ArticlePDF Available

The Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity Using the Concept of Individualism and Collectivism

Authors:

Abstract

Intercultural sensitivity is a concept that is frequently viewed as important in both theoretical analyses of people's adjustment to other cultures and in applied programs to prepare people to live and work effectively in cultures other than their own. Attempts to measure this concept have not always been successful, and one reason is that researchers and practitioners have not specified exactly what people should be sensitive to when they find themselves in other cultures. In the present study, scales were designed to measure intercultural sensitivity by examining (a) people's understanding of the different ways they can behave depending upon whether they are interacting in an individualistic or a collectivist culture, (b) their open-mindedness concerning the differences they encounter in other cultures, and (c) their flexibility concerning behaving in unfamiliar ways that are called upon by the norms of other cultures. A 46-item Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI) was developed and tested among participants at the East-West Center in Hawaii and among graduate students in an MBA program who were contemplating careers in international business. The scoring of the items dealing with individualism and collectivism was different than for most measuring instruments. People indicated whether they would engage in certain behaviors (e.g., disagreeing with others openly) in an individualistic country such as the United States, and whether they would engage in the same behavior in a collectivistic country such as Japan. This allowed scoring based on people's sensitivity to the different behaviors considered appropriate in the two types of cultures. Results indicated that the instrument had adequate reliability (r = .84 for the East-West Center sample) and validity. People with high scores on the ICSI instrument were chosen as most able to interact effectively across cultures by a panel of experts; enjoyed working on complex tasks that demanded extensive intercultural interaction; enjoyed engaging in other intercultural activities such as eating different ethnic foods; and had spent long periods of time (more than three years) living in another culture. A factor analysis of ICSI showed that the concepts of individualism and collectivism as envisioned by previous researchers (e.g., Triandis, Hofstede, Schwartz) were constructs that people used in thinking about behavior in their own and other cultures. A practical conclusion for the content of cross-cultural training programs is that people can be encouraged to modify specific behaviors so that they are appropriate to the culture in which they find themselves and so that they will have a greater chance of achieving their goals.
I~~@?~~lio~ai~o~r~a~ ofrnrerculrumi Relotions.Vof. 16, pp.413-436, 1992 0147.1767/92$5.# + .oO
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Copyright 0 1992 Pergamon Press Ltd.
TRAINING SECTION
THE MEASUREMENT OF INTERCULTU~L
SENSITIVITY USING THE CONCEPTS OF
INDIVIDUALISM AND COLLECTIVISM
D. I! S. BHAWUK
International Training Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal
RICHARD BRISLIN
East- West Centet; Honolulu, Hawaii
ABSTRACT rnfercu~fura~ sensitivity is a concept that is frequently viewed as
important in both theoretical analyses of people’s adjustment to other cultures
and in applied programs to prepare people to live and work effectively in cultures
other than their own. Attempts to measure this concept have not always been
successful, and one reason is that researchers and practitioners have not specified
exactly what people should be sensitive to when they find themselves in other
cultures. In the present study, scales were designed to measure intercultural sensi-
tivity by examining (a) people’s understanding of the different ways they can
behave depending upon whether they are interacting in an individualistic or a
coliectivist culture, (b) their open-mindedness concerning the differences they
encounter in other cultures, and (c) their flexibility concerning behaving in unfa-
miliar ways that am cahed upon by the norms of other cultures. A 46item
rnter~lturai sensitivity inventory (ICSI) was developed and tested amongpartic-
ipants at the East- West Center in Hawaii and among graduate students in an
MBA program who were contemplating careers in international business. The
scoring of the items dealing with individualism and collectivism was different
than for most measuring instruments. &ople indicated whether they would en-
gage in certain behaviors (e.g., disagreeing with others openly) in an individualis-
tic country such as the United States, and whether they would engage in the same
behavior in a collectivistic country such as Japan. This allowed scoring based on
people’s sensitivity to the dtfferent behaviors considered appropriate in the two
types of cultures. Results indicated that the instrument had adequate reliability
(I = .84 for the East- West Center sample) and validity. Peopre with high scores
on the ICSI instrument were chosen as most able to interact effectively across
Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Richard Brislin, East-West Center, CUL, Hono-
lulu, HI 96848.
413
414 D. P S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
cultures by a panel of experts; enjoyed working on complex tasks that demanded
extensive intercultural interaction; enjoyed engaging in other intercultural activi-
ties such as eating different ethnic foods; and had spent long periods of time
(more than three years) living in another culture. A factor analysis of ICSI
showed that the concepts of individualism and collectivism as envisioned by
previous researchers (e.g., Triandis, Hofstede, Schwartz) were constructs that
people used in thinking about behavior in their own and other cultures. A practi-
caI conclusion for the content of cross-cultural training programs is that people
can be encouraged to modify specific behaviors so that they are appropriate to the
culture in which they find themselves and so that they will have a greater chance
of achieving their goaIs.
INTRODUCTION
In discussions of cross-cultural adjustment, task effectiveness during
overseas assignments, and the development and maintenance of good
interpersonal relationships with culturally diverse others, there are few
terms used more frequently than intercultural sensitivity. Frequently de-
fined as a sensitivity to the importance of cultural differences and to the
points of view of people in other cultures, treatments of intercultural
sensitivity have played an important role in the scholarly literature.
(When the context clearly refers to intercultural interaction, the shorter
term sensitivity will be used in further discussions of the concept.) Treat-
ments can be found in classic studies such as the analysis of overseas
Americans (Cleveland, Mangone, & Adams, 1960), in book-length treat-
ments of the experiences faced by international sojourners (Brislin, 1981;
Landis & Brislin, 1983; Gudykunst & Kim, 1984), and in research de-
signed to explain and to predict successful intercultural encounters (Gudy-
kunst & Nishida, 1989; Searle & Ward, 1990).
The concept also has an important place in the work of practitioners
who work closely with people who engage in extensive intercultural en-
counters. Foreign students are forced to spend one or more extra years to
attain their degrees if they are not sensitive to different academic require-
ments in different countries (Klineberg & Hull, 1979). The importance of
intercultural sensitivity is a topic covered in many cross-cultural orienta-
tion programs (Paige, 1986). In a recent study of international business-
people (Frankenstein & Hosseini, 1988; see also Adler, 1991; Black,
1990), managers rated this quality as the most important criterion for
success in overseas assignments. In the same study, however, it was also
found that in actually deploying people for overseas assignments, this
was one of the least considered criteria. Instead, professional experience
and reputation were actually used in selection and placement decisions.
The contradiction between the rated importance of intercultural sensitivi-
ty and its actual use as a selection criterion makes the study of this
concept especially intriguing.
One reason for the contradiction between the rated importance of, and
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 41.5
actual attention to, intercultural sensitivity is that there are not widely
used instruments to measure the concept. Often, concepts become central
to everyday thinking and decision making about behaviors only after
many practitioners and researchers have worked with those concepts us-
ing the same measuring instrument (Lonner, 1990). The purpose of this
study is to suggest an innovative approach to the measurement of sensi-
tivity, to discuss the development of a specific research instrument, and to
make suggestions concerning its possible use by others. While we argue
for the usefulness of the instrument across many types of intercultur~
experiences (e.g., foreign students, technical assistance advisers, immi-
grants, and refugees), special attention will be given to the experiences of
people contemplating careers in international business.
In addition to the contradiction between perceived importance and
actual use, there are three other aspects of international business that
have been related to intercultural sensitivity. First, if people lack this
sensitivity, they may be unsuccessful in accomplishing the goals of their
overseas assignments. Further, the costs involved in calling back unsuc-
cessful businesspeople, the administrative inconvenience of substituting
for the returnees, and the disruption in people’s lives are very high. A
recent survey shows that lo-40% of the personnel from different compa-
nies in the United States that were assigned overseas had to be recalled or
dismissed because of poor performance (‘Ibng, 1984). The high failure
rate implies that selecting people on the basis of technical expertise alone
is not an economically rational decision and that cross-culturaI adaptabil-
ity is an important criterion (Hawes & Kealey, 1981). Second, sojourners
have often complained about working at a reduced level of efficiency and
effectiveness while living in another country because of cross-cultural
differences (Brislin, 1981). Third, because of the rapid growth of interna-
tional business, no country can survive without pa~icipation in world
trade. The reality of an increasing global marketplace underscores the
importance of intercultural effectiveness for businesspeople the world
over (Adler, 1991).
Given that intercultural effectiveness is an important concept for busi-
nesspeople, students, immigrants, and others, it becomes necessary to
define who is effective. Brislin, Cushner, Cherrie, and Yong (1986) pro-
posed a conceptual model of success in intercultural interaction based on
four criteria: (a) the sojourner (the person posted overseas) feels good
about interactions with hosts (the local people), (b) the hosts feel good
416 D. F? S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
about interactions with the sojourner, (c) the task requiring cross-cultural
interaction between the sojourner and hosts is completed effectively, and
(d) the sojourner does not suffer from any invisible stress-related symp-
toms (psychosomatic problems). A definition of effectiveness based on
these four criteria is proposed: An interculturally effective person would
be rated as successful when evaluated more highly on the above criteria.
The challenge is to find predictors to estimate intercultural effective-
ness and to use them in the selection of overseas personnel so that devas-
tating failures can be avoided. Kealey and Ruben (1983), after an exten-
sive literature review, have identified factors that are related to overseas
success. They found that there is a consensus among researchers on six
criteria: empathy, respect, interest in local culture, flexibility, tolerance,
and technical skill. There are four other important criteria about which
there was not a complete consensus but that were found among many
people who had successful overseas experiences. These four criteria were:
open-mindedness, sociability, positive self-image, and initiative. While
technical skill, initiative, sociability, and positive self-image could be
determined by success in one’s home country, it is difficult to measure
empathy, flexibility, open-mindedness, respect and tolerance for people
from other cultures, and interest in other cultures. To be effective in
another culture, people must be interested in other cultures, be sensitive
enough to notice cultural differences, and then also be willing to modify
their behavior as an indication of respect for the people of other cultures.
A reasonable term that summarizes these qualities of people is intercul-
tural sensitivity, and we suggest that it may be a predictor of effectiveness.
In view of this, if people are given a set of situations and then asked to
express how they would behave when participating in various intercultur-
al encounters, it may be possible to see if people (a) can empathize with
members of other cultures who behave differently, and (b) whether or not
people are willing to modify their behavior. In other words, one way to
measure sensitivity is to determine whether people can modify their be-
havior appropriately and successfully when moving from one culture to
another. This approach, involving the willingness to modify one’s own
behavior when appropriate in other cultures, is central to the develop-
ment of the research instrument described in this study. Given the focus
on identifiable behaviors, implications for cross-cultural training are in-
creased, because recommended behaviors can be presented and modeled
by trainers.
This research aims to develop an instrument to measure the ability of
people to modify their behavior. The suggestion is that those who can
change behaviors so that they are appropriate in other cultures are inter-
culturally sensitive and will be successful on overseas assignments. To
guide the development of an instrument, it is essential to find a dimen-
sion that groups cultures and that is associated with specific behaviors.
Hofstede (1980) has developed four constructs to dimensionalize culture:
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 417
individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, and
masculinity/femininity. Of the four, individualism/collectivism has been
the least controversial and the most investigated by other researchers
(e.g., Schwartz, 1990; Triandis, Brislin, & Hui, 1988) who are specifically
concerned with intercultural interaction.
Individualism and Collectivism
Hui and Triandis (1986) carried out a systematic study to define the
construct of individualism and collectivism. They asked a group of psy-
chologists and anthropologists from all over the world to respond to a
questionnaire in the way an individualist or a collectivist would respond.
They found collectivism to be a cluster of a wide variety of beliefs and
behaviors that could be categorized into the following seven categories:
(a) people’s concern about how their decisions would affect others in
their collectivity; (b) sharing of material resources; (c) sharing of nonma-
terial resources like time, affection, or fun, or sacrificing some interesting
activities for a member of the collective; (d) willingness of people to
accept the opinions and views of others, or, in other words, willingness to
conform; (e) concern about face saving or gaining the approval of the
collective; (f) belief in the correspondence of one’s own outcomes, both
positive and negative, with the outcomes of others; and (g) feeling of
involvement in others’ lives. According to these authors, collectivism
requires the subordination of individual goals to the goals of a collective,
and underlying the seven characteristics is the term concern. Concern
does not refer to affection and worry only; it is rather “a sense of oneness
with other people, a perception of complex ties and relationships, and a
tendency to keep other people in mind.” They argue that collectivism is
not equivalent to altruism. Collectivism recognizes the group, and not the
individual, as the basic unit of survival. The researchers participating in
the research had a high level of consensus in recognizing collectivism as
an etic or universal concept. Hence, this construct can be used to com-
pare cultures.
In a study of 200 Americans by Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swindler,
and Tipton (1985), it was found that individualism consists of the follow-
ing aspects: (a) self-reliance, independence and separation from family,
religion and community; (b) hedonism, utilitarianism, and emphasis on
exchange (helping the community only if the individual gets something);
(c) competition; (d) equity and fairness in the distribution of rewards; (e)
trust in others; (f) emphasis on competence; (g) involvement in communi-
ty life; (h) equality of people and the rejection of arbitrary authority; and
(i) the self as the only source of reality. Number seven (letter “g”) may
seem out of place, but the interpretation of it is that in an individualistic
culture people can choose from a number of community activities and
switch from one to another when the particular activity does not interest
the individual. At a higher level of abstraction, Triandis et al. (1986)
found that the construct of individualism and collectivism consists of two
factors each: “separation from ingroups” and “self-reliance with he-
donism” for individualism, and “family integration” and “interdepen-
dence with sociability” for collectivism. They suggest that individualism
and collectivism are not the two opposite poles of a bipolar construct, but
two independent factors.
The concept of individualism and collectivism provide important mate-
riaf for the content of cross-cuhural training programs. Triandis et aI.
(1988) detailed the applications that are possible with a good understand-
ing of individualism and collectivism and summarized their discussion
with a fist of 46 specific behaviors. Twenty-three of these behaviors can be
considered when people socialized in individualistic cultures interact ex-
tensively in collectivist cultures. Examples (which follow from the pre-
vious discussion) are that sojourners should learn to give feedback that
allows other to save face, to pay more attention to the groups to which
people belong, and to pay more attention to the wishes of group members
when making decisions. The other 23 behaviors should be considered
when people socialized in coflectivist cultures interact extensively in indi-
vidualist cultures. These include learning to tafk about one’s personal
accomp~ishments~ saying “no” directly when appropriate, and develop-
ing a network of people in one’s community who can assist in goal at-
tainment .
The distinction between discussions of the importance of intercultural
sensitivity and its infrequent measurement was discussed earlier. One
reason is that there have not been targets about which people might
display sensitivity in a context where measurement is practical. There are
certainly foreign student advisers (analyzed in Brislin, 1981, p. 327) who
are sensitive to the needs of confused overseas students who are having
problems with registration, visas, and interactions with host-country
classmates. The advisers often intervene successfully and contribute to
the success of the students’ sojourn, yet this set of experiences is almost
impossible to measure in any practical manner. The suggestion in this
study is that recent research (e.g., Triandis, 1990) has indicated that there
are many implications for people’s behavior, given their socialization in
individualist and collectivist cultures, A good approach to measuring
intercultural sensitivity is to determine people’s knowledge about and
willingness to change behaviors related to the individualistic or collec-
tivistic background of others.
~~e~~~~~d~d~~~~ and Fkxibility
The constructs of ~ex~bility and Opel-mind~n~ss have also been in-
cluded in the measurement of sensitivity because these appear in the
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 419
literature as important factors related to overseas success (Kealey & Ru-
ben, 1983). Flexibility and open-mindedness could be indicated by the
willingness to engage in different behaviors (flexibility) once they are
identified (through open-mindedness concerning one’s observations of
behavior in other cultures). The combination of individualism/collectiv-
ism, flexibility, and open-mindedness, it is hypothesized, would make the
instrument effective for measuring intercultural sensitivity.
If one assumes that an instrument to measure intercultural sensitivity
could be developed, opportunities can be sought to examine ideas found
in the published literature but not yet subjected to careful analysis. One
frequently discussed issue, and the basis of a question frequently asked of
cross-cultural trainers, concerns the length of time necessary to move
from naivete, ignorance, or ethnocentrism to cultural sensitivity. Al-
though the literature suggests that the answer is approximately two to
three years (e.g., Bennett, 1986), good evidence for this figure is lacking.
In the present study, participants had been engaged in extensive intercul-
tural interactions for varying lengths of time and under various living
conditions. This allowed an examination of the relation between time and
sensitivity and between living arrangements and sensitivity.
Research Questions
By combining the concepts of individualism and collectivism, open-
mindedness, flexibility, time, and living arrangements, the following re-
search questions were formulated:
1. Are people with three or more years of cross-cultural experience
more sensitive than those who have fewer than three years of expe-
rience? Is there a minimum period of time for people to be able to
develop effective intercultural sensitivity?
2. Can individualism and collectivism be used as a construct for mea-
suring intercultural sensitivity?
3. Does the intercultural sensitivity of people measured by using the
questionnaire agree with the assessment of effectiveness made by
highly experienced administrators who interact with these people?
4. Would the same factors as envisaged by the researchers emerge if
the data obtained from administering the questionnaire were sub-
jected to factor analysis?
5. Do different types of intercultural experiences led to greater sensi-
tivity? Specifically, do people living in an environment where daily
interaction is inevitable (e.g., a multicultural dormitory) develop
more sensitivity than people living in a multicultural city (Honolu-
lu, Hawaii), where daily interaction with culturally diverse others is
not necessarily as frequent?
420 D. I? S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
METHODOLOGY
Development of the ICSI
The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI) is a self-report instru-
ment in which people give their response to a set of items on a Likert-type
seven-point scale: very strongly agree, strongly agree, agree, not decided,
disagree, strongly disagree, and very strongly disagree. Items were
grouped into three sections. In the first section, referred to as the US
section, people were required to respond to 26 items by imagining that
they were living and intended to pursue a career in the United States. In
the second section called the JPN section, people were required to re-
spond to the same set of 26 items by imagining they were living in Japan.
The United States and Japan were used because these are two of the most
familiar countries that differ on individualism and collectivism
(Hofstede, 1980). Of the 26 items used in the first 2 sections of the
inventory, 13 each were written to capture the constructs of individualism
and collectivism. The third section, referred to as the Flex/Open section,
consisted of 30 items, of which 11 were from the Marlowe-Crowne Social
Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1964). Of the other 19 items, 10
were written to capture the construct of open-mindedness (open), and the
remaining 9 were written to capture the construct of flexibility (flex).
All of the items used in the ICSI were derived from various research
sources reviewed in the last section. Predominantly, the items’ origin can
be traced to the 100 critical incidents designed for cross-cultural orienta-
tion programs (Brislin et al., 1986) and the 46-point list suggested for
people moving from one country to another in the individualist to collec-
tivist direction and vice versa (Triandis et al., 1988). Many items found
strong support in the business literature related to Japan; for example,
item three-“1 prefer to be direct and forthright when dealing with peo-
ple”; item nine- “I say ‘no’ directly when I have to”; item eleven - “To
increase sales I would announce that the individual salesperson with the
highest sales would be given the ‘Distinguished Salesperson’ award.” For
these items, the same person might properly answer “yes” when thinking
about the United States, but “no” when thinking about business in
Japan.
All of the items were written to capture behaviors rather than attitudes
or traits. This was done to avoid obtaining responses that would be
limited to a cognitive level. Also, because the instrument is designed to
measure the ability of people to modify behavior while moving from one
culture to another, it was considered important to use items that capture
behavior. The inventory is included as Appendix A. The scoring of items
to measure sensitivity for the sections based on individualism and collec-
tivism is different from many other procedures. The score for any one
measurement of interc~lt~rai Sensitivity 421
item was based on appropriate behaviors in individualist and collective
societies. In the US section, for example, the item (#3) concerning being
direct and forthright with people would be scored in the positive direction
if people agree. In the JPN section, the same item would be scored
positive if people disagree.
Social Desirability
The ICSI includes 11 items from the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desir-
ability Scale. This scale consists of 33 items and measures people’s incli-
nation to give self-flattering responses. Those people who score highly on
this scale fall in the category of “people trying to look good” and their
response to other paper-and-pencil scales become the subject of suspi-
cion. Using the Kuder-Richardson formula, Crowne and Marlowe (1964)
found the instrument to have a reliability coefficient of 0.88. In consider-
ing the length of the ICSI (71 items), it was not considered practical to
include all 33 items of the Marlowe-Crowne scale, and so only 11 items
were included. It was hypothesized that if people scored highly on these
11 items, their scores on the other 71 items would also be suspect of
approval seeking or self-flattering behavior. Other researchers have also
included some of Marlowe-Crowne’s items to control for self-flattering
behavior and found it to be effective (Cushner, 1989).
Research Part~~i~a~ ts
There were two samples of people who participated in the research.
The first consisted of 46 MBA students from the College of Business
Administration (hereafter called the CBA sample), University of Hawaii;
and the second consisted of 93 graduate students attached to the East-
West Center (hereafter called the EWC sample), all studying in various
departments at the University of Hawaii. The University of Hawaii at
Manoa has a mixture of students from different cultural backgrounds
from the Asian and Pacific regions. The East-West Center is a federally
funded research and education organization whose largest program in-
volves the sponsoring of students for graduate studies at the University of
Hawaii. Most of the students attached to the center are mature profes-
sionals seeking a graduate degree after a few years of work experience.
The specific countries from which participants in both samples came are
the United States, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia,
Malaysia, India, Nepal, Philippines, and Thailand. Students in the MBA
sample lived in different places in Honolulu, Hawaii. The students at the
East-West Center lived together in one of two dormitories provided by the
center.
All students participated voluntarily in the research. A letter explaining
422 D. I? S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
the purpose of the research and the way to respond to the items was
attached to the inventory and given personally by the first author to the
participants attached to the East-West Center. To the College of Business
students, the inventory was given in classrooms with the consent of the
professors, and the first author explained how to complete the inventory.
Some students completed the inventory in the classroom whereas others
returned it the following week.
Validation
External validity for the instrument was assessed by seeking conver-
gence between scores on the instrument and evaluation of research partic-
ipants by experts. Nine permanent staff members from the East-West
Center, who worked closely with the students, were requested to give their
personal opinions about the cross-cultural interaction ability and effec-
tiveness of the people in the East-West Center sample according to the
following four criteria:
1. The people they interact with are happy with the interaction.
2. They themselves are pleased when interacting with people from
other cultures.
3. When the interaction involves work and tasks, they effectively car-
ry out the tasks when interacting with people from other cultures.
4. They are not stressed out by cross-cultural interaction.
The staff members were requested to use their own experience with the
participants to make a judgment about their cross-cultural effectiveness.
The officers were asked to write 1, 2, 3, or 4, against the names of the
participants, and the numbers stood for: 1 for “I do not know the partici-
pant well enough to give my opinion”; 2 for “The participant needs to
develop cross-cultural skills according to the above criteria”; 3 for “The
participant has good cross-cultural skills according to the above criteria”;
4 for “The participant has outstanding cross-cultural skills according to
the above criteria.” The officers were specifically requested to try to
differentiate between “3” and “4.”
Of the nine officers who agreed to evaluate the participants, there were
five program officers, one health officer, one visa officer, one officer
responsible for participants social activities, and one recently retired exec-
utive who headed all student programs at the center. Program officers
work closely with the students on all administrative matters such as regis-
tration, grant extension, field trip-related matters, and the planning of
social events and have in their offices the record of academic performance
of the students. They know how students are performing academically
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 423
and if they are participating in East-West Center sponsored events. The
length of time these officers have worked at the East-West Center varies
from person to person, but all had more than 10 years experience work-
ing in this capacity. These officers also had extensive personal intercultur-
al experiences, and all had lived abroad for more than three years. The
recently retired executive had more than two decades of experience work-
ing with students from various countries in Asia and the Pacific.
Instrument Development and Data Analysis
Because the data were collected by using all the 82 items with the two
samples, the data from CBA sample of MBA students were used to
identify good items from the original version of the instrument. All items
that had an item-to-total correlation > 0.1 were selected. Then the Cron-
bath alpha (a measure of item coherence) for the selected items was
calculated to see if a respectable alpha was obtained for the chosen items.
The final version of the instrument had 16 items in each of the first two
sections and 14 items in the third section. (The 11 items from the
Marlowe-Crowne scale were not considered in this part of the analysis.)
This 46-item inventory will be referred to as the “Instrument” in what
follows, and it is included as Appendix A.
Once the Instrument on one sample was refined, the Cronbach alpha
for the Instrument (46 items) was calculated for the East-West Center
sample to confirm the reliability of the instrument.
The evaluation of the administrative officers was compared to the score
obtained from the Instrument to see if the Instrument’s score differenti-
ated people rated higher or lower on cross-cultural effectiveness by the
administrative officers, thus providing evidence of construct validity.
The scores on the 16 items in each of the first two parts of the instru-
ment were factor analyzed to see if the dimensions of individualism and
collectivism would emerge. The scores on the 14 items in the third part of
the instrument were also factor analyzed to see if the factors of flexibility
and open-mindedness would emerge.
Using the demographic data (e.g., age, years lived in other cultures) of
all the samples as independent variables, a multiple regression analysis
was run, using the sum of the individual scores of the 46 items as the
dependent variable.
RESULTS
This section is divided into six parts: The first five are devoted to
reporting the results related to the five research questions discussed in the
introduction, and the sixth deals with social desirability.
424 D. l? S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
Question 1. Are people with three or more years of cross-cultural experi-
ence more interculturally sensitive than those who have less than three
years of experience?
To isolate better the effect of the number of years of cross-cultural
experience on sensitivity, attempts were made to control as many demo-
graphic variables as possible. Demographic data pertaining to sex, age,
number of years worked, number of years spent abroad, number of
languages spoken, number of foods tried, number of different cultures
whose music is presented on participants’ phonograph records (or cas-
settes), different ethnic background of friends, confidence to live in an-
other culture of which one does not know the language, and interest in
working with people from different cultures, were collected. A correla-
tion matrix was run for these variables, and the correlations between any
two demographic variables was found to be less than 0.2 except between
age and number of years worked (correlation = 0.6), which is not unex-
pected. It was concluded that the variables were not correlated among
themselves to any great extent.
Next, a multiple regression was run using sensitivity (total of responses
to the 46-item instrument) as the dependent variable and the previously
mentioned 10 demographic variables as the independent variables. Only
three of the variables-interest in working with others from other cul-
tures (participants were asked to express on a seven-point scale if they
liked to work with students of other cultures during the International Fair
held at the East-West Center), number of different ethnic foods tried, and
number of years spent abroad-were found to be significant (t = 4.9,
t = 4.2, and t = 3.0 respectively; and p < .Ol, with df = 82). An in-
triguing result (to be discussed later) was that there is no significant
relation between number of friends from other cultures, and between
number of languages spoken, and sensitivity.
To specifically test research question 1, the number of years spent
abroad was dichotomized. A “dummy” variable was created. Those peo-
ple having cross-cultural experience equal to or less than three years were
assigned a zero and the rest of the people having more than three years’
experience were assigned a one. Three years was chosen, because this is
the modal as well as the mean value for this variable. Results indicate that
there is statistical support for the proposition that sensitivity is associated
with years of experience (t = 2.5, p = .014). It must be noted, however,
that this variable had stronger effects on sensitivity when left in its origi-
nal undichotomized form (as summarized in the previous analysis), indi-
cating that perhaps additional years of experience beyond three years
would be even more desirable.
Question 2. Can individualism and collectivism be used as a construct
for measuring intercultural sensitivity?
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 425
This question was addressed in two steps. First, the instrument was
tested for reliability using Cronbach alpha; second, the validity of the
instrument was established by correlating the score of people on the ICSI
with the score they received from experts who had interacted extensively
with them (question 3). For the CBA sample, the alpha for the 46-item
instrument was 0.82, and for the East-West Center sample it was 0.84.
Question 3. Does the intercultural sensitivity of subjects measured by
using the ICSI agree with the assessment of cross-cultural effectiveness of
subjects made by very experienced administrative officers who interact
with students closely?
An average of the rating by the nine experts was calculated. The mode
and median of expert ratings were found to be 3.0, and the mean was
found to be 2.87. To distinguish the “stars” from those who were not
rated as highly, the sample was divided into two groups: those whose
effectiveness score (based on expert ratings) was more than 3.0 (18 peo-
ple), and those whose score was less than 2.75 (29 people). The null
hypothesis that these two groups have the same means on the ICSI was
rejected at p = .05 level (Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Test: Z = 2.00, p (l-
tail) = .02). This provides evidence of the validity for the ICSI instru-
ment. The two groups, however, could not be differentiated (on the ICSI)
with significance into those who scored > 3 and those who scored < 3 (by
the experts). This suggests that there is a little difference in the 2.75-3.00
range of scores, but that people can be identified as less interculturally
sensitive on the ICSI if they score on the average below 2.75.
Question 4. Will the same factors as envisaged by the researcher emerge
if the data obtained from administering the ICSI are subjected to factor
analysis?
To determine the number of factors to be rotated, all factors with
eigenvalues greater than zero were extracted (Harman, 1976). This proce-
dure was repeated for the 16 items in each of the first two sections, US
and Japan, and the 14 items in the third section of the instrument, Flex/
Open (see appendix for items), for both the CBA and the East-West
Center samples. Results are reported for both the samples; first for the
US and Japan sections of the instrument, and then for the Flex/Open
section of the instrument.
The CBA sample gave six principal factors for each of the sections (US
and JPN), while the East-West Center sample gave six factors for the US
section and four factors for the JPN sections. These factors were subject-
ed to varimax rotation for extracting orthogonal factors. In the JPN
section, the first two factors for the EWC sample accounted for more
than 80% of the common variance, whereas for the CBA sample, the first
two factors accounted for more than 67 % of the common variance. In the
426 D. l? S. Bhawuk and R. Brisiin
case of the US section, for the EWC sample, the first three factors
accounted for 81% of the common variance, but one of the factors could
not be interpreted meaningfully; and for the CBA sample, the first two
factors accounted for about 65% of the common variance and the other
factors had only one or two items loaded significantly on the factor.
In view of the above, the first two factors were considered me~ingful.
For the EWC sample, the items factored on the dimensions of individual-
ism and collectivism almost perfectly, that is, all the items (except item
10) related to individualism loaded on one factor, and all the items related
to collectivism loaded on the other factor. The two factors that emerged
for the CBA sample couid also be differentiated as individualism and
collectivism, but there were a few items that did not load on the factors as
envisaged by the researchers. The implications of this are discussed in the
next section. The loadings of the items for the two factors, for both the
samples, are given in Table 1.
For the Flex/Open section of the instrument, the EWC and CBA sam-
ples gave four and five principal factors, respectively. These factors were
subjected to varimax rotation to obtain orthogonal factors. For both the
samples, the first two factors accounted for more than 75% of common
variance, and the other factors had only one or two items loading on
them significantly. In view of this, two factors were considered inter-
pretable.
Item loadings for the EWC sample show that six of the ~exibility items
and five of the open-mindedness items do load on the two factors as
envisaged by the researchers, whereas the other four items load on the
opposite constructs. For the CBA sample, six of the flexibility items
loaded on the same factor, whereas only three of the open-mindedness
items loaded on the other factor. The item loadings for flexibility and
open-mindedness are tabulated in Table 2.
Question 5. Is there a difference in sensitivity developed by people from
various cultures living in a multicultural dormitory and people living in a
culturally diverse city like Honolulu?
The null hypothesis that the EWC and the CBA samples have the same
mean (sensitivity as a total of 46 items) was analyzed using the t test for
uncorrelated means. The null hypothesis could not be rejected at thep =
.05 confidence level (t = .91, df = 93, p (two-tail) = .36). Also, for the
total of 32 items (modifying behavior across individualistic and collective
cultures), the null hypothesis that the two samples had the same means
could not be rejected at the p = .05 confidence level (f = 1.60, df = 92,
p (two-tail) = .l 1). Although the researchers expected the EWC sample
to be more sensitive than the CBA sample, the data do not support this
prediction. The implications of this are discussed later.
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 427
TABLE 1
Varimax Rotated Factor Matrix (Individualism and Collectivism)
No.:ltem
East-West Center Sample
JPN
US Section Section
Factors Factors
I II I II
Business School Sample
JPN
US Section Section
Factors Factors
I II I II
16:task to benefit group .69 .67 .47 .46
15:respect for authority .61 .60 .63 .56
8:save face .60 .56 .33 .42 .55
12:emotionally close .59 .44 .51 .67 .37
4:long-term relations .59 .49 .50 .50 .67 .42
13:network of people .54 .69 .62 .62 .42 .50
5: modest .46 .69 .73 .71
7:superiors want task .42 .49 .60 .45
1O:demographic aspects .37 .42 .50 .59
2:offer seat .64 .66 .53
6:gift giving problem .56 .65
3:direct and forthright .77 .60 .40 .65
14:equal in worth .34 .57 .53 .52 .45
9:say “no” directly .57 .76 .56 .65
1l:distinguished award .49 .52 .61 .73
1:disagree with group .36 .65 .45 .32 .56
Note: Factor I is collectivism, and Factor II is individualism.
TABLE 2
Varimax Rotated Factor Matrix (Flexibility and Openmindedness)
Item No.
East-West Center
Sample
Factor I Factor II
Business School
Sample
Factor I Factor II
45:Threat of Soviet influence
37:customs officers
42:mixed marriages
46:personal time
43:a woman’s place
36:unannounced visitors
34:letters and phone calls
44:promotion of nephew
34:children eating food
41 :decorate office
36:beliefs about God
33:assess situations
39:meeting foreigners
40:people eating dog
.66
.63
.63
.62
.53
.49
.40
.34
.30
.50
.67 88
.60 .65
.59
.52
.75
.73 .33 .75
.70 .56
.61 .42 .41
.52 .59
.47 .33 .52
.35
Note: Factor I is Flexibility, and Factor II is Open-mindedness.
428 D. f? S. Bhawuk and ft. Brislin
Social ~~s~rab~l~~% To control for social desirability, 11 items from the
Marlowe-Crowne scale were used. The correlation between the total score
of 46 items with the total score of these 11 items was found to be low for
all the three samples (.37 for the EWC sample, .35 for the MBA sample).
DISCUSSION
Question I. The researchers were interested in finding out the relation-
ship between cross-cultural sensitivity developed by people and the num-
ber of years they have spent abroad. To begin with, it was hypothesized
that it takes two to three years to develop good cross-cultural skills. But
because the modal and mean of “years spent abroad” was found to be
three years, it was considered proper to dichotomize the sample. The
results show that number of years spent abroad is an important variable
related to sensitivity. The number of foods tried is also closely related to
intercultural sensitivity. People’s willingness to try new foods, this re-
search indicates, is a good candidate for behavioral items meant to tap
aspects of intercultural sensitivity.
The EWC sample was unique because it provided the opportunity to
ask people if they liked to work with people from other cultures, given
that they had day-to-day opportunities to do so. As mentioned earlier, the
International Fair at the East-West Center is an annual event in which the
center’s students work with each other to create a day of intercultural
activity for the community of Hawaii. The students involved in this
program work for at least two months in planning and implementing the
event. The researchers have personal experience of getting involved in this
event and have found that the organizers are completely exhausted at the
end of the program. People work in groups where there is only referent
power, and that adds stress that affects the organizers. In other words,
people have no legitimate authority to give orders to others with whom
they are working. They have no obvious rewards such as money or
punishers such as failing grade assignments. AI1 people who work on
International Fair can do is to use their interpersonal interaction skills to
get tasks accomplished. There is no reason to suspect that people could
have inflated their response on this item (sample mean = 5.33, standard
deviation = 1.23). It is interesting to note that only a quarter of the
sample scored seven on this item, and 15 % of the sample scored less than
or equal to 4, the middle of the score. Despite the stress, however, the
people with the highest intercultural sensitivity scores enjoyed working
on international fair activities more than people with lower scores.
Age does not significantly relate to sensitivity, and this has important
implications for training - people do not become sensitive by simply get-
ting older, at least not by living in their own culture. This reminds us the
importance of cross-cultural training. It is difficult to explain why know-
Measurement of Intercultural Sensitivity 429
ing more than one language has no significant impact on sensitivity.
Perhaps language learning and sensitivity are quite different concepts, a
conclusion consistent with arguments made by Damen (1987). Similarly,
having friends from other cultures should be related to sensitivity, but the
results point slightly (nonsignificantly) in the opposite direction. One
possible reason, which again reminds us of the difficulties of intercultural
interaction, centers on the word “opportunities.” If people speak more
than one language and have friends from other cultures, then they can
develop deep interpersonal relationships. But some of these relations can
lead to intense problems, as we know from studies of intercultural mar-
riage (Romano, 1988). The problems then challenge and perhaps have a
negative impact on people’s intercultural sensitivity. Another possibility
is that intercultural sensitivity involves aspects such as respect, gracious-
ness, and enjoyment when one is interacting with culturally different
others. This sensitivity may be quite different from the deep emotional
interrelatedness that marks real friendships. As a colleague pointed out to
us, “I have no problems working respectfully with people from other
countries. I fell in love with someone from another culture. Then I had
problems because developing and maintaining an intimate relationship is
different from developing a cordial and respectful relationship. I spoke
the other language well enough, but it didn’t help much in developing
intimacy.”
Question 2. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for different sections of
the instrument and the instrument as a whole to determine reliability.
Saal and Knight (1988) discuss how often this aspect is neglected as well
as the consequences of using instruments with poor reliability. They sur-
veyed instruments used in managerial studies for measuring personality,
attitudes, innovation, and so forth. If one considers that Cronbach’s
alpha for majority of the instruments lies in the range of .50 to .70, the
Cronbach’s alpha for the ICSI (above .80) is very respectable. This also
provides evidence for the usefulness of the instrument and, hence, the use
of the constructs: individualism and collectivism, flexibility, and open-
mindedness.
Question 3. The instrument’s validity can be established by correlating it
with an independent measurement of effectiveness, the evaluations made
by the administrative officers. It is important to note that the instrument
was able to differentiate among a highly selected sample. The East-West
Center award is highly competitive and is given to approximately 5% of
applications. As part of their application, people have to detail their
international experiences and career interests. The instrument is able to
differentiate among people who, compared to others at their age and
educational level, are much more interested in intercultural interactions.
430 D. F! S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
Cushner (1989) was able to distinguish (on a measuring instrument) peo-
ple who had engaged in intercultural experiences from people who were
totally inexperienced. The present research is the first to identify a mea-
sure (the ICSI) that can differentiate cultural sensitivity among a sample
of highly experienced and interested people.
Question 4. Factor analysis further confirmed that the instrument has
internal consistency and reliability. For the EWC sample, the 16 items
loaded onto two factors that would be labeled individualism and collec-
tivism, as envisaged by the researchers. The East-West Center sample
consisted of people from the United States, Asia, and Pacific Island
nations who were studying for advanced degrees in many different fields.
The distinction between individualism and collectivism was very clear
within this diverse sample. The one exception involved attention to demo-
graphic aspects (item lo), and possible reasons will be discussed when the
results for the CBA sample are reviewed. For the CBA sample, items 15,
10, 4, and 8 (in the order of strength of loading), that capture collectiv-
ism, loaded on the individualism factor. Item 15 refers to “respect for
authority,” item 10 to “demographic attributes for defining status,” item 4
for “developing long term relationship with co-workers,” and item 8 for
“saving face.” The nature of the items suggests the possibility of business
students picking up these collective traits in the corporate environment,
suggesting their sensitivity to the concept of “organizational culture.” It is
also possible that because the business students are from Hawaii, they
have personalities that are composed of both individualism and collectiv-
ism. Item 2 loads on individualism, which again shows business students’
inclination to accept the norms of the organization and to respect their
supervisor or authority figures. A related interpretation, and consistent
with the research of Schwartz (1990), is that individualism and collectiv-
ism are not opposites. Rather, people can engage in both individualistic
and collectivist behaviors to meet their goals. The business world calls for
both types of behavior. The responses for item number 13 are interesting.
The item deals with the importance of networks of influential people.
Surrounding oneself with influential people is important in accomplish-
ing one’s goals everywhere. The East-West Center sample felt that devel-
oping a network was related to collectivism, perhaps because it focused
on common goals and interests that people develop. Business students
focused on its more individualistic function in achieving one’s own goals,
as envisioned in the discussion of networks by Triandis et al. (1988) and
Brislin (1991).
The results for open-mindedness and flexibility were not as clear as for
individualism and collectivism, and these concepts remain elusive. One
possible direction for the future, however, can be suggested. Items that
were written to measure flexibility seem to capture behaviors (items 33,
34, 36, 37, 44, 46) or the sorts of discussions (item 45) in which sojourn-
ers and hosts will surely engage. A discussion with hosts, of course, is an
example of a specific behavior. Items that were written to measure open-
mindedness seem to capture attitudes toward different issues that have
always challenged the tolerance of sojourners (e.g., hygiene, religious
differences, and meeting culturally different others). However, these
open-mindedness items do not suggest specific behaviors and are not
frequently the topics of conversations among sojourners and hosts. The
concept Ylexibility,” then, seems to indicate a willingness to engage in
new behaviors (whife keeping feelings of irritation to a minimum) and to
discuss challenging topics openly with hosts. ~~Upen-~nd~ness~’ seems
to indicate a general orientation toward dealing with issues that can cause
stress if one is not tolerant of the differences that will surely be found in
other cultures. If one uses the results of both samples, it can be conclud-
ed that items 33, 34, 36, 37,44,45, and 46 belong to the flexibility factor,
and items 35, 38, 39, and 41 belong to the open-mindedness factor. Given
that these results do not follow our predictions perfectly and that this
discussion is speculative, more work is needed to develop scales of ade-
quate length. The items that loaded on these factors, however, can be put
forth as candidates for future research,
@J&&M 5. The results that there are no differences between the EWC
and CBA samples is unexpected, considering the wide intercultural expe-
rience of the people in the first sample. It could have a far-reaching
consequence, implying that people living in a multicultural city like Ho-
nolulu have an inherent advantage over people living in less culturally
diverse cities. It is possible that people living in a multicultural city
develop a reasonable level of intercultural sensitivity and that the addi-
tional experience of living and studying in an internationally oriented
organization does not add to this sensitivity. It must also be kept in mind
(see earlier) that opportunities for intercultural contact, as we11 as sensi-
tivity, can lead to deep intercultural relationships. If the relationships
deveIop problems (as many relationships of all sorts do> of course), these
can cause people to question whether they should continue to develop
their intercultural sensitivity.
Conclusions with Implications for Training
(1) Individualism and collectivism can be used as constructs to measure
intercultural sensitivity with respectable reliability and validity. We feel
that targeting the behaviors that might be modified as people move from
one country to another is a good approach to conceptualizing sensitivity.
432 D. I? S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
If other researchers are interested in measuring sensitivity, and if the
cultures involved place a value on individualism or collectivism, they can
consider using the 16 behavioral items that were identified in this research
(Appendix A).
(2) The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory can effectively distinguish
those who have high sensitivity from those who have average sensitivity.
(3) The combining of individualism and collectivism with flexibility
and open-mindedness improves the quality of the measuring instrument.
(4) Those who have more than three years of cross-cultural experience
are more sensitive than those who have fewer years of experience.
(5) Intercultural sensitivity developed by people is related to the num-
ber of different ethnic foods people have tried on their own.
(6) The ability to enjoy working with people from other cultures on
difficult tasks is significantly correlated with intercultural sensitivity.
(7) People living in a diverse city like Honolulu can develop a high
intercultural sensitivity, similar to that of people living in an international
dormitory at an organization (the East-West Center) devoted to encour-
aging intercultural interaction.
Three implications for selection and cross-cultural training are:
(1) It appears that people take three or more years of cross-cultural
experience to become interculturally sophisticated. In view of this, it may
be wise for multinational corporations to post people to countries that
are not critical to their operation as a first overseas experience. Also, they
may give preference to those who have such experience in the selection
phase, keeping in mind that a technically skillful person could be provid-
ed this experience, whereas a person with intercultural experience may
not be able to learn the required technical skills for the job.
(2) The measurement of intercultural sensitivity may be approached by
testing people’s willingness and ability to modify their behavior in ad-
dition to taking an inventory of their personality to ascertain if they
have traits thought to be related to success. The targeting of behaviors
that might be modified is good content for cross-cultural training pro-
grams.
(3) The relation of intercultural sensitivity to number of foods tried
implies that the ability of people to enjoy different kinds of foods is
related to some personality variables. The researchers think that to be
able to enjoy foods from different cultures, one must be open-minded
and flexible, and one must be willing to try new things. It is possible that
interculturally sensitive people have a drive to experiment with novel
things, and trying new foods is merely a reflection of this drive. Further
research is required to establish the relationship between number of foods
tried and traits that sensitive people have. For the present, it seems a
reasonable recommendation that various ethnic foods be sampled during
cross-cultural training programs.
Measurement of Znter~ituraI Sensitivity 433
REFERENCES
ADLER, N. (1991). International dimensions of organizational behavior (2nd
ed.). Boston: PWS-Kent.
BELLAH, R. N., MADSEN, R., SULLIVAN, W. M., SWINDLER, A., &
TIPTON, S. M. (1985). Habits of the heart: Individualism and commitment in
American life. Berkeley: University of California Press.
BENNETT, M. (1986). A developmental approach to training for intercultural
sensitivity. ZnternationaZ Journal of ZntercuZturaiReZations, 10, 179-196.
BLACK, J. (1990). The relationship of personal characteristics with the adjust-
ment of Japanese expatriate managers. management Znternutionaf Review, 30,
119-134.
BRISLIN, R. (1981). Cross-cultural encounters: face-to-face interaction. Elms-
ford, NY: Pergamon.
BRISLIN, R. (1991). The art of getting things done: A practical guide to the use
of power. New York: Praeger.
BRISLIN, R. W., CUSHNER, K., CHERIE, C., & YONG, M. (1986). Zntercul-
tural interactions: A practical guide. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
CLEVELAND, H., MANGONE, G., &ADAMS, J. (1960). TheoverseasAmeri-
cans. New York: McGraw-Hill.
CROWNE, D., & MARLOWE, D. (1964). The approval motive. New York:
Wiley.
CUSHNER, K. (1989). Assessing the impact of a culture-general assimilator.
international Journal of Zntercuitura~ Relations, 13, 125-146.
DAMEN, L. (1987). Culture Zearning: The~fth dimension. Reading, MA: Addi-
son-Wesley.
FRANKENSTEIN, J., & HOSSEINI, H. (1988). Getting ready for East-Asia:
Preliminary notes from China and Japan. A paper presented at the Interna-
tional Symposium on Pacific Asian Business, Honolulu, Hawaii.
GUDYKUNST, W., & KIM, Y. (1984). Communicating with strangers: an ap-
proach to intercultural communication. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
GUDYKUNST, W., & NISHIDA, T. (1989). Theoretical perspectives for studying
intercultural communication. In M. Asante 8~ W. Gudykunst (Eds.), Hand-
book of international and intercultural communication (pp. 17-46). Newbury
Park, CA: Sage Publications.
HARMAN, H. (1976). Modern factor analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press.
HAWES, F., & KEALEY, D. J. (1981). An empirical study of Canadian technical
assistance: Adaptation and effectiveness on overseas assignment. Znternationai
Journal of Zntercu~turul Relations, 5,239-2X
HOFSTEDE, G. (1980). Culture’s consequence: International differences in work
reZated values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
HUI, C. H., & TRIANDIS, H. (1986). Individualism-collectivism: A study of
cross-cultural researchers. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 17, 222-248.
KEALEY, D. J., & RUBEN, B. D. (1983). Cross-cultural personnel selection:
Criteria, issues and methods. In D. Landis & R. Brislin (Eds.), Handbook for
intercultural training, Volume I: Issues in theory and design (pp. 1.55175).
New York: Pergamon.
434 D. P S. Bhawuk and R. Brislin
KLINEBERG, O., & HULL, F. (1979). At a foreign university. New York:
Praeger.
LANDIS, D., & BRISLIN, R. (Eds.), (1983). Handbook of intercultural training,
3 ~01s. Elmsford, NY Pergamon.
LONNER, W. (1990). An overview of cross-cultural testing and assessment. In R.
Brislin (Ed.), Applied cross-cultural psychology (pp. 56-76). Newbury Park,
CA: Sage Publications.
PAIGE, M. (Ed.). (1986). Cross-cultural orientation: New conceptualizations and
applications. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
ROMANO, D. (1988). Intercultural marriage: Promises and pitfalls. Yarmouth,
ME: Intercultural Press.
SAAL, F., & KNIGHT, P. (1988). IndustriaNorganizationalpsychology: Science [
practice. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
SCHWARTZ, S. (1990). Individualism-collectivism: Critique and proposed re-
finements. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 21, 139-157.
SEARLE, W., & WARD, C. (1990). The prediction of psychological and so-
ciocultural adjustment during cross-cultural transitions. International Journal
of Intercultural Relations, 14, 449-464.
TRIANDIS, H. C., BONTEMPO, R., BETANCOURT, H., BOND, M.,
LEUNG, K., BRENES, A., GEORGAS, J., HUI, C. H., MARIN, G., SE-
TIADI, B., SINHA, J. B. P., VERMA, J., SPANGENBERG, J., TOUZARD,
H., & DE MONTMOLLIN (1986). The measurement of the etic aspects of
individualism and collectivism across cultures. Australian Journal of Psycholo-
gy, 38,257-267.
TRIANDIS, H. (1990). Theoretical concepts that are applicable to the analysis of
ethnocentrism. In R. Brislin (Ed.), Applied cross-cultural psychology (pp. 9-
33). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
TRIANDIS, H. C., BRISLIN, R., & HUI, C. (1988). Cross-cultural training
across the individualism-collectivism divide. International Journal of Intercul-
tural Relations, 12, 269-289.
TUNG, R. L. (1984). Key to Japan’s economic strength: human power. Lexing-
ton, MA: D. C. Heath.
APPENDIX A: INDIVIDUALISM AND
COLLECTIVISM ITEMS
For items 1-16, imagine living and working in the United States. Go
over the items again (calling them 17-32) while imagining that you are
living and working in Japan.
1. When I disagree with a group, I would allow a conflict in the group
to remain, rather than change my own stance on important is-
sues. (I)
2. I would offer my seat in a bus to my supervisor. (C)
3. I prefer to be direct and forthright when dealing with people. (I)
4. I enjoy developing long-term relationships among the people with
whom I work. (C)
Measurement of rnterc~~t~ra~ Sensitivity 435
5. I am very modest when talking about my own accomplishments.
(C)
6. When I give gifts to people whose cooperation I need in my work, I
feel I am indulging in questionable behavior. (I)
7. If I want my subordinate to perform a task, I tell the person that
my superiors want me to get that task done. (C)
8. I prefer to give opinions that will help people save face rather than
give a statement of the truth. (C)
9. I say “No” directly when I have to. (I)
IO. I define the other person’s status by paying attention to name,
gender, age, and other demographic attributes. (C)
11. To increase sales, I would announce that the individual salesperson
with the highest saies would be given the “Distinguished Salesper-
son” award. (I)
12. I enjoy being emotionally close to the people with whom I
work. (C)
13. It is important to develop a network of people in my community
who can help me out when I have tasks to accomplish. (I)
14. I enjoy feeling that I am looked upon as equal in worth to my
superiors. (I)
15. I have respect for the authority figures with whom I interact. (C)
16. If I want a person to perform a certain task I try to show how the
task will benefit others in the person’s group. (C)
Note: I vs C refers to the culture where this behavior is more appropri-
ate. The scoring is based on the assumption that the same person will
answer I items with agreement and C items with more disagreement when
working in an individualist society; and will answer C items with more
agreement and I items with more disagreement when working in a collec-
tivist society. (Items 17-32 are a repeat of items 1-16: People go through
the items once with an individualist culture in mind, and a second time
with a collectivist culture in mind.)
FLEXIBILITY AND OPEN-MINDEDNESS ITEMS
33. When I am living abroad, I assess situations as quickly as I do
when I am living in my own country. {D)
34. I get upset if I do not get a letter or call from my close friend(s) for
more than a month, when I am living abroad. (D)*
35. Given acceptable hygienic conditions, I would not mind if my
*If people make friends with hosts, this will help their adjustment. A letter from home is
then nice to have, but its absence will not cause stress.
434 D. P S. Bhawuk and R. Brish
children ate local food at school, when I am living in another coun-
try. (A)
36. I do not like to receive unannounced visitors at home. (D)
37. I do not like customs officers meddling with my baggage at the
airport. (D)
38. We all have a right to hold different beliefs about God and reli-
gion. (A)
39. I do not like to meet foreigners. (D)
40. It is unusual for people to eat dogs. (D)
41. I decorate my home or office with artifacts from other coun-
tries. (A)
42. Culturally mixed marriages are wrong. (D)
43. A woman’s place, truly, is at home. (D)
44. I would not allow my subordinate to promote his nephew if there is
someone marginally better than him. The person who is better
must be promoted at all costs. (D)
45. Soviet influence is threatening the national identity of many Asian
countries. (D)**
46. While living abroad, I spend most of my personal time with people
from my own country. (D)
“A” is agree and “D” is disagree. People receive a positive score if they
agree with “A” items and disagree with “D” items.
**Many people, especially those in nonaligned countries, do not feel threatened by the
Soviet Union or communism. They accept the power of both the United States and USSR
and believe in maintaining a balance between the two. Of course, the breakup of the USSR
in 1991 makes the present version of this item less useful. One possibility is to phrase the
item in the past tense. A second possibility is to substitute another communist country such
as the People’s Republic of China.
... In regards with this issue, IS becomes one of the essential skills that teachers have to be equipped with within multicultural classrooms because it is claimed to consolidate and secure interaction with speakers from different cultures. IS means being mindful to notice others, being eager to learn about other cultures and alter one's behaviour based on cultural differences (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992). When EFL teachers are regarded as key players in implementing teaching objectives, they are expected to have cultural awareness, eagerness to learn about other cultures and also have positive attitudes towards students from different cultures. ...
... In this respect, the multicultural teacher should be educated about being humanistic, fair, patient, and respectful to different views. All of these behaviours and features are involved under the umbrella of IS. Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) refer to this for teachers in today's schools when they acknowledge IS contribution in envisaging an effective teacher who can work with students of a different culture. ...
... In short, Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) summarised IS as being "effective in another culture people must be interested in other cultures, be sensitive enough to notice cultural differences, and then also be willing to modify their behaviour as an indication of respect for the people of other cultures." Taylor (1994) considered IS as an emotional dimension of intercultural communicative competence, which basically mirrored empathy and respect for different cultures. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' inter-cultural sensitivity (IS) in Algeria. Specifically, it investigates IS level and demographic differences among EFL teachers. Data is gathered quantitatively from a sample of 182 Algerian EFL teachers from middle schools, secondary schools, and universities. Chen and Starosa's (2000) intercultural sensitivity scale (ISS) is used for data collection. Data entry was carried out with the use of Statistics Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 23. The analysis of the results has put forward some interesting findings. The results demonstrate that among the components of IS the mean value of interaction engagement is the highest, respect for other cultures is the second highest, whereas interaction confidence, interaction enjoyment and interaction attentiveness are relatively the lowest. The findings show significant differences among female and male teachers in the interaction enjoyment dimension, i.e., female EFL teachers have more interaction enjoyment than male teachers. However, the study reveals no significant differences among ABOUT THE AUTHORS The study focus was around intercultural sensitivity level and demographic differences among EFL teachers in Algeria.The study is significant to anybody who wants to discover how EFL teachers approach intercultural com-petency.The teachers (n =182) are from Saida province middle schools, secondary schools, and university, Algeria.EFL teachers in Saida support more interaction engagement and respect for the English language culture. Teachers are not confident to interact with learners from different cultures and do not put much effort in interacting with them.Teachers highlight the importance of IS as an orientation to understanding how to interact among culturesGender influences teachers' interaction enjoyment, whereas the level of education, teaching experience, and teaching level do not affect the intercultural sensitivity of EFL teachers .The study assists the Algerian government , instructional stakeholders, and instructors broaden their understanding of IS and develop better programs and tactics to impact it. Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license. the education levels, teaching experiences, and teaching levels of EFL teachers in IS. The suggestion is directed to teachers to find good ways to establish a productive environment that promotes their IS level.
... As for the Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ISI), according to the authors of [59], it helps to evaluate the ability of individuals to appropriately adjust their behavior while he/she communicates with other cultures. Furthermore, the construct of this instrument includes individualism, collectivism, flexibility, and open-mindedness. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to validate Fantini’s intercultural competence scale in a sample of foreign students in a Central European context, and to figure out the pathways which are critical in improving the intercultural competence of foreign students. To achieve that, the study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to construct the structural equation model (SEM). The results indicate that the scale is reliable and valid for assessing foreign students’ intercultural competence. In addition, using the first-order CFA as a baseline model, the SEM indicates that each intercultural knowledge, attitude, and skills are essential in predicting the intercultural awareness of the students. On the other hand, enhanced awareness plays an important role in promoting the development of these factors. Based on that, the study provides university decision-makers with valuable information which can be helpful in formulating related policies and rules aiming to enhance the integration and intercultural contact between foreign and Hungarian students at the university environment.
... "没有"is the negation of such sentences, meaning you "didn't/haven't" done a particular activity. 所以,那个 "V"是 "了"。那个 "X"是 "没有"。 Note: When you use 没有, you no longer need 了. Brislin, 1992;Bochner, 1982;Brislin et al., 1983;Brislin & Yoshida, 1994;Earley & Peterson, 2004;Harris & Moran, 1991;Mendenhall et al., 1987;Lee & Templer, 2003;Triandis, 1975;Triandis & Berry, 1980 requires much more than simply acquiring facility with grammar and syntax, but also involves the development of cultural sensitivity and awareness. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This pedagogical report shares a variety of strategies to teach “le” at the beginning level of Chinese as a foreign language. The report introduces various ways to help students conceptualize the meaning of “le”, understand the function of “le”, and scaffold the correct application of “le” by creating relevant mental models and function-driven contexts. Rationales and examples of these strategies are provided. Students’ recordings using “le” are analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies. Reflections on lessons learned during this first cycle of experimenting these methods are also shared.
... Dos estudios más aportaron sustento a la proposición de que algunos individuos tienen desarrollados simultáneamente los dos aspectos del yo; y por lo tanto, al comprobar esta teoría estaban refutando la idea de que el "yo independiente" y el "yo interdependiente" eran los extremos de una escala bipolar. Bhawuk & Brislin (1992) encontraron que las personas tienen la habilidad de cambiar su conducta de acuerdo al contexto, colectivista o individualista. Esta habilidad para cambiar con facilidad su comportamiento supone que los individuos tienen muy desarrollados ambos aspectos del yo. ...
Article
Full-text available
El estudio de la conformación del yo en función de las influencias culturales nos explica similitudes y diferencias entre grupos humanos de distintos países. Esta investigación, a partir del marco teórico desarrollado en su comienzo por Hofstede y ampliada por Triandis, Markus & Kitayama entre otros, toma a la escala de Singelis para medir la conformación del yo argentino y compararlo con el de otras naciones. El trabajo se enriquece indagando en las subculturas llegando a algunos resultados no intuitivos que abren caminos en la comprensión de los comportamientos de nuestra sociedad.
... de la culture d'origine), encore appelés « cultural hybrids »(Bhabha, 1994) ou « cultural chameleons »(Greenholtz et Kim, 2009). La première culture des TCK correspond à la culture du pays d'origine (ou les cultures) de leurs parents encore appelé le pays de passeport, la seconde culture à celle dans laquelle les TCK ont grandi ; enfin la troisième désigne une culture abstraite créée à partir de leurs expériences et relations partagées avec des personnes d'autres cultures vivant le même mode de vie(Pollock et Van Reken, 2001, cités chez Limberg et Lambie, 2011.Dans notre recherche nous étudions également le cas de l'enfance de la deuxième culture (avec l'agencement varié : des parents de la même culture et le vécu dans un pays d'autre culture ou des parents de deux cultures différentes et le vécu dans un pays de l'un des parents).Peterson et Plamondon (2009) ...
Thesis
L’évaluation de la compétence interculturelle constitue un enjeu majeur en termes de management, la complexité des éléments qui la composent suppose une analyse plus approfondie. Aussi notre recherche démontre les strates de la compétence interculturelle et la typologie des profils interculturels dans les grilles d’évaluation. Cela permet de valoriser l’expérience à l’international et créer une tradition de transmission des connaissances au sein d’une équipe culturellement diverse. Le cadre théorique mobilise trois ensembles de travaux : le premier ensemble s’est formé autour de la littérature sur les caractéristiques des compétences et plus particulièrement la compétence interculturelle, compétence transverse caractérisée par la durabilité, la transmissibilité, la contextualité, la subjectivité et le dynamisme ; le deuxième ensemble reprend la littérature sur l’expatriation abordant les différents porteurs de la compétence interculturelle permettant de classifier 3 profils interculturels : World Citizen, Millennial et Adult Third Culture Kid ; enfin, le troisième ensemble se base sur des approches de l’évaluation des compétences. En travaillant sur l’ensemble de la littérature mobilisée, deux propositions ont été formulées : la première proposition explore les spécificités de l’acquisition des composantes de la CI pour chacun des 3 profils interculturels ; la seconde démontre que les techniques de mise en situation et la comparaison entre pairs favorisent la contextualisation et la transmissibilité dans l’évaluation de lacompétence interculturelle. Dans une approche épistémologique constructiviste, nous avons choisi la méthodologie qualitative en nous appuyant sur les approches ethnographiques et réflexives, dans une démarche abductive. Le terrain choisi, celui des Institutions européennes, nous donne accès aux fonctionnaires européens hautement qualifiés par leur expérience internationale. Le recueil de données a été réalisé avec des entretiens semi-directifs en trois langues différentes (français, anglais, russe) entre 2017 et 2019. Les données ont été compilées dans une base de données et codées de manière ouverte et axiale à l’aide du logiciel Nvivo. Elles ont été traitées par un processus d’analyse de contenu. Cette recherche a permis d’identifier les similitudes et les différences dans l’acquisition des composantes de la CI chez les trois profils interculturels identifiés. Une évaluation formative par le biais de la transmissibilité entre les collaborateurs expérimentés et les novices, permet non seulement d'évaluer la CI, mais d’assurer son développement et le transfert des connaissances interculturelles spécifiques à une entreprise. Cela crée une synergie interculturelle, qualité recherchée dans le monde professionnel international. Nous concluons notre thèse par un apport managérial en termes de management d’équipes multiculturelles et en termes de pratiques RH permettant l’acquisition et l’évaluation de la CI.