ICEdge was born in 2002 at a conference hosted by the Center for International
Business Education (CIBER) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
The international scholars and practitioners who attended the event identified the need for a theoretically grounded and empirically validated instrument to assess culture-based communication styles and train intercultural communication awareness and effectiveness.
Three behavioral scientists — Wendi Adair, Nancy Buchan, and Xiaoping Chen — integrated existing anthropological, psychological, communication, and management theory and research on the role of culture in communication. They gathered evidence that communication styles differ not only in terms of conversational directness/indirectness, but also in the degree to which communication is guided by a ention to multiple contextual factors including relationships, time, and space.

Through collaboration with 14 Universities*, the research team tested existing measures, developed and refined new measures through multiple iterations, and validated the ICEdge measure domestically and in both China (in Mandarin) and Chile (in Spanish).

Since then, the ICEdge research team has developed a short version of the instrument that was featured in the 2016 Academy of Management Discoveries article, “A model of communication context and measure of context dependence.” In their on-going research, the team has prioritized three areas of inquiry: 1) understanding communication style in different kinds of cultures, for example industry, generations, and gender, 2) consequences for effective communication when different forms of communication

style intersect in different work settings (e.g. knowledge work, healthcare, finance), organizational cultures, families, and close relationships, and 3) the impact of Intercultural Communication Edge training and awareness on intercultural competence developed on study-abroad, expatriate assignment, and intercultural work.

Importantly, ICEdge is the first model that includes all four elements of Hall’s communication and culture theory and recognizes variation across the four elements. ICEdge is also the first empirically validated tool that allows us to explain and measure different distinct patterns of low and high context communication behavior across message, relationship, time, and space.

* The University of Colorado at Denver; University of Florida; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of Kansas; University of Memphis; Michigan State University; Ohio State University; University of Pennsylvania; Purdue University; University of South Carolina; University of California, Los Angeles; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Washington; and University of Wisconsin.
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InterCultural Communication Edge (ICEdge) provides personalized assessments, expert advice, and training tools to support more effective communication across diverse demographics, cultures, and nationalities.