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Intercultural training for US business expatriates in Taiwan

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Purpose ‐ This study aims to explore the intercultural training needs for US business expatriates on assignment in Taiwan. The study assesses Taiwan culture-specific training needs of US expatriates from the perspectives of both US expatriates and their Taiwanese colleagues and compares the perceived importance of these intercultural training needs between these two groups. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This study used the survey method to assess the opinions of US business expatriates as well as their Taiwanese colleagues. A questionnaire was developed for the study. A total of 26 items were identified as knowledge and skills needed for US business expatriates in Taiwan. The items all fall within six categories: knowledge of the nation, relationship building, interpersonal communication, business protocol, legal issues, and living in Taiwan. Findings ‐ Data collected from 78 US respondents and 78 Taiwanese respondents were analyzed using matched pairs t-tests. Between-group differences for the overall 26 items and each category were examined. Results indicate that there was a significant difference between the US and Taiwanese respondents in the perceived importance of the overall items. Originality/value ‐ Although there has been an abundance of literature on intercultural training, rarely has research been done on Taiwan cultural-specific training. A study in this area can help human resource practitioners in developing expatriate training programs. Research results can contribute to the knowledge base of expatriate training and development, as well as the development of theories in this area.
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Keywords: Business expatriates; Intercultural training; International HRD; Taiwan; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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