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Navigating between Home, Host, and Global

Navigating between Home, Host, and Global: Consequences of Multicultural Team Members' Identity Configurations

by Yih-Teen Lee, Aline Masuda, Xin Fu, and B. Sebastian Reiche

As the world becomes more connected, individuals increasingly interact and collaborate with people of different cultural backgrounds, and hold multiple cultural identities. However, we know little about the effects of cultural identity configurations in the context of collaborative multicultural work. Therefore, we examine how identity configurations, derived from the joint effect of home, host, and global identities, relate to the cultural intelligence (CQ) and leadership perception of members of multicultural teams. Applying polynomial regression and response surface methods, we find that when global identity is low, individuals with balanced culture-specific identities (i.e., identifying equally strongly or weakly to both home and host cultures) demonstrate higher CQ and are more likely to be perceived as leader-like in multicultural teams compared to their counterparts with unbalanced culture-specific identities (i.e., identifying strongly either to home or host culture). However, when global identity is high, individuals of all identity configurations at the culture-specific level tend to show similar levels of outcomes. Based on our findings we propose a comprehensive global acculturation model, which expands Berry’s original typology of acculturation orientations, taking into account both culture-specific and global identities. We also provide insights for further development both of theory and of managerial practice.

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