THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ROLE BEHAVIOR DIFFERENTIATION FOR CROSS-CULTURAL INTERACTION TRAINING
ILLINOIS UIV AT URBANA GROUP EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
In order to train people to deal effectively with persons from another culture, it appears necessary to identify cross-cultural differences which are critical to the working of culturally heterogeneous groups. A theoretical analysis of the development of role differentiation, within and between social systems, in traditional and modern cultures, leads to the hypotheses that traditional cultures stress differentiation of the roles of the same system, while modern culture tends to empathize differentiation of comparable roles of different systems. These hypotheses were tested on the content of a cultural training program found to be effective in improving an individuals performance and interpersonal relations in heterocultural task groups. This training program is composed of 55 problem episodes to be interpreted for causes of conflict by the trainee. The problem episodes were derived from critical incident interviews with individuals who had had cross- cultural experience, as well as from the relevant literature on the target culture, the Middle East. The results support the hypotheses and suggest that role differentiation may constitute an important area for cross-cultural training. A facet analysis of the content of the training program is presented and used in formulating proposals for a systematization of the program.
- Administration and Management