It's personal: The emotional dimension of psychic distance perception in intercultural knowledge transfer

Qiu Wang, Jeremy Clegg, Hanna Gajewska-De Mattos, Peter Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Psychic distance (PD) is a perceived obstacle to information flows in knowledge transfer between individuals in different national markets. However, the impact of individuals’ subjective perceptions of macro-level distance factors disrupting these flows has been undertheorized. Prior research has conceptualized PD as a geospatial concept – symmetric, continuous and stable over time. Using appraisal theory and a qualitative study of a Chinese multinational, we analyse individual-level psychic distance stimuli. We examine how perceived psychic distance is impacted in the appraisal of personal concerns, triggering salient emotions in the process of individual’s cross-border interactions. Our key contribution is to trace and explain how individual-level psychic distance is created in intercultural knowledge transfer. We theorize that it is created by a psychological mechanism involving emotionally charged processes of individuals coping with concerns arising from emotional encounter. We find that conventional macro-level psychic distance is moderated by the emotions of individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102167
JournalInternational Business Review
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date10 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Chinese MNE
  • Emotion
  • Intercultural knowledge transfer
  • Managerial and employee perceptions
  • Psychic distance

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