A Worldview MAP Approach to Intercultural Competence in a Multinational Organization in Europe and Japan
The field of intercultural communication emerged from demonstrated need in the public sector and has roots in cultural anthropology. There is continued need in academic and practitioner domains for improved ways to effectively engage across cultures. To do so, it is necessary to develop approaches that enable a person to take the emic perspective of an intercultural Other. Worldview is a promising concept in several fields, such as anthropology and cross-cultural psychology, but remains undeveloped in the field of intercultural competence. In addition, existing conceptualizations and approaches to identify worldviews are too comprehensive or ambiguous to be useful. The purpose of this project was to propose a novel worldview framework synthesizing existing literature. The resulting construct is constituted by the composite universals, morality, agency, and positionality (MAP). Worldview MAP was applied to intercultural interactions between members of two distinct sociocultural groups working together on a two-week global management project in a multinational organization in Japan. Three research questions focused on identifying intercultural difficulties, worldview assumptions of each party, and relationships between the difficulties and worldviews. Inter-rater reliability was calculated for three morality subdimensions most underdeveloped in the literature. Findings include worldview descriptions for both culture groups across MAP and ways in which worldviews are interconnected with and illuminate three complex intercultural difficulties. Further, five meta-level worldview findings show how implicit worldviews were indirectly revealed in narrative data. Limitations of the study and implications for future work are discussed.