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Acculturation and Global Mindsponge


  • Quan-Hoang Vuong
  • Nancy K. Napier


Much research on acculturation around global experiences has focused on the “type” of overseas experience—e.g. expatriate, repatriate, inpatriate, flexpatriate. The experiences of people in those categories and across various demographics (single/married/divorced; gender; sexual orientation) can differ dramatically. In addition, given the explosion of people working in global business, some global business citizens could well fit into several of those various types of experiences over the course of their careers. In this paper, we propose to push in a somewhat different direction and explore something that for us would be quite new. Rather than focusing on the various categories and their resulting experiences, we take a step back to consider what attributes and ways of thinking a global citizen may need to become better as a global business citizen, regardless of type of experience. The question is less one of “Who am I” than “How can I become better?”. Essentially, we would like to explore what might be required in moving the global citizen from thinking about “global mindset” to “global mindsponge.” When we hear the term mindset, we think of a certain way of thinking that stays rather fixed. So part of the challenge of the paper will be to define and examine what mindsponge might mean in the global context—what does it take to unlearn or squeeze out certain ways of thinking or behaving before absorbing and reshaping new ways of thinking and behaving? Moreover, how might that become part of a natural and regular way of operating, especially in a rapidly changing developing country like Vietnam, in particular? At this early stage, we think of mind sponge as a mechanism that encourages flexibility and receptiveness through a process of using multiple filters and more focus on creativity, or doing things differently to improve an organization or individual performance. Our goal is to develop a basic conceptual framework for “mindsponge,” drawing upon a broad literature review as well as several unstructured interviews, to assess whether the idea of mindsponge helps people perceive that they are more culturally versatile and culturally mobile, regardless of whether they work in or outside of their “home environment.” We hope this would enhance their ability to shape an emerging set of cultural values that erases the divide between “foreign” and “local” cultural differences that so often dominates in emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier, 2013. "Acculturation and Global Mindsponge," Working Papers CEB 13-053, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/153035

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quan Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier & Tri Dung Tran, 2013. "A categorical data analysis on relationships between culture, creativity and business stage: the case of Vietnam," International Journal of Transitions and Innovation Systems, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1), pages 4-24.
    2. Joanna Olga Paliszkiewicz, 2011. "Trust Management: Literature Review," Management, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 6(4), pages 315-331.
    3. Kedia, Ben L. & Mukherji, Ananda, 1999. "Global managers: developing a mindset for global competitiveness," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 230-251, October.
    4. Vu Dang Le Nguyen & Nancy K. Napier & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2012. "It Takes Two to Tango: Entrepreneurship and Creativity in Troubled Times – Vietnam 2012," Working Papers CEB 12-022, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Van Nhue Dam & Daniel van Houtte & Tri Dung Tran, 2011. "The Entrepreneurial Facets as Precursor to Vietnam’s Economic Renovation in 1986," Working Papers CEB 11-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Arora, Anil & Jaju, Anupam & Kefalas, Asterios G. & Perenich, Theresa, 2004. "An exploratory analysis of global managerial mindsets: a case of U.S. textile and apparel industry," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 393-411.
    7. Quan Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier, 2014. "Resource curse or destructive creation in transition: Evidence from Vietnam's corporate sector," Management Research Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 642-657, June.
    8. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier, 2012. "Coffee Filters and Creativity: The Value of Multiple Filters in the Creative Process," Working Papers CEB 12-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. David Hales, 1998. "An Open Mind is Not an Empty Mind: Experiments in the Meta-Noosphere," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 1(4), pages 1-2.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quang-Hoi Vu & Thu Trang Vuong & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2016. "Relationship between past experience, social network participation and creative capacity: Vietnamese entrepreneurship survey," Working Papers CEB 16-032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. repec:spr:joiaen:v:5:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1186_s13731-016-0047-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hiep-Hung Pham & Kelly Farrell & Huyen-Minh Vu & Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier, 2017. "Using YouTube video to promote university: a content analysis," Working Papers CEB 17-004, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Thu Hang Do & Thu Trang Vuong, 2016. "Resources, experience and perseverance in entrepreneurs' perceived likelihood of success in an emerging economy," Working Papers CEB 16-006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Tung Manh Ho & Hong Kong T. Nguyen & Thu-Trang Vuong & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2017. "On the Sustainability of Co-Authoring Behaviors in Vietnamese Social Sciences: A Preliminary Analysis of Network Data," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-21, November.
    6. Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2016. "Information and efficiency in Vietnamese patients' choice of health-care provider: a short report," Working Papers CEB 16-001, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2016. "Impacts of geographical locations and sociocultural traits on the Vietnamese entrepreneurship," Working Papers CEB 16-012, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier & Thu Hang Do & Thu Trang Vuong, 2015. "Creativity and entrepreneurial efforts in an emerging economy," Working Papers CEB 15-052, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Tung Manh Ho & Hong Kong Nguyen-To & Thu-Trang Vuong & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2017. "Social Network Sustainability Metrics: A Study of Co-authoring Behaviors in the Social Sciences, Using 2008-2017 Scopus Data for Vietnam," Working Papers CEB 17-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item


    Mindset; Global Mindset; Mindsponge; Innovation; Change Management; Acculturation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility


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