Culture Shock in a Global World: Factors Affecting Culture Shock Experienced by Expatriates in Oman and Omani Expatriates Abroad

  •  James Rajasekar    
  •  Franck Renand    


 The purpose of the paper is to investigate various forms of culture shock experienced by people who visit a
foreign country for the first time. The study further documented various forms of culture shock such as
communication, dress, religion, food, and language etc., and also proposed mechanisms to handle it. The data
were collected from 110 respondents through a series of semi-structured interviews with Omani nationals and
expatriates currently working in the Sultanate of Oman. The respondents were selected from a wide variety of
demographic, socioeconomic and organizational backgrounds to reflect the true multinational workforce
structure in Oman. The interviews were conducted by adopting a three-step process. One of the major findings
of this research study is that both Omanis and expatriates who travel abroad encountered cultural shock. The
study also concluded that most respondents were affected (culture shock) by religious and traditional issues,
whereas factors such as individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, rules and weather patterns did not affect
them much. This study also documented fourteen different categories of culture shock that can be experienced
by people while visiting foreign cultures.

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