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Development of an Intercultural Sensitizer for Cross-Cultural Training of American and Japanese Business Professionals

Description: Increasing globalization and transnational trends in business have resulted in greater contact with people from different cultures. However, in any cross-cultural encounter, miscommunication and misunderstandings are likely to occur. In a workplace setting, these can seriously undermine job performance and employee relations. The Intercultural Sensitizer is a cross-cultural training tool that is designed to increase the likelihood that trained individuals will make accurate interpretations concerning behavior observed in individuals from other cultural groups (Albert, 1983) . The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to identify cultural differences between Americans and Japanese that can lead to misunderstandings in the workplace and hinder communication, and (2) to construct an intercultural sensitizer that will enable the two cultural groups to interact more effectively with each other. The study's five-phase research design was based on Albert's (1983) delineation of the construction of an intercultural sensitizer. Twenty-four episodes were constructed and statistically analyzed to determine if there was a difference in the way the two cultural groups responded to a given situation. Nine episodes yielded critical values significant at the .05 level. The study concluded that there while there are differences in the cultural perspectives of American and Japanese business professionals, the two groups also share common cultural assumptions. The study's findings have numerous implications for cross-cultural corporate training and higher education.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Mehta, Gopika
Partner: UNT Libraries