Intercultural Knowledge Sharing Between Expatriates and Host-country Nationals in Vietnam: A Practice-based Study of Communicative Relations and Power Dynamics

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of International Management, 2018, 24 (1), pp. 16 - 32
Issue Date:
2018-03-01
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© 2017 Elsevier Inc. We examine the communicative enabling practices and power dynamics of intercultural knowledge sharing relationships between Australian expatriates and host-country nationals from a practice-based theoretical perspective. Drawing on the results of an empirical field study, including interviews with 20 Australian expatriates and 23 Vietnamese host-country nationals, we identify three discrete phases of the relationships: (1) relationship building, (2) reciprocal learning and (3) knowledge co-construction. These stages provide the basis for a theoretical model and propositions that articulate specific communicative practices of both expatriates and host country nationals in developing and maintaining productive knowledge sharing relationships. Central to this is a dynamic process of power renegotiation between expatriates and host-country nationals that goes beyond prescriptive notions of ‘power distance’. Our findings extend current (expatriate-centred) research by showing how effective (two-way) KS relations are constituted through the discursive practices of both HCNs and expatriates in ways that are complementary, mutually reinforcing, and transformational.
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