With the advancing globalization, the world increasingly seems to get smaller. This results in the intensified occurrence of interactions between culturally diverse individuals. One professional field in which this is particularly noticeable is the working environment of international cabin crew. To meet the employer’s expectations, cabin attendants are required to engage in potentially stress-inducing intercultural communication with culturally diverse passengers daily. Furthermore, in the current times of the Covid-19 pandemic, with countries adopting different strategies in combating the virus, working on board a passenger aircraft becomes increasingly tense, thus, more difficult. To cope with the unique work requirements, individuals must be equipped with a specific skill set. Consequently, personality traits gained great relevance in the recruitment processes of suitable candidates over the past years. This study explored the predictive value of the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) on job performance, job satisfaction, and intention to quit of international cabin crew. Additionally, possible mediation effects of intercultural communication and job-related stress were examined. A quantitative survey study was conducted among international cabin crew members of all airlines (N = 457). Using regression and mediation analyses, the influence of the Cultural Empathy, Opemnindedness, Social Initiative, Emotional Stability, and Flexibility on cabin crews’ job outcomes was analyzed. The data disclosed a high predictive value of the MPQ towards all three job outcomes. Cultural Empathy was found to be the most essential trait, as it reliably predicted performance, satisfaction, and withdrawal intentions. Besides Cultural Empathy, Openmindedness and Social Initiative were also found to significantly relate to cabin crews’ job performance, with parts of the three relationships explained by enhanced intercultural communication. Emotional Stability was found to positively relate to cabin attendants’ job performance and to negatively affect their intention to quit, with the negative relationship between Emotional Stability and the intention to quit being fully mediated by job-related stress. Finally, Flexibility provided the most unexpected results as it showed a significantly negative relationship with cabin attendants’ job satisfaction.

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Dr. Joep Hofhuis
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Lea Leiss. (2022, July 20). Intercultural Communication in a Culturally Diverse Work Setting: The Role of a Multicultural Personality in Predicting Job Outcomes. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/65011