognition and motivation in emotion”, American psychologist, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 352–367.
Lazarus, R. (1991b), “Psychological stress in the workplace”, Handbook on job stress: A special Issue of the Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality, Vol. 6, pp. 1–20.
Lazarus, R., Folkman, S. (1984), Stress, Appraisal, and Coping, Springer, New York.
LePine, J., Podsakoff, N., LePine, M. (2005), “A meta-analytic test of the challenge stressor–hindrance stressor framework: An explanation for inconsistent relationships among stressors and performance”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 764–775.
Loh, J., Min, I., Restubog, S. L. D., Gallois, C. (2009), “The nature of workplace boundaries between Australians and Singaporeans in multinational organizations: A qualitative inquiry”, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 367–385.
Luthans, F., Avey, J., Avolio, B., Peterson, S. (2010), “The development and resulting performance impact of positive psychological capital”, Human Resource Management Quarterly, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 41–67. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.20034
Luthans, F., Avolio, B. J., Avey, J. B., Norman, S. M. (2007), “Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 60 No. 3, pp. 541–572. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6 570.2007.00083.x
Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M. (2007), “Emerging Positive Organizational Behavior”, Journal of Management, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 321–349. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11 77/0149206307300814
Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., Avolio, B. J. (2007), Psychological Capital: Investing and developing positive organizational behavior, in: Nelson, J., Cooper, C. L. (Eds.), Positive Organizational Behavior, Thousand Oaks, pp. 9–24.
Mannix, E., Neale, M. A. (2005), “What differences make a difference?: The promise and reality of diverse teams in organizations”, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 31–55. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1529–1006.2005.00022.x
Maxwell, J. A. (2005), Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
McCrae, R. R., Costa, P. T. (1997), “Personality trait structure as a human universal”, The American Psychologist, Vol. 52 No. 5, pp. 509–516. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1037/0003–066X.52.5.509
McMillan-Capehart, A. (2005), “A configurational framework for diversity: socialization and culture”, Personnel Review, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 488–503. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1108/00483480510599798
Molinsky, A. (2007), “Cross-cultural code-switching: the psychological challenges of adapting behavior in foreign cultural interactions”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 622–640. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2007.24351878
Müller, C. V. (1998), “About differences and blind spots: A systemic view on an international, interdisciplinary research team”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 13 No. 3/4, pp. 259–270.
Niu, H. J. (2014), “Is innovation behavior congenital? Enhancing job satisfaction as a moderator”, Personnel Review, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 288–302. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1108/PR-12–2012-0200
Noorderhaven, N., Harzing, A. W. (2009), “Knowledge sharing and social interactions within MNCs”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 40 No. April, pp. 719–741.
Panggabean, H., Murniati, J., Tjitra, H. (2013), “Profiling intercultural competence of Indonesians in Asian workgroups”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 86–98. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2012.04.002
Paterson, T. A., Luthans, F., Jeung, W. (2014), “Thriving at work: Impact of psychological capital and supervisor support”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 434–446. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.1907
Pettigrew, T. F., Tropp, L. R. (2008), “How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators”, European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 922–934. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.504
Porath, C., Spreitzer, G., Gibson, C., Garnett, F. G. (2012), “Thriving at work: Toward its measurement, construct validation, and theoretical refinement”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 275 No. May 2011, pp. 250–275. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1002/job.756
Przytuła, S., Rozkwitalska, M., Chmielecki, M., Sułkowski, Ł., Basinska, B. A. (2014), “Cross-cultural interactions between expatriates and local managers in the light of Positive Organizational Behaviour”, Social Sciences (Socialiniai mokslai), Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 14–24.
Quinn, R. W. (2009), “Energizing others in work connections”, in: Dutton, J., Ragins, B. R. (Eds.), Exploring Positive Relationships at Work. Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation, Psychology Press, New York, London, pp. 73–90.
Randall, W. S., Mello, J. E. (2012), “Grounded theory: an inductive method for supply chain research”, in: Flint, D. (Ed.), International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 42 No. 8/9, pp. 863–880.
Reichard, R. J., Dollwet, M., Louw-Potgieter, J. (2014), “Development of cross-cultural psychological capital and Its relationship with cultural intelligence and ethnocentrism”, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 154–164. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1548051813515517
Roberge, M.É., van Dick, R. (2010), “Recognizing the benefits of diversity: When and how does diversity increase group performance?”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 295–308. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2009.09.002
Rozkwitalska, M., Chmielecki, M., Przytuła, S. (2014), “The positives of cross-cultural interactions in MNCs”, Actual Problems of Economics, Vol. 57 No. 7, pp. 382–392.
Sánchez Bengoa, D., Ruediger Kaufmann, H., Vrontis, D. (2012), “A new organisational memory for cross-cultural knowledge management”, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 336–351.
Shore, L. M., Chung-Herrera, B. G., Dean, M. A., Ehrhart, K. H., Jung, D. I., Randel, A. E., Singh, G. (2009), “Diversity in organizations: Where are we now and where are we going?”, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 117–133. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2008.10.004
Spitzberg, B. H., Changnon, G. (2009), “Conceptualizing Intercultural Competence”, in: Deardorff, D. K. (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence, Sage Publications, pp. 2–52.
Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S., Grant, A. M. (2005), “A socially embedded model of thriving at work”, Organization Science, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 537–549. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1050.0153
Stahl, G. K., Mäkelä, K., Zander, L., Maznevski, M. L. (2010), “A look at the bright side of multicultural team diversity”, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 439–447. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2010.09.009
Stahl, G. K., Maznevski, M. L., Voigt, A., Jonsen, K. (2009), “Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on multicultural work groups”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 690–709. DOI: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2009.85
Stahl, G. K., Tung, R. L. (2014), “Towards a more balanced treatment of culture in international business studies: The need for positive cross-cultural scholarship”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 1–24. DOI: http://dx.doi. org/10.1057/jibs.2014.68
Takeuchi, R., Chen, J. (2013), “The impact of international experiences for expatriates’ cross-cultural adjustment: A theoretical review and a critique”, Organizational Psychology Review, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 248–290.
Tanova, C., Nadiri, H. (2010), “The role of cultural context in direct communication”, Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 185–196.
Webb, A., Wright, P. C. (1996), “The expatriate experience: implications for career success”, Career Development International, Vol. 1 No. 5, pp. 38–44. DOI: http:// dx.doi.org/10.1108/13620439610130632
Webster, J., Beehr, T., Christiansen, N. (2010), “Toward a better understanding of the effects of hindrance and challenge stressors on work behavior”, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol. 76 No. 1, pp. 68–77. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. jvb.2009.06.012
White, D. W., Absher, R. K., Huggins, K. A. (2011), “The effects of hardiness and cultural distance on sociocultural adaptation in an expatriate sales manager population”, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 325–338. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2753/PSS0885–3134310309
You, X., Huang, J., Wang, Y., Bao, X. (2015), “Relationships between individual-level factors and burnout: A meta-analysis of Chinese participants”, Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 74, pp. 139–145. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. paid.2014.09.048
Youssef, C. M., Luthans, F. (2012), “Positive global leadership”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 539–547. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. jwb.2012.01.007
How to Cite
Articles submitted to the journal should not have been published before in their current or substantially similar form, or be under consideration for publication with another journal. Authors submitting articles for publication warrant that the work is not an infringement of any existing copyright and will indemnify the publisher against any breach of such warranty. For ease of dissemination and to ensure proper policing of use, papers and contributions become the legal copyright of the publisher unless otherwise agreed.
Plagiarism and ghostwriting
In response to the issue of plagiarism and ghostwriting the editors of the Journal of Positive Management has introduced the following rules to counteract these phenomena:
1. Contributors should be aware of their responsibility for a content of manuscripts.
2. Collective authors are obliged to reveal the contribution and an affiliation of each author (i.e. who is an author of specified part of a paper).
3. Any act of dishonesty will be denounced, the editors will inform appropriate institutions about the situation and give evidence of all cases of misconduct and unethical behaviour.
4. The editors may ask contributors for financial disclosure (i.e. contribution of specified institutions).
Number of views and downloads: 120
Number of citations: 0