Cracking the cultural code: Indian IT expatriates’ intercultural communication challenges in Australia
The growth of Indian Information Technology (IT) sector has resulted in many Indian IT expatriates conducting projects at international client sites. Yet little is known about the sociocultural communication challenges these expatriates encounter. Adopting a qualitative, interpretive approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 47 Indian IT expatriates at client sites in Australia. The cultural validation and sociocultural competencies framework of the Excellence in Cultural Experiential Learning and Leadership Intercultural Skills Program was used to analyse expatriates’ workplace interactions. Respondents reported a lack of understanding of the ‘unwritten’ sociocultural communication rules in Australia. Communication differences contributed to their frustrations and dissatisfaction during expatriation. Insights into Indian IT expatriates’ experiences of negotiating communication competencies abroad can inform cross-cultural management scholarship and cross-cultural training. Making cultural norms explicit by embedding a cultural learning framework in cross-cultural training programs can contribute to productive, culturally diverse workplaces. The findings may provide fresh perspectives for organizations who prepare or receive expatriates, especially Indian professionals on assignment in Australia or other western countries.
International Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Business and Management not elsewhere classified