SAGE Journal Articles

Journal Article 1: Chang, S., & Tharenou, P., (2004). Competencies needed for managing a multicultural workgroup. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42, 57–74.

Abstract: This study was designed to assess the competencies needed for a manager to manage a multicultural group of subordinates. Given the multicultural nature of today’s workforce, it has become increasingly important for managers to take into account how cross-cultural differences may affect their management practices. Open-ended semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to derive the competencies used by managers who are already managing a multicultural group. From content analysis, five key themes emerged comprising 27 sub-themes. The results suggest that the competencies needed are cultural empathy, learning on the job, communication competence, general managerial skills, and personal style. Hence, selection, training and development, and performance appraisal practices may be focused on identifying and/or developing these competencies, in order for managers to effectively manage a multicultural workforce.

Journal Article 2: Usunier, J.-C., & Roulin, N. (2010). The influence of high- and low-context communication styles on the design, content, and language of business-to-business web sites. Journal of Business Communication, 47, 189–227.

Abstract: Language and communication, especially high- versus low-context communication styles, have been shown to lead to differences in Web sites. Low-context communication provides the lowest common denominator for intercultural communication through the Internet by making messages linear, articulated, explicit, and therefore easier to understand in the absence of contextual clues. Based on theories of intercultural business communication and recent empirical studies, this article investigates how communication styles influence Web site design and content. It is hypothesized that, for the global audience, Web sites from low-context communication countries are easier to find, use colors and graphics more effectively, make navigation more user-friendly, contain more corporate and product information cues, and offer more contract- and relationship-related content than Web sites from high-context communication countries. This article also contributes to international business communication by investigating the choice of languages in business-to-business (B2B) Web sites. Empirical findings confirm the influence of high- versus low-context communication styles through systematic content analysis of 597 B2B Web sites in 57 countries. High-context communication style may be detrimental to the design of global Web sites, making them less readable, less effective in their use of colors and graphics, and less interactive for the globally dispersed users.

Journal Article 3: Kittler, M. G., Rygl, D., & Mackinnon, A. (2011). Special review article: Beyond culture or beyond control? Reviewing the use of Hall’s high-/low-context concept. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 11, 63–82.

Abstract: This paper reviews Edward T. Hall’s influential concept of high-/low-context communication and its use in cross-cultural research. Hall’s concept suggests that individuals combine preprogrammed culture specific context and information to create meaning. The use of context is argued to vary across cultures and country classifications have been attached to Hall’s concept. These country rankings have evolved over time classifying (national) cultures as ‘high-context’ (HC) and ‘low-context’ (LC). Since future studies employing Hall’s context idea as an underlying framework in cross-cultural research need to rely on a valid and reliable country classification, our study analyses literature related to Hall’s HC/LC concept. Based on a systematic review, we particularly question whether the country classification attached to Hall’s concept is built on rigorous and substantiated findings. Our study shows that most previous research that utilized HC/LC country classifications is based on seemingly less-than-adequate evidence. Mixed and often contradictory findings reveal inconsistencies in the conventional country classifications and show that they are flawed or, at best, very limited.

Journal Article 4: Oetzel, J.G., & Ting-Toomey, S. (2003). Face concerns in interpersonal conflict: A cross cultural empirical test of the face negotiation theory. Communication Research, 30, 599–624.

Abstract: This study sought to test the underlying assumption of the face-negotiation theory that face is an explanatory mechanism for culture’s influence on conflict behavior. A questionnaire was administered to 768 participants in 4 national cultures (China, Germany, Japan, and the United States) asking them to describe interpersonal conflict. The major findings of this study are as follows: (a) cultural individualism-collectivism had direct and indirect effects on conflict styles, (b) independent self-construal related positively with self-face and interdependent self-construal related positively with other-face, (c) self-face related positively with dominating conflict styles and other-face related positively with avoiding and integrating styles, and (d) face accounted for all of the total variance explained (100% of 19% total explained) in dominating, most of the total variance explained in integrating (70% of 20% total explained), and some of the total variance explained in avoiding (38% of 21% total explained) when considering face concerns, cultural individualismcollectivism, and self-construals.

Journal Article 5: Lauring, J. (2011). Intercultural organizational communication: The social organizing of interaction in international encounters. Journal of Business and Communication, 48, 231–255.

Abstract: Intercultural communication has mainly been described in terms of national differences disturbing the sending and receiving of messages. In this article, it is argued that the local organizational context has to be taken into account. By linking Bourdieu’s theories on the social organization of differences to recent theories of organizational communication, the focus of the article is directed at describing the impact of informal and power-related aspects in intercultural communication. The usefulness of a theory on intercultural organizational communication is illustrated by the results of an ethnographic field study on Danish expatriates in a Saudi subsidiary.