The Effects of Cross-Cultural Experiences: A Study of Power Distance and Gender Differences in Cultural Adjustment
Globalization has necessitated cross-cultural communication among groups and individuals alike, often beginning with management. This project considers how the degree of Power Distance, one of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, may change over time as a result of exposure to different, and often opposing, cultural values. We conducted two surveys 12 weeks apart collecting an initial sample of 317 and retaining a secondary sample of 142. We gathered data on demographics, education, on-campus involvement, cultural dimensions, and levels of comfort with different cultures. Through data analysis we found that as a result of exposure to different cultural values, cultural groups adjust their own views on Power Distance. Specifically, we found that the Anglo cultural group and the international cultural subgroup that had been living in the U.S. for less than 10 years trended towards each other on levels of Power Distance. We also found that international female students adjusted to new cultural surroundings faster than their male counterparts. These discoveries have led us to conclusions regarding the influence of awareness of other cultural values through international exposure, specifically that of Power Distance, as well as male versus female differences in cultural adjustment, and how differing views might trend towards each other with recurrent interaction.