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This paper seeks to explore the nature of intercultural experiences of Australians and Singaporeans working in multinational organizations. Cultural differences are…
This paper seeks to explore the nature of intercultural experiences of Australians and Singaporeans working in multinational organizations. Cultural differences are expected to influence how boundaries and boundary permeability are constructed which in turn affect how Australians and Singaporeans interact and communicate with each other.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 employees (ten Australians, 13 Singaporeans) working in multinational organizations in both Australia and Singapore. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyze interviewees’ intercultural experiences to determine the nature and composition of relevant boundary categories and permeability.
Seven workplace boundary categories of varying degrees of permeability were identified. Singaporeans were perceived to create more impermeable boundaries than Australians. Impermeable boundaries were found to also restrict intercultural interactions.
The qualitative nature of the study, small sample size and interviewer's ethnicity could limit the generalizability of the results. Another limitation is that the data were based on self‐reports and participants may have reported socially desirable responses.
The findings of this study have important practical implications for managers who seek to promote the value of shared group membership and group identity.
This study integrates social identity theory with cross‐cultural theories and extends its application into a collectivist culture (e.g. Singapore) to provide an in‐depth understanding of the nature of workplace boundaries and boundary permeability between Australians and Singaporeans.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating role of culture in the relationship between boundary permeability and cooperation and work group identification. In…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating role of culture in the relationship between boundary permeability and cooperation and work group identification. In addition, the levels of boundary permeability of Australians and Singaporeans are compared.
Survey questionnaires were administered to 134 employees (87 Singaporeans and 47 Australians) working in multinational corporations in both Australia and Singapore. Hierarchical moderated regression was used to test whether culture moderated the relationship between boundary permeability and cooperation and workgroup identification.
Results indicated that workplace boundary permeability was marginally and positively related to cooperation but not to workgroup identification. Further analysis revealed that culture moderated the relationships between workplace boundary permeability and cooperation and workgroup identification. Specifically, a stronger positive relationship was found between boundary permeability and these outcomes for Singaporeans as opposed to Australians.
Limitations include the relatively small sample size of both cultural groups; the behavioral measure used to assess cooperation; and the self‐reported nature of the data.
The findings of this study have important practical implications for managers working in multinational corporations who seek to promote cooperation and workgroup identification among culturally diverse employees.
Guided by social identity and cross‐cultural theories, this study highlights the role of culture in predicting the attitudinal consequences of boundary permeability.