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    Cross-cultural impression management: a cultural knowledge audit model

    Spong, A. and Kamau, Caroline (2012) Cross-cultural impression management: a cultural knowledge audit model. Journal of International Education in Business 5 (1), pp. 22-36. ISSN 2046-469X.

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    Purpose – Many people moving into a new culture for work or study do so without prior cross-cultural training, yet successful cultural adaptation has important ramifications. The purpose of this paper is to focus on cross-cultural impression management as an element of cultural adaptation. Does cultural adaptation begin by paying strong attention to nonverbal cues in a host culture? How is that attention converted into knowledge, and how do people use such knowledge management during impression management within the new culture? Design/methodology/approach – The method was qualitative. In total, ten international students at an English university were recruited. All originated outside the European Union and each took part in a one-hour structured interview. The transcripts were analysed through thematic analysis. Findings – International students adopted cross-cultural impression management strategies in order to enhance successful adaptation to the new host culture. Students consciously processed knowledge about nonverbal behaviour norms through everyday interactions. They audited knowledge deficits by detecting differences between the host norms and their home culture's norms. The motives for this included desiring to maximise rewards from situations. Research limitations/implications – The findings imply that being in a new culture makes people “high self monitors”. They are more aware than usual about their own and others' nonverbal behaviours. The findings tell us about how cultural adaptation begins. Originality/value – This appears to be the first in-depth qualitative research examining cross-cultural impression management by international students and deducing implications for expatriates.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Cross-cultural, Culture (sociology), Expatriates, Impression management, International students, Organizational culture, United Kingdom, Universities
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Caroline Kamau
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2013 08:23
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:04

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