The impact of individualism-collectivism orientation and communal orientation on employees’ attitudes toward intercultural communication The case of Chinese employees in an MNC

Michał Wilczewski (1) , Arkadiusz Gut (2) , Oleg Gorbaniuk (3)
(1) University of Warsaw , Poland
(2) John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin , Poland
(3) John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin , Poland


This study explored relationships between an individualism-collectivism orientation as well as communal orientation and the perceptions of Chinese employees (n = 20) from an MNC of intercultural communication. On the basis of previous research, we hypothesised that this group of employees would display a tendency to focus their attention on the actions, knowledge and needs of their co-workers. To verify this hypothesis, the employees were surveyed in a Chinese subsidiary of a European top manufacturing company. We administered Individualism and Collectivism Scale, Communal Orientation Scale and an original questionnaire survey collecting data about participants’ opinions of cultural diversity, communication problems, and stereotypes in intercultural interactions. A correlation analysis showed that although collectivists expressed positive attitudes to cultural diversity, they accentuated a need for respecting their own cultural values. Both collectivists and communally-oriented employees were not emotionally involved in communication with co-workers from other cultures. Whilst collectivism was moderately associated with focusing on norms at a workplace, communal orientation was proven to be related to maintaining and regulating relationships within a professional group.

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Michał Wilczewski (Primary Contact)
Arkadiusz Gut
Oleg Gorbaniuk
Author Biographies

Michał Wilczewski, University of Warsaw

Michał Wilczewski, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw and a Visiting Scholar at Copenhagen Business School. His main research interests are anthropolinguistics, intercultural communication, organizational communication and cross-cultural research.

Arkadiusz Gut, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Arkadiusz Gut, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Sinology, and a Chairman of Cognitive Studies at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. His main research include cognitive science, cross-cultural studies, cognitive developmental psychology, language as a tool for thinking and philosophy of mind.

Oleg Gorbaniuk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Oleg Gorbaniuk, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of General Psychology at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. His main research interests are social perception, psycho-lexical studies, methodology of marketing research and consumer behaviour.

Wilczewski, M., Gut, A., & Gorbaniuk, O. (2017). The impact of individualism-collectivism orientation and communal orientation on employees’ attitudes toward intercultural communication The case of Chinese employees in an MNC. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 17(3), 1–14.

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