Testing the effect of timing of delivery of a cross-cultural training program
Type of Degreethesis
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In this quasi-experimental field study I examined how timing of delivery impacted the effectiveness of a cross-cultural training program called “Realistic Orientation Programs for Entry Stress” (ROPES; Fan & Wanous, 2008). Participants were first-year international graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in year 2012 and 2013 at Auburn University who were required to take INTL 1820 English class due to their limited English proficiency. There were two sections for INTL 1820 in both years’ fall semester and the treatment was randomly assigned to class sections. Participants in one section of INTL 1820 received the ROPES training during the second week of the fall semester (the Early Group), whereas participants in another section of INTL 1820 received the same ROPES training two months after the fall semester started (the Delayed Group). I hypothesized that compared with participants in the Early Group, participants in the Delayed Group would report a higher level of utility perceptions of the ROPES training, have higher retention of knowledge of ROPES content, engaged in more coping behaviors taught in the ROPES program, felt less stress, and reported better cross-cultural adjustment over time. In addition, utility perceptions were hypothesized to mediate the above treatment effects. Results showed that participants in the Delayed Group reported higher level of utility perceptions of the ROPES training than the participants in the Early Group, but not for retention of knowledge, coping behaviors, stress, or adjustment. Moreover, there was a significant indirect effect of utility perceptions on the relationship between condition and adjustment.