Developing Cross Cultural Competency of Local Staffs and Expatriates to Contribute to Job Satisfaction through action research in the Business Development Unit (BDU) in MICTDC


  • Yuwapa Banyongrakkul Assumption University
  • Ann L. Clancy Founder of Clancy Consultants, Inc. Billings, Montana, USA


cross cultural competency, job satisfaction, action research and organization development intervention



The aim of this research was to highlight the effects of cross cultural training on job satisfaction of local staff in dealing with foreign expatriates in business organizations in Myanmar. This research used an organizational development intervention (ODI) to assess the concept of cross-cultural competence (CCC) to the Myanmar ICT Development Corporation (MICTDC).Both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) approaches were employed. The research was conducted in Myanmar from January 2015 to November 2015. The data collected was analyzed using SPSS software (for survey) and content analysis (for interview).The findings indicated there was a positive change in recognition of cultural issues in the organization after the ODI. During the pre-ODI stage, interviewees recognized in principle that cultural awareness was a problem for the organization as employees avoided working with expatriate workers or expressed frustration in working with them. However, during the post-ODI stage there was a much stronger recognition of the importance of cross-cultural awareness across the organization, while the perspective of the pre-ODI stage was largely that CCC was important only for those who worked with expatriate workers or international clients. Another noticeable outcome was the connection between CCC and level of job satisfaction in the organization.The ODI resulted in an increased level of CCC and increased level of job satisfaction on the part of both the local and expatriate staff. Both local staff and expatriate staff reported that the cross-cultural training improved their knowledge and skill levels which in turn improved their level of job satisfaction and work experience.


Keywords: cross cultural competency, job satisfaction, action research and organization development intervention 

Author Biography

Yuwapa Banyongrakkul, Assumption University

Director of Newlinks Enterprise Company Limited (Thailand)


Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social-cognitive theory.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Bebenroth, R., & Ismael, M. (2014). Cultural openness, interpersonal justice and job satisfaction

among millenials and seniors: Evidence from Japanese target employees following M&A

(RIEB Kobe University Discussion Paper Series). Retrieved from

Black, J. S., & Mendenhall, M. (1990). Cross-cultural training effectiveness: A review and

theoretical framework for future research. Academy of Management Review, 15(1), 113-136.

Caligiuri, P., Noe, R., Nolan, R., & Ryan, A. M. (2011). Training, developing and assessing

cross-cultural competence in military personnel. U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Carter, R. T. (2003). Becoming racially and culturally competent: The Racial-Cultural

Counseling Laboratory. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 31 (1), 20-30.

Champoux, J. E. (2010). Organizational behavior: Integrating individuals, groups and

organizations. New York: Routledge.

Cummings, T., & Worley, C. (2014). Organizational development and change (10th ed.).

Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Daniels, D. J., Radebaugh, L. H., & Sullivan, D. P. (2004). International business environment

and operations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Earley, P. C. (2002). Redefining interactions across cultures and organizations: Moving forward

with cultural intelligence. In B. M. Staw, & R. M. Kramer (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 24, pp. 271-299). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Early, P. C., & Ang, S. (2003). Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures.

Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.

Egan, M. L., & Bendick, M. (2008). Combining multicultural management and diversity in

one course on cultural competence. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 7 (3), 387-393.

Field, D. L. (2002). Taking measure of work: A guide to validated scales for organizational

research and diagnosis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Freedman, D. A., Pisani, R., & Purves, R. (2007). Statistics (4th ed.). New York: W.W.


French, W. L., Bell, C.H., & Zawacki, R.A. (1994). Organization Development and

Transformation, Managing Effective Change (4th ed.). Richard D. Irwin.

Froese, F. J., & Peltokorpi, V. (2013). Organizational expatriates and self-initiated

expatriates: differences in cross-cultural adjustment and job satisfaction. The

International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (10), 1953-1967.

Fuertes, J. N., Miville, M. L., Mohr, J. J., Sedlacek, W. E., & Gretchen, D. (2000). Factor

structure and short form of the Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 33, 157–169.

Gertsen, M. C., & Søderberg, A. (2010). Expatriate stories about cultural encounters—A

narrative approach to cultural learning processes in multinational companies. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26 (3), 248-257.

Hampden-Turner, C. M., & Trompenaars, F. (2008). Building cross-cultural competence:

How to create wealth within organizations. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Harvey, M., Kiessling, T., & Moeller, M. (2011). Globalization and the inward flow of

immigrants: Issues associated with the inpatriation of global managers. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22 (2), 177-194.

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of

the mind. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.

House, R. J. (2004). Culture, leadership and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Johnson, J. P., Lepartowicz, T., & Apud, S. (2006). Cross-cultural competence in

international business: toward a definition and a model. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 525-543.

Lewis, R. D. (2006). When cultures collide: Leading across cultures (3rd ed.). Boston, MA:

Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Lloyd, S., & Härtel, C. (2010). Intercultural competencies for culturally diverse work teams.

Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25 (8), 845-875.

Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2013). Intercultural competence. New York: Pearson


Maude, B. (2011). Managing cross-cultural communication: Principles and practice. New

York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mitchell, M., & Jolley, J. (2009). Research design explained. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Miville, M. L., Gelso, C. J., Pannu, R., Liu, W., Touradji, P., Holloway, P., et al. (1999).

Appreciating similarities and valuing differences: The Miville-Guzman Universality-Diversity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46, 291–307.

Molinsky, A. (2007). Cross-cultural code-switching: The psychological challenges of

adapting behavior in foreign cultural interactions. Academy of Management Review, 32 (2), 622-640.

Palthe, J. (2014). Cross-level cultural congruence: Implications for managing diversity in

multinational corporations. Journal of Diversity Management, 9 (1), 51-62.

Rentsch, J. R., & Steel, R. P. (1992). Construct and concurrent validation of the Andrews and

Withey Job Satisfaction Questionnaire. Educational And Psychological Measurement, 52, 357-367.

Schensul, S. L. (1999). Essential ethnographic methods: Observations, interviews and

questionnaires. San Francisco, CA: Rowman Altamira.

Simkhoyvych, D. (2009). The relationship between intercultural effectiveness and perceived

project team performance in the context of international development. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 33 (5), 383-390.

Sizoo, S. (2006). A comparison of the effect of intercultural sensitivity on employee

performance in cross-cultural service encounters: London vs. Florida. Journal of Euromarketing, 15 (4), 77-100.

Sizoo, S., Iskat, W., & Serrie, H. (2005). The effect of intercultural sensitivity on employee

performance in cross-cultural service encounters. Journal of Services Marketing, 19 (4), 245-255.

Solomon, C.M. & Schell, M.S. (2009) Managing across cultures: The seven keys to doing

business with a global mindset. London: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Stringer, E. T. (2007). Action research (3rd ed.). London: Sage.

Tan, J. S., & Chua, R. J. (2003). Training and developing cultural intelligence. In P. C. Earley, &

S. ANg (Eds.), Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures (pp. 258-303). Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.

Von Glinow, M. A., Shapiro, D. L., & Brett, J. M. (2004). Can we talk, and should we?

Managing emotional conflict in multicultural terms. Academy of Management Review, 29(4), 578-592.

Walsh, J., & Lin, N. S. (2013). Performance assessment in the international hotel sector of

Yangon, Myanmar. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 5 (5), 282-290.

Williams, C. C. (2005). Training for cultural competence: Individual and group processes.

Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 14 (1-2), 111-143.

Williams, C., Champion, T., & Hall, I. (2010). MGMT. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Yamazaki, Y., & Kayes, D. C. (2004). An experiential approach to cross-cultural learning: A

review and integration of competencies for successful expatriate adaptation. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 3 (4), 362-379.

Yesil, S. (2013). The impact of cultural intelligence (CQ) on cross-cultural job satisfaction

(CCJS) and international related performance (IRP). Journal of Culture, Society and Development, 1, 41-54.