Optimising conditions for learning sociocultural competencies for success

Anita S. Mak, Marvin J. Westwood, F. Ishu Ishiyama, Michelle C. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Culturally different recent immigrants and sojourners lack familiarity with the social values, roles, and rules governing interpersonal relationships and this may hinder the attainment of their goals for career and educational success in the new country despite their qualifications and dedication. This paper identifies a number of psychosocial barriers to developing social competence in a different culture, including lack of coaching and practice opportunities, cross-cultural interpersonal anxiety, threat to the newcomers' original cultural identity, and various personal factors. The paper further discusses how integrating instructional implications from established models of operant and classical conditioning, and social cognitive learning in a role-based group training program, can address these potential psychosocial barriers and provide optimal conditions for learning intercultural social skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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