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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Chris Cartwright

First Committee Member

Janet M. Bennett

Second Committee Member

Hans de Wit


lntercultural competence is seen as a necessary skill for international business studies graduates. Can faculty and staff members at international business studies programs improve their intercultural competence by participating in a series of intercultural learning activities? In this study 10 faculty and staff members went through nine 4-hour intercultural learning sessions. Their intercultural sensitivity was tested before and after the sessions. The study builds on research that makes use of the Intercultural Development Inventory for the assessment of intercultural competence development. The framework for intercultural learning used in this study is based on a Process Model of Intercultural Competence and the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. The study made use of mixed methods for data collection: IDI pre- and post-testing, participative observation, and interview. Analysis of the data revealed that faculty and staff members gained on average 8.02 points on a 90-point scale (the IDI developmental orientation). The group moved form minimization to acceptance.

Faculty and staff members with a positive developmental score reduced their orientation gap with on average 7.47 points. This means they can now more realistically estimate their ability of dealing with cultural differences. In interviews faculty and staff members confirmed to feel more interculturally sensitive and that reflection, engagement and the making of meaning are important elements of mindful intercultural interaction. This study should ideally be followed by a study comparing the intercultural competence development of faculty and staff members with the intercultural competence development of their students, answering the question whether interculturally competent educators hone intercultural competence development of students more or better than those who are less interculturally competent.



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