ICC Research

Darla Deardorff's picture

What is the latest in research on intercultural competence? What research questions would you like feedback on? What are some possible areas of research collaboration with ICC colleagues from different cultures and disciplines? This is the place to share information, feedback and questions related to research on intercultural competence.

aportera's picture

Research on Intercultural Competences

Dear ICC members,

hope everything is going well with you all.

As some of you might already know from our previous posts, the Research
Group of the Center for Intercultural Studies of the University of
Verona (Italy) is carrying out a research on
intercultural competences, as a continuation of an important research
project founded by the National Ministry of Education ended last year,
the end of which we had developed a model on intercultural
competences.

With this new and ambitious project, we intend to submit our model to

MaxRamseyer's picture

33. Fostering attitudes that motivate us - Janet M. Bennett

Deardorff and Mendenhall both confirm that curiosity or inquisitiveness are at the core for wanting to learn, which is therefore necessary for someone to be inspired to become intercultural competent. It is necessary because when one is truly engaged in an intercultural context, differences inherently arise. The inquisitive outlook compels the individual to view these differences as points of interest and something to explore rather than to shy away from or ignore.

MaxRamseyer's picture

32. Intercultural Competence: Positioning Systems - Janet M. Bennett

In light of the increased demand and educational need for intercultural competence, Bennett outlines a set of positioning tools to cultivate intercultural competence. There are four steps:
1. Fostering attitudes that motivate us
2. Discovering knowledge that informs us of our own and others’ cultural position
3. Assessing the challenge and support factors that affect our adaptation
4. Developing skills that enable us to interact effectively and appropriately

MaxRamseyer's picture

31. Definition and Contexts of Intercultural Competence - Janet M. Bennett

Bennett recalls the number of different conceptualizations of intercultural competence, describing how “many disciplinary roads lead to the same place.” She did also note that there is a rising consensus around the definition that stipulates “a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.” One concern that jumps to mind is the separation of behavioral from cognitive and affective, because doesn’t behavioral attributes stem from cognitive and affective processes?

MaxRamseyer's picture

30. Cultivating Intercultural Competence – Janet M. Bennett

Bennett opens up the chapter by discussing why intercultural awareness is so important for meaningful interaction. It starts with her choosing not to discuss a trivial matter in light of the fact that in her presence was someone she sensed had an interesting background to explore more about. Because of her curiosity, she questioned more about the man’s life that she was with and learned that her simple but very important choice to “step outside her own frame of reference and interact meaningfully” changed the entire dynamic of the interaction.

MaxRamseyer's picture

29. The Conflict Face Negotiation Theory - Stella Ting Toomey

This is where Toomey dives deep into the notions of what “face” constitutes. At a first glance, it may seem that there is a preoccupation with the facial strategies that one employs for effective communication, but “face” as described by Toomey refers to “a claimed sense of desired social self-image in a relational or international setting.” One of the key issues that emerges from the distinction of “face” is that a binary is established: either you lose or save face. The binary constitutes a competitive interactional schema where one either gets to keep or lose his/her esteemed self-image.

Renzhong Peng's picture

Intercultural communicative commpetence or intercultural competence?

I'd like to discuss the definition on Intercultural communicative commpetence and intercultural competence. They are the same concept or different ? Many people
treat them as the same one, others think one contains the other. Which is more provicing? It needs more evidence to prove. Any comments on it? I am expecting to know..........

MaxRamseyer's picture

28. Four Components of Identity Threat Theory - Stella Ting Toomey.

The following exacerbate and lead to prejudicial and conflict cycles: intergroup anxiety, negative or rigid stereotypes, tangible/realistic threats, and perceived value/symbolic threats. The emphasis placed on the rise of these components is the fact that they emanate from unfamiliar encounters. The core lesson pulled there is that there is not enough familiarity to foster the dialogue necessary to bridge the anxiety of the other’s intentions and expectations.

MaxRamseyer's picture

27. The Four Components of Integrated Threat Theory - Stella Ting Toomey.

Toomey moves on to explain greater depth the components of Integrated Threat Theory. The concept holds four main components, which are intergroup conflict history, intergroup knowledge gap or ignorance, type and frequency of intergroup contact, and societal/group membership power status. I thought that each of these definitions could also be applied to interpersonal power conflicts and imbalances. One of the key points of each of the underlying dynamics is that there is great distance between the two groups.

MaxRamseyer's picture

26. Identity-Based Threats and Face-Threatening Process - Stella Ting Toomey

Toomey launches into Stephan, Stephan, and Gudykunst’s integrated threat theory to pinpoint how feelings of fear and threat underlie intercultural anxiety, which leads to intercultural conflict. The broader definition that these theories raise is the affective side intercultural competence – how feelings are the primary dictators of appropriateness, effectiveness, constructive, and destructive outcomes. It outlines as well how identity begins to play a greater role in the intercultural setting.

MaxRamseyer's picture

25. The Gradients of Power Distance and Individualism-Collectivism

Toomey provides a detailed list of traits that characterize the plane of individualism to collectivism and small-large power distance. For now, Toomey disclaims that much of the research of management styles pertain to the workplaces in the United States and Western Europe and little in Asian, African, South American, and Eastern European styles. The four primary traits are impartial approach, status approach, benevolent approach, and community approach.

MaxRamseyer's picture

24. Cultural and Individual Socialization Value Patterns - Stella Ting Toomey.

As mentioned in Hofstede as well, Toomey emphasizes the primordial binary separations of cultural distances: between individualism and collectivism and equal (small) vs. hierarchical power (large) distance. These cultural frameworks are precursors to the individual’s behavior in normative group settings where these individuals actually enact and perform to varying degrees the cultural values that are instilled into them from their earliest developmental periods.

MaxRamseyer's picture

23. A Culture-Based Situational Conflict Model - Stella Ting Toomey.

Toomey places a significant emphasis on the situation and the context for intercultural conflicts. One of the reasons for this is because it corresponds with the notion previously stated on appropriate behaviors that describe how conflict negotiators must view the conflict as something dependent to a fluid time rather than a stable static fact of something intrinsically immutable. The reason behind this tension is that we grow up with learned values that we inherit from our family, social, and environmental cultures that emphasize certain behaviors, affective states, and importances.

MaxRamseyer's picture

22. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey.

Constructive conflict communication skills relate to the comprehensive dispositions that entail successful intercultural adeptness. Toomey then deepens the notions of mindfulness by incorporating the mechanics of deep listening (both inner and outer), facial strategies, collaboration, and reframing abilities. Toomey’s notions correspond well Darla Deardorff’s model for intercultural competence, as it details the functions of the skills required for proper interaction. The key provided by Toomey is that these skills are highlighted during the intercultural conflicts as well.

MaxRamseyer's picture

21. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey.

According to Toomey, knowledge is the most important component because it allows the conflict negotiator to obtain the information to uncover their own ethnocentric lens. Knowledge of self is core to being an effective middle person in intercultural environments, especially as they pay attention to multiple personalities in play. The next key point of development is mindfulness and how that interplays with intercultural context. Mindfulness is consistently evoked as tool for paying attention to the various elements that go into play for developing consciousness around managing conflict.

MaxRamseyer's picture

20. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey.

Toomey’s definition of effectiveness relates very much to Bennett’s continuum from ethnocentricity to ethnorelativity. Toomey’s parlance, however, refers to the role of the intercultural conflict negotiators skill sets and mind sets: they must view conflict as something unstable rather than stable and be able to mind their own cultural assumptions. More importantly, effectiveness and appropriateness are mutually interdependent processes, one informs and complements the other.

MaxRamseyer's picture

19. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey. Criteria and Components of Intercultural Conflict competence

Toomey discusses that it’s a combination of knowledge, mindfulness, and communication skills and that these spark or reject emotional connection. Identity plays a central role for the interaction because it underscores the expectations that each individual carries into the interaction. The attributes of an interculturally competent conflict manager are primarily the knowledge of the cultural values that guide a situation’s outcome either constructive or destructive nature. Therefore, appropriate behavior is sensitivity to the cultural and affective process.

MaxRamseyer's picture

18. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey.

Intercultural conflict resides in each agents "assessment" of the interaction. This highlights the nature of perceptions and inference intrinsic of the assessing process. Toomey explains that the heart of intercultural conflict is the divergent expectations of what constitutes appropriate interactional attitudes and verbal cues. She then succinctly describes that intercultural conflict competence is the "mindful management of emotional frustrations and conflict interaction struggles due primarily to cultural or ethnic group membership differences"

MaxRamseyer's picture

17. Intercultural Conflict Competence as a Facet of Intercultural Competence Development – Stella Ting Toomey.

Toomey describes Intercultural Competence as a fundamental component for successful negotiations in a globalized world. She then evokes the topic of intercultural conflict competence, which she describes as an almost inevitable process for someone who will engage an intercultural setting for the first time and that learning how to manage conflicting intercultural situations .

MaxRamseyer's picture

16. The Moral Circle in IntercuThe Implications of Trust in Intercultural Competenceltural Competence – Gert Jan Hofstede

Hofstede stresses the importance of knowing one’s cultural biases in order to foster the kind of trust necessary to create the moral circles of intercultural communication. Hofstede then outlines methods for better understanding how to better understand one’s own biases. The first is by acquainting oneself to the literature of the “other” culture. The second is through adaptation, which means talking to people of that particular culture and coming to better understand the behaviors of the people. The last one is by assisting and developing the qualities of diplomacy.

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