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Successful communication skills support work and academic activities. However, people with different cultural backgrounds can struggle to communicate with each other, causing conflict and reduced productivity. This study investigated the mediating role of intercultural communication apprehension (ICA) on the relationship between generational differences and conflict in multicultural offices and aimed to explore the causes of conflicts in such offices as well as its effect on work performance and mood. The study utilized a mixed-methods approach with a quasi-mixed design. A sample of 130 employees from the embassies to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia, participated in the research. The quantitative analysis revealed that ICA is a strong mediating variable between generational differences and conflict, demonstrating how generational differences can lead to conflict when mediated by ICA. The main effect of ICA was significant (t = -.84, p = .40, 95% CI [-2.77, 1.12], bootstrap 5000). Qualitative data indicated that the conflicts caused by cultural differences in multicultural environments resulted from differences in work performance, expectations, and attitudes. Conflicts affected work performance and mood, resulting in a further reduction of productivity. This study contributes to improving communication in multicultural offices by demonstrating the benefits of lower ICA levels and recommending ways to reduce conflict between colleagues with different generations and cultural backgrounds.
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