Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Paul Solomon, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rebecca Smith, DBA

Committee Member

Paul Spector, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anol Bhattacherjee, Ph.D.


collaboration, expatriate, adaptation, effectiveness, self-monitoring, sensemaking


This research focuses on both the discovery and analysis of individual elements that define the interaction between dissimilar militaries during communication. This will provide a greater understanding as to how (and how much) intercultural communications factors help or hinder collaboration between differing governments and their military officials. This greater understanding may provide insight that would provide collaborators the opportunity to improve their negotiating performance based on both increased effectiveness and efficiency.

Previous literature informing this research included expatriate adaptation to foreign cultures, power distance, sensemaking theory, intercultural communication. These provided foundations to use phenomenological methods to explore intercultural communication effectiveness. Ten well-versed individuals selected through snowball sampling participated in this study through semi-structured interviews. The balanced group of participants included six who had lived in the Middle East (three of which still reside in that region) and four who have been lifelong U.S. citizens.

The study revealed that participants in intercultural settings who self-monitor, and then make conscious changes to their behaviors to adapt to foreign cultures, will improve their intercultural communications effectiveness. The reciprocation by persons from the foreign culture(s) with which they are interacting further improves intercultural communication. This in turn has a positive impact on every communication process that follows.