Cultural Communication and Adaptation A Case Study of Hanban Officers in Thailand
Keywords:Hanban officer, Cultural communication, Cultural adaptation
This qualitative research aims to analyze factors that impede cultural communication and adaptation, and adaptive strategies under Thai culture of Hanban officers in Thailand. It employed Young Yun Kim’s theory of cultural communication and adaptation (2004) as a conceptual framework. In-depth interviews were used to collect data from 17 informants, consisting of 13 Hanban officers and 4 Thai officers associated with Hanban officers. The result shows that problems in cultural communication and adaption of Hanban officers in Thailand were caused by three factors, comprising (1) the state of ignorance, misunderstanding, and ambiguity of Hanban officers toward their basic knowledge about Thai culture, as well as their unfamiliar performances in Thai cultural contexts, (2) Hanban officers’ anxiety about making communication mistakes with Thais, and (3) the pressure of the difference between Thai and Chinese working style. However, in order to live in Thai context and environment appropriately and contentedly, Hanban officers have dealt with these problematic issues by communicating in Thai language, interacting with Thai people, conforming to Thai working practices, seeking advice from other people, and being open to embrace cultural differences.