Importance of Cultural Intelligence: cross-cultural examination and analysis

Globalization requires collaboration, partnerships, alliances, trade agreements, and business conduct across both borders and cultures. Growth in international business necessitates corporations and employees to be culturally intelligent. Cultural intelligence has proved to be an instrumental skill that will be a major determinant in the success of cross-cultural collaborations. We examine cross-cultural situations of financial and social problems caused by a lack of cultural intelligence and compare them to situations of effective collaborations. We conclude with practical suggestions and five recommendations that can help improve cultural intelligence levels.

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Leader Cultural Intelligence and Organizational Performance

One of the challenges for international companies is to manage multicultural environments effectively. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is a soft skill required of the leaders of organizations working in cross-cultural contexts to be able to communicate effectively in such environments. On the other hand, organizational structure plays an active role in developing and promoting such skills in an organization. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of leader CQ on organizational performance mediated by organizational structure. To achieve the objective of this research, first, conceptual models and hypotheses of this research were formed based on the literature. Then, a quantitative empirical research design using a questionnaire, as a tool for data collection, and structural equation modeling, as a tool for data analysis, was employed among executives of knowledge-based companies in the Science and Technology Park, Bushehr, Iran. The results disclosed that leader CQ directly and indirectly (i.e., through the organizational structure) has a positive and significant effect on organizational performance. In other words, in organizations that operate in a multicultural environment, the higher the level of leader CQ, the higher the performance of that organization. Accordingly, such companies are encouraged to invest in improving the cultural intelligence of their leaders to improve their performance in cross-cultural environments, and to design appropriate organizational structures for the development of their intellectual capital.

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Cultural intelligence

Cultural intelligence can be understood as the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures.

 The concept is related to that of cross-cultural competence but goes beyond that to actually look at intercultural capabilities as a form of intelligence that can be measured and developed. Accordingl, cultural intelligence can be defined as “a person’s capability to adapt as s/he interacts with others from different cultural regions”, and has behavioral, motivational, and metacognitive aspects.

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Impact of personal cultural orientations and cultural intelligence on success in multi-ethnic societies

The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of personal cultural orientation and behavioral aspect of cultural intelligence on subjective success in self-employment in a multi-ethnic context. Based on Sharma (J Acad Mark Sci 38: 787–806, 2010) taxonomy of personal cultural orientations, the paper examines the impact of interdependence and social inequality orientations on subjective success in self-employment (measured in terms of job satisfaction). Self-employed individuals working in multiethnic communities in East Africa (Uganda and Kenya) were compared with their counterparts in Germany operating in a less culturally or ethnically diverse context. Moderated mediation analysis using PROCESS macro model 8 is applied to measure the direct and indirect effects. Interdependence and social inequality cultural orientations were positively related to subjective success in self-employment for the East African sample, but not for the Germany sample. The results revealed that the impact of these cultural orientations on subjective success is mediated by behavioral cultural intelligence. However, these indirect effects vary between Germany and East Africa. Similar to cross-cultural settings, multiethnic business settings involve doing business with people from various ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. This requires the entrepreneur to behave in a manner that demonstrates appreciation and respect of other people’s cultures.

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Culture in Mind: Cognition, Culture, and the Problem of Meaning

Despite the recognized importance of cultural diversity in understanding the modern world, the emerging science of cognitive psychology has relied far more on experimental psychology, neurobiology, and computer science than on cultural anthropology for its models of how we think. In this exciting new book, anthropologist Bradd Shore has created the first study linking multi-culturalism to cognitive psychology, exploring the complex relationship between culture in public institutions and in mental representations. In so doing, he answers in a completely new way the age old question of whether humans are basically the same psychologically, independent of cultures, or basically diverse because of cultural differences. The first half of the book emphasizes cultural models, from Australian Aboriginal rituals and Samoan comedy skits, to more familiar terrain, including a study of baseball as a cultural model for Americans. Along the way, the author sheds new and novel light on many familiar institutions, from educational curricula and shopping malls to modular furniture and cyberpunk fiction. These observations are then linked to theoretical developments in linguistics, semiotics, and neuroscience, creating a bold new approach to understanding the role of culture in everyday meaning making. The author argues that culture must be considered an intrinsic component of the human mind to a degree that most psychologists and even many anthropologists have not recognized. This new position of cultural models will make absorbing reading for psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, and philosophers, and to anyone interested in the issues of cultural diversity, multiculturalism, or cognitive science in general.

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Holistically versus analytically: Comparing the the context sensitivity of Japanese and Americans.

Much research indicates that East Asians, more than Americans, explain events with reference to the context. The authors examined whether East Asians also attend to the context more than Americans do. In Study 1, Japanese and Americans watched animated vignettes of underwater scenes and reported the contents. In a subsequent recognition test, they were shown previously seen objects as well as new objects, either in their original setting or in novel settings, and then were asked to judge whether they had seen the objects. Study 2 replicated the recognition task using photographs of wildlife. The results showed that the Japanese (a) made more statements about contextual information and relationships than Americans did and (b) recognized previously seen objects more accurately when they saw them in their original settings rather than in the novel settings, whereas this manipulation had relatively little effect on Americans.

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Four lessons for operating in a different cultural environment

What does it take to operate successfully in a university located in a different culture?

I am an Indian academician working in the Middle-East, specifically in the Sultanate of Oman and share four lessons about teaching and working in a different cultural context. Although the specifics will vary depending on the culture, the general lessons are likely to be more widely applicable.

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Cultural differences in emotional responses to success and failure

The emotional responses to achievement contexts of 149 preschool children from three cultural groups were observed. The children were Japanese (N = 32), African American (N = 63) and White American of mixed European ancestry (N = 54). The results showed that Japanese children differed from American children in expressing less shame, pride, and sadness, but more of both exposure and evaluative embarrassment. African American and White American children did not differ from one another. American children however showed more evaluative as opposed to exposure embarrassment.

This finding supports the idea that success and failure are interpreted differently by Japanese children during the preschool years. The low amount of sadness and shame expression, and the limited range of number of different expressions observed in the Japanese children agree with the general finding that East Asian infants and young children differ from Western infants and children primarily in the display of negative expressions. These results demonstrate that cultural differences, whether due to temperament or direct socialization of cultural values, influence how children respond to achievement situations.

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How the ‘Western mind’ was shaped by the Medieval Church

Most research on human psychology focuses on Western societies, but the way people in the West think can be traced to changes in family structures in the Middle Ages.

Upon entering a psychology laboratory, you and a small group of other participants are tasked with matching a line to one of three other lines of varying lengths. Participants are asked in succession to state aloud which of these line segments have the same length. Sometimes the others’ choices are the same as yours. But occasionally they all seem to agree with each other but not with you.

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Culture and Social change – Ideology and Critique

How do we achieve social justice? How do we change society for the better? Some would argue that we must do it by changing the laws or state institutions. Others that we must do it by changing individual attitudes. I argue that although both of these factors are important and relevant, we must also change culture. What does this mean? Culture, I argue, is a set of social meanings that shapes and filters how we think and act. Problematic networks of social meanings constitute an ideology. Entrenched ideologies are resilient and are barriers to social change, even in the face of legal interventions. I argue that an effective way to change culture is through social movements and contentious politics, and that philosophy has a role to play in promoting such change.

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