The mission to promote national unity has become more strenuous with the decline of intercultural engagement among multicultural students in Malaysian public universities. Underpinned by Anxiety/Uncertainty Management (AUM) theory, this article examines barriers to intercultural communication by integrating ethnocentrism as an additional barrier. Based on a quantitative approach, 449 valid responses were collected from undergraduates from five public universities in Malaysia. Partial-least-squares software (SmartPLS3) was used to test the proposed relationships. The findings reveal that anxiety, uncertainty, and ethnocentrism have a significant negative relationship with intercultural communication.
Anxiety/Uncertainty Management (AUM) theory, ethnocentrism, intercultural communication, undergraduates
Full text article
Agil, V. (2017). Culture and intercultural communication in international relations. European Science Review, 2017(1-2). http://dx.doi.org/10.20534/ESR-17-1.2-35-37
Al-Naggar, R.A., Y.V. Bobryshev & M. Alabsi (2013). Perfectionism and social anxiety among university students in Malaysia. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, 14(1): 1-8.
Ananina, V. & D. Danilov (2015). Ethnic tolerance formation among students of Russian universities: Current state, problems, and perspectives. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 214: 487-496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.11.746
Arasaratnam, L.A. & S.C. Banerjee (2011). Sensation seeking and intercultural communication competence: A model test. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35(2): 226-233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.07.003
Aspers, P. (2018). Forms of uncertainty reduction: Decision, valuation, and contest. Theory and Society, 47(2): 133-149. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11186-018-9311-0
Awang-Shuib, A.R., S.H. Sahari & A.J. Ali (2017). Multicultural awareness and urban communities: Validating a multicultural awareness scale. Journal of Asian Behavioural Studies, 2(5): 45-55. https://doi.org/10.21834/jabs.v2i5.218
Azlan, A.A., C.P. Kee & M.Y. Abdullah (2018). University students’ perceptions on inter-ethnic unity among Malaysians: Situational recognition, social self-construal and situational complexity. Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication, 34(4): 134-153. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://ejournal.ukm.my/mjc/article/download/28906/8963
Azrizal, M. (2014). Communication Apprehension among First-year Engineering Degree Students of Universiti Malaysia Perlis. Center for International Languages, Universiti Malaysia Perlis. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://22.214.171.124/bitstream/handle/123456789/34633/SILK 2014_21.pdf
Baruh, L. & Z. Cemalcılar (2018). When more is more? The impact of breadth and depth of information disclosure on attributional confidence about and interpersonal attraction to a social network site profile owner. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.5817/CP2018-1-1
Bucker, J.J., O.Furrer, E. Poutsma & D. Buyens (2014). The impact of cultural intelligence on communication effectiveness, job satisfaction and anxiety for Chinese host country managers working for foreign multinationals. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(14): 2068-2087. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2013.870293
Campbell, N. (2016). Ethnocentrism and intercultural willingness to communicate: A study of New Zealand management students. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 40. https://immi.se/intercultural/nr40/campbell.html
Cargile, A.C. & S. Bolkan (2013). Mitigating inter-and intra-group ethnocentrism: Comparing the effects of culture knowledge, exposure, and uncertainty intolerance. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37(3): 345-353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2012.12.002
Chang, P.K. & S.N. Kho (2017). A reflection of national integration process and the role of media in Malaysia. Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication, 33(1): 395-405. https://ejournal.ukm.my/mjc/article/download/17013/7725
Chen, Y. & D.Y. Yang (2015). Historical Traumas and the Roots of Political Distrust: Political Inference from the Great Chinese Famine. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2652587
Chin, W.W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modelling. Modern Methods for Business Research, 295(2): 295-336.
Chin, W.W. (2010). How to write up and report PLS analyses. In V.E. Vinzi, W.W. Chin, J. Henseler & H. Wang (eds.), Handbook of Partial Least Squares (655-690). Springer.
Clatterbuck, G.W. (1979). Attributional confidence and uncertainty in initial interaction. Human Communication Research, 5(2): 147-157. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1979.tb00630.x
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.¬
Dada, A.A. & O. Babatunde (2015). A discourse on intercultural communication and nation building. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 3(2): 112-116.
Dang, L. (2016). Intercultural Communication: Differences between Western and Asian Perspective (bachelor thesis). Kokkola, Finland: Centria University of Applied Sciences. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/118823/Dang_Linh.pdf
Goria, C., O. Speicher & S. Stollhans (2016). Innovative Language Teaching and Rearning at University: Enhancing Participation and Collaboration. Research-publishing.net.
Gudykunst, W.B. (1995). Building Bridges: Interpersonal Skills for a Changing World. Houghton Mifflin.
Gudykunst, W.B. (1998). Applying Anxiety/Uncertainty Management (AUM) Theory to intercultural adjustment training. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22(2): 227-250. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(98)00005-4
Gudykunst, W.B. & T. Nishida (2001). Anxiety, uncertainty, and perceived effectiveness of communication across relationships and cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 25(1): 55-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(00)00042-0
Hair, J.F., J.J. Risher, M. Sarstedt & C.M. Ringle (2019). When to use and how to report the results of PLS-SEM. European Business Review, 31(1): 2-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-11-2018-0203
Hair, J.F., M. Sarstedt, C.M. Ringle & S.P. Gudergan (2017). Advanced Issues in Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. Sage.
Hartwig, K.E. (2016). Exploring the Emotional and Cognitive Levels of Uncertainty through Intercultural Communication Intervention (master’s thesis). Youngstown, Ohio, USA: Youngstown State University. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://digital.maag.ysu.edu:8443/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1989/12089/b2224637x.pdf
Hashmi, M., M. Waheed, E. Tamam, S.E. Krauss & A. Ahmad (2017). Exploring perceptions of goodness among the Malaysian and Chinese university students: A focus group study. The Qualitative Report, 22(4): 1076-1090. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2017.2635
Henseler, J., C.M. Ringle & M. Sarstedt (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43: 115-135. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-014-0403-8
Holmes, P. (2005). Ethnic Chinese students’ communication with cultural others in a New Zealand university. Communication Education, 54(4): 289-311. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634520500442160
Hooghe, M. & E. Quintelier (2013). Do all associations lead to lower levels of ethnocentrism? A two-year longitudinal test of the selection and adaptation model. Political Behavior, 35: 289-309. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-012-9201-5
Hosseini Fatemi, A., G.H. Khajavy & C.W. Choi (2016). Testing a model of intercultural willingness to communicate based on ethnocentrism, ambiguity tolerance and sensation seeking: The role of learning English in Iran. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 45(4): 304-318. https://doi.org/10.1080/17475759.2016.1190776
Ihtiyar, A. (2018). Interaction of intercultural service encounters: Personality, intercultural communication and customer satisfaction. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 30(1): 2-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-01-2017-0014
Ilie, O.A. (2019). Intercultural communication barriers: China and the USA, The Difficulties of a Dialogue. International Conference Knowledge-Based Organization, 25(2): 258-263.
Ismail, I.R. (2015). Investigating Intercultural Communication Demonstrated Among Staff at University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) (doctoral dissertation). Darling Heights, Australia: University of Southern Queensland. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://eprints.usq.edu.au/28247/1/Ismail_2015_whole.pdf
Jackson, J. (2017). Intercultural friendship. In Y.Y. Young (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118783665.ieicc0057
Jaganathan, T. & M. Kaur (2003). The influence of culture on the communicative style of students in a Malaysian secondary school. Journal of Language Teaching, Linguistics and Literature, 8: 63-76. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/11492100.pdf
Jandt, E.F. (2013). An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community (7th ed.). Sage.
Ketab, S.M.G., E. Tamam & J. Bolong (2015). Impact of ethnocentrism on interethnic interactions among local students in Malaysian universities. Taylor’s Business Review, 5(1): 11-30. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://www.academia.edu/download/56634642/Impact_of_Ethnocentrism_on_Interethnic_Interactions_among_Local_Students_in_Malaysian_Universities..pdf
Khojastehrad, S. & M. Sattarova (2015). International students’ linguistic awareness of Malaysian English and its impact on intercultural communication effectiveness. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(5): 250-259. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://www.journals.aiac.org.au/index.php/alls/article/download/1820/1691
Khumsikiew, J., S. Donsamak & M. Saeteaw (2015). A model of small-group problem-based learning in pharmacy education: Teaching in the clinical environment. IAFOR Journal of Education, 3(2): 95-108. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1100638.pdf
Kim, Y.Y. (2017). Contextual theory of interethnic communication. In Y.Y. Young (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118783665.ieicc0010
Krejcie, R.V. & D.J. Morgan (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3): 607–610. https://doi.org/10.1177/2F001316447003000308
Liu, S., Z. Volcic & C. Gallois (2014). Introducing Intercultural Communication: Global Cultures and Contexts. Sage.
Logan, S., Z. Steel & C. Hunt (2015). Investigating the effect of anxiety, uncertainty and ethnocentrism on willingness to interact in an intercultural communication. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(1): 39-52. https://doi.org/10.1177/2F0022022114555762
Logan, S., Z. Steel & C. Hunt (2016). Intercultural willingness to communicate within health services: Investigating anxiety, uncertainty, ethnocentrism and help seeking behaviour. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 54: 77–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2016.07.007
Logan, S., Z. Steel & C. Hunt (2017). Ethnic status and engagement with health services: Attitudes toward help-seeking and intercultural willingness to interact among South East Asian students in Australia. Transcultural Psychiatry, 54(2): 192-210. https://doi.org/10.1177/2F1363461517696437
Mahmud, M.M. & S.F. Wong (2016). Understanding the repercussions of intercultural communicative competence: A study on the degree of students’ cultural awareness, social and communication skills. Journal of Human Sciences, 13(3): 5561-5573. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://www.j-humansciences.com/ojs/index.php/IJHS/article/view/4093/2034
Manan, A.A. & S. Shamsudin (2017). Comparing Form Four Malay and Chinese students’ spoken English. The English Teacher, 41(1): 13-26.
Mandayar, R. (2011). Kompetensi komunikasi antara budaya dan prestasi kerja: kajian dikalangan staf sokongan di UTM (doctoral dissertation). Johor: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/41670/5/RahimahMandayarMFPPSM2011.pdf
Miskam, N.N. & A. Saidalvi (2019). Investigating English language speaking anxiety among Malaysian undergraduate learners. Asian Social Science, 15(1): 1-7. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/10e7/2d0dcf0282a72eae4530173babad88ab9f5a.pdf
Misni, F. (2014). Kompetensi komunikasi antara budaya dan prestasi kerja dalam kalangan kakitangan sekolah pengajian siswazah (doctoral dissertation). Johor: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://eprints.utm.my/id/eprint/53702/25/FarahanaMisniMFPPSM2014.pdf
Moulita (2015). Kecekapan komunikasi antara budaya mahasiswa Indonesia dan Malaysia: Satu kajian kes (doctoral dissertation, Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Mustapha, R., N. Azman, F. Karim, A.R. Ahmad & M.A. Lubis (2009). Social integration among multi-ethnic students at selected Malaysian universities in peninsular Malaysia: A survey of campus social climate. ASEAN Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 1(1): 35–44. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://ejournal.ukm.my/ajtlhe/article/download/10462/3465
Neuliep, J.W. (2012). The relationship among intercultural communication apprehension, ethnocentrism, uncertainty reduction, and communication satisfaction during initial interaction: An extension of anxiety and uncertainty management theory. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 41: 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17475759.2011.623239
Neuliep, J. W. (2015). Uncertainty and anxiety in intercultural encounters. In Y.Y. Young (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118540190.wbeic071
Neuliep, J.W. (2017). Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach (7th ed.). Sage.
Neuliep, J. (2019). Anxiety, uncertainty, and intercultural communication. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication (https://oxfordre.com/communication). https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.506
Neuliep, J.W. & J.C. McCroskey (1997a). The development of a US and generalized ethnocentrism scale. Communication Research Reports, 14(4): 385-398. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824099709388682
Neuliep, J.W. & J.C. McCroskey (1997b). The development of intercultural and interethnic communication apprehension scales. Communication Research Reports, 14(2): 145-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/08824099709388656
Novinger, T. (2001). Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide. University of Texas Press.
Presbitero, A. & H. Attar (2018). Intercultural communication effectiveness, cultural intelligence and knowledge sharing: Extending anxiety-uncertainty management theory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 67: 35-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2018.08.004
Redmond, M.V. (2015). Uncertainty Reduction Theory. English Technical Reports and White Papers 3. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=engl_reports
Ridzuan, A.R.B., J. Bolong & A.M.A. Said (2017). The level of cyber ethnocentrism among multiethnic in Malaysia. Academic Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 1: 1-14. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://ir.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/29909/1/29909.pdf
Robinson, A.L. (2017). Ethnic diversity, segregation and ethnocentric trust in Africa. British Journal of Political Science, 50(1): 217-239. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000540
Sekaran, U. & R. Bougie (2016). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach". John Wiley & Sons.
Shwed, U., Y. Kalish & Y. Shavit (2018). Multicultural or assimilationist education: Contact theory and social identity theory in Israeli Arab–Jewish integrated schools. European Sociological Review, 34(6): 645-658. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcy034
Singh, A.S. (2016). Role of Media in Nation Building: Botanical Discourse, Contact Languages and Translation. New-castle-upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.
Sumner, W.G. (1906). Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals. Boston: Ginn and Company.
Tamam, E. (2013). Interracial bridging social capital among students of a multicultural university in Malaysia. Journal of College Student Development, 54(1): 85–97. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2013.0000
Tamam, E. & M. Hashmi (2016). Predicting interethnic bridging social capital in youth ethnic-diversity engagement: The role of interethnic interaction and intercultural sensitivity. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 21(1): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2015.1024697
Tamam, E. & S.E. Krauss (2017). Ethnic-related diversity engagement differences in intercultural sensitivity among Malaysian undergraduate students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 22(2): 137-150. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2014.881295
Tamam, E. & M. Waheed (2017). Intercultural communication study in Malaysia. In Y.Y. Young (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118783665.ieicc0088
Tegelaar, M. (2012). Intergroup anxiety, ethnocentrism, and willingness to communicate with persons experiencing homelessness. Communication Studies Undergraduate Publications, Presentations and Projects. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://pilotscholars.up.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1070&context=cst_studpubs
Tienxhi, J.Y. (2017). The gender gap in Malaysian public universities: examining the “lost boys”. Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE), 6(1). https://doi.org/10.14425/JICE.2017.6.1.0116
Tom, A.A., A. Johari, A. Rozaimi & S. Huzaimah (2013). Factors Contributing to communication apprehension among pre-university students. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(8): 665. http://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/ajis/article/view/790/821
Tominaga, J., W.B. Gudykunst & H. Ota (2003). Perceptions of effective communication in the United States and Japan. International Communication Association Conference, San Diego, California. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://www.ffri.hr/~ibrdar/komunikacija/seminari/Gudykunst%20-%20Perceptions%20of%20ineffective%20communication%20in%20USA%20.doc
Vinzi, V.E., W.W. Chin, J. Henseler & H. Wang (eds.) (2010). Handbook of Partial Least Squares. Springer.
Whitt, J.M. (2015). Examining Mindfulness-based Training Effects upon Uncertainty Reduction in Initial Interaction between Strangers (doctoral dissertation). Colorado State University. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://mountainscholar.org/bitstream/handle/10217/166997/Whitt_colostate_0053N_12963.pdf
Wu, H., E. Garza & N. Guzman (2015). International students’ challenge and adjustment to college. Education Research International, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/202753
Yunus, N., E.Tamam, J. Bolong, N.A. Adzharuddin & F. Ibrahim (2017). Validation of intercultural sensitivity three-factor model in Malaysian context. SHS Web of Conferences, 33. http://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20173300049
Yusof, N.M. & Z.J. Esmaeil (2017). Reconstructing multiculturalism in Malaysia through visual culture. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 8(4 S1): 99-105. Accessed 9 June 2021 from http://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/10018/9651
Yusupova, G.F., J. Podgorecki & N.G. Markova (2015). Educating young people in multicultural educational environment of higher education institution. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 10(4): 561-570. Accessed 9 June 2021 from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1081880.pdf