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B E R N D K U P K A , A N D R M . E V E R E T T, S T E P H E N G .
AT K I N S , M A R I O N M E R T E S A C K E R , LY N N E W A LT E R S ,
T I M W A LT E R S , A N D R E A G R A F, L . B R O O K S H I L L ,
C A R L E Y D O D D , A N D J R G E N B O LT E N
The Intercultural Communication Motivation Scale (ICMS) is a tool to assess
the intercultural communication motivation of candidates for international
assignments. The ICMS performed well in four studies conducted with undergraduate students in New Zealand, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Germany. Generally showing a stable five-factor structure, high
test-retest correlations, very high Cronbachs alphas, and almost no social
desirability bias in self and peer evaluations, the ICMS is sensitive enough to
detect test-retest differences. Thus, socially responsible strategic international HR programs can use this scale to reliably evaluate employees and their
families for specific international locations. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: Intercultural Communication Motivation Scale, intercultural

communication competence, strategic international human resource
management, intercultural communication training, assessment, selection, international assignments

rade liberalizations, deregulation,

change, and competition characterize todays tumultuous global economic environment. Organizations
react to these transformations by
reconfiguring the structure of work and labor
arrangements (Schippmann et al., 2000).

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) that strive

to take a global orientation attempt to adjust
their human resource strategy to support
these corporate developments and adopt a
strategic international human resource management (SIHRM) perspective. In some MNEs
the SIHRM function is primarily charged

Correspondence to: Bernd Kupka, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Business Administration Department,
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001, Phone: +1-920-465-2496, Fax: +1-920-465-2660, E-mail: kupkab@uwgb.edu
Human Resource Management, SeptemberOctober 2009, Vol. 48, No. 5, Pp. 717 744
2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20312



with recruiting, selecting, and training suitable candidates to fill international posts.
Selection of expatriates based on their
motivational strength and training them to
overcome their motivational deficiencies represent a socially responsible SIHRM approach.
Currently, IHRM professionals are at a loss
when they attempt to fulfill their companys
social responsibility to select candidates and
assess the training needs of future and current expatriates. The World Business Council
for Sustainable Development (1999) defines
corporate social responsibility as the continuing commitment by business to behave
ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of
the workforce and their families
as well as of the local community
Selection of
and society at large (p. 3).
Adopting an IHRM perspective
expatriates based
on corporate social responsibility
on their motivational means that MNEs need to protect
their human capital (expatriates
strength and training and their families and host culture
employees) against any type of
them to overcome
harm and loss. Human capital
could be harmed by loss of selftheir motivational
esteem, anxiety, and stress because
of insufficient levels of intercultural competence, which can lead
represent a socially
to physical and psychological illness. This might result in limited
responsible SIHRM
success and reduced productivity
in the assignment. Harm could
also spill over from home to work,
or vice versa, and negatively affect expatriates private and, consequently, work life, as
described by Caligiuri, Hyland, Joshi, and
Bross (1998). Human capital loss could occur
as voluntary or forced turnover, either during
or after the assignment, because of lack of success on the international job or because expatriates believe that the assigning MNEs did
not fulfill their part of the psychological contract. Kupka (2003) finds that voluntary turnover rates can reach 20% within one year after
the assignment. Not illuminated is the side of
host culture employees, who have been insufficiently researched. Yet the norm of reciprocity suggests that locals ought to experience
similarly negative consequences.

As part of a socially responsible SIHRM

program, a fair and thorough selection process and the provision of intercultural communication training enable expatriates to
work effectively and efficiently during international assignments (Caligiuri & Tarique,
2006; De Cieri & Dowling, 2006). The accurate assessment of future expatriates strengths
and weaknesses is crucial to the implementation of sound selection methods and intercultural communication training programs
that serve expatriates particular needs
(Earley & Peterson, 2004; Littrell & Salas,
2005; Tarique & Caligiuri, 2004). Intercultural communication motivation (ICM)
deserves specific attention because only
sufficient motivation enables trainees to
apply their knowledge and skills appropriately and effectively (Spitzberg, 2000).
Numerous scholars have identified motivation as a central component of intercultural
communication competence (ICC; Gertsen,
1990; Spitzberg, 2000; Wiseman, 2002). The
motivation to communicate across cultural
borders is particularly important for expatriates who frequently engage in face-to-face
interactions (Black & Mendenhall, 1989). The
process of intercultural communication, however, poses the risk of heightened uncertainty
and ambiguity, resulting in high levels of
anxiety (Gudykunst, 2005). As a consequence,
mutual misunderstandings with negative impressions of individuals and their culture can
occur when individuals from different cultural backgrounds who are not interculturally
competent communicators interact (Hammer, Nishida, & Wiseman, 1996).
Hammer, Gudykunst, and Wiseman
(1978) suggest that intercultural communication motivation is one of the major criteria of
intercultural communication competence.
They state that sojourners who are able to
establish meaningful relationships with people from the host culture are more likely, it
would appear, to integrate themselves into
the social fabric of the host culture and to
more effectively satisfy their own basic needs
and concerns of friendship, intimacy, and
social interaction (p. 390). Caligiuri (2000a,
2000b) agrees and argues that expatriates
who are motivated to establish intercultural
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


relationships with both host nationals and

other international assignees tend to adapt
more quickly to the host culture, to be more
productive during their sojourn, and to complete their missions successfully. De Cieri
and Dowling (2006) suggest that managers
who act in the context of global assignments
need to engage less in competitive practices
as the foundation of their relationships
with organizational environments and more
in cooperative efforts in networks and alliances through which value is added and
competitive advantages are gained. The scholars argue that these connections are established through interpersonal relationships,
built on trust, and maintained through longterm, pervasive, nonbinding social contracts
among corporate stakeholders from home
and host countries. De Cieri and Dowling
(2006) and Johnson and Cullen (2002) point
out the particular importance of trust in
these relationship webs and agree with Tung
(2002) that global organizations need to select and retain employees who are motivated
to develop, maintain, and extend a network
of mutually satisfying relationships among
stakeholders through collaborative work.
Only then can they be perceived as competent intercultural communicators, appear
trustworthy, and positively contribute to the
corporate bottom line. Bjrkman and Fan
(2002) suggest that if HR personnel can facilitate a well-rounded selection and training
process, then HR can contribute to positive
corporate financial outcomes and organizational performance.
Many international assignees will require
training to become motivated to communicate interculturally. If provided at important
points during the expatriation process (preparation, expatriation, repatriation), intercultural communication training can help
improve expatriates intercultural communication competence (Bennett, Aston, &
Colquhoun, 2000; Black & Mendenhall, 1990;
Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991; Black &
Gregersen, 2000; Bolten, 2001; Brewster &
Pickard, 1994; Brislin, 1989; Earley, 1987;
Khlmann, 2001; Mendenhall, 2001; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1986; Mendenhall & Stahl,
2000; Ronen, 1989; Scullion & Brewster,
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

2001; Selmer, 1995; Stahl, Miller,

Einfalt, & Tung, 2000; Tung, 1981,
1982, 1987, 1988, 1998). Earley
and Peterson (2004) state that
training can address identified
motivation deficiencies. In the
training process international assignees can acquire knowledge
and skills to manage their attitudes and emotions toward other
cultures (Gudykunst, Guzley, &
Hammer, 1996). In particular,
anxiety can be reduced and trust
through training programs, resulting in improved intercultural
communication competence (Caligiuri & Tarique, 2006; Gudykunst, 1992, 2005).
Despite the long history of research on and advances in training as a corporate HR tool for ICC
enhancement, a gap still exists in
the operationalization and testing
of valid tools to assess training
needs and effectiveness (Johnson,
Lenartowicz, & Apud, 2006; McCroskey, 1993). Because of an
inappropriate focus on technical
expertise as the main criterion for
international assignment selection (Clegg & Gray, 2002; Harvey
& Novicevic, 2001; Tung, 1981,
1982), and because HR offices
have limited or no influence on
selection decisions in many MNEs
(Halcrow, 1999; Swaak, 1995),
there is a dearth of sophisticated
and relevant HR selection methods. Caligiuri and Tarique (2006)
call for a concerted effort by academics and HR practitioners to
develop evaluation tools and
methods to conduct a more thorough selection process and cultivate a true SIHRM approach.
The implementation of sound selection methods is crucial to the
accurate assessment of future and
current expatriates strengths and
weaknesses because it enables


The accurate
assessment of future
expatriates strengths
and weaknesses
is crucial to the
implementation of
sound selection
methods and
training programs
that serve
expatriates particular
needs (Earley &
Peterson, 2004;
Littrell & Salas, 2005;
Tarique & Caligiuri,
2004). Intercultural
motivation (ICM)
deserves specific
attention because
only sufficient
motivation enables
trainees to apply their
knowledge and skills
appropriately and
effectively (Spitzberg,



global corporations international HR function to construct tailor-made training programs that serve the particular needs of
employees (Earley & Peterson, 2004; Littrell
& Salas, 2005; Tarique & Caligiuri, 2004)
and can enhance the participants intercultural competence (Gertsen, 1990, p. 351).
A needs assessment process ought to be a
central part of any training course
(Gudykunst et al., 1996) and
should be conducted using a psyIntercultural
chometrically sound instrument,
allowing MNEs human resource
personnel to make educated decisions on whom to select for intermotivation is
national assignments and how to
defined as the
train future expatriates and their
partners. Caligiuri and Phillips
set of feelings,
(2003) propose that an objective
self-assessment tool for global
intentions, needs,
assignments should enhance an
and drives
individuals self-efficacy for a
global assignment (p. 1106).
associated with the
This article contributes to the
of relevant SIHRM
anticipation of or
tools for selecting and training
actual engagement expatriates and, thus, narrows
the gap between research and
in intercultural
SIHRM reality. The focus of this
research is on intercultural comcommunication
munication motivation because
of its relevance to the transfer
(Wiseman, 2002,
of knowledge and skills from
p. 211). Previous
training contexts to international
mission contexts. In the following
research findings
sections, the ontological origins
of ICM are investigated and a
suggest it consists
tool to measure it, the Interculof three elements:
tural Communication Motivation
Scale (ICMS), is introduced. The
anxiety, trust, and
epistemological approach of this
article is interdisciplinary, inteself-efficacy.
grating theoretical influences
from a multitude of academic
domains, including SIHRM, communication,
psychology, and sociology. In building
this conglomerate of theories, we answer
the call for multidisciplinary research to
enhance the understanding of the issues
involved in SIHRM (De Cieri & Dowling,

The Ontology of Intercultural

Communication Motivation
Motivation has been recognized as a central
factor of intercultural communication competence in communicative interactions (Bolten, 2001; Hammer et al., 1996; Imahori &
Lanigan, 1989; Martin, 1993; Spitzberg, 2000;
Wiseman, 2002). Intercultural communication motivation is defined as the set of feelings, intentions, needs, and drives associated
with the anticipation of or actual engagement in intercultural communication (Wiseman, 2002, p. 211). Previous research
findings suggest it consists of three elements:
anxiety, trust, and self-efficacy. These are
related to two of the Big Five personality
characteristicsemotional stability (anxiety
and trust) and extroversion (self-efficacy)
which repeatedly have been linked to
expatriate success (Caligiuri, 2000a, 2000b).
Wiseman (2002) suggests that an individual
may be skilled and knowledgeable, but anxiety and trust issues can negatively affect his
or her perception of other cultures and inhibit communication across cultural boundaries. The resulting avoidance of interaction
will reduce the effectiveness of the expatriate
in the international assignment. To overcome
this apprehension, expatriates and their partners need high levels of trust and self-efficacy
to take the initiative to approach host culture
natives actively to achieve organizational
goals. The three ontological roots of ICM are
outlined in the following.

Bandura (1997) defines anxiety as a state of
anticipatory apprehension over possible deleterious happenings (p. 137). Anxiety has
long been a matter of academic interest in
various fields, particularly in the disciplines
of teaching, training, and performance
management. One result of this research is
Gudykunsts (2005) anxiety and uncertainty
management theory. Gudykunst (2005) states
that interacting with strangers is characterized by anxiety and uncertainty (p. 285).
Strangers, according to Collier and Thomas
(1988), are those whose cultural identity is
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


saliently different from ones own identity in

the specific interaction context. This perceived deviance from the cultural norms of
the in-group creates uneasiness, tension,
communication apprehension and avoidance, and anxiety because of the associated
uncertainty about relevant rules, goals, involved processes, interaction outcomes, and
potentially negative consequences (Duronto,
Nishida, & Nakayama, 2005; Gudykunst,
2005; Stephan & Stephan, 1985). Communicators fear four negative repercussions in intergroup communication: 1) threats to their
self-identity, 2) harmful behavioral consequences, 3) undesirable evaluations by members of the out-group, and 4) undesirable
evaluations by members of the in-group
(Stephan & Stephan, 1985). Nevertheless, intercultural contexts also invoke a natural curiosity. In fact, Gudykunst (2005) argues that
humans need moderate amounts of uncertainty and anxiety to be sufficiently and
nonthreateningly motivated to engage in
communicative exchanges.
To overcome the inherent ambiguity of
such situations, manage the resulting anxiety, reaffirm identities, regulate the relationship, and achieve homeostasis and group
inclusion, expatriates need to engage in communicative information-seeking acts that
reduce the predictive uncertainty (Berger,
1979; Gudykunst, 2005) if the context requires it. The need to manage uncertainty,
however, is influenced by cultural conventions and individual factors, such as tolerance for ambiguity (Gudykunst, 2005;
Hofstede, 2001). Successful anxiety and uncertainty management in interactions with
strangers is associated with the development
of trustthat is, positive expectations of rewarding interactive outcomes (Gudykunst,
2005); increased empathythat is, cognitive
and emotional perspective taking (Stephan &
Stephan, 1992); heightened attraction to and
respect for strangers; decreased communication apprehension and avoidance; and
an appreciation for interdependence with
strangers as well as their cultural difference
(Duronto et al., 2005; Gudykunst, 2005).
In summary, anxiety caused by uncertainty through unfamiliarity with the behavHuman Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


ioral rules in foreign environments narrows

the focus of attention and feeds ethnocentrism (Stephan & Stephan, 1985, pp. 167
168). Therefore, we suggest that SIHRM
combats anxiety in expatriates and their partners through the provision of tailor-made
intercultural communication training that
raises their levels of ICM. Lower anxiety
allows international assignees to engage in
intercultural exchanges in a more motivated
fashion and can facilitate the creation of mutually trusting and satisfying relationships
with host culture natives. These relationships
can lead to an extension of social networks in
the host culture, which involve not only corporate stakeholders, but also expatriates of
other global entities. Such networks can lead
to intercorporate ties that can produce jobs
for expatriated partners, create new business
opportunities, and foster symbiotic information sharing. These
Anxiety: Bandura
acts of cooperation are motivated
by an element that initially exists
(1997) defines
in all interactions: trust (Johnson
& Cullen, 2002).
anxiety as a state


of anticipatory

apprehension over
International communication
training and SIHRM researchers possible deleterious
have paid little attention to trust
as a contributor to the success of
international missions. In fact,
(p. 137).
Johnson and Cullen (2002) conclude that we do not yet have a
generalizable and comprehensive model of
trust in exchange (p. 335). Lewicki and Bunker (1995) define trust as a state involving
confident positive expectations about anothers motives regarding oneself in situations of
risk. Risky situationsthat is, circumstances
that can trigger anxiety because of unknown
outcomesare particularly relevant to expatriates. They are often bestowed with leadership positions in which they have to interact
with host culture natives, from whom they
expect mutually satisfying cooperation. At
the same time, they are risking their own
well-being (emotional, mental, physical, and
career) and risking the investments of



The importance of trust was demonstrated by Rosen, Digh, Singer, and Phillips
(2000), who find that socially literate leaders
display behaviors that create environments
in which trust fosters mutually satisfying relationships. Similarly, Chan, Huang, and Ng
(2008) find a significant correlation between
managers integrating conflict management
style to trust and subordinates job satisfaction and turnover intention. Though their
research was conducted in a national context, their findings extend to the expatriate
work situation. Global missionaries need to
gain the trust of host culture workers through
satisfying communication, which should
reduce their turnover intentions, thereby retaining human capital in the international
Stressing the importance of trust in a globalized world, Doney, Cannon, and Mullen
(1998) summarize that trust can
lower transaction costs, facilitate
Johnson and Cullen interorganizational relationships,
(2002) conceptualize and enhance manager-subordinate relationships. Wicks, Berman,
and Jones (1999) add that managtrust as a dynamic,
ers who develop trust in relationcyclical, reciprocal/ ships with stakeholders will
improve firm performance. Banai
interdependent, and
and Reisel (1999) also contend
that enhancing trust in subsidtrainable element
iaries of MNEs may reduce manaof cross-cultural
gerial reliance on formalization of
control and thereby lower operaexchanges.
tional cost structures (p. 478).
Therefore, trust has been established as an aspect of interpersonal/international/intercultural relationships, particularly
since Johnson and Cullen (2002) categorize
trust as an element of motivation when they
speak of necessary motivational investments
to increase trust.
Despite the lack of a theory on trust
in intercultural relationships, Spitzberg
(2000) includes trust in his model of intercultural communication competence when
he proposes that as mutual trust increases,
relational competence increases. The more
partners trust one another, the more competent interaction is likely to be, and the more
competent the relationship is likely to be

(p. 386). The scholar adds that trust provides

the environment in which relationships
can be more open, honest, spontaneous, and
direct, and that mutual reciprocity in trust
should result in more productive and satisfying relationships.
Another scholar who addresses trust is
the sociologist Jonathan H. Turner (1987),
who identifies the need to trust as a motivating factor in our interactions with others.
This trust is particularly associated with the
need to reduce anxiety and improve predictability and reliability. Turner (1987) states
that our desire for trust is subconscious and
shapes the behaviors that interlocutors display, their agendas and identities, and the
rules they follow. Gudykunst and Kim (2003)
follow Turners lead and state that a lack of
trust negatively influences ICM. In an empirical study that investigates trust and its
relationships to expatriate effectiveness during international assignments, Hawes and
Kealey (1981) state that technical advisers
who are motivated on their international assignments will make an effort to engage in
intercultural interactions with host culture
natives, familiarize themselves with local
customs and codes of conduct, and gain an
appreciation for hosts and their culture.
When this effort triggers a reciprocal reaction
from locals, a mutual perception of trust
sets in.
Johnson and Cullen (2002) summarize
the work on trust in intercultural relationships when they claim that all relationships
are built on an initial level of trust that serves
as a motor of relationship building, a notion
that is supported by McKnight, Cummings,
and Chervany (1998). Johnson and Cullen
(2002) conceptualize trust as a dynamic, cyclical, reciprocal/interdependent, and trainable element of cross-cultural exchanges. The
authors add that it can take on the form of
situational trust, which is based on costbenefit analyses, experiences (with a particular type of coactors), and the reputation of
the exchange members.
Those responsible for SIHRM and intercultural communication training programs,
therefore, need to select individuals who
are willing to trust culturally different
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


communicative partners. At the same time,

expatriates need to conduct themselves in a
trustworthy manner, particularly if the cultures of their target countries value trust and
personal relationships. During training exercises, expatriates need to acquire the knowledge about their home and host cultures to
understand traditions, behaviors, and rules
so that they can accurately read cultural
signals. International assignees also need to
learn the skills to behave appropriately and
effectively in a trustworthy mannerthat is,
they need to be trained to perform the behaviors that elicit feelings of predictability,
reliability, and trust. Only then will they
have the necessary ICM to succeed in their
international posts.
Individuals in trusting relationships feel
more secure and can focus on the outcome of
their interactionsthat is, they can concentrate on their self-efficacious intentions in
the relationship.

Spitzberg (2000) makes self-efficacy a component of ICM when he contends that as
reward-relevant efficacy beliefs increase, communication motivation increases (p. 381).
Bandura (1986) also identifies it as a key facet
of motivation and has defined self-efficacy as
a judgment of ones capability to accomplish a certain level of performance (p. 391).
Bandura (1977) claims that self-efficacy
is one of the most powerful influences on
behavior and behavioral change because it
directly affects actual behavior execution,
execution energy, and execution persistence.
He also argues that self-efficacy is a more
powerful predictor of behavior than either
outcome expectations or past performance.
Multon, Brown, and Lent (1991) and Schunk
(1991) present the empirical support for this
Self-efficacy as a behavior predictor and
factor of ICM works as a filter through which
communicative situations are evaluated for
their level of complexity, difficulty, and importance. Mills, Pajares, and Herron (2006)
explain that a weaker sense of efficacy,
therefore, arouses anxiety as well as decreases
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


achievement (p. 277). Communicators

deeming certain encounters as too challenging will avoid those situations, a disposition
known as communication avoidance (Gudykunst, 1992). In contrast, self-efficacious
communicators will seek out taxing circumstances in which they want to succeed and,
consequently, can see themselves and are
perceived as competent communicative partners (Gudykunst, 1992). Phillips and Gully
(1997) support this contention as they find
that individuals self-efficacy affects their
goal-setting behavior, with greater selfefficacy being associated with the setting of
higher goals and ultimately with higher performance. Parallel to this, Kozlowski, Gully, Nason, and Smith
Bandura (1986)
(1999) find that self-efficacy
affects the team performance of
also identifies [selforganizational members in that
individuals with higher selfefficacy] as a key
efficacy are more likely to contribfacet of motivation
ute to their teams effectiveness
through their increased motivaand has defined
tion, higher goals, and greater
persistence. Additionally, self[it] as a judgment
efficacy research stipulates that
of ones capability
the interest level of individuals
will increase when their selfto accomplish a
efficacy increases (Lenox & Subich,
1994). In relation to interest and
certain level of
achievement, self-efficacy has
both a general and a contextdependent dimension (Sherer
(p. 391).
et al., 1982). A variety of previous
experiences from multiple spheres
of life influence the level of general selfefficacy, and experiences made in specific
contexts influence the performance expectations in the same or similar situations (Sherer
et al., 1982).
The implications for SIHRM programs involve the likely relationship between mission
success and self-efficacy (Milstein, 2005).
Kline Harrison, Chadwick, and Scales (1996)
find that expatriates with high levels of
self-efficacy show greater degrees of general,
interaction, and work adjustment than less
efficacious missionaries, a finding that Mak
and Tran (2001) reproduce. Consequently,
only expatriates and their partners who



project themselves to be successful in challenging situations and who actually want to

go abroad to prove themselves, despite the
inherent uncertainty, diversity, cognitive dissonance, and adversity, should be selected for
international assignments. These individuals
have higher levels of expectations to succeed
in social and professional contexts. Such candidates not only should be more successful in
their global missions but also should take this
self-efficacy back to their home office once
they return from their assignments, which
should result in better retention, knowledge
and skills transfer, and development of a
global mind-set (Khlmann, 2001). Training
programs need to focus on the creation of
positive experiences through a succession of
increasingly difficult tasks and interactions,
followed by specific feedback.
In summary, self-efficacy determines and
predicts behavior execution and perseverance, is negatively correlated to anxiety, and
is based on previous general and specific experiences. To be successful in global missions, expatriates need to demonstrate a
high level of intercultural self-efficacythat
is, a high degree of confidence and persistence to reach desired goals in novel environments with challenging communicative
patterns (Earley & Peterson, 2004).

Anticipatory adjustment

Measuring ICM
The literature provides support for the proposition that intercultural communication
motivation influences the quality of the relationships expatriates are able to build while
abroad and that it deserves specific attention
in selection processes and training needs assessments because only sufficient motivation
enables trainees to apply knowledge and
skills appropriately and effectively (Spitzberg,
2000). Therefore, measurement of ICM becomes relevant, and the need for a validated
instrument arises. But an extensive literature
review revealed no existing instrument for
doing so. Having determined that ICM consists of intercultural anxiety, intercultural
trust, and intercultural self-efficacy, we developed the Intercultural Communication Motivation Scale (ICMS) based on those three
components. Until now academics have not

Key Components of ICM and Their Characteristics


The three components of ICM are interdependent, in that anxiety has a negative
influence on ICM, while approach dispositionsthat is, trust and self-efficacy beliefs
are associated with positive interaction
motivation (Spitzberg, 2000). Table I summarizes the key components of ICM and their

Saliently different cultural

identities cause uncertainty
and anxiety


Positive expectations of
rewarding outcomes

Belief to accomplish performance level

Subconscious motivating
factor for interactions and
relationship building

Evaluative filter for

situational complexity,
difficulty, and importance

Driven by need to increase

predictability and reliability

Situations chosen in which

success can be envisioned/

Directly affects behavior

execution, execution
energy, and execution

Fears of identity threats,

physical harm, poor image/

reputation among in- and
out-group cause communica
tion avoidance

Natural curiosity leads to

information seeking acts
for anxiety management

Gudykunst (2005)
Uncertainty & Anxiety
Management Theory


Dynamic, cyclic, reciprocal

Mutual trust increases
perception of competence

Affects goal-setting

Life experiences influence

general and contextual

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


provided an instrument that enables HR

practitioners to assess ICM in the context of
worldwide assignments. Anderson (2005)
finds that, in retrospect, repatriates perceived
psychological tests as a valuable selection
method provided by SIHRM. Therefore,
developing, testing, and applying of instruments such as the ICMS can facilitate a
socially responsible and thorough approach
to expatriate selection and training. In our
initial analyses and validation of the ICMS,
we focused on four questions:
Question 1: What are the psychometric
qualities of the ICMS?
Question 2: Are there differences between
self and peer perceptions of intercultural
communication motivation that the
ICMS can detect?
Question 3: Is the ICMS sensitive enough
to measure changes in self and peer
perceptions of intercultural communication
motivation over time?
Question 4: What are the relationships
among the three components (anxiety,
trust, and self-efficacy) of intercultural
communication motivation?

Mol, Born, and van der Molen (2005) state
that if delineating performance criteria for
the selection of domestic employees is important, it surely is crucial for expatriates
(p. 351). Academics have struggled, however,
with the development of valid and reliable
diagnostic and predictive assessment instruments for various purposes (Matsumoto et al.,
2001). Scholars have suggested identifying
psychological qualities, such as motivational
elements, to circumvent the restrictive culture- and context-specificity, and instead to
measure the potential to perform well in any
intercultural contact situations. Gudykunst
(1992) calls attention to another obstacle
when he delineates that communicators often
have a different perception of their own
communication competence than their
interaction partners evaluations reflect. UnHuman Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


derstanding communication competence,

therefore, minimally requires we take into
consideration our own and the other persons
perspective (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p.
252). Self-evaluations, however, need to be
one element of such an evaluation program.
Arasaratnam and Doerfel (2005), Caligiuri
and Tarique (2006), and Riggio and Riggio
(2001) insist that self-evaluations
have value in the assessment of
For a well-rounded
communication motivation by facilitating the development of a
evaluation of
candidate pool through the crecommunication
ation of more self-awareness in
future expatriates and the provicompetence, it
sion of a means to enhance the
assignment-candidate fit through
is imperative to
educated self-selections.
use structured
To supplement the diagnostic
value of self-evaluations, Dinges
and Baldwin (1996) support
Matsumoto et al.s (2001) and
observation and
Gudykunsts (1992) observations
assessment by
regarding the problems in intercultural communication compethose a person
tence research. They suggest
adopting an interactionist model
for investigating intercultural
with, especially
through the use of behavioral
since ICC is a
observation methods. They point
out a lack of research on interculform of impression
tural communication competence
from a reciprocal cultural permanagement (e.g.,
spective of the persons involved
Gudykunst, 1992;
(Dinges & Baldwin, 1996, p. 113)
and lament the dominance of retMartin & Hammer,
rospective self-report measures.
For a well-rounded evaluation of
1989; Spitzberg,
communication competence, it
is imperative to use structured
behavioral observation and assessment by those a person communicates with,
especially since ICC is a form of impression
management (e.g., Gudykunst, 1992; Martin
& Hammer, 1989; Spitzberg, 2000).
The ICMS reflects this and uses a combination of self-assessments in either online or
paper-pencil modes as well as the behavioral
observation method with structured feedback
through peers and, potentially, supervisors,



marital partners/family members, and/or host

country nationals. Ruben (1976) supports the
behavioral assessment approach and states
that this method is reasonably straightforward. He emphasizes that the goal is to systematically collect and analyze the behavior of
individuals in situations that are either contrived or natural and are analogous to those
for which they are being trained or selected
in comparison to a predetermined set of criterion dimensions (p. 337). This
should result in data that allow
The ICMS reflects
reasonably valid predictions about
how likely those individuals are to
this and uses a
display similar behaviors in future
combination of
situations (p. 337). Analogously,
the motivational elements as the
basis for the displayed behaviors
should be inferable in self and
in either online
peer evaluations. Gersten (1990)
also states that sole reliance on
or paper-pencil
self-assessments risks misrepresenmodes as well
tation of the real level of a
candidates intercultural commuas the behavioral
nication competence. In keeping
with previous research, she sugobservation
gests a measurement approach that
method with
includes multiple sources of feedback to create a more realistic
structured feedback
picture, such as the behavioral
assessment approach.
through peers
Such 360-degree measures,
and, potentially,
however, pose a formidable challenge to the SIHRM function
supervisors, marital
because of their complexity
(Gertsen, 1990). In particular,
there are conceptual difficulties
members, and/or
with correlations between selfratings and/or ratings by others
host country
and the actual performance on
the job (Bailey & Fletcher, 2002;
Beehr, Ivanitskaya, Hansen, Erofeev, & Gudanovsky, 2001), and
the subjective nature of these evaluations
and the false sense of objectivity through
multiple feedback sources (Van der Heijden
& Nijhof, 2004). Additionally, the complex
patterns of associations among self-evaluations, ratings by others, satisfaction, and
commitment to developmental goals also are
causes for concern (Bono & Colbert, 2005).

Nevertheless, Hagan, Konopaske, Bernardin, and Tyler (2006) recently were able to
demonstrate the supreme richness of the collected data and the validity of assessment
centers as selection and training tools in
human resource management. Additionally,
Van der Heijden and Nijhof (2004) see the
value of such 360-degree appraisals in that
different perceptions can facilitate a better
understanding of the working relations between supervisors and employees, their
personal performances, and the underlying
motives for career development, which are
particularly important for a socially responsible SIHRM program.
Besides the implementation of a behavioral assessment method, Dinges and Baldwin (1996) advise employing a repeated
measure design to focus on criteria research
in which multidimensional standards of
exemplary performance are identified at
different points in time and across tasks
(p. 121). Wiseman (2002) supports such research designs. Ruben (1976) adds that
these observations should be done not only
at different times but also in varying contexts, formal and informal. The test-retest
format that the ICMS employs to evaluate
training effectiveness as demanded by
Tarique and Caligiuri (2004) is a first step
beyond the snapshot approach often taken
in training assessment and criticized by
Lustig and Spitzberg (1993). The two-month
period between measurements gives the
relationships between individuals time to
develop and allows the training content to
have an impact on the motivation of the
communicators and to include behavioral
observations in a variety of contexts, making the assessment more reliable. Correspondingly, Ward and Kennedy (1999) state
that the soundness of developing theory
and research on psychological adjustment of sojourners rests on the measurement of the adjustive outcomes (p. 661). In
other words, the researchers favor a longitudinal research design to test differences in
the motivational outcomes as a result of
cultural learning. The authors define psychological adjustment as psychological wellbeingthat is, the acquisition of stress
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


management and coping mechanisms that

have been linked with relationship satisfaction.
In summary, the development of the
ICMS was guided by the concerns raised and
suggestions made by Dinges and Baldwin
(1996), Gertsen (1990), Matsumoto et al.
(2001), Ruben (1976), and Wiseman (2002).
The scale reflects what are thought to be universal motivational elements of the complex
paradigm of intercultural communication
competence. The ICMS can be used as either
a culture-specific or a culture-general diagnostic and predictive SIHRM tool to measure
individual communication motivation differences by incorporating contextually defined
The following sections of this article
describe the samples and process used to
conduct empirical factor analyses and scale
reliability tests of the ICMS. The psychometric qualities of the ICMS are outlined and the
diagnostic value of the ICMS is demonstrated.

Samples and Processes Used

in Testing
The initial test of the ICMS used student responses to generate a sample that resembles
future expatriates who are exposed to intercultural training courses before embarking on
global missions. Students attending 18 different courses that resemble intercultural
communication training through a clear intercultural education component (such as
courses in intercultural communication, intercultural business, and intercultural
psychology) completed the ICMS as part of a
larger study. Given many study participants
interests in international/intercultural issues,
they may be considered prospective expatriates or accompanying spouses or may
become line managers working with expatriation candidates, inpatriates, and other international staff. Even though not all students
took the courses in which the ICMS was
administered as electives (some needed them
to complete graduation requirements), this
situation still legitimizes this approach because not all expatriates take international
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


missions voluntarily. Some reluctantly take

them to gain the international experience
needed to climb the corporate ladder (Khlmann, 2001). This approach enabled the research team to amass a sample size pertinent
for the psychometric evaluation techniques
that they used. Caligiuri, Jacobs, and Farr
(2000); Graf (2004); Matsumoto et al. (2001);
Matsumoto, LeRoux, Bernhard, and Gray
(2004); Paige, Jacobs-Cassuto, Yershova, and
DeJaeghere (2003); and others have used international student samples for similar
reasons. This study uses a pathfinder approach because actual expatriates
are hard to recruit in sufficient
The test-retest
numbers for exploratory research
(Tharenou, 2005). This is in accorformat that the
dance with Sattler and Vlker
ICMS employs to
(2003), who suggest recruiting
study participants who are suffievaluate training
ciently similar to the actual target
group for early stages of investigaeffectiveness as
tive efforts and using the results of
such exploratory findings in subdemanded by
sequent confirmatory studies with
Tarique and Caligiuri
target subjects.
We administered the ICMS
(2004) is a first step
during 2005 and 2006 as part of a
larger study at 11 universities in beyond the snapshot
four countries: five universities in
approach often
the United States, three in New
Zealand, two in Germany, and
taken in training
one in the United Arab Emirates,
building four samples of underassessment and
graduate students. These countries
criticized by Lustig
were selected, in part, for reasons
of accessibility (given the locaand Spitzberg (1993).
tions of the researchers) and for
diversity. Although a worldwide,
comprehensive sample could be construed as
ideal, that was well beyond the scale of this
exploratory project. The sample employed
does include subjects representing 56 different countries of birth. It should be noted
that the sample from the United Arab Emirates (N = 55) consists exclusively of female
students, and one university in the United
States also recruited predominantly female
students to participate in these studies because of unbalanced enrollment in the course,
resulting in approximately two-thirds of the



total sample being female. Table II outlines

the sample characteristics.
In the first sample created for the selfevaluation test, 816 students participated.
The students were between 18 and 55 years


old, with the average age 21.8 years. Because

of the reasons described, the gender distribution was 67.5% female and 32.5% male. The
participants were from 56 nations, with New
Zealand (47.2%), the United States (11.9%),

Sample Characteristics

Number of universities
Number of courses
Pilot test
Study 1
Test Split
Study 2
Study 3
Number of students
Number of country of birth
Biggest nationality groups
I have a very detailed knowledge of
my peers character in social settings
(birthday parties, etc.).

Knowledge of peer
(length in months)

I have a very detailed knowledge of

my peers character in work/study
settings (banquets, office, classroom,
I have frequently observed my peer in
social settings (birthday parties, shopping in local stores, etc.) interact with
people from the target culture.
I have frequently observed my peer
in work/study settings (banquets,
office, classroom, etc.) interact with
people from the target culture.


265 (32.5%) 213 (36.3%)
551 (67.5%) 374 (63.7%)

Peer Test

Peer Retest

152 (34.3%) 133 (35.3%)
291 (65.7%) 244 (64.7%)
0 (N = 3)
210 (N = 1)
M = 2.35
SD = 1.57
N = 20
M = 2.70
SD = 1.26
N = 20

0 (N = 3)
300 (N = 1)
M = 2.77
SD = 1.52
N = 272
M = 3.08
SD = 1.35
N = 273









M = 2.16
SD = 1.61
N = 19

M = 2.79
SD = 1.54
N = 271


M = 2.10
SD = 1.41
N = 20

M = 2.93
SD = 1.44
N = 273


Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


China (9.8%), the United Arab Emirates

(6.4%), and Germany (4.3%) named most
The second sample consisted of 587 students who took part in the self-evaluation retest, which was conducted approximately two
months after the test. Therefore, a long
enough time gap was created to avoid memory effects (Matsumoto et al., 2001). Their
average age was 22 years with a range from 18
to 49. The gender distribution reflects the described circumstances in that 63.7% were females and 36.3% were males. The students
registered 47 nations as their country of birth,
with New Zealand (52.0%), China (12.6%),
and the United States (11.9%) the most frequently represented home countries.
Because of cultural considerations, demographic data were not collected in every
sample of the peer evaluations. In the peerevaluation test, which was conducted parallel
to the self-evaluation test, 613 students participated. They made up the third sample.
Age, gender, and nationality distributions
were comparable to those of the self-tests. The
peers knew the students they selected for the
peer evaluation for an average of 21.1 months.
Using a 6-point Likert scale (0 = strongly
disagree; 5 = strongly agree; plus a dont
know option), they rated their knowledge of
the students on four questions to indicate
whether they knew the students in social
and/or work/study contexts and whether they
had observed them frequently interacting
with foreign culture nationals in social and/or
work/study situations. The scores for these
variables in the peer test indicate that the
peers had slightly more knowledge of their
partners in work/study contexts than in social
contexts and had observed them in both situations with similar frequency.
The fourth sample consisted of the 529
peer-evaluation retest participants. This test
was conducted simultaneously to the selfevaluation retest, and the peers rated the
same students as in the peer-evaluation test.
The demographic qualities of the peer retest
were comparable to those of the other three
samples in such categories as age, gender, and
nationality. The peers in this retest round
knew the students for, on average, 22.3
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

months. Using the same 6-point, Likert-type

acquaintance rating scales, the scores illustrate that the peers had observed the students
more frequently in both circumstances and
that, consequently, their knowledge of the
students across contexts had improved.

McCroskey (1993) points out the difficulty of
operationalizing any component of intercultural communication competence, and
Dinges and Baldwin (1996) state that operationalization of its components is underdeveloped. With this challenge, the senior
author and the first assistant author of this
article developed the items for the ICMS,
guided by the ontology of intercultural communication motivation as a theoretical foundation. The research team conducted an
extensive literature review of research related
to intercultural communication competence
to generate items that most closely reflect
this ontology.
The research team endeavored to incorporate items from established scales or parts
thereof to lend credibility and reliability to
the ICMS. Gaps that could not be filled with
existing scales were bridged through the creation of new items, which were carefully
worded in English with the intent of remaining semantically parsimonious and topicfocused. Considering the diversity of the
participants in these studies, it is yet to be
determined whether the use of the English
language in the ICMS is a hindrance to its
international usability (Harzing, 2005). The
authors closely followed the recommendations of Frey, Botan, and Kreps (2000) and
DeVellis (2003) for the formulation and arrangement of ICMS items to assure a logical
flow of relevant, straightforward, and nonthreatening closed statements. They also
took into consideration Nunnallys (1978)
suggestions to solve problems associated with
self-description inventories and the scaling
of the items in the ICMS. The scale is absolute, in numeric intervals, and attempts to
avoid response styles by employing an even
number of answer choices on the 6-point
Likert-type scale from 0 to 5 (strongly dis-




agree to strongly agree). An answer option

outside the scale (dont know) was, however, provided to avoid forcing participants
to make uncomfortable judgments or skip
questions (Frey et al., 2000; Nunnally, 1978).
After careful pilot testing at two universities in New Zealand and in three subsequent
studies in a third university in New Zealand,
five in the United States, one in the United
Arab Emirates, and two in Germany, an 18item ICMS emerged.
Stephan and Stephan (1985) describe the creation of an 11-item intergroup anxiety scale.
To fit the ICMS, the introductory phrase
wording of the items was adjusted to reflect
the intercultural nature of the ICMS, but the
core remained identical with
the original. The originators of
Anxiety: Stephan
the scale describe a Cronbachs
alpha of 0.86 in their study. In the
and Stephan
ICMS, the rating scale also was
adapted from a 10-point scale to a
(1985) describe
6-point scale with a dont know
the creation of an
option. Stephan and Stephan do
not cite the results of a factor
11-item intergroup
analysis. Gudykunst and Nishida
(2001) report using a slightly modanxiety scale.
erated anxiety scale. They achieved
Cronbachs alphas of 0.84 and
0.88 and report a one-factor solution with
loadings of 0.60 or higher.
The research team could not locate established scales specifically dealing with trust in
intercultural communication situations as a
motivational factor. Therefore, all items in the
intercultural trust scale were newly developed
for the ICMS. The items of the intercultural
trust scale reflect the dyadic and reciprocal
nature of the trust relationship that is outlined in the ontology section earlier.
Sherer et al. (1982) developed a 23-item selfefficacy scale. They used a 14-point Likert-

type rating scale and derived a two-factor solution: general self-efficacy dealing with
performance attainment (Woodruff & Cashman, 1993) and social self-efficacy dealing
with the building of interpersonal relationships (Woodruff & Cashman, 1993). Sherer et
al. (1982) report Cronbachs alphas of 0.86
and 0.71 and factor loadings between 0.39
and 0.70. Sherer et al. (1982) also measured
the social desirability effect of their scale and
found correlations between Crowne and Marlows (1964) social desirability scale and their
self-efficacy scale of 0.43 (general self-efficacy
subscale) and 0.28 (social self-efficacy subscale), with p < .0001.
Woodruff and Cashman (1993) tested
Sherer et al.s (1982) self-efficacy scale
and achieved Cronbachs alpha results of
0.84 (general self-efficacy) and 0.69 (social
self-efficacy). They also report a KaiserMeyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling
adequacy of 0.86, which is meritorious
(Dziuban & Shirkey, 1974). They developed
a five-factor model, and their factor loadings range from 0.35 to 0.66.
For reasons of practicality and psychometric prudence, the research team chose to
accept only items that had the highest
loadings and most relevance to the ICMS.
Consequently, two items from the general
self-efficacy subscale with the specific focus
of efficacy in the face of adversity (Sherer
et al., 1982, p. 665) were selected, because
adversity is a constant companion in most
international assignments. Additionally, two
items from the social self-efficacy subscale
were chosen, because social self-efficacy
measures initiation persistence, which is
an important element of any foreign

Complying with the dyadic nature of intercultural communication and following the
call for peer-evaluation studies with longitudinal character (Lustig & Spitzberg, 1993)
that document the development of communication motivation through interventions
such as training, we administered the ICMS
in a test-retest design at the beginning
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


and the end of the semester. The ICMS

underwent testing through a pilot at two
universities in New Zealand and three subsequent studies at nine more universities in
four countries. Since some of the courses
either were not completed yet at the time
of this report (for example, those in Germany) or were conducted in countries
in which peer evaluations are not possible
because of cultural considerations, the number of participants varies widely among the
four samples.
In the self- and peer-evaluation pilot test
round, the ICMS was administered as part of
a bigger study in two forms: in a paper-pencil
version at one university (N = 182; 22.3% of
total sample) across three courses and in an
online version at a second university in one
course (N = 49; 6.0% of total sample). The
paper-pencil test was distributed among students during their regular class meetings in
the second week of the semester. The instrument contained an instruction sheet, ethical
approval information, and a consent sheet,
which was signed and separated from the
questionnaire before submission. The students were given the option to find peers by
themselves, based on their preferences and
level of acquaintance. If students did not
know anybody in the class, they were matched
by the research team and instructed to get to
know one another and submitted their survey one week later. In the majority of the
cases the peer evaluation was completed in
The online version of the ICMS is technologically supported by the online service
provider WebSurveyor, located in Herndon,
Virginia. The decision to administer the ICMS
online was driven by the geographical distance between the members of the research
team at one university on the South Island of
New Zealand and their global partners, as
well as by the desire to expand the total
sample size and breadth. The cost saving,
ease, security, and confidentiality of the data
transfer are additional arguments for online
administration (Cobanoglu, Warde, & Moreo,
2001; Granello & Wheaton, 2004; Gunter,
Nicholas, Huntington, & Williams, 2002;
Kaplowitz, Hadlock, & Levine, 2004; Rhodes,
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


Bowie, & Hergenrather, 2003). The survey

was completed outside class by the students,
who were given a time frame of 10 days for
The diagnostic and predictive purpose of
the ICMS requires a research plan of a testretest design to evaluate participants current
intercultural communication competence
state and their development after an intervention (Frey et al., 2000; Neuman, 2000). A
two-month time gap between the
two test rounds is sufficient to
All items in the
prevent a memory effect (Matsumoto et al., 2001). The results of
intercultural trust
the ICMS scores were presented
scale were newly
to the students without attaching
names to them. To avoid social
developed for the
tension among students, only aggregate peer-evaluation results
ICMS. The items
were revealed.
Completion of all four evaluof the intercultural
ations accounted for 5% of
trust scale reflect
the class participation grade for
the New Zealand students. Those
the dyadic and
who did not want to contribute
to the study were given the opreciprocal nature
tion to earn that credit through
of the trust
alternative assignments. Most
students in the United States and
the United Arab Emirates could
earn 5% extra credit if they
contributed to the study. Students in Germany did so completely voluntarily. This
incentive did not compromise the data
quality in online surveys (Cobanoglu &
Cobanoglu, 2003).
The ICMS results of every study were
analyzed with a variety of tests described in
the results section. As a product of these
procedures, one initially included item of
foreign language motivation was excluded
after the pilot test, and one item inquiring
about the motivation to perform nonverbal
communication signals accurately was
added and cut after study 2. The original
fifth item of the intercultural self-efficacy
scale was cut, and a summarizing statement
about the motivation to communicate with
locals was also eliminated after study 1.
The core of the ICMS, however, remained



To investigate the multidimensional character of the intercultural communication skills
represented in the ICMS, we exposed the
ICMS scores to repeated exploratory factor
analyses using the principal components
analysis method with varimax rotation. We
conducted internal consistency estimates of
reliability tests, analyses of the explained
variance, and tests for the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin
measure of sampling adequacy (KMO). The
results for all four samples follow.

Question 1: What Are the

Psychometric Qualities of the ICMS?
The exploratory factor analyses for the Intercultural Anxiety Scale across the four samples
(see Table III) demonstrate a three-factor solution. The most stable factor combines the
items describing the feelings of irritation,
awkwardness, impatience, defensiveness, and
suspiciousness. We call this factor intercultural apprehension. In the second factor, a
tendency to unite the items of certainty, confidence, acceptance, and happiness can be
observed. This factor, however, is less stable.
We name this factor intercultural poise. A
third factor has materialized by unifying selfconsciousness and carefulness. We call this
factor intercultural prudence. Besides these
three factors, which surfaced in the exploratory factor analysis of the Intercultural Anxiety Scale, the components of intercultural
trust and intercultural self-efficacy crystallized
as two separate factors across all samples
in the confirmatory factor analysis. Collectively, a five-factor solution emerged for the
Factor loadings are generally solid
and range from 0.49 to 0.86 across all four
samples and all scales. In the self-test, 5.3%
(N = 1) of the items have loadings in the 0.40
range, 10.5% in the 0.50 range, 5.3% in the
0.60 range, 31.6% in the 0.70 range, and
47.4% in the 0.80 range, putting the factor
analytical results of the self-test on solid
ground. Even more robust are the factor analytical outcomes for the self-retest and the
peer test, which show that 5.3% are in the

0.50 range, 10.5% are in the 0.60 range,

47.4% in the 0.70 range, and 36.8% in the
0.80 range. The peer retest is consistent in its
factor loadings, because 31.6% are in the 0.60
range, 47.4% are in the 0.70 range, and
21.0% are in the 0.80 range. Collectively, the
four samples perform rather convincingly in
the factor analyses, since 1.3% (N = 1) are in
the 0.40 range, 5.3% are in the 0.50 range,
14.5% are in the 0.60 range, 43.4% are in the
0.70 range, and 35.5% are in the 0.80 range.
According to Dziuban and Shirkey (1974),
all KMO scores as a measure of sampling adequacy can be interpreted as either meritorious (KMO > .80) or marvelous (KMO > .90).
The ICMS performs similarly well in its steadily
high reliability scores, ranging between 0.88
and 0.93 across all four samples. The total
variance explained in all four samples is
rather consistent and satisfactory, as it ranges
between 66.6% and 71.2%. With these results,
the ICMS compares favorably to other studies
on the intergroup anxiety and self-efficacy
scales cited previously. Finally, solid test-retest
correlations for both self- and peer evaluations support the stability of the ICMS.
In comparison to Sherer et al.s (1982)
correlation of the self-efficacy scale with
Crowne and Marlows (1964) social desirability scale (SDS), the ICMS performs rather
well, as the correlations are mostly nonsignificant or negligible. This is supported by
the low SDS averages in all four samples, indicating a high degree of independence and
honesty of the participants in all samples.
Therefore, a social desirability bias is hardly
detectable in the ICMS.

Question 2: Are There Differences

Between Self and Peer Perceptions
of Intercultural Communication
Motivation That the ICMS Can Detect?
A sample of participants who had contributed
a self-test and a retest and about whom their
peers had completed a test and a retest
evaluation was assembled to analyze the differences between ICMS self and peer evaluations. The differences for the scales were
calculated using a paired-samples t test. The
results for the intercultural anxiety scale,
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


I trust them socially

I trust them at work

They trust me socially

They trust me at work

IC Trust Total

I give up*

I do not want to try*

difficult making friends*

social gatherings*

IC Self-Efficacy Total

IC Motivation Total



IC Anxiety Total

















Self Test



.76 (3)

.81 (3)

.78 (3)

.73 (3)


.81 (1)

.82 (1)

.81 (1)

.85 (1)


.84 (4)
.73 (4)
.49 (1)
.81 (2)
.54 (2)
.81 (2)
.72 (2)
.69 (2)
.84 (5)
.77 (5)
.58 (4)


ICMS Descriptives and Factor Loadings
































.75 (3)

.78 (3)

.81 (3)

.79 (3)


.70 (2)

.82 (2)

.78 (2)

.82 (2)


.83 (4)
.70 (4)
.52 (4)
.80 (1)
.63 (1)
.83 (1)
.74 (1)
.75 (1)
.72 (5)
.85 (5)
.69 (4)


Self Retest





























.72 (3)

.73 (3)

.82 (3)

.80 (3)


.80 (3)

.83 (2)

.82 (2)

.82 (2)


.73 (4)
.66 (22)
.69 (2)
.75 (1)
.75 (1)
.79 (1)
.79 (1)
.80 (1)
.74 (1)
.54 (1)
.78 (4)


Peer Test





























.73 (2)

.79 (2)

.86 (2)

.79 (2)


.75 (1)

.81 (1)

.76 (1)

.81 (1)


.71 (3)
.72 (1)
.70 (1)
.62 (3)
.65 (3)
.66 (3)
.63 (3)
.67 (3)
.69 (4)
.85 (4)
.70 (3)


Peer Retest







ICMS Psychometric Properties


Self Test

Self Retest

Peer Test

Peer Retest

N = 531

N = 409

Nq = 312

N = 267

Number of Factors





Total Variance Explained






Range of Factor Loadings

(Principle Component
Analysis with Varimax Rotation









Cronbachs Alpha
Social Desirability Scale
(SDS) (Range 08)

M = 3.05

SD = 1.80

M = 2.79

SD = 1.92

M = 2.96

SD = 1.88

M = 2.86

SD = 1.99

Correlation SDS vs.

Intercultural Anxiety

r (812) = .05 (n/s)

r (586) = .01, p <.05

r (584) = -.01 (n/s)

Intercultural Trust

r (784) = .06 (n/s)

r (575) = .01, p <.05

r (549) = .05 (n/s)

r (479) = .04 (n/s)

Intercultural Self-Efficacy

r (807) = .07 (n/s)

r (585) = .01, p <.05

r (581) = .03 (n/s)

r (505) = .02 (n/s)

r (816) = .08 p <.05

r (586) = .12, p <.01

r (602) = .03 (n/s)

r (518) = .06 (n/s)

Intercultural Motivation Scale

r (497) = .07 (n/s)

Test vs. Retest Difference

Intercultural Anxiety

t(482) = .09 (n/s)

t(386) = .84 (n/s)

t(464) = -3.63, p <.01

t(354) = -2.66, p <.01

Intercultural Self-Efficacy

t(478) = 1.34 (n/s)

t(388) = 2.75, p <.01

Intercultural Motivation Scale

t(484) = 1.01 (n/s)

t(410) = .53 (n/s)

Intercultural Trust

Test - Retest Correlations

Intercultural Anxiety

r(483) = .45, p <.01

r(387) = .46, p <.01

Intercultural Trust

r(465) = .37, p <.01

r(355) = .40, p <.01

Intercultural Self-Efficacy

r(479) = .31, p <.01

r(389) = .39, p <.01

Intercultural Motivation Scale

r(485) = .43, p <.01

r(411) = .50, p <.01

Interscale Correlations
Anxiety - Trust

r (782) = .37, p <.001

r (575) = .44, p <.001

r (537) = .39, p <.001

r (465) = .40, p <.001

Anxiety - Self-Efficacy

r (803) = .50, p <.001

r (585) = .59, p <.001

r (565) = .55, p <.001

r (483) = .62, p <.001

Trust - Self-Efficacy

r (776) = .21, p <.001

r (574) = .32, p <.001

r (539) = .29, p <.001

r (472) = .31, p <.001

N = 309; self M = 2.96; peer M = 2.98; t(308) =

0.44, p = .66; the intercultural trust scale,
N = 278; self M = 3.21; peer M = 3.31; t(277) =
1.61, p = .11; and the intercultural selfefficacy scale, N = 305; self M = 3.42; peer M =
3.40; t(304) = 0.22, p = .83, were not significant. The changes for the ICMSN = 320; self
M = 3.20; peer M = 3.22; t(319) = 0.46, p =
.64also were not significant in the test
round between self and peer evaluations.
Using the same perfect samples and
procedures described, the retest differences
between self and peer evaluations were also
evaluated with the same results. The means
of the intercultural anxiety scale, N = 309; self
M = 3.00; peer M = 2.98; t(308) = 0.29,
p = .78; the intercultural trust scale, N = 293;
self M = 3.37; peer M = 3.40; t(292) = 0.47,
p = .64; the intercultural self-efficacy scale,

N = 310; self M = 3.39; peer M = 3.28; t(309) =

1.46, p = .15; and the ICMS, N = 318; self
M = 3.25; peer M = 3.22; t(317) = 0.66, p = .51,
also were not significantly different between
self and peer retests.

Question 3: Is the ICMS Sensitive

Enough to Measure Changes in Selfand Peer-perceptions of Intercultural
Communication Motivation Over
For the exploration of the changes in ICMS
self-evaluations over time, a sample had to be
filtered out of those students who had submitted a test and a retest ICMS. To evaluate
these differences, we conducted a pairedsamples t test. The scale means of the Intercultural Trust ScaleN = 483; test M = 3.20;
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


retest M = 3.33; t(482) = 3.34, p = .001show

a significant increase. The standardized effect
size index, d, for the Intercultural Trust
Scale was .15, which is considered small
(Green & Salkind, 2003). The remaining
scales show consistency in the test-retest
comparisons. The Intercultural Anxiety Scale
meansN = 504; test M = 2.96; retest M =
2.95; t(503) = 0.27, p = .790remain identical; the Intercultural Self-Efficacy Scale
meansN = 500; test M = 3.41; retest M =
3.36; t(499) = 1.16, p = .247record a slight
decrease; and the difference in the ICMS
meansN = 506; test M = 3.18; retest M =
3.21; t(505) = 0.99, p = .323constitute a
marginal increase.
To examine changes in ICMS peer assessments between test and retest, we could
only integrate peer ICM evaluations for those
who had finished both test and retest for
the same student. Using a paired-sample
t test, we found the means of the Intercultural Trust ScaleN = 354; test M = 3.29;
retest M = 3.41; t(353) = 2.75, p = .006to
show a significant increase. The standardized
effect size index, d, for the Intercultural Trust
Scale was .15, which is considered small
(Green & Salkind, 2003). The means of the
Intercultural Self-Efficacy ScaleN = 388; test
M = 3.43; retest M = 3.28; t(387) = 2.74, p =
.006denote a significant decrease. The standardized effect size index, d, for the ISES was
.14, which is considered small (Green & Salkind, 2003). In contrast, the means of neither
the Intercultural Anxiety ScaleN = 386; test
M = 3.03; retest M = 3.00; t(385) = 0.82, p =
.414nor the ICMSN = 410; test M = 3.24;
retest M = 3.23; t(409) = 0.49, p = .625are
significant. Table IV displays the results in

Question 4: What Are the

Relationships Among the Three
Components of the ICMS?
The proposed interdependence of the ICMS
components of intercultural anxiety, trust,
and self-efficacy is supported through Pearson correlation analyses. All correlations
were significant at the p < .001 level. Table IV
illustrates the correlations in detail.
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


The goal of this research effort was to develop
a measure of intercultural communication
motivation that allows SIHRM professionals
to act socially responsible by meeting the
needs of employees, employers, and hosts
through a thorough assessment of the
motivational disposition of candidates for
international assignments. The
psychometric analysis of the ICMS
The 19-item ICMS
has demonstrated that it represents a viable tool. It has a reasonperforms well, with
ably stable five-factor structure,
with the first three factors being
consistently high
intercultural apprehension, poise,
factor loadings,
and prudence as a measure of intercultural anxiety. The remaining
internal consistency
two factors are intercultural trust
and intercultural self-efficacy. The
scores, explained
interdependence of these factors
variance in both
could be confirmed to some degree. We proposed that anxiety is
self and peer
negatively correlated with trust
and self-efficacy. This pattern,
evaluations, and
however, could only be confirmed
solid test-retest
for the anxiety (reverse coded)trust relationship. The association
of anxiety and self-efficacy deserves further attention and demonstrating good
research. The 19-item ICMS performs well, with consistently high
construct stability.
factor loadings, internal consistency scores, explained variance in
both self and peer evaluations, and solid testretest correlations, demonstrating good construct stability.
The steady intercultural anxiety scores in
self and peer evaluations are to be explained
through the characteristics of the sample:
interculturally interested students, most of
whom had voluntarily chosen to be in the
courses in which the ICMS instrument was
administered. These students are attracted to
intercultural interactions and are not afraid
of the challenges that working with diverse
populations present.
The training/courses can be assessed as
effective because through them both self and
peer perceptions of trust significantly increased, indicating mutually more satisfying



relationships. In contrast, self-efficacy perceptions decreased in self (approaching significance) and peer (significantly) evaluations. The stable perception of anxiety and
the increased trust indicate a heightened
awareness of the importance of the interaction process, and it seems students focus less
on the interaction outcome. Changes in the
ICMS are marginal for self and peer evaluations because the differences in trust and
self-efficacy mean scores cancel each other
out, while anxiety remains constant.
The lack of differences between self and
peer evaluations in the test and retest rounds
of the ICMS testifies to the harmonious perceptions of intercultural communication
motivation between the students and their
peers. The parallel development of all scale
scores and, in particular, the trust mean
scores is an indication of participants mutual perceptions of their satisfying relationships. Whether any other influences, such as
the sample characteristics, the contexts, or
the wording of the items, are the source of
this congruence of perceptions deserves further investigation. It is certain, however, that
neither of these scales was influenced by a
social desirability bias because the ICMS performed well against that control measure.
In conclusion, the ICMS represents a
new, psychometrically sound, and practical
instrument for SIHRM practitioners to assess
the intercultural communication motivation of candidates who either could be selected for a particular foreign post or need
custom-made training to enhance their communication motivation for the specific target location. The ICMS not only enables
SIHRM professionals to conduct assessments
through retrospective self-evaluations but
also provides a means for predictive selection and training effectiveness measurements. The test-retest design has indicated
that the ICMS is sensitive enough to detect
significant differences. Samples of expatriates who go through an even more focused
and rigorous training program should support this trend. The ICMS is a significant
contribution to the tool kit of SIHRM professionals to assess the effectiveness of training
programs designed to provide continued

support for future, current, and returning

expatriates and their families.

Conclusions, Limitations, and

Future Research
One of the reasons MNEs engage in international business is to acquire global knowledge
and skills to enhance their worldwide operations. SIHRM can add strategic value to this
process by selecting adequately motivated
candidates for global missions who will engage in mutually satisfying relationships with
locals and can consequently transfer the
knowledge acquired abroad across the organization (Hocking, Brown, & Harzing, 2004).
The ICMS gives the SIHRM function a viable,
theoretically grounded, and psychometrically
reliable tool that is easy to administer. When
strategically applied, the ICMS can be used to
channel candidates in their training and development program toward certain target
cultures for which candidates have shown an
affinity based on their ICMS scores. Through
the ensuing feedback candidates become
aware of their strengths and weaknesses and
can make a conscious effort to reduce their
anxiety and increase their levels of trust and
self-efficacy. Caligiuri and Tarique (2006)
suggest that instruments such as the ICMS
should be repeatedly and continuously administered to assess potential changes in
candidates during career and life stages.
As a SIHRM guideline, we propose that a
variety of organizational members should
participate at several specific points in time in
an assessment of their ICM. The first group
would be those who would like to be considered for future international assignments.
Once they are part of the expatriate pool,
these candidates ought to be assessed through
the ICMS for specific international assignment locations. Via the ICMS, their need for
intercultural communication training can be
determined prior to departure. After the training has been administered, the ICMS can be
used as a training effectiveness analysis. Parallel to this practice, candidates spouses/partners and family members should be included
in the ICM assessment for selection and training purposes since they are a major influence
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


on the expatriates and their success during

the international assignment (Caligiuri, Hyland, Joshi, & Bross, 1998). To address potential problems while the expatriates are
on-site, another ICM assessment should
be administered three to six months into the
international assignment to determine the
potential need for additional training or mentoring. To close the expatriation circle, expatriates about to complete their mission should
take an ICM survey with a focus on their
home culture six to three months before returning home to evaluate the need for
reintegration intercultural communication
training. Since the communication process is
dyadic, host culture natives who interact with
expatriates should not be neglected in a socially responsible SIHRM program.
Despite its best efforts, this study has not
been able to overcome all limitations of academic research. We would like to caution the
reader that the results of this study were obtained through the cooperation of student
samples, which are not ideal for research on
SIHRM issues. Furthermore, these students
were not involved in actual intercultural
training courses but attended classes that had
an intercultural educational element. Ideally,
a real-world sample in a longitudinal study
with a well-designed intercultural communication training program should be employed
to examine the validity of the ICMS. Similarly, the incorporation of participants with
more international experience would help assess whether age, previous foreign culture

experience, and cultural membership or

country of birth has an influence on the results of the ICMS.
Another limitation this study was not able
to overcome was the matching of candidates
and their peers who are locals in the target
culture where the future expatriates will be
stationed. Parallel to this, future studies ought
to try to match candidates and peers who
have a higher level of acquaintance, particularly taking the level of analysis/assessment
and the required knowledge and observation
of the candidate into consideration. In combination with such future research foci, qualitative studies to determine the causes for the
variably appearing differences between selfand peer evaluations ought to be conducted.
Finally, criterion validity studies with instruments that measure motivation in other related areas could enhance our understanding
of the qualities of the ICMS and possibly better illuminate the relationship between anxiety and self-efficacy.
In conclusion, the ICMS provides SIHRM
program administrators with the possibility
to be socially responsible by reliably assessing the ICM of their internationally operating employees, their families, and locals.
Through the strategic application of the
ICMS, the development of mutually satisfying relationships between MNEs and host
culture natives should be facilitated and
enhanced. This would result in a positive
contribution by HR toward the corporate
bottom line.

BERND KUPKA (Ph.D., University of Otago, New Zealand) is an assistant professor at

the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Having studied in Germany, the United States,
and New Zealand, he teaches (international) human resource management and development. In cooperation with Dr. Andr Everett and Dr. Stephen G. Atkins, he developed an
instrument to assess intercultural communication competence for strategic international
human resource management. His research interests include international human resource management, cross-cultural management, international organizational behavior,
leadership, team management, and training and development.
ANDR M. EVERETT (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is an associate professor at
the University of Otago, New Zealand, teaching international and strategic management.
He has worked in a wide range of manufacturing and service industries in six countries.

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm




His research interests include internationalization of management philosophies, evolution of management strategies, measurement of customer satisfaction, and cultural influences on international business, with a particular focus on China.
STEPHEN G. ATKINS (Ph.D., Virginia Tech) serves as business school research director at
New Zealands Otago Polytechnic. He is also a business psychology lecturer at University of Otago. Previously, he was employed at the U.S. Department of Labors National
O*Net Development Center as internal consultant for industrial psychometrics. Prior to
that, he spent most of his work life in spacecraft engineering fields. Now he is primarily a social cognition, online teamwork, and organizational psychometrics researcher.
Dr. Atkins is a graduate of the industrial psychology program at Virginia Tech and the
industrial engineering program at Arizona State University.
MARION MERTESACKER, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Management and Organization Design at the University of Regensburg, Germany, teaches international human
resource management, intercultural management, and leadership. She graduated with
honors with an MS in business studies and an MS in psychology from the University of
Saarbrcken, Germany. She is finishing her dissertation, which focuses on the assessment and development of intercultural competencies in international human resource
management and intercultural management.
LYNNE M. WALTERS (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an associate professor
in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, Texas A&M University. She teaches
international and intercultural education and research methodology. She was director
of Texas A&Ms International Studies Degree Program, 20002004. Dr. Walterss research
focuses on gender, new technology, and intercultural competence. Her current efforts
involve pre- and in-service teachers intercultural sensitivity and the impact of crosscultural experiences on classroom teaching. She is certified by the Intercultural
Communication Institute to administer and analyze the Intercultural Development
TIM WALTERS (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is the associate dean of the College
of Arts and Sciences at American University of Sharjah, University City, Sharjah, United
Arab Emirates. His research interests include creating the climate necessary to develop
entrepreneurship, workplace readiness, successful internship placements, and the intercultural work environment in the United Arab Emirates.
ANDREA GRAF (Ph.D., Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany) is a professor
and chair of the Department of Management and Organization Design at the University
of Regensburg, Germany. Before her academic pursuits, she worked in management development for an international pharmaceutical company for several years. She also was
a visiting professor in the United States, Austria, and Bulgaria. Her research focuses on
intercultural management, organizational change management, negotiation strategies,
and interfirm relationships.
L. BROOKS HILL (Ph.D., University of Illinois) is a professor and chair of the Department
of Speech and Drama at Trinity University. His areas of specialization are public and
international/intercultural communication. He taught in both areas at the graduate and
undergraduate levels for more than 40 years and has served government and industry
as a consultant, trainer, and researcher. His scholarship includes three books and several

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


journal editions; more than 50 articles, chapters, or monographs; and more than 70 papers and reviews. His most recent work examines international public relations, humor
and ethnic relations, triadic communication, and challenges to the future study of intercultural communication.
CARLEY H. DODD (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is a professor of intercultural communication at Abilene Christian University. He is the author/coauthor of 11 books and 125 articles and papers, primarily on intercultural communication studies. His current research
is primarily in development and measurement of intercultural effectiveness predictors.
JRGEN BOLTEN (Ph.D., University of Dsseldorf) is a department head at the Institute
for Intercultural Business Communication at the University of Jena, Germany. His main
areas of research are intercultural human resource management, e-based intercultural
knowledge-management, and methods of intercultural training and coaching.

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