Research note: The development of an Arabic cross-cultural adjustment scale

Ibrahim Al-Rajhi, Dean Bartlett, Yochanan Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to report on the development of an Arabic language scale for measuring cross-cultural adjustment in the Arab world, predominately the Middle East. It also comments on aspects of psychometric tools and their appropriateness for use in cross-cultural management research. Design/methodology/approach - Black and Stephen's Cross-Cultural Adjustment Scale was translated into Arabic using the method of back-translation and a pilot item-by-item debriefing. It was then administered to 111 Arabic-speaking employees of a single firm. Findings - The Arabic language version yielded high alpha coefficients and a subsequent factor analysis revealed three primary factors of cross-cultural adjustment, namely, Work Adjustment, Interaction Adjustment and General Adjustment, which corresponded closely to the original English version of the scale, with two minor exceptions. Research limitations/implications - The research is confined to the cultural-linguistic context in which it was executed. Practical implications - The findings suggest that an Arabic version of the three-factor scale is useful for measuring adjustment in Arabic-speaking samples and implies the wider generalizability of the cross-cultural adjustment construct. The development of this scale in an important region for migrant labor is highly relevant to practice. Originality/value - An Arabic version of the most widely used cross-cultural adjustment scale is of value to researchers and practitioners. The Muslim sample drawn from the Middle East region also makes the paper highly original.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-463
Number of pages15
JournalCross Cultural Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabic
  • Cross-cultural adjustment
  • Cross-cultural management
  • Islam
  • Middle East
  • Psychometric tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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