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Factors of Culture Adaptation and Adaptation States in a Multicultural Organization
Unformatted Document Text:  Cultural Adaptation Factors and States 6 stage because when the excitement is gone and things get mundane, especially when things are not going as one plans and when the person is physically sick, which is a common symptom of cultural shock, it is very common for a person to feel extremely depressed. So much so that it seems that everything is going wrong. Typically, a person will go through ups such as the second stage and downs like the third stage at lesser degrees for many times before he/she reaches the “everything is OK stage”. This is when things are perceivably not so exciting all the time and not so terrible either, which is what everyday life is actually. One reaches this stage by learning news things and skills to survive and function in the new culture, as well as adjusting psychological feelings to fit in the new environment, life can be relatively “normal” as in the original culture (Dodd, 1991). According to Kim (1988), this process goes on with higher ups and lower downs at the beginning and gradually moves to more moderate ups and downs when things don’t seem so good or so bad. Eventually, the process will come to a relatively stable stage. Most studies in the past have found that the length of stay or contact with a second culture is a determining factor about a person’s adaptation stage or state. Also, communication competence research has attributed successful adaptation to the individual’s communication skills including verbal, nonverbal, functional, and conversation management skills (Martin & Hammer, 1989). On the other hand, Zhong’s (1996) study identified two factors that can be influential: a person’s preparation in terms of language proficiency and knowledge of the second culture; and the person’s expectations in the second culture (e.g., to be able to study in a university and obtain good grades, to be able to fit in and feel at home in the second culture, be able to find a

Authors: Zhong, Mei. and Lee, Suman.
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Cultural Adaptation Factors and States
6
stage because when the excitement is gone and things get mundane, especially when
things are not going as one plans and when the person is physically sick, which is a
common symptom of cultural shock, it is very common for a person to feel extremely
depressed. So much so that it seems that everything is going wrong. Typically, a person
will go through ups such as the second stage and downs like the third stage at lesser
degrees for many times before he/she reaches the “everything is OK stage”. This is when
things are perceivably not so exciting all the time and not so terrible either, which is what
everyday life is actually. One reaches this stage by learning news things and skills to
survive and function in the new culture, as well as adjusting psychological feelings to fit
in the new environment, life can be relatively “normal” as in the original culture (Dodd,
1991).
According to Kim (1988), this process goes on with higher ups and lower downs
at the beginning and gradually moves to more moderate ups and downs when things don’t
seem so good or so bad. Eventually, the process will come to a relatively stable stage.
Most studies in the past have found that the length of stay or contact with a second
culture is a determining factor about a person’s adaptation stage or state. Also,
communication competence research has attributed successful adaptation to the
individual’s communication skills including verbal, nonverbal, functional, and
conversation management skills (Martin & Hammer, 1989). On the other hand, Zhong’s
(1996) study identified two factors that can be influential: a person’s preparation in terms
of language proficiency and knowledge of the second culture; and the person’s
expectations in the second culture (e.g., to be able to study in a university and obtain
good grades, to be able to fit in and feel at home in the second culture, be able to find a


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