Cross-cultural adaptation is a challenging process while sojourning abroad. The inability to understand cultural variation triggers psychological, physical or behavioral difficulties and maladjustment or misunderstanding. Socio-ecocultural underestimation is the root of intercultural resistance, stereotyping, ethnocentrism and racist sentiments among sojourners. Most of the cross-cultural adjustment studies have quantitatively demonstrated factors and predictors of adaptation success. However, the specific forms of cultural variation that impacted sojourning adaptability is blindly explained. Hence, this phenomenological paper autoethnographically observed the socio-ecocultural environment while sojourning in New Zealand. The findings highlighted that cultural awareness and sensitivity assist sojourner’s cross-cultural adaptability due to the socio-ecocultural variation.


Cultural Variations, Socio-Ecocultural, Autoethnographic, Cultural Sensitivity, Cultural Awareness, Cross-Cultural Adaptation

Author Bio(s)

Awang Rozaimie is a Senior lecturer attached to the Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sarawak Branch, Samarahan 1 Campus since 2003. He received his Ph.D from the School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia. His thesis is concentrating on intercultural competencies, adjustment and expatriate issues. He is now attached to the Department of International Business and has been teaching courses and conducting research in International Human Resource Management, International Management, International Business, Business Communication, Global Retailing, and Entrepreneurship. His research interests are expanded to Culture, Ethnicity, Indigenous Knowledge, Individuality and Personality, and Entrepreneurial issues. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: awgrozaimie@sarawak.uitm.edu.my or ibmuitms@gmail.com.


Highly appreciation is given to members of Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research (CACR), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (especially to Professor Colleen Ward, Dr. Aidan Tabor, Dr. Ágnes Szabó, Dr. Jessie Wilson, Claudia Recker, Malia Tatafu and Rochelle Stewart-Allen) for the 2012’s internship opportunity. The UiTM Sarawak’s research excellent fund [ref: 600-RMU/DANA 5/3 (1/2015)] funded writing this paper and attending a conference. An early version of this paper was presented at the 2nd UUM Qualitative Research Conference (QRC) 2016, 24th – 26th May 2016, Penang, Malaysia.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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