Identifying Intercultural Problems between German and Polish Students using the Extended Critical Incident Analysis

  • Gundula Gwenn Hiller Europa-Universität Viadrina
Keywords: critical incidents, combination of methods, German-Polish communication, problem-centered interviews


Using a survey of students from two national groups as an example, this paper shows how culture-contrastive research can be performed utilizing an extended version of the critical incident analysis (ECIA). Although it is a classic intercultural research instrument, the use of critical incidents can present methodological problems. Based on a study which was aimed at identifying communication barriers between German and Polish students at a cross-border university, an analysis method which combines traditional qualitative methods with critical incident analysis was created. The ECIA was developed as a response to the common criticisms of approaches based on critical incident analysis. By linking problem-centered interviews (WITZEL, 2000), the introduction of indicators, a codification of data, and expert opinions to critical incident analysis, the ECIA presents an application-oriented qualitative method that can be used to identify specific, relevant sources of problems in intercultural encounters.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901453


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Gundula Gwenn Hiller, Europa-Universität Viadrina
Gundula Gwenn HILLER, Dr. is a lecturer for intercultural communication and competence. At the Department of Intercultural Learning at the European-University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) Germany, she designed and established a program concerned with the students' development of intercultural competence. Her research areas are intercultural competence in higher education, training methods, and German-Polish communication. In addition to this, she works as a trainer for intercultural communication and competence.
How to Cite
Hiller, G. G. (2009). Identifying Intercultural Problems between German and Polish Students using the Extended Critical Incident Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).
Application, Innovation, Reflection and Training of Qualitative Methods