Cultural distances between home and host countries inspire sojourners to engage in intercultural exchange upon repatriation

Zou, Xi, Wang, Dan J., Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine and Cable, D (2023) Cultural distances between home and host countries inspire sojourners to engage in intercultural exchange upon repatriation. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). ISSN 2045-2322 OPEN ACCESS


We examine how cultural distance between sojourners’ country of origin and their host country influences their engagement in intercultural exchange upon return. One might expect intercultural exchange to be much harder between culturally-distant countries than culturally-close ones, given that the former vary more in norms or expected behaviors from one’s home country. Our novel theorizing, however, leads to precisely the opposite expectations. In particular, we hypothesized that cultural distance between the repatriates’ home and host countries would be positively associated with being inspired by the host culture. In turn, this heightened inspiration would predict an increased sharing of knowledge about the host culture upon returning home (intercultural exchange). We combined measurement-of-mediation (Study 1) and experimental-causal-chain (Studies 2–3) approaches to test and confirm these hypotheses in three large samples of repatriates. We first examined whether cultural distance predicted greater intercultural exchange via repatriates’ heightened inspiration (Study 1). We then tested the individual links in this postulated causal chain. In Study 2, a quasi-experiment, we examined the causal path from cultural distance to inspiration. In Study 3, we experimentally manipulated inspiration to test its causal effect on intercultural exchange. The findings advance theory and application around multicultural experience and intercultural exchange.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Funder Name: Nanyang Technological University
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2023 10:38
Date of first compliant deposit: 17 Oct 2023
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2024 01:23

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