Cross-Cultural Adjustment of International Students: Examining the Influence of Institutional Distance, Personality, and Cultural Intelligence.

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(1)Cross-Cultural Adjustment of International Students: Examining the Influence of Institutional Distance, Personality, and Cultural Intelligence.. By Karina Melissa Garbutt. A Thesis submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Major: International Human Resource Development. Advisor: C. Rosa Yeh, Ph. D.. National Taiwan Normal University Taipei, Taiwan June 2017.  .

(2) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT “No one who achieves success, does so without the help of others-the wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude" -Alfred North Whitehead. Therefore it is with gratitude that I acknowledge the people who were instrumental in the successful completion of this thesis. My Advisor. Dr. Yeh, who provided my team and I with an abundance of knowledge, which lead us through the great unknowns, and towards complete understanding about statistical concepts, that was instrumental to our topics. Thank you for the countless hours devoted to advising and revising, ensuring and reassuring, and expertise that helped us to achieve our goals. A special thank you to my committee members, Dr. Lin and Dr. Chang, who challenged me to think about different perspectives and not place limits on my research. Without the assistance of their careful and thorough review, I would not be as confident about the research produced today. To all my 同學們 , Taiwanese and ICDF, who answered my never-ending questions, and assisted me in so many ways along this journey, a huge and sincere thank you for your unwavering thoughtfulness and tolerance towards me. Instead of extending my gratitude, it would be more fitting for me to extend my apologies to my companions TA and Delsie, who had to endure my endless monologues about my ideas about my topic, my roller-coaster of emotions, and my persistent indulgence in late night fried chicken. I’m extremely sorry, but I regret nothing, without your support there would be no thesis. Lastly I would like to thank my family whose unwavering support, allowed me to make it to end. Even when I would call to complain at ungodly hours- they still answered. I love you guys. To everyone else who contributed to my journey over the past two years, a heart felt thank you..  .

(3)  . ABSTRACT Rapid globalization, technological advancement, and increased market competitiveness have driven changes in the nature of employment, organizations and employment communications. Under such circumstances, people have been moving to other countries for work, school, pleasure etc., forming an internationally integrated society, seeking opportunities in the global market. This study examines the relationship between Institutional distance, personality, cultural intelligence and adjustment. Hierarchical regression analysis conducted on data from 401 college level international students- after controlling for age and gendershow significant links between (a) cultural intelligence and adjustment; (b) institutional distance and personality; and (c) personality and adjustment. The important finding in this study is the complete moderation of the personality type (openness to experience) on the relationship between institutional distance and cross-cultural adjustment. This study contributes to the literature on adjustment of internationals, within the Taiwan context, to help facilitate better working arrangement between host nationals and international students.   Keywords: adjustment, cultural intelligence, international students, institutional distance, personality.   I  .

(4)  . TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ........................................................................................... I TABLE OF CONTENTS ....................................................................... II LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................. IV LIST OF FIGURES ..............................................................................................V CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION............................................................ 1 Background of the Study ...................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem ...................................................................................2 Purposes of the Study ........................................................................................3 Questions of the Study .......................................................................................3 Significance of the Study ...................................................................................4 Definition of Terms............................................................................................4. CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................... 7 Institutional Distance .........................................................................................7 Adjustment .........................................................................................................8 Personality..........................................................................................................9 Cultural Intelligence...........................................................................................12 Institutional Distance .........................................................................................17. CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHODS .............................................. 23 Research Framework .........................................................................................23 Research Hypothesis ..........................................................................................24 Research Procedure ............................................................................................24 Research Methods ..............................................................................................26 Sample and Data Collection...............................................................................27 Measurements ....................................................................................................30 Validity and Reliability ......................................................................................31. CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION .................................. 43 Correlation Analysis .........................................................................................43 Hierarchical Regression Analysis ......................................................................44 Hypothesis Testing.............................................................................................46. CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......... 47 Conclusions ........................................................................................................47.   II  .

(5)  . Research Implication .........................................................................................48 Limitations .........................................................................................................51 Future Research Suggestions .............................................................................52. REFERENCES ....................................................................................... 54 APPENDIX A: Cover Letter ................................................................ 61 APPENDIX B: Questionnaire ................................................................ 62 APPENDIX C: International Student Statistics ...................................... 66 APPENDIX D: List of Taiwan Universities (International Programs) .. 67 APPENDIX E: List of Taiwan Universities ( Language programs)....... 69.   III  .

(6)  . LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1. Descriptive Statistics..................................................................................28 Table 3.2. Indices of Model Fit...................................................................................33 Table 3.3. ID Model Fit Summary ..............................................................................34 Table 3.4. Personality Model Fit Summary ................................................................36 Table 3.5. CQ Model Fit Summary ............................................................................37 Table 3.6. Adjustment Model Fit Summary ...............................................................39 Table 3.7. Summary of Deleted Items ........................................................................40 Table 3.8. Cronbach’s Alpha Reliabilities ..................................................................41 Table 4.1. Mean, Standard Deviation, Correlation, and Reliabilities .........................41 Table 4.2. Hierarchical Regression Analysis of Adjustment on CQ, OTE, and ID....43 Table 4.3. Hierarchical Regression Analysis of CQ on OTE, ...................................44 Table 4.4. Hierarchical Regression Analysis of Adjustment on OTE and CQ ..........44 Table 4.5. Hypothesis Testing Result Summaries ......................................................46.   IV  .

(7)  . LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1. Research process ......................................................................................23 Figure 3.2. Research Procedures .................................................................................25 Figure 3.3. Institutional Distance CFA Model............................................................35 Figure 3.4. Personality CFA Model ............................................................................36 Figure 3.5. Cultural Intelligence CFA Model .............................................................38 Figure 3.6. Adjustment CFA Model ...........................................................................39 Figure 4.1. Hypotheses Summary ...............................................................................45.  .   V  .

(8)  . CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the different topics overviewing the importance of the study. It includes the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, the research question, and significance of the study and the definition of terms.. Background of Study Globalization has not only transformed the way businesses operate, but also created opportunities for a global workforce. In order for organizations to retain competitive advantage, it has to evolve and broaden its customer range. Since the 1990’s, foreign investment more than doubled, creating demand for highly skilled talent, the expatriates, that can perform in any environment (Harrison, Chadwick, & Scales, 1996). Companies invested a lot of capital in recruiting and training talented personnel’s in cross-cultural competencies. Students are travelling greater distances to see new things and learn in different environments in order to create momentum and have a competitive edge in the global workforce. In Taiwan alone, there has been a significant increase in just a short amount of time, of international individuals enrolled in programs of all fields. With increasing interactions among different people from diverse cultures, comes an opportunity of a different kind of intelligence to dominate- cultural intelligence. Cultural intelligence, the capability to effectively work and communicate across cultures, research is an important study because of the diversity in interactions and the inevitable outcomes it can elicit. Naturally, people of different backgrounds, experience communication difficulties, as some concepts, just do not translate well across cultures. Differences create barriers and cultural intelligence is the tool that tears down those barriers. Cultural intelligence has been a hot topic for research within the last 5 years and its many positive outcomes have been supported time after time. The discussion on Cultural intelligence (CQ) has been directed towards individual differences in adaptability to new cultural settings and how this experience enhances performance, novelty, teamwork etc. (Ward, Bichner, & Furnham, 2005). Studies have showed that students exposure to multicultural experiences advances cognitive and learning outcomes such as critical thinking, stereotype reduction, openness to new experiences, empathy, and accelerated moral reasoning (Martin, Katz-Buonincontro, & Livert, 2015). Cultural intelligence development equips people with the skills necessary to adapt well in difficult situations and experience lower stress, thereby allowing people to focus on making connections, learning from different.   1  .

(9)  . cultures and creating innovative solutions that coincide with today’s global economy. In order to understand CQ development, it is important to address the antecedent factors that affect CQ development. One of the major factors correlated with CQ is personality, due to the innate nature of variance that occurs among human beings. In understanding how personality shapes individual perceived reality, people can understand how some individuals overcome certain situations better than others do. One such hindrance to cultural intelligence is cultural differences. McCrae and Costa (1991) suggest that agreeableness and conscientiousness should expedite more positive experiences in social and achievement situations, which would increase individual wellbeing. CQ is a bi-product of cross-cultural exposure and series of experiences, it is important to examine how the individuals perceive their adaptation to the new environment. Perceived institutional distance focuses on the amount of perceived stress experienced due to cultural distances but on an individual level. It refers to the regulatory, normative, and cognitive-cultural differences or similarities between two countries. Similar to Hofstede’s cultural distance, institutional distance is a score comparison based on how similar or how different two countries are in terms of specific factors. Unlike cultural distance, the individual defines their observed distance, which expresses how they react to stress in their environment and not by a statistical coefficient calculated by country. Institutional distance goes a step further than cultural distance in breaking down the countrywide collective notion of cultural distance and allows representation of distance, within the country as well as across (Scott, 2004, 2008).. Statement of the Problem Cultural intelligence has typically been studied as the independent variable to provide evidence for expatriate adaptation and higher performance outcomes for businesses, but it is seldom investigated for its moderating effects on cultural adjustment. Previous studies on adjustment have been mostly theoretical and focus on the outcomes of cultural intelligence such as productivity, satisfaction and commitment, rather than focusing on the antecedent factors (Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991). However, in order to achieve high performance, productivity and commitment, the proper conditions need to take place for constructive cultural intelligence development to occur. Some adjustment studies on relationships between antecedent factors for cultural intelligence have focused on descriptive statistics, and emphasized that the experience enhances the intelligence (Ward & Kennedy, 1993). What remains unexplored then, is what type of experiences are quality experiences.   2  .

(10)  . and under what conditions do they produce effective cultural intelligence development. This gap in the literature about cultural intelligence is the key towards understanding the nature of cultural competence and adjustment. The first reason for conducting this study is to add to the literature on cultural intelligence antecedents to help further the knowledge about how to improve cultural competences. Literature on cultural intelligence suggests support and personality to be determinant factors of cross- cultural learning. The second reason for conducting this study is because Taiwan has been attracting a lot of international attention, specifically in the education sector, creating an interesting environment filled with cross-cultural communications (Lo, 2014); not only between foreigner-Taiwanese interactions but also between foreigner-foreigner interactions. The international programs are most interesting to study cultural intelligence development due to this dynamic and frequent multi-cultural interaction.. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to expand the research on antecedent factors that influence cultural intelligence development and affect cross-cultural adjustment using international students as a sample population. Most studies focus on the outcomes of cultural intelligence, and this study hopes to fill in the gap on cultural intelligence research by exploring the mediating role of CQ. The consensus from popularly visited cultural adjustment studies from Engle and Crowne (2014), Kurpis and Hunter (2017), and Peng, Van Dyne, and Oh (2015) emphasized personality and cultural distance to be factors associated with cultural intelligence and cultural adjustment, therefore this study examines the effects of individual and institutional dissimilarities between host and home country and cultural adjustment, in order to get a clearer understanding about what factors enhance or inhibit cultural intelligence development within an international setting in Taiwan.. Questions of the Study There has not been many studies looking at cultural intelligence as a mediating variable, this study submits the following questions for evaluation: 1. Does personality type affect cross-cultural level? 2. Does institutional distance affect the relationship between personality and crosscultural adjustment?.   3  .

(11)  . 3. What role does cultural intelligence play in cross-cultural adjustment?. Significance of the Study This study examined the factors that affect cultural adjustment and explores what relationship can enhance or hamper adjustment. We put forth cultural intelligence (CQ) as a facilitator of cultural learning and enhancer of cultural competence. Foreign talent’s cultural adjustment is a crucial factor for companies who spend a lot of capital on acquiring competitive advantages through global tactics. Cultural adjustment has been previously linked to CQ development; therefore, it is relevant to investigate the role it plays in determining cross-cultural adjustment. The results of the study can have significant impact on the way companies hire foreign talent. In identifying that individuals who perceive themselves as highly institutionally different negatively impacts cultural adjustment rate, strategies can target reducing this perceptual distance thereby creating opportunities for maximum cultural adjustment. This study also showed that cultural adjustment could be enhanced through learning and experiences (i.e., cultural intelligence). In alignment with past hypothesis about the positive relationship between cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment, it is important to promote the development of CQ, as it is relevant in overcoming individual differences. These results thereby offer additional support to the literature about cultural differences and its impact on an individual level and institutional level.. Definition of Terms Each construct below has been operationally defined in terms of how they are to be understood in the study. Cultural Adjustment Cross- cultural adjustment is referred to as the degree of psychological comfort and individual feels throughout the adaptation process of living and working in a foreign culture (Black & Stephens, 1989). Cultural Intelligence Cultural Intelligence is defined as “a multifaceted competency consisting of cultural knowledge, the practice of mindfulness, and the repertoire of behavioral skills” in terms of.   4  .

(12)  . metacognitive, cognitive, motivation, and behavior (Thomas & Inkson, 2004, p. 32). It is a state-like individual difference that describes malleable capabilities, skills and behaviors to deal effectively in situations (Ang, Van Dyne, & Koh, 2004).. Institutional Distance Institutional Distance is defined as the degree of differences and/or similarities between two countries based on a regulatory, cognitive and normative institutional property (Kostova & Roth, 2002).. Openness to Experience Openness to Experience is a facet of the “Big Five” Factor Model, used to describe human personality. It refers to active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness, and preference for variety and intellectual curiosity. It is a contradictory facet that comprises of individual difference as a score on a spectrum. They are the range of difference that each person expresses to varying degrees (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003).. International Student International student in this study refers to non-Taiwan natives, enrolled in tertiary level programs, identifying as either: degree-seeking, exchange, or language student.   5  .

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(14)  . CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter reviews the literature regarding cross-cultural adjustment, institutional distance, cultural intelligence (CQ), and personality- openness to experience. It also presents the proposed research hypotheses. First is an overview of the targeted population in this study, and the relation to the variables. Second is a breakdown of each variable by operational definition, its components and previous studies. Lastly is the overview of how the variables relate to one another.. International Students The statistical trend on international students in Taiwan shows that the number of incoming students has been booming since 2007 (see appendix c), partly due to Taiwan’s internationalization strategy (ICEF Monitor, 2016). Foreign students have been attracted by the numerous government scholarships such as MOE, MOFA, Academia Sinica, Taiwan ICDF, and other academic assistance from various institutions. Many of the programs are marketed as competitive and either partially or completely English taught. Government of Taiwan statistical summary categorized international students as degree-seeking, language, or exchange students, enrolled in 109 participating institutions countrywide. The 2007 report found that these international students come from various areas of the world, such as Asian countries, continental America, and Europe. The top countries are Vietnam (806), Malaysia (700), Indonesia (425), Japan (409), and the USA (348) (ROC statistics 2007). The exchange students in Taiwan come from 17 countries and the top five nations are Japan (574), South Korea (430), the USA (274), Germany (121), and France (116). The largest concentration of them study in Taipei City, at National Taiwan University (438) Ming Chuan University (426) and National Taiwan Normal University (207), with the rest distributed across other cities in Taiwan: National Cheng Kung University (414), National Cheng Chi University (405) (ROC statistics, 2007). In terms of subjects studied, the greatest numbers of students are enrolled in the science/technology/medicine/agriculture category with 1,765 persons or 34%, and the second greatest number in the business management category with 1,712 persons or 33%. The statistical summary reported in 2016 that 116,416 internationals were enrolled in higher-level education across Taiwan. This year alone there were 1,107 foreign students reportedly enrolled, at NTNU in Taipei. With this significant amount of foreign student enrollment in Taiwan, cross- cultural communication and competencies between international.   7  .

(15)  . students and local students is a relevant issue concerning their cultural adjustment. The dynamic cultural environment and cultural exposure occurring in Taiwan has important features that should be studied. Taiwan a melting pot of diversity that creates an opportunity to study how these various interactions between higher level educated individuals develop their cultural competencies and overcome individual differences to survive in a new environment. “Although culturally adjusting to a new learning environment is not an easy process, previous research shows that international students generally take a positive approach to overcoming all the difficulties and they have the ability to adjust to the new environment” (Alsahafi & Shin, 2016).. Cultural Adjustment Adjustment can be defined as the degree of psychological comfort an individual has with the various aspects of a host culture (Black et al., 1991). It can also be defined as having a good range of tolerance for ambiguity when facing cross-cultural interactions. (Gudykunst, 2001) theorized, that individuals have an uncertainty threshold. When our level of uncertainty falls between our minimum and maximum threshold, we are comfortable enough in our understanding of the host national’s behavior. When uncertainty levels go beyond our threshold points, we become either less certain and less confident, or too certain and overconfident. On that account, the comfort develops as uncertainty and is reduced when the individual learns what is appropriate in the new culture; “adjusting” (Black et al.,1991, p.499). However, it is important to note that minimum and maximum threshold range differs across cultures and individuals (Gudykunst, 2001). Black et al. (1991, p.501-609) “Antecedents to cross-cultural adjustment for expatriates in pacific rim, assignments” categorize adjustment into three areas. Work adjustment, addresses the psychological comfort the individual, has with the job tasks of the foreign assignment. General adjustment addresses the living conditions and culture of the host country. Interaction adjustment focuses on the contact with host country nationals Ward & Kennedy (1999, p.672) theorized that adjustment can be thought of in two aspects, a psychological aspect that relates to stress, individual coping mechanisms, personality and social support, and a sociocultural aspect, which relates to cultural learning, behavior competences and cultural distance. Following the literature, the broader study explores psychological aspects like support systems, sociocultural aspects such as institutional distance and cultural Intelligence, which addresses both psychological and sociocultural aspects..   8  .

(16)  . Personality- Openness to Experience Personality characteristics are trait-like individual differences that describe broad and stable predispositions (Huff, Song, & Gresch, 2014). Although there are many ways to categorize personality, for example self-efficacy and self- monitoring, one of the most commonly used and widely accepted classifications seem to be the Big 5. The Big 5 is a hierarchical framework of personality traits with five broad factors (conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism/emotional stability, extraversion/ introversion, openness to experience), which is a catalogue of a larger spectrum of traits (Gosling et al., 2013). The Big 5 summaries all aspects of personality into a five-dimensional framework, that predict individual differences. It allows humans to cope with and meet the demands of the physical, social, and cultural environment (Ang et al., 2006). All individuals possess some degree of the universal five, with varying extents to which they express them as adaptive mechanisms. The Big Five was conceptualized by early psychologists under the lexical approach, which categorized the traits into a five-factor model based on a hierarchy. It was later revised and adapted by Neo-practitioners and made into a standardized inventory (California psychological Inventory & Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) (McCrae & Costa, 1994). The Big Five has strongly predicted behavior across time, contexts and cultures (McCrae & John, 1992). Conscientiousness personality trait captures the expression on non-expression of awareness, “mindfulness” of individuals of strong will and determination. (Depula, Azzollini, Cosentino, & Castillo, 2016). A high scoring level of this dimension is associated with academic and professional achievement. People who are highly conscientious are labeled as responsible, reliable, orderly, disciplined, and hardworking and achievement oriented. They are pre-disposed to methodological processes and problem solving (Ang et al., 2006). McCrae and Costa (1987) categorize this trait as productive, behaves ethically, has high aspiration levels, dependable and responsible. Opposite to high conscientious people, individuals on the low spectrum of conscientiousness are not rated as high in performance and not as disciplined.. They are associated with being hedonistic and fewer goal. achievements, self-indulgent, and unable to delay gratification (Goldberg, 1981, 1990). Agreeableness personality trait refers to the interpersonal relationships. It captures the degree of positivity and individual portrays towards other. Highly agreeable persons are labeled as good-natured, cooperative, helpful, flexible, compassionate, and emotionally supportive. (McCrae & Costa 1987) People who display low agreeability (disagreeable) are.   9  .

(17)  . labeled as oppositional, hostile, and antagonistic and turn to use of power as a means of solving problems, hence they tend to experience more conflict. They are associated with antisocial behavior and paranoid traits (Depula et al., 2016). Emotional stability personality trait is concerned with the temperament of the individual. Highly emotionally, stable are seen as placid and calm when coping with their environment. They tend to be less anxious, depressed, angry and insecure. In contrast, low emotional stable individuals (neuroticism) are self-conscious, anxious, highly selfmonitoring, and very emotional (Norman, 1967; McCrae, 1987). They are associated with the tendency to express negative emotions leading to disorders due to the vulnerability they have to impact of their environment (Costa Jr. & McCrae, 1988; Depula et al., 2016; Zuckerman, 1979). Extraversion personality trait is concerned with where the individual turns to for sources of energy. Extraverts are sociable, assertive, active, bold, energetic, expressive, and adventurous. They portray self-confidence; crave social encounters and groups acceptance. They present a high level of psychological wellbeing and have a general disposition of positivity. In opposition, introverts are withdrawn, passive, quiet, reserved, and nervous. They are categorized as unfriendly people. Openness to experience personality trait covers a broad facet of personality. Being highly open includes being imaginative, creative, cultured, original, broad-minded, intelligent and artistically reactive with tendencies of rebelliousness and non-confirming natures (Gough, 1987; McCrae & Costa Jr., 1987; Zuckerman, Kuhlman, Thornquist, & Kiers, 1991). High expression of openness is generally known to have unconventional values and have a tendency to express both positive and negative emotions. On the other end of the spectrum, people who express low openness to experience are more conventional, conservative and closed-minded. They prefer familiarity and predictability. (Depula et al., 2016). Mullen (1991) emphasized the need for privacy and acute self-consciousness. Despite the other faction of personality being related to adjustment, so far research found openness to experience to be the only trait that positively correlates with all aspects of cultural intelligence and cultural adjustment (McCrae, 1987).. Personality and Cultural adjustment The concept of cultural intelligence is based on the individual’s development of skills to help them efficiently communicate across cultural situations. Individuality in itself then is.   10  .

(18)  . a key determinant factor in cultural intelligence development. Studies show that personality traits affect cross-cultural adjustment (Huff et al., 2014) Meta-analyses by Mol, Born, Willemsen, and Van der Molen (2005) concluded that the openness to experience trait was significantly related to individual performance and cultural adjustment. Personality is the categorization of individual predisposed attributes, which regulate how a person responds in specific situations that predict consistent behavior (Chamorro- Premuzic & Furnham, 2009). In understanding why some people develop higher cultural intelligence than others we have to understand, the individual categorization of ‘self’; who they are and what conditions contribute to how they respond to stimuli. One of the factors highlighted, as a hindrance to intelligence development is high stress and high uncertainty. When people find themselves in an unfamiliar situation they feel tension and they aim to reduce that tension. The tension may be reduced in two ways: one, they become familiar with the new environment-adapt, or two, they recoil to the already familiar environment and create more distance between themselves (in-group) and the unfamiliar situation (out-group). In socio-cultural difficulties, cultural distance emerges as a significant predictor of the outcome of overtime (Ward et al., 2005). Personality plays a role on how well they cope with that stress. The hypothesized effect perceived distance will have on intelligence development may be regulated by the individuals’ disposition or personality, a trait-like difference that is constant over time Huff et al., 2014. Openness to experience can affect how well you adjust. Personality is something that is static therefore other factors that impact how we react to situations offer answers to the frequently asked, why do some people adjust better than others? And under what conditions do they develop higher cultural competencies than others? By looking at what makes the individual, it may be possible to predict how they use their disposition to evaluate their environment and respond. This relationship between personality, perceived distance and cultural intelligence development can give insight as to under what conditions or combination of situations can lead to successful cross-cultural adaptation and can be generalized to a group type; thus somewhat standardizing a concept that has been seen as too varied. (McCrae, 1987; McCrae & Costa Jr., 1993; Sam & Berry, 2010) have shown that some personality traits, such as openness to experience and extraversion have advantageous dispositions related to high cultural adjustment. Van Oudenhoven and Van der Zee (2002) examine these effects and elaborated on how they can enhance cross-cultural intelligence in international students. Other dimensions negatively correlated to personality such as neuroticism and introversion. Studies show it can hamper cultural intelligence development in international students in Taiwan.   11  .

(19)  . The population studied, the international student, chooses to go abroad and take on the challenges and potential stressors that accompany a change in environment, therefore it could be assumed that there are specific about this populations’ character than enables them to take on new things. This study focuses on the openness to experience factor of personality. We put forth that students who express more openness to experience will have a higher cultural adjustment rate than those students who are not as open. Hypothesis 1: Openness to experience personality has a positive effect on crosscultural adjustment.. Cultural Intelligence Culture refers to collective ideas, belief, nationality, and values that a group of people subscribes to. Cultural intelligence involves the individual and their perception, interpretation and reaction of interaction with other individuals of different backgrounds.. Cultural. intelligence can be best summarized as “a multifaceted competency consisting of cultural knowledge, the practice of mindfulness, and the repertoire of behavioral skills” (Thomas & Inkson, 2004, p.4). It is a state-like individual difference that describes malleable capabilities, skills and behaviors to deal effectively in situations (Ang et al., 2006). Like any other aspect of intelligence, cultural intelligence, is a trained skill, thus, can be taught and improved upon. It represents a capability to be effective across or within cultures, and is thought to be “a culture free construct that applies across specific cultural circumstances” (Ang et al., 2006). It is contingent on the individual’s successful adaption across cultural settings, which is grounded in multiple intelligence theory (Ang et al., 2006; Earley & Ang, 2003). CQ by definition is a multifaceted competency. Within this competency, there are four major facets of intelligence involved, derived by Earley and Ang (2003): metacognition, cognition, motivation, and behavior. When all four facets are used in unison is when cultural intelligence is indicated to be high- level functioning. Meta-cognitive, the first facet refers to “thinking about thinking”; an individual’s extent of control over their information processing function. In cultural situations this refers to the individual’s self-awareness of own culture and other culture during intercultural interactions and how the information is reflected upon. Successful meta-cognition does not only concern the knowledge of one’s self, but also concerns the integration of new.   12  .

(20)  . components of the self to enhance it (Earley & Ang, 2003). The second facet, cognition, refers to the use of the knowledge of self, environmental cues, and information processing to identify the structures of a culture. It includes acquaintance of norms, practices, and conventions of different cultures, which is acquired through increased interactions of new culture and personal experience (Ang, Van Dyke, Koh, & Ng, 2004). Motivation, the third facet of CQ, refers to the engagement level; the personal eagerness and initiative in learn more about new cultures and successful functioning within them. It involves goal setting and perseverance about the cross- cultural interactions. (Ang et al., 2006; Earley & Ang, 2003), categorizes motivational cultural intelligence into three subfacets: 1. Enhancement- feeling good about the self; 2. Efficacy- improving upon the self and; 3. Consistency- the predictability and perceived control over one’s environment. Behavior, the fourth facet of CQ, refers to action; individual’s ability to exhibit the appropriate behavior during cross-cultural interactions. This includes accessing the metacognitive and cognitive information to determine the cultural situation (cues) and providing the suitable behavioral reaction for effective communication. Cultural intelligence research in the past revolves around the outcomes of cultural intelligence and its enhancement of an individual’s net value to companies. Expatriate studies have been found to be the most common type of study relating to cultural intelligence. Prior studies focus on individual cultural adjustment, minimizing stress and improving adaptation (Chen, Kirkman, Kim, & Farh, & Tangirala, 2010; Harrison et al., 1996). Stemming from early research in cross-cultural training by Brislin, Worthley, & MacNab (2006) about crosscultural effectiveness (Brislin et al., 2006), three main areas were focused upon, thinking, emotions and behaviors. Earley and Ang then expanded upon these three areas of intelligence, in 2003. Thereafter by Earley and Peterson (2004), to become cognitive/meta cognitive, motivation, and behavior components. Alternatively, Thomas and Inkson (2004), suggested a focus on knowledge, mindfulness, and behavior as most important. This was later re-organized into the four-faceted measure of cultural intelligence, introduced by Ang et al. (2004), which was further supported by Van Dyne, Ang, &, Koh, (2008). There have been many studies conducted about the outcomes of cultural intelligence, and the concept has been treated as though it has been standardized, when in fact there is not a clear method about how to achieve high cultural intelligence. Individual’s difference is the main factor associated with the varying outcome of cultural intelligence, which is a perceived concept. Therefore, there needs to be a more comprehensive inquisition into the predictors of cultural intelligence (Al-Jarrah, 2016; Crowne, 2008; MacNab & Worthley, 2012).   13  .

(21)  . Cultural intelligence education became a topic of discussion to facilitate cultural intelligence learning and the developmental process focusing on mental development, motivational development and behavioral development (MacNab & Worthley, 2012), aimed “to create a more culturally enabled person”. However, to become culturally intelligent involves more than just experience it is a skill that can be developed, therefore antecedent factors must be observed to determine which characteristics are enhancing.. Personality and Cultural Intelligence Studies have indicated that personality traits are significantly associated with individual performance and impact cross-cultural adjustment (Caligiuri, 2000; Huff et al., 2014. Extraversion has been positively linked to behavioral CQ. Due to their gregarious nature, they often seek out social interactions and spontaneous events, encouraging cultural mingling. Extraverts tend to be self-confident and sure of themselves, making them more effective in unfamiliar situations and intercultural interactions. Extraversion has also been importantly identified, as a key factor in social connectedness. Their flexible personality allows them ego-control and ego-resiliency that allows self-control within environmental context to temporal changes. Introverted individuals do not express that level of control of self and therefore poorly manage anxiety and stress in uncertain environments (Depula et al., 2016; Farkas & Orosz, 2013). Agreeableness is correlated to the behavioral aspect of cultural intelligence, as its focus is on competence of interpersonal interactions. High agreeability produces skills in social interactions and enhancing the appropriate expression of behavior in cultural settings. In accordance with agreeableness, emotional stability is also correlated to behavioral cultural intelligence, as emotional state is vital to the types of interactions one has with others (Ward et al., 2005). Highly emotionally stable individuals are better equipped to adapt to novel situations because of their calm and relaxed disposition. Therefore, their behavior is reflective of such a disposition. Lastly, conscientiousness has been correlated to metacognitive cultural intelligence. Highly Conscientious individual’s d devotion to attention and planning, positively dispositions them to consider cultural context, and think strategically about inter-cultural interactions (Earley & Peterson, 2004)..   14  .

(22)  . Previous research has emphasized the openness to experience dimension of personality to be most highly correlated with all dimensions of cultural intelligence and adaptive performance (Ang et al., 2006; Martin et al., 2015). It is seen as an essential to effective functioning in diverse settings. There are positive associations between openness and creativity love of learning, and appreciation for excellence, about openness to experience and character strength (Depula et al., 2016). Martin et al. (2015), in a study of openness to experience on international students found that openness to experience increases with multicultural exposure, individuals who were originally low in openness benefit the most from a study abroad experience. Ang et al. (2006) in their studies, link openness to experience with appreciation of diversity and stereotype reduction. High openness to experience correlated to metacognitive cultural intelligence on the assumption that those people are more likely to question cultural interactions and analyze differences in norms and values and process the information more effectively to reshape their mental model (i.e., learning). It correlates with cognitive cultural intelligence on the assumption that their openness or broad-mindedness allows them to become more knowledgeable about different cultures. It correlates to motivational cultural intelligence due to the integral curiosity of the openness dimension and their eagerness to experience novel situations. Behavioral cultural intelligence is correlated to the openness dimension concerning adaptive performance; therefore, people who are highly open seek out new experiences and consequently express that behavior creating habit (Ang et al., 2006). Hypothesis 2: Openness to experience personality will have a positive effect on crosscultural adjustment.. Cultural Intelligence and Adjustment Berger and Gudykunst previous discussions on cultural adjustment in “An anxiety/uncertainty management, (1991, p.421) and in “Uncertainty and Communication” (2005, p.24) both argued that certitude reduces discomfort and allows for cultural adjustment when the individual learns which appropriate behaviors are to be used within the cultural context of the new culture. Cross-cultural interactions between people of different background naturally introduce obstacles to communication, as some concepts just don’t translate well across cultures. Differences create barriers as previously discussed uncertainty of environment..   15  .

(23)  . Developing a communication skill can help to overcome cultural barrier that affect cultural adjustment. Cultural intelligence development equips people with the skills necessary to overcome uncertainty, thereby reducing barriers to cultural adjustment. Studies have supported that exposure to multi-cultural experiences advances cognitive and learning outcomes such as critical thinking, stereotype reduction, openness to new experiences, empathy, and accelerated moral reasoning (Martin et al., 2015). Four major facets of intelligence (Earley & Ang, 2003; Crowne, 2008) meta-cognition, cognition, motivation, and behavior, are said to be high- functioning when all four facets are used in unison. Motivational CQ has been linked to all aspects of cultural adjustment. Individuals that are highly motivated, tend to make a greater effort in adjusting (Huff et al., 2014). Hypothesis 3: Cultural intelligence will have a positive effect on cross-cultural adjustment Openness to Experience, Cultural Intelligence, and Cultural Adjustment Cultural exposure and experiential learning lead to cultural intelligence. Familiarity of different culture can increase intelligence. Experience, is categorized by Crowne (2008), as travelling, studying, and reading and viewing television program about other cultures. But it is argued that some types of exposures as well as the depth of exposure had significant influence on cultural intelligence. Exposure by travelling and reading, for example had been found to be less effective in cultural intelligence enhancement than education abroad and being employed in a cultural diverse environment (Crowne, 2008). More in depth is that certain types of cultural exposures impact different facets of CQ. International students in Taiwan are not only exposed to the host country’s culture but to cultures of various other international students. They are constantly interacting and readjusting to different cues within their multi-cultural environment. It is important then for effective communication among students in order to have high levels of cultural intelligence. The level of cultural intelligence enhancement varies by type of experience. But can we assume that simply being in a cultural diverse setting enhances ones CQ? Information on what leads to cultural intelligence and what contributes to higher levels by facets are few (Crowne, 2008). Meta-cognitive cultural intelligence has been found to be higher in individuals who have visited more countries, but does it lead to an overall- higher CQ? Does personality affect learning and consequently easier adjustment? This study intends to examine some antecedent factors and the relationship within the facets of cultural intelligence and cultural intelligence on a whole.   16  .

(24)  . Hypothesis 4: Cultural intelligence will serve as mediator between openness to experience personality and cross-cultural adjustment.. Institutional Distance “Institutional theory attends to the deeper and more resilient aspects of social structure. It considers the processes by which structures, including schemas; rules, norms, and routines, become established as authoritative guidelines for social behavior” (Scott, 2004, p.2). Institutional distance stems from Institutional Theory grounded in “social structures” about individual perception of in -group vs. out-group in an international context (Scott, 1995). Institutional distance is defined as the degree of differences and/or similarities between two countries based on a regulatory, cognitive and normative institutional property (Kostova & Zaheer, 1999). The regulative dimension is concerned with the formal guidelines and principles set by any country (Scott, 1995), and reflect the existing laws and rules in a particular national environment that promotes or restricts certain behavioral expressions (Kostova & Zaheer, 1999). The normative dimension is concerned with the value system, beliefs, and norms assumed by the country about human nature and consequent behaviors, and includes social commitments and practices held by individuals within a country (Scott, 1995). The third, cognitive, dimension is concerned with widely shared social knowledge, for example stereotypes, that influences schematic categorization and interpretations of particular phenomenon (Kostova & Roth, 2002); it is an indicator of the way of life by the general public within a country. A country’s institutional profile is reflected by the institutional environment, which is transferred to the individual through organizations within the country. The construct of institutional distance is seen as perceived institutional distance because it is the sum of individual perception of the degree of differences or similarities between familiar (in-group) and the non-familiar (out-group) (Ramsey, 2013). Institutional Theory examines elements of the environment within the scope of three major pillars: The regulatory, the cognitive, and the normative to determine the fit of an individual in an international context, which is in accordance with person-environment fit theory by Edwards (1996). Institutional theories like person-environment fit theory are both concerned with the amount of strain the individual experienced when encountered by.   17  .

(25)  . dissimilarities to the schematic construct. The strain affects their cross-cultural adjustment to the international environment and effectively performance. Another theory that is supportive of Institutional Theory is Self-Categorization Theory, which is that people tend to group themselves by in-group-out-group categories when there is uncertainty. The individual strives to reduce uncertainty by identifying and assimilating to the group prototypes. In instances where the distance is perceived to be high, theory explains that the individual has difficulty gaining insights on social cues or commonalities of the host country cultural insights and understandings. Therefore, the theory suggests that when there is high distance between institutions the cross-cultural adjustment is slower than the linear trend predicted in most cases (Ramsey, 2005). Institutional distance is the measurement with which to quantify uncertainty, the greater distance between institutions of each pillar, the greater the uncertainty the individual will experience within the host country. Cross-cultural adjustment is achieved through uncertainty reduction and change (Ramsey, 2005). Past studied concerning cross-cultural adjustment and distance between different cultures has been concentrated on a country-level, for example, Hofstede’s and Schwardz’s cultural distance model. Hofstede’s model is based on the assumption that culture pertaining to distance functions as a sum figure on a national level. Using the dimensions (uncertainty avoidance, individuality, power distance and masculinity-femininity) a formula derived a sum for each country, which is then statistically compared (Ramsey, 2005). Cultural distance then is a representation on a national level ignoring individual differences within a country. Schwartz’s model although looking at different aspects (hierarchy, intellectual & affective autonomy, conservation, egalitarian compromise, harmony) assumes the same conclusion and are best to test macro-economic and macro-social situation (Gouveia & Ros, 2000). Kostova and Zaheer (1999) emphasized the attention on host and home countries institutional distance rather than the individual institution (Hassan, Ibrahim & Uddin, 2016). After which many models were developed to measure the institutional distance construct. Ghemawat developed the CAGE Model, 2001, which classifies institutional distance into four categories (administrative distance, cultural distance, economic distance, and geographical distance). In another study by Berry, Guilen, & Zhou (2010), a nine-dimension framework (political distance, economic distance, financial distance, knowledge distance, global-connectedness distance, demographic distance, administrative distance, cultural distance, and geographic distance), was developed to measure institutional distance, which   18  .

(26)  . have been widely used by organizations interested in global business (Hassan, Ibrahim & Uddin, 2016). Ramsey (2013) developed a measure for institutional distance that incorporated Institutional Theory and person-environment fit. The measure is based on the three pillars of institutional distance and focuses on individual’s perception on the international environment, providing an individual level analysis of the construct than the preferred group level analysis. This measure provides an insight to the individual’s perception of national cultures and can further investigate what conditions affect the cultural adjustment. Ramsey (2013), similarly as Ghemawat (2001) measures both subscribe to both the formal and informal institutional distance, which studies have shown when looked at as interrelated provides a clearer picture to performance (Hassan, Ibrahim & Uddin, 2016).. Institutional Distance and Cultural Intelligence High-perceived institutional distance implies a wider gap in the individual’s categorization between in-group and out- group and in response to this difference; the reaction is to reduce this tension leading to a recoiling effect towards their in-group stereotype and towards familiarity. According to Rockstuhl et al. (2011, p.825) in “Beyond general intelligence and emotional intelligence: The role of cultural intelligence on cross-­‐ border leadership effectiveness in a globalized world”, On the one hand this outsider stress can have negative effects on cultural intelligence development affecting the motivational dimension of cultural intelligence. On the other hand, this acute awareness between groups (host and home groups), promotes ruminating about cross-cultural difference, thereby adding to their metacognition about cultures, consequently developing it. Exposure to adversity in this case, high perceived institutional distance, can enhance development of cognitive and metacognitive aspects of cultural intelligence and, in turn contribute to learning from each situation and re- shaping perceived distance. This back and forth between learning and applying new cultural cues through group identification proposes a complimentary relationship between Institutional distance and cultural intelligence. Despite increased globalization, international market and cross-cultural integrations, differences between institutions of different countries have not yet diminished; therefore, it remains an important aspect to study concerning cross- cultural adjustment and performance in a host country (Caligiuri, 2000). “Institutional distance offers an alternative facet to cultural distance. Cultural distance is an index that captures national differences, but it fails to.   19  .

(27)  . capture the complexity of cross-country differences. Specifically, neglecting the role of societal institutions in articulating, disseminating, and arbitrating cultural and social cues” (Ramsey, 2005, p.380). Looking at perceived institutional distance can give insight on an individual level of analysis of perceived “cultural distance” i.e., stress towards adjustment. This form of measurement of institutional distance incorporated national level differences, group differences within and across institutions, as the individual perceives it and consequently becomes their reality. Individual level analysis on this variable can expose hidden variances in the perceived individualistic/collectivistic dyad that relates to how cultural intelligence development occurs within context (Ramsey, 2005). Perceived Institutional distance is a measure that tests individuals’ perception on how big the gap is between these in-out groups and hypothesizes that the higher the distance the higher the stress which results in slower adaptation and learning (Hechanova, Beehr, & Christiansen, 2005). The lower the perceived distance between in-out groups the less stress or tension the individual feels and is able to adapt quicker and learn faster. Applying this concept to cultural intelligence, high or low perceived distance would have an effect on the different dimension of cultural intelligence, for example motivational CQ. High-perceived institutional distance implies a wider gap in the individual’s categorization between in-group and out- group and in response to this difference; the reaction is to reduce this tension leading to a recoiling effect towards their in-group stereotype and towards familiarity. This outsider stress can have negative effects on cultural intelligence development influencing the motivational dimension of cultural intelligence. (Ramsey, 2005) However, with this acute awareness between groups (host and home groups) the individual is constantly ruminating about cross-cultural difference thereby adding to their metacognition about cultures. Exposure to adversity situations in this case develops highly perceived institutional distance, which can enhance development of cognitive and metacognitive aspects of cultural intelligence by learning from each situation and re- shaping your perceived distance.. Moderating Effect of Institutional Distance Institutional distance as a construct draws upon two complimentary theories, SelfCategorization Theory and Institutional Theory. Self- Categorization purports that individuals.   20  .

(28)  . strive to reduce uncertainty and make sense of their environment by categorizing the perceived similarities or differences between the self–in-group and others as out-group (Hogg, 2000). Following that concept (Scott, 2008), Institutional Theory examines the effects of grouped environment of the incoming member along the economic, sociological, and political and psychological disciplines. Institutional distance takes the assumption of SelfCategorization Theory of reducing uncertainty by trying to ascribe to a group (similardifferent) and applies it to three pillars of regulatory, normative, and cognitive institutions groups of uncertainty (Ramsey, 2013). Therefore, the greater the perceived distance (difference) between groups across the three pillars, the greater the uncertainty the individual experiences when trying to place themselves within the group. Studies have supported that lack of cultural adjustment and feelings of isolation are compounded when the culture is extremely different from his or her culture and country, the so-called “out-sider effect” (Hays, 1974). Following this logic, we can apply the same ideology of isolation to institutional distance, isolation referring to the psychological effect of uncertainty the individual experiences when he or she does not identify with the group because of differences. Assuming Black et al. (1991, p.470) interpretation in “ The other half of the picture: antecedents of spouse cross-cultural adjustment” that cultural adjustment is achieved through uncertainty reduction, it can be assumed that when perceived institutional distance between groups is high, uncertainty is increased hampering international students’ cultural adjustment; and when an perceived intuitional distance between groups is low, uncertainty is decreased, assisting international students’ cultural adjustment. The higher one perceives the institutional distance between host and national country to be, the more uncertainty they will experience while adjusting to their new environment. This study purports that high levels of institutional distance will weaken the effect of openness to experience personality on cross-cultural adjustment of international students and low levels of institutional distance will strengthen that relationship for international students in Taiwan. Hypothesis 5: Institutional distance will have a negative moderating effect on the relationship between openness to experience personality and cross-cultural adjustment.   21  .

(29)  .   22  .

(30)  . CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY In this chapter, the research framework, research procedure, research design, data collection and measurement will be introduced. The research adopted quantitative processes to investigate the relationship among institutional distance, cultural intelligence, personality (openness to experience), and cultural adjustment.. Research Framework In this study the independent variable is openness to experience personality. The dependent variable is cultural adjustment, which consisted of two facets: general and interaction. Cultural intelligence consists of four dimensions: metacognitive, cognitive, motivation, and behavior, it functions as mediator, to examine the relationship between openness to experience personality and cultural adjustment. Institutional distance consists of three facets: regulatory, Normative, and socio-cognitive. It serves as the moderator examining the relationship between openness to experience personality and cultural adjustment. Institutional Distance.   Openness to Experience Personality H5   H1   11  . H2  . Cultural Adjustment. H4  . Cultural Intelligence. H3  . Controls   -­‐ -­‐. Figure. 3.1. Research framework.   23  . Age   Gender  .

(31)  . Research Hypothesis In accordance with previous literature, research purpose, and research questions, the hypotheses were described as follows. Hypothesis 1: Openness to experience personality has a positive effect on cultural adjustment. Hypothesis 2: Openness to experience personality a positive effect on cultural intelligence. Hypothesis 3: Cultural intelligence will have a positive effect on cultural adjustment. Hypothesis 4: Cultural intelligence serves as mediator between openness to experience personality and cultural adjustment. Hypothesis 5: Institutional distance has a negative moderating effect on openness to experience personality and cultural adjustment.. Research Procedure Figure 3.2. below details the 10-step process undertaken to complete this study. In the first step, the target population was and the phenomena associated with the demographic within society. Second, the previous literature on the problem was reviewed, to get a comprehensive picture of the factors associated with the problem and to narrow down specific variables. Thirdly, after reviewing the literature, variables were established and the research topic developed, along with the purpose of the study. Fourthly, the research framework was established and the hypotheses listed following the discussion in the literature review. Thereafter, the instruments for each variable was chosen and tested for validity and reliability via a pilot test. After the measures were both reliable and valid, data was collected from the target population for the main study and afterward analyzed. Lastly, using statistical inferences the hypothesis was tested and a discussion about the results details the findings along with further recommendations for the study. The conclusion highlights the key findings and contributions from the study as well as future implications of the study..   24  .

(32)  . Step1:  problem  statement  and  target  population   Step  2:  Review  of  Literature   Step  3:  Development  of  Topic  and  Purpose  . Step  4:  Develop  Research  Framework  and   Hypothesis   Step  5:  Research  Instruments   Step  6:  Conduct  Pilot  Study   Step  7:  Revise  Instruments   Step  8:    Collect  Data   Step  9:  Perform  Data  Analysis   Step  10:    Conclusion  and  future  suggestions  . Figure 3.2. Research procedure.   25  .

(33)  . Research Method A qualitative, self-report, survey questionnaire was used to collect data. Participants were asked to fill out a series of questions, which assessed their perceived institutional distance, personality type, cultural intelligence, and cultural adjustment. Data collected from the survey was statistically analyzed using tools such as SPSS and AMOS to make conclusions about the hypotheses made in the study.. Level of Analysis This study proposal is to be operationalized at the individual level for all variables: personality, cultural intelligence, cultural adjustment and perceived institutional distance. All concepts within the study is self-reported because it ascribes to the individuals’ perception of self therefore should be measured as such.. Sampling and Data Collection A cross-sectional design was used to collect data from the participants in Taiwan, meeting the criteria of the study. The participants of this study were international student, currently enrolled in a form of higher-level education program in Taiwan. High-level education includes undergraduate level and graduate level (Masters, PhD). The international student identified as either an exchange student, language student, or degree-seeking student. Table below summaries the universities attended by participants and the percentage. Participants were selected using convenient sampling, to get a representative population from all institutions with international programs within Taiwan. Currently there are 109 participating universities in Taiwan that hosts an international program. Questionnaires were distributed throughout these universities through international program managers, who passed the online questionnaire to their international students. The questionnaire was distributed via online survey, utilizing email, and social media platforms, and posters with QR codes to receive a response. The data collection process lasted approximately eight weeks. Firstly, a small sample of 107 participants was collected for a pilot study within three weeks, and secondly, in the remaining five weeks, data for the main study was collected. For the main study, 405 questionnaire responses were returned, and a total of 401 were usable for this study. Four responses were excluded because they failed to pass the screening test ‘Are you currently an international student?’ and did not fit the criteria of this study..   26  .

(34)  . Sample Characteristics After reviewing the 401 responses, the following demographic information was observed; it includes gender, age, education level, significant others, student type, length of study, experience living in other countries, and nationality. Data was gathered from a wide range of nationalities of internationals residing in Taiwan, from North America, Central and, South America, The Caribbean, Europe, South East Asia, and Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea, Africa, Australian, and New Zealand, Table 3.1 below summarizes the frequency and percentage of each country. The students in this study were enrolled in programs that ranged from six month periods (39%), 1-2 years (35%), 3-4 years (17%), to 5 years’ periods and above (8%). The Characteristics of the sample showed that there were more female (51%) respondents than male (48%), with most participants falling within the age range of 17-25 (50%). The participants mostly identified as degree- seeking students (72.3%), followed by language (18%), and exchange (10%). The education level was distributed among undergraduate, masters, and Ph. D, 47%, 46%, and 7% respectively. Regarding previous experience living in other countries beside Taiwan and home country for longer than 6 months, 41% have never experience living abroad before, 47% have experience living in 1-2 other countries, 8% have experience living in 3-4 Countries, and 27% reported living in 5 and above other countries previous to Taiwan. Majority of the students (75%), reported having no significant others present with them in Taiwan, while 25% of them claimed to have support. Table 3.1. below summarizes the frequencies and percentages of each category..   27  .

(35)  . Table 3.1. Descriptive Statistics on Sample Demographics (n= 401) Item. Frequency Percentage Item. Frequency Percentage. 1. Nationality Australia. 4. 1. Malaysia. 10. 2.5. Belgium. 2. 0.5. Mexico. 3. 0.7. Belize. 71. 17.7. Mongolia. 1. 0.2. Brazil. 1. 0.2. N/A. 4. 1. Burkina Faso. 3. 0.7. Netherlands. 4. 1. Canada. 1. 0.2. New Zealand. 1. 0.2. China. 3. 0.7. Nicaragua. 3. 0.7. Czech Republic. 2. 0.5. Nigeria. 2. 0.5. Denmark. 1. 0.2. Pakistan. 3. 0.7. 3. 0.7. Panama. 5. 1.2. El Salvador. 15. 3.7. 3. 0.7. Ethiopia. 1. 0.2. Paraguay. 3. 0.7. Finland. 1. 0.2. Philippines. 3. 0.7. France. 8. 2. Poland. 5. 1.2. Gambia. 27. 6.7. Puerto Rico. 1. 0.2. Germany. 5. 1.2. Russia. 6. 1.5. Guatemala. 9. 2.2. Scotland. 1. 0.2. Haiti. 4. 1. Singapore. 2. 0.5. Holland. 1. 0.2. Slovakia. 3. 0.7. Honduras. 22. 5.5. Solomon islands. 2. 0.5. Hong Kong. 2. 0.5. St. Kitts. 8. 2. Hungary. 1. 0.2. St. Lucia. 16. 4. India. 6. 1.5. St. Vincent. 3. 0.7. Indonesia. 17. 4.2. Swaziland. 7. 1.7. Dominican Republic. Papua New Guinea. (continued).   28  .

(36)  . Table 3.1. (continued) Item Frequency Percentage Item. Frequency Percentage. Japan. 8. 2. Switzerland. 5. 1.2. Japan/Thailand. 1. 0.2. Thailand. 4. 1. Kenya. 1. 0.2. Turkey. 2. 0.5. Korea. 13. 3.2. UK. 8. 2. Latvia. 3. 0.7. USA. 15. 3.7. Lithuania. 2. 0.5. USSR. 1. 0.2. Macau. 1. 0.2. Vietnam. 23. 5.7. Malawi  . 5  . 1.2  . Total  . 401  . 100  . 2.    Gender  . 6.  Student  Type  . Male. 193. 48.1. Exchange. 40. 10. Female. 208. 51.9. Language. 71. 17.7. Total. 401. 100. Degree-Seeking. 290. 72.3. Total. 401. 100. 3. Age   17-25. 237. 59.1. 7. Length of Study  . 26-35. 148. 36.9. 0-6 months. 155. 38.7. Above 35. 15. 3.7. 1-2 years. 146. 36.4. Missing. 1. 0.2. 3-4 years. 68. 17. Total. 401. 100. 5+ years. 32. 8. Undergraduate. 188. 46.9. Total. 401. 100. Master. 185. 46.1. Ph.D.. 28. 7. None. 173. 41.4. Total. 401. 100. 1-2 countries. 187. 46.6. 3-4 countries. 30. 7.5. 4. Education Level  . 5. Significant Others  . 8. Experience Living in other countries. No. 302. 75.3. 5+ countries. 11. 2.7. Yes. 99. 24.7. Total. 401. 100. Total. 401. 100.   29  .

(37)  . Measurements Cultural Adjustment For the dependent variable adjustment, Blacks’ (1991) three facets of personal adjustment scale (general, interaction, and work) were used. However, only 11 items total were adopted in the study, which belong to the general (7 items) and interaction (4 items) dimensions for this study. Due to the nature of the research being student oriented and required no work- related information, the work factor was not applicable and therefore not used in the questionnaire. Participants were asked to rate how adjusted they were based on a 5- point Likert scale, ranging from (1= not at all adjusted to 5= very adjusted). The scale had a good internal consistency; the measure was in the acceptable range with (.87) overall and for each dimension interaction (.89) general adjustment (.82) and adjustment to one’s works roles (.91).. Personality (Openness to Experience) The independent variable personality was adopted from (McCrae & John, 1992) 44item Big Five inventory scale. After reviewing the literature, this study chooses to focus on the openness to experience aspect of personality. Openness to experience had a total of 11 items tested in the questionnaire. Participants will be instructed to describe to what extent they agree or disagree with the statements ‘I see myself as someone who…’ An example statement is, ‘I see myself as someone who is curious about many different things’. The items are scored on a 7- point Likert scale (1= Strongly disagree, 2= partially disagree 3= disagree 4= neutral 5= agree, 6= moderately agree7= strongly agree). The internal consistency was relatively high with a reported Cronbach’s alpha of .83 for the openness to experience dimension (Benet-Martínez, & John, 1998).. Perceived Institutional Distance (ID) The moderating variable Institutional Distance was adapted using Ramsey’s (2013) scale on perceived institutional distance, which includes 15 question items separated by dimensions, regulatory, normative, cognitive; five items respectively. The participants are asked to describe the extent to which they perceive their host country’s degree of similarity or difference to that of their home country. An example statement is ‘To what degree is your country similar/ different in terms of traffic laws from Taiwan’s’. Items will be scored using a 5-point Likert-type scale (1= very similar, 2= somewhat similar, 3= neutral, 4= somewhat.   30  .

(38)  . different, 5= very different). The Perceived Institutional Distance scale overall has a strong internal consistency reliability. The measure is within the acceptable range of internal consistency reliability of .94 overall and for each facet was .90, .90, and .86 for regulatory, normative and cognitive constructs respectively (Ramsey, 2013).. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) The mediating variable, Cultural Intelligence, was adopted using Van Dyne et al. (2008) cultural intelligence measure, which includes 20 question items categorized by four dimensions (Metacognitive, Cognitive, Motivational, and, Behavioral; 4,6,5,5 items respectively. In this section the participants will be asked to review each statement and select the response that best describes their capabilities as an international student in Taiwan. An example statement is ‘I know the cultural values and religious beliefs of other cultures’. The items were scored on a 7- point Likert’s scale (1= strongly agree; 7= strongly disagree). The internal consistency of this measure was acceptable overall at .70 with each dimension as follows: metacognitive= .77, cognitive= .84, motivational= .77 and behavior= .84).. Control Variables Based on the literature review, specific demographic variables were identified as control variables, and were included in the questionnaire. They are listed below: Gender. Previous studies showed that gender type influenced cross-cultural adjustment; research shows that females are more likely to adapt to foreign environments and have higher adjustment than their male counterparts (Caligiuri, 2000; Earley & Ang, 2003; Edwards, 1996). Age. Previous studies have found that age affects cross-cultural intelligence. Cultural adjustment increases with time as they learn about their environment and it becomes less novel (Earley & Ang, 2003; Huang, Chi, Lawler, 2005; Koo, Kwon, & Shik, 2012).. Validity and Reliability The measurements chosen in the study were all published scales to ensure face and content validity. An expert panel also reviewed the measurement instrument before testing. Furthermore, a pilot test was carried out to confirm the validity of the scales..   31  .

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