Birds of different feathers? The relationship between multicultural personality dimensions and foreign language mastery in business professionals working in a Dutch agricultural multinational

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Birds of different feathers? The relationship between multicultural personality dimensions and foreign language mastery in business professionals working in a Dutch agricultural multinational
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  InternationalJournalofInterculturalRelations 35 (2011) 540–553 Contentslistsavailableat   ScienceDirect International    Journal   of    Intercultural   Relations  j   ournalhome   page:www.elsevier.com/locate/ijintrel Birds   of    different   feathers?   The   relationship   between   multiculturalpersonality   dimensions   and   foreign   language   mastery   in   businessprofessionals   working   in   a   Dutch   agricultural   multinational Hubert   Korzilius a , ∗ , Andreu   vanHooft b , Brigitte   Planken b , Christa   Hendrix c a InstituteforManagementResearch,RadboudUniversityNijmegen,POBox9108,6500HKNijmegen,the   Netherlands b CentreforLanguageStudies,RadboudUniversityNijmegen,theNetherlands c Van    Zandbeekcommunicatie&creatie,Eindhoven,theNetherlands a   r   t   ic   lein   f   o  Articlehistory: Received18December2009Receivedinrevisedform16    January2011Accepted14February2011 Keywords: PersonalityMulticulturalPersonalityQuestionnaire(MPQ)ForeignlanguagemasteryInterculturaleffectivenessBusinesspractitioners a   b   st   ract Therelationship   between   personality   dimensions,   measured   with   the   Multicultural   Person-alityQuestionnaire   (MPQ),   andforeign   language   masterywere   studied   inaDutch-basedmultinational   company   inthe   agriculturalsector.   In   asurvey,differences   were   studiedbetweeninternal   and   externalstakeholders   to   determine   whether   MPQ    dimensions   andlanguage   mastery   allow   usto   discriminate   betweenthem.Theinternal   stakeholders   weredivided   intointernational   andnon-international   employees;   external   stakeholders   werethe   businesscontacts   of    the   internationalemployees   (clients   andbusinesspartnersbasedor   workingabroad).   Theinternationalemployees   were   foundto   be   moreopen-mindedand   flexible   than   the   non-international   employees,   and   the   former   groupwas   foundtobemore   emotionallystable   than   the   group   of    businesscontacts.   Onaverage,the   internationalemployees   reported   speaking   one   foreign   language   morethan   bothother   groups.   Also,the   number   of    foreign   languages   correlated   with   the   multicultural   personality   dimensionsopen-mindedness   and   emotionalstability.   It   is   concluded   that   emotional   stability,   open-mindedness,   andthe   number   of    spoken   foreign   languages   are   tosome   extentpredictive   of differences   betweenthe   various   stakeholdersdistinguished   inthissample. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 1.Introduction 1.1.Therelationshipbetweenmulticulturalpersonalitytraitsandinterculturalcompetence Intoday’sglobalbusinesscommunity,executiveworkis   becomingincreasinglyinterculturalin   orientationasorganiza-tionscontinuetoestablishcomplexnetworkswithpartnersin   a   diversesetof    countriesandcultures(Griffith,2002;VanderZee&VanOudenhoven,2000).Therehasbeenanincreasein   companiesthatoperateinmorethanonecountry,andcus-tomerservice-relatedtasksare   increasinglybeingoutsourcedtoothercountriesthanthecountrybeingserviced(Ascalon,Schleicher,&Born,2008).Withinthesenetworksofinterculturalrelationships,underlyingculturaldifferencesatboththenationalandorganizationallevelshavethepotentialtonegativelyinfluenceorganizationalperformance,particularlyif    suchdiscrepancieshinderthecreationof    aneffectiveinterculturalcommunicationenvironment(Griffith,2002).To   operatewithsuccessinternationally,organizationsandthepeoplein   themshouldaimto   comprehendthefactorsthatinfluenceinter-nationalbusiness(communication)relationships,inordertofacilitatecommunicationwithinternationalcounterpartsand, ∗ Correspondingauthor.Tel.:+3124   3613054;fax:+31243611933. E-mailaddress: H.Korzilius@fm.ru.nl(H.Korzilius).0147-1767/$–seefrontmatter © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.018  H.Korziliusetal./InternationalJournalof    InterculturalRelations  35 (2011) 540–553 541 ultimately,tosafeguardtheireconomicbottomline.Intoday’sincreasinglymulticulturalandmultilingualbusinessworld,itisessentialthatcompaniesandemployeescultivate“highprofessionalexpertiseandunderstandingof    culturaldiversity”(Matveev&Nelson,2004).BhawukandBrislin(1992)positthat,inorderto   communicateeffectivelywithanotherculture,individualsshouldbeopentothatotherculture,possessa   sufficientdegreeofsensitivityto   noteculturaldifferencesandbewillingtoadapttheir–communication–behaviorflexibly,andin   sucha   way   asto   showrespectandaccommodateto   the‘otherculture’counterpart(seealsoOrtiz,2005;Zaidman,2001).Adaptinginthissensemay   wellincludeusingacounterpart’smothertongueor   a   linguafranca.Basedona   reviewof    existingmodelsof    interculturalcommunication,Matsumoto(2000)concludesthatthecommon denominatorof    effectiveinterculturalcommunicationwouldseemtobethatwhileknowledgeandskillsareregardedasnecessaryelements,theyarenotsufficientand“mustbecombinedwithopennessandflexibilityinone’sthinkingandinterpretations,andwiththemotivationto   communicateeffectivelyandbuilda   successfulrelationship”(2000,p.376).Fromtheliteratureon   intercultural(communication)competence(seee.g.Arasaratnam&Doerfel,2005;Beamer,1992;Deardorff,2006;Hammer,Bennett,&Wiseman,2003;Kealy&Ruben,1983;Tucker,Bonial,&Lahti,2004;VanderZee&VanOudenhoven,2000;Ying&Han,2006)a   composite,idealprofileemergesof    theindividualwho   isabletoadaptsuccessfullytointerculturalsituations.Suchindividualsareopentootherpeopleandtheirperspectivesandideas,unprejudiced,andabletobuildrelationshipswiththem.Theyarealsoextrovert,sensitivetothefeelingsandviewsof    others,andbehavetowardstheminapositiveandrespectfulway.Finally,theytendtobeflexible,confidentandproactive,andcanmaintaintheircomposurein   stressfuland/orunfamiliarsituations.TheMulticulturalPersonalityQuestionnaire(MPQ),whichwasdevelopedbyVanderZeeandVanOudenhoven(2000),   isaimedatmeasuringcross-culturalcompetenciesthatcanberegardedasantecedentsofinterculturaleffectiveness(e.g.VanderZee&VanOudenhoven,2000,2001;VanOudenhoven&VanderZee,2002),in   a  professional (i.e.business)context,whichisreflectedintheirdefinitionof    interculturalcompetence,broadlydefinedas“successinthefieldsofprofessionaleffective-ness,personaladjustmentandinterculturalinteractions”(VanderZee&VanOudenhoven,2000,   p.293).Inessence,theMPQdeterminesanindividual’scross-culturalcompetenciesonthebasisof    threecriteriaforsuccessfullyoperatingwithinnewculturalenvironments:‘thecapacitytomakethingswork’;‘afeelingof    psychologicalwell-beingin   thatenvironment’;and‘aninterestandabilityto   dealwithindividualsfroma   differentculturalbackground’(p.293).Thus,itcanberegardedasencompassingantecedentstointercultural communication competence,aswellasprofessionalcompetence,i.e.specificbusiness‘know-how’.Assuch,itseemsa   particularlyrelevantinstrumenttoadoptintheinvestigationof    discriminatingcharacteristicsof    businessprofessionalsoperatingina   multinationalcontextin   thepresentstudy,i.e.inwhatis   essentiallyaninternational(discourse)communityof    businesspractitioners,namelya   multinationalcompany.Intheorythen,theMPQ couldthusbeusedtoestablishwhetheranindividualpossessesthecomposite,‘ideal’multiculturalpersonalityprofileof someone(aprofessional)whoisabletoadaptsuccessfullyto   interculturalsituations(seeearlier).WithintheMPQ,cross-culturalcompetenciesareconceptualizedintermsoffivepersonalitycharacteristicsthat   haveconsistentlybeenshowntobe   directlyrelevanttointerculturalsuccess,andmoreparticularly,tosuccessfuladjustmentbyexpatriatesabroad.TheresearchersclaimtohavedevelopedtheMPQ    specificallyas“an   instrumentaimedatmeasuringthedimensionsthatunderliemulticulturaleffectivenessof    expatriates”(VanOudenhoven,Mol,&VanderZee,2003,p.160), butithasalsobeenshownto   bepredictiveof    socialadjustmentbyinternationalstudents(VanOudenhoven&VanderZee,2002).Althoughthefivecompetenciesof    theMPQ    are   derivedfroma   reviewof    traitsgenerallyregardedasrelevanttomulticulturalsuccessandthushavemuchincommonwithgeneralpersonalitytraitsasmeasuredbye.g.“theBigFive”(cf.VanOudenhoven&VanderZee,2002,p.680),theyhavebeentailoredwithintheMPQ’sscales“tocovermorenarrowlythoseaspectsof    traitsthatarerelevantto   multiculturalsuccess”(VanOudenhovenetal.,   2003,p.160).Asaresult,thefivedimensionsorcompetenciescoveredin   theMPQ    areculturalempathy,open-mindedness,socialinitiative,emotionalstabilityandflexibility.EachMPQ    dimensionhasbeenconstructedonthebasisofsetsof    itemsthroughwhichtheparticipantscanassessthemselvesonavarietyofconcretebehaviorsortendencies(seeSection2.2).These,in   turn,arerelatedtothethreedomainsof    interculturaleffectivenessVanderZeeandVanOudenhovendistinguish(2000,2001,andseeearlier).Whereasculturalempathy,open-mindednessandflexibilityrelatetothedomainofinterculturalinteraction,emotionalstabilityandflexibilityarelinkedwiththedomainofpersonaladjustment,andsocialinitiativeandflexibilityarerelevanttothedomainofprofessionaleffectivenessininternationalsettings.Inthissense,theMPQ    developershaveacknowledgedtheconsensusintheexistingliteraturethatcommunicationknowledgeandskills,althoughnecessarycomponentsofeffectiveinterculturalcommunicationshouldbe   complementedwithprofessionalknowledge(cf.   Zaidman,2001),aswellascertainpersonalitytraits,suchasopennessandflexibility(e.g.Bhawuk&Brislin,1992;Matsumoto,2000,p.376). Inthepresentstudy,wefocusedonthepotentialinterrelationshipbetweencross-culturalcompetenciesasmeasuredusingtheMPQ,anda   respondentcharacteristicconsideredrelevantintheliteratureoninterculturalcommunication,respon-dents’degreeof    foreignlanguagemastery(seebelow),aswellasstakeholdergroup.Inaddition,wedeterminedtowhatextenttheMPQ    competenciesanddegreeofforeignlanguagemasterycandiscriminatebetweenstakeholdergroups,andmorespecificallybetweenmulticulturalpersonalityprofilesofemployeesworkinginaninternationalcontextandemploy-eeswhodonot.Here,wetacitlyassumed,onthebasis   of    theliterature,thatemployeesworkinginaninternationalcontextwouldbemorelikelyto   displaycross-cultural(MPQ)competenciesassociatedwiththeidealmulticulturalpersonalityprofileofasuccessfulinterculturalpractitioner(seeearlier).Thesiteof    thepresentstudywas   a   multinationalagriculturalcompany,headquarteredintheNetherlands,whosepoolof    employeesandbusinesscounterpartscanberegardedasconstituting‘birdsofdifferentfeathers’,giventheirvariousculturalandmothertonguebackgrounds.Therespondentsamplewas   drawnfrom  542  H.Korziliusetal./    InternationalJournalofInterculturalRelations  35 (2011) 540–553 the   multinational’sinternalstakeholders,i.e.internationalandnon-internationalemployees,anditsexternalstakeholders,i.e.internationalbusinesscontacts(clientsandbusinesspartnerswho   arebasedorworkabroad).Inthenextsection,wediscusstherelevanceofmultilingualism(i.e.degreeofforeignlanguagemastery)anditspotentialrelationshipwiththeMPQcompetencies,withinthecontextofthepresentstudy. 1.2.TherelationshipbetweenMPQ    andforeignlanguagemastery FollowingByram(1997)andSchnitzer(1995),   wesuggestthatforeignlanguagemastery(resultingfromforeignlanguageacquisitionand/orexposuretoforeignlanguagecommunication)is   linkedto   developingcross-culturalcompetencies(suchasthosemeasuredbyMPQ)thatarea   precursortoeventualinterculturalcommunicativecompetence(seealsoHerfst,VanOudenhoven,&Timmerman,2008;Planken,Korzilius,&VanHooft,2004).Inthissense,wesuggestthatasindividualslearnalanguage,evenasa   linguafranca,theylearnitsculturalimplicationsandgaincompetenciesthatare“bothinterculturalandcommunicative”(see   Byram&Feng,2005,p.918,andsomeempiricalsupportforthisassumptionin   RundstromWilliams,2005;cf.Engle&   Engle,2003).PublicationsbytheCouncilof    Europe(2002,p.23)andVanEkandTrim(1991)havealso indicatedthatforeignlanguageacquisitionisa   fundamentalcomponentof    interculturalcommunicativecompetence,whilescholarlytreatmentsof    bilingualismandintercultural(communication)effectivenessin   internationalbusiness(e.g.Baker,2006;Ferraro,2006)havesuggestedthatlearningaforeignlanguagecanprovideanindividualwithgreaterinsightintootherculturalgroupsandexpandtheirworldview.Bennett,Bennett,andAllen(2003)gosofarinthislineof    reasoningastohypothesizethat“thereisatypicalfit”betweenlanguagemasteryanddevelopinginterculturalcompetence(p.   255).However,thereis   littleempiricalevidenceinsupportof    thissupposedfit;infact,oneof    thefewstudiesthathaslookedattherelationshipbetweenlanguageproficiencyandcross-culturalcompetence,morespecificallyinterculturalsensitivityamongstudentsstudyingabroad( Jackson,2008),foundthatadvancedmasteryofEnglishasaforeignlanguagedidnotnecessarily correlatewithhighlevelsof    interculturalsensitivity.Therehavebeenonlyfewstudiesthathavelookedatthepotentialrelationshipbetweenpersonalityprofiles(measuredbye.g.theBigFive,McCrae&Costa,1987,   ortheBigThree,Eysenck,1947,orMPQ,VanderZee   &VanOudenhoven,2000)andproficiencyinforeignlanguages.Asfarasweknow,therearetwoempiricalstudiesto   date(Dewaele,2007;Dewaele&VanOudenhoven,2009)thathaveconsidered,asa   centralfocus,therelationshipbetween multiple psychologicalfactors(usingtheEysenckPersonalityQuestionnaireorMPQ,respectively).Dewaele(2007)investigatedtherelationshipbetween personalityprofilesandmultilingualism(i.e.student’slanguagegradesfortheirfirstlanguageanduptothreeforeignlanguages).Hefoundnosignificanteffectsforthepsychologicalfactorspsychoticism,extraversion,andneuroticismonforeignlanguagegrades.DewaeleandVanOudenhoven(2009),   in   a   studyofthelinkbetweenmultilingualismandpersonalityprofilesofexpatriateteenagers(so-calledThirdCultureKids),foundthatmultilingualism(masteryof    oneortwootherlanguagesbesidesthefirstlanguage,L1)wasindeedsignificantlylinkedtopersonalityprofile,in   thatthemultilingualsintheirstudyscoredsignificantlyhigher(thanmonolingualslearningasecondlanguage,L2,atschool)ontheMPQ    dimensionsOpen-mindednessandCulturalempathy(p.450).InathirdstudyusingtheMPQ    tomeasurepersonality,Herfstetal.(2008,p.74),althoughthiswasnot   thefocalpointofthestudy,foundpartialevidenceof    a   relationshipbetweenscoresonaspectsoftheMPQ    andspeakingoneforeignlanguage( r    =   .14;  p <.05);however,speakingmorethanoneforeignlanguageshowednosignificantrelationwithinterculturaleffectiveness(i.e.MPQ    scores).Anumberof    empiricalstudieshavelookedattherelationshipbetweenforeignlanguageproficiencyandatleasta   subset  ofoneofthepersonalitydimensions.Theirfindingshavebeenmixed.Relativelyearlystudiesfailedtorevealanysignificantcorrelations(e.g.Dunkel,1947;SmartElton,&Burnett,1970).   Dewaele(2007,pp.170–176),in   a   reviewof    suchstudiesinhisintroduction,reportsthat   Carell,Prince,andAstika(1996),Chastain(1975,p.156),Dewaele(1994),   Naiman,Fröhlich,Stern,andTodesco(1978),   andSwainandBurnaby(1976)f ailedtofindanyrelationshipsbetweenthetraitextraversion andaccuracyratesin   theforeignlanguage.A   studybyStrong(1983)showedthesamelackof    evidence:nostatisticallysignificantrelationshipswerefoundbetweenextraversionandanyof    thelanguagemeasuresin   thestudy.Otherinvestigationshavefoundatleastsomeevidenceofa   significantrelationshipbetweenthepersonalitydimensionsextraversionandaspectsof    foreignlanguageproficiency.In   linewiththeresearchers’expectations,alongitudinalstudybyVanDaele,Housen,Pierrard,andDeBruyn(2006)f oundthatdegreeofextraversionpositivelyaffectedthelexicalcomplexityofthesecondlanguagesspokenbytheirrespondents,FlemishstudentsofFrenchandEnglish.Furtherevidenceof    a   rela-tionshipbetweenextraversionandsecondlanguage(L2)proficiencywasfoundinstudiesbyDewaele(2002b)andDewaele andFurnham(2000),   in   whichthispersonalitytraitwas   foundtobepositivelylinkedtooralL2production,althoughnottowritingL2production,instressfulsituations.Contraryto   expectations,MacIntyre,Clément,andNoels(2007,pp.292–295)foundthatintrovertsobtainedhighervocabularyscoresin   writingtests,andshowedgreaterwillingnesstocommunicateinaforeignlanguage,thanextraverts.Thereisalsosomeevidencelinkinganotherpersonalitydimension(intheBig   Five),namelyemotionalstability,tolanguagemasteryandproficiency.Chamorro-Premuzic,Furnham,andPetrides(2006,p.148)reportedthat   theemotionallystableindividualsintheirstudyscoredsignificantlyhigheronverbalabilitythantheirmoreneuroticcounterparts.Theresultsof Dewaele’sstudy(2002a)alsoshowapositivecorrelationbetweenemotionalstabilityandforeignlanguageacquisition, butonlyinFlemishstudentsof    English,notin   Flemishstudentsof    French(p.31).Withrespecttoopenness,VerhoevenandVermeer(2002) suggested a   potentialrelationshipbetweenthispersonalitytraitandtheacquisitionoflinguisticabilitiesandso-called“integrativemotivation”in   secondlanguagelearners(p.373).  H.Korziliusetal./InternationalJournalof    InterculturalRelations  35 (2011) 540–553 543 Andfinally,usingpathanalysis,MacIntyreandCharos(1996)concludedthateachof    theBig   Fivepersonalitydimensionsisrelatedtoperceivedcompetencein   theforeignlanguage(p.   22).Insum,theresultsof    earlierempiricalstudieson(some)personalitydimensions(measuredusingtheBigFive,theBigThreeorMPQ)andforeignlanguageproficiencyandmasteryhaveofferedpartialevidenceforarelationshipbetweenopenness,extraversionandemotionalstabilityandforeignlanguages.Also,researchthathasfocusedontherelationshipbetweenmultilingualism(i.e.numberof    languagesspokenanddegreeof    masteryinforeignlanguage)andpersonality(dimensions)hasproducedmixedresults.Furthermore,in   thisveinofresearch,thereis   a   lackofempiricalresearchinvolvingadult(business)professionals,bothinthefieldof    appliedlinguisticresearch(cf.Chandler,2006,p.61in   Dewaele,2007)andinthefieldof    interculturalstudies.Finally,fewstudieshavefocusedonthepotentialpositiveeffectsofknowingmorelanguages(cf.Dewaele&VanOudenhoven,2009;Kemp,2007;butseeKavé,Eyal,Shorek,&   Cohen-Mansfield,2008,whofoundapositiveeffectformultilingualismincognitiveperformancein   theelderly).If    webaseourselvesonpreviousfindingsthathaveindicateda   positiverelationshipbetweenatleasta   subsetof    personalitytraitsandforeignlanguages,itcouldbehypothesizedthatindividuals–in   thepresentstudybusinessprofessionals–who   reportmasteryof    a   foreignlanguageto   arelativelyhigherdegreemightalsopossesssomeof    thepersonalitydimensionsthataremeasuredbytheMPQ    asindicatorsof interculturaleffectiveness(morespecificallyopen-mindedness,extraversionandemotionalstability)to   a   relativelygreaterextentthanindividualswhohavemasteredoneormoreforeignlanguagestoa   lesserdegree.Bythesametoken,itcouldbehypothesizedthatnumberof    foreignlanguagesspokenispositivelyrelatedtodifferentdimensionsof    theMPQ.Inthepresentstudy,wethereforeregardedself-reportedforeignlanguagemasteryasarelevant–subjective–respondentcharacteristic. 1.3.Researchaimsandresearchquestions Thestudyoutlinedintheremainderof    thispaperwasconductedina   Dutch-basedmultinationalcompanyin   theagri-culturalsector,specializedindeveloping,producingandsellinggrandparentandparent(chicken)breedersto   theworldwidelayerindustry.Thecompanyis   oneof    thelargestbreedersin   theworldandexportsitsproductstocountriesonfourcontinents;asa   result,itneedstomaintainbusinesscontactsacrosstheglobeandto   communicatewitha   multiculturalclientbase.Thestudywasaimedatgaininginsightintothepotentialrelationshipbetweenmulticulturalpersonalitydimen-sions(asmeasuredbytheMPQ)andforeignlanguagemastery.Morespecifically,wedeterminedtowhatextenttheMPQ competenciesanddegreeof    foreignlanguagemasterycandiscriminatebetweenstakeholdergroups,andmorespecificallybetweenmulticulturalpersonalityprofilesofemployeesworkinginaninternationalcontextandemployeeswho   workonly‘locally’.Onthebasisof    theliterature,we   assumedthatemployeesworkingin   aninternationalcontextwouldbemorelikelytodisplaycross-cultural(MPQ)competenciesassociatedwiththeidealmulticulturalpersonalityprofileof    a   successfulinter-culturalpractitioner(seeearlier).Tothisend,weinvestigatedtherelationshipbetweenemployees’dailyworkenvironment,i.e.whetheraprofessionaloperatesinternationallyornot,andtheirforeignlanguagemasteryandmulticulturalpersonalityprofile.Wedifferentiatedbetweentwogroupsof    internalstakeholders(internationallyanddomesticallyactiveemployees;mainlyDutchnationality)anda   controlgroupof    externalstakeholderswho   operateinternationally(thebusinesscontacts;34nationalities).We   includedaninternationallyactivegroupexternalto   thecompany,andheterogeneousin   termsofcul-turalbackground,toexplorewhetherthevariablesmulticulturalpersonalitydimensionsanddegreeof    foreignlanguagemasterycanberegardedaspredictiveofemployeesoperatingindifferentdailyworkenvironments(stakeholdergroup).Threeresearchquestionswereformulated: Researchquestion1 :   To   whatextentistherearelationshipbetweentheMPQ’smulticulturalpersonalitydimensionsandforeignlanguagemastery? Researchquestion2 :   To   whatextentdo   stakeholdergroupsdisplaydifferencesin   theMPQ’smulticulturalpersonalitydimensionsandforeignlanguagemastery? Researchquestion3 :   TowhatextentdotheMPQ’smulticulturalpersonalitydimensionsandforeignlanguagemasterypredictstakeholdergroupmembership?Fig.1showstheconceptualmodelandtheresearchquestionsof    thisstudy.It   showsthatinthisstudywe   considertheMul-ticulturalpersonalitydimensionsandForeignlanguagemasteryvariablesaspredictorsof    thecriterionvariablestakeholdergroup.Theconceptualmodelfurtherpicturesthat,inlinewiththeliteraturediscussedabove,we   focusoninterrelationshipsbetweenthepredictorvariablesandonexploringdifferencesbetweenstakeholdergroupsonthesepredictors.Finally,itillustratesthatweintendtoenvisageStakeholdergroupdifferencesonthebasisofthepredictors. 2.Method  2.1.Participants Theparticipantsinthisstudywereinternalandexternalstakeholders(seebelow)ofa   Dutchmultinationalagriculturalcompany.Althoughthecompanyconductsbusinessandmaintainsbreedingfacilitiesin34countrieson   fourcontinents,itemploysonlyaround60peopleatheadquartersintheNetherlandsat   onetime.Itsinternationalbusinesscontactsaroundtheworldcomprisearound150peopleintotal.Ofthesepotentialstakeholders,194werecontactedto   takepartin   thestudy,  544  H.Korziliusetal./    InternationalJournalofInterculturalRelations  35 (2011) 540–553 Fig.1. Conceptualmodelandresearchquestions. and144agreedto   participate,constitutingaresponserateof    74%.Thissamplesizeresultedin   a95%levelof    confidencewithasamplingerrorofplusorminus5%,whichmeantthatwe   couldbe   95%confidentthat   thetruepopulationpercentagewaswithin5%ofwhatwefoundinthesample(e.g.McClave&Sincich,2003).Oftherespondents22%( n   =32)werefemaleand78%( n =112)male.Themeanageof    thesamplewas   46.2(range19–72, SD =   12.4)andtherespondentslivedin35differentcountries.RelativelymanyrespondentscamefromtheNetherlands(44%);othercountriesoforiginincludedtheUSA(10%),theUnitedKingdom(4%),Canada(4%),Hungary(4%),Taiwan(3%),andSriLanka(3%).Threestakeholdergroupsweredifferentiated(variable Stakeholdergroup ):agroupof    internalstakeholderswho   workasinternationalemployees( n =   30,21%),a   groupof    internalstakeholdersconsistingof    non-internationalemployees( n =   30,21%)andagroupofinternational,externalstakeholders,i.e.businesscontacts( n =84,   58%).Wehavelabeledthesestake-holdergroupsasfollows:Internationalemployees,Non-internationalemployees,andBusinesscontacts.Table1showsa characterizationof    internationalexperiencein   termsof    theamountoftimetherespondentsfromthethreestakeholdergroupsspentabroad:onholiday,forstudy,towork,tolive(examinedwithMediantestandMann–Whitneyposthoctestsbecausethevariableswerenotnormallydistributed,i.e.skewedtotherightandpeaked).FromTable1itappearsthattheInternationalemployeeswereDutch,maintainedinternationalcontactsveryregularly orevenonadailybasis,andhadoftenstudiedandworkedabroad.TheNon-internationalemployeeswerealsomainlyDutch,workedatvariousproductionsitesintheNetherlands,didnothaveregularcontactsabroad,andthushadlittletonointerculturalworkingexperience.Thethirdgroup,internationalBusinesscontacts(externalstakeholders)werethecompany’sclientsandbusinesspartnersbasedabroad,i.e.notin   theNetherlands,andincluded34differentnationalities.Respondentsinthisgroupalsohadstudy,workandlivingabroadexperienceandmaintainedinternationalcontactsonaregularbasis.TherewerenostatisticallysignificantdifferencesinthedistributionofSexin   Stakeholdergroup(  2 (2,   n =   144)=   0.68,  p =.71).Onaverage,theNon-internationalemployeeswereyoungerthanthosefromtheothertwo   groups( M  sand SD s:Internationalemployees46.2,9.80;Non-internationalemployees38.2,11.0;Businesscontacts48.0,12.7; F  (2,134)=6.62,  p <.01).  Table1 Internationalexperiencecharacteristicsof    threestakeholdergroups(testedwithMediantest).BackgroundVariableStakeholdergroupMdn   Range a  2 ( df  =2)    p Posthoc b Numberofweeksholidayabroad1Internationalemployees25   1401.48.482   Non-internationalemployees15   803Businesscontacts15   200Numberofweeksstudiedabroad1Internationalemployees02609.12.01 * 1   >22Non-internationalemployees0623   >23Businesscontacts0500Numberofweeksworkedabroad1Internationalemployees42.588419.2<.001 *** 1   >22Non-internationalemployees 02401   >33Businesscontacts1013903   >2Numberofmonthslivedabroad1Internationalemployees01566.38.04 * 3   >22Non-internationalemployees0123Businesscontacts0324 Note :>indicatesspentsignificantlymoretimeabroad. a Allminimawere0. b Mann–Whitneytest. *  p <.05. ***  p <.001.
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