Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Theses & dissertations (Interdisciplinary)


Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies


Despite the abundance of sources now available for intercultural trainers to build and evaluate their programs, information about how to determine the content of the training curriculum is lacking. As research in intercultural (and cross-cultural) communication has increased over the decades, numerous training topics have been identified within the field of intercultural communication. Trainers with a limited amount of time to spend with their trainees must decide what content areas to train and how to train them based on the characteristics of the organization and the trainees. The purpose of this study was to employ the advice of experienced intercultural trainers who recommend first conducting a needs assessment of the trainees and then developing a curriculum based on those needs. This study also pays special attention to the unique characteristics of adult learners. The participants of this study were American and international employees of an Internet software development company.;Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were used. Thirty-six participants answered a survey and eight participants were interviewed. The results and discussion focus on the differences between the Native English speaker (NS) and Non-native English speaker (NNS) responses. As predicted, the needs assessment revealed specific issues in verbal and nonverbal communication style, time orientation and performance recognition. Interestingly, other issues peripheral to the usual focus of intercultural communication were also identified including teamwork and project planning. The foundational theory of the recommended training is based on Hofstede's (1980) four cultural dimensions: Masculinity v. Femininity, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Individualism v. Collectivism - with specific focus on the latter dimension. This thesis includes the results of the needs assessment, the training proposal, an outline of the curriculum, and a discussion of the limitations of the data collection process.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Stephanie Joanne Siska



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

79 pages