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Technical report for the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale, developed by The Kozai Group, Inc.
First published September 2008
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1. Intercultural effectiveness -- measurement. 2. Intercultural interaction. 3. Global leadership. 4.
Expatriate adjustment and performance.
The 21st century is one of unremitting globalization. The bumper sticker wisdom that
implores, “think globally, act locally,” has become a reality and a necessity for educators,
businesspeople, politicians, scientists, journalists, entertainers, athletes, and inventors alike.
Globalization is an ever-increasing social complexity that arises from the ongoing integration
of cultural, technological, political, social, and business processes that results in a teeming,
unpredictable, ambiguous, ever-changing context that must be squarely faced by everyone—but
especially educators and businesspeople (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004).
For example, globalization has caused educators to consider how to develop in students of all
ages a better understanding of the world and its various cultures, and the need to develop
competencies within their students that will allow them to live and thrive in a complex, ever-
changing, globalized environment. Similarly, globalization has caused many CEOs to aggressively
reposition their companies to deal with the unparalleled cross-border trade and investment,
continual and rapid change in technological advances, ongoing shifts in global products and
consumers, higher global standards in production and quality, and the inherent unpredictability in
markets that characterize the complexity we call “globalization.”
“How do we develop people who can thrive in the context of globalization?” First, it is
necessary to understand and delineate the competencies associated with thriving in global contexts.
What competencies do people possess who exhibit success in living and working in cross-culturally
complex situations? And, what clues can these “global leaders” give us in terms of educating and
developing people who can be successful in the age of globalization?
Since the early 1990s, an increasing number of scholars have been studying effective global
leaders and attempting to delineate the competencies that are critical to their success. Reviews of
this literature (Bird & Osland, 2004; Jokinen, 2005; Mendenhall, 2001; Mendenhall & Osland,
2002; Osland, 2008; Osland, Taylor, & Mendenhall, in press) find that social scientists have
delineated over fifty competencies that influence global leadership effectiveness; however, many of
these competencies overlap conceptually and are often separated only by semantic differences in the
labels given them by researchers (Jokinen, 2005; Osland, 2008). The reviews also indicate clearly
that global leadership is a multi-dimensional construct.
After analyzing the findings of the above reviews, we found that the framework developed by
Mendenhall and Osland (2002) to categorize the numerous competencies found within the global
leadership literature continues to be relevant to current research in the field, and elegantly
conceptually organizes the numerous global leadership competencies into six core dimensions of
competencies. They labeled these six dimensions, respectively: cross-cultural relationship skills, traits and
values, cognitive orientation, global business expertise, global organizing expertise, and visioning
When these six dimensions of global leadership competencies were compared to the
literature of expatriate effectiveness, it was found that there was a significant overlap between three
of the competency dimensions of global leadership (cross-cultural relationship skills, traits and values,
cognitive orientation) and the competencies that are important to living and working in a foreign
country as an expatriate (Jokinen, 2005; Mendenhall, 2001; Mendenhall & Osland, 2002; Osland,
Bird, Mendenhall, & Osland, 2006; Osland, 2008).
The six competency dimensions can be conceptually divided between those that involve
competencies directly related to intercultural interaction at the person and small group level, cross-
cultural relationships, cognitive orientation, traits and values (which are critical to expatriate effectiveness),
and those that involve the mastery of more macro, global business knowledge and skills (global
business expertise, global organizing expertise, visioning).
We will now present an overview of the major competencies that exist in the three domains
of intercultural competencies above (cross-cultural relationships, cognitive orientation, and traits and values)
from both the expatriate and global leadership research literature.
To explore the evolution of knowledge in the field of expatriation, we analyzed the reviews
of the empirical expatriate literature since 1984 (Arthur & Bennett, 1995; Bhaskar-Shrinivas,
Harrison, Shaffer, & Luk, 2005; Dinges & Baldwin, 1996; Gersten, 1990; Harrison, Shaffer, &
Bhaskar-Shrinivas, 2004; Hechanova, Beehr, & Christiansen, 2003; Jordan & Cartwright, 1998;
Kealey, 1996; Mendenhall, Kühlmann, Stahl, & Osland, 2002; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985; Mol,
Born, Willemsen, & Van der Molen, 2005; Oddou & Mendenhall, 1984; Ones & Viswesvaran,
1997; Ronen, 1989; Stahl, 2001; Thomas, 1998; Thomas & Lazarova, 2006) to evaluate their
assessment of the state of the field.
Additionally, due to the fact that the expatriate research literature is spread across various
disciplines, thus making it difficult for reviewers to comprehensively cover all extant empirical
studies, we have included in the paper empirical studies that were not included in the
aforementioned reviews or that were published after the appearance of these reviews. To assess the
empirical literature of the global leadership field, we reviewed the following reviews of that literature
(Jokinen, 2005; Mendenhall, 2001; Mendenhall & Osland, 2002; Osland, 2008; Osland, et. al., in
The ability to adjust to the work, social, and general cultural dimensions of a new culture has
been shown to influence subsequent productivity of the expatriate during his/her overseas
assignment (Kraimer, Wayne, & Jaworski, 2001; Harrison & Shaffer, 2005). Successful expatriate
adjustment predicts task completion and relationship building effectiveness during the overseas
assignment (Harrison & Shaffer, 2005), thus an understanding of what competencies influence
expatriate adjustment is critical to an understanding of enhancing individual performance in the
global workplace.
We began our review of the expatriate literature with the review and categorization of
competencies associated with expatriate adjustment conducted by Mendenhall & Oddou in 1985.
Based upon their oft-cited review of the literature, Mendenhall & Oddou (1985) classified the
numerous competencies that they found influenced expatriate adjustment into one of three
categories: the self-oriented dimension, the others-oriented dimension, and the perceptual dimension. These three
dimensions align conceptually with the three dimensions of intercultural competencies we have
noted above; specifically, others-oriented = cross-cultural relationships, perceptual dimension = cognitive
orientation, self-oriented dimension = traits and values.
The self-oriented dimension includes “activities and attributes that serve to strengthen the
expatriate’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and mental hygiene” (1985: 40). The others-oriented
dimension includes “activities and attributes that enhance the expatriate’s ability to interact
effectively with host-nationals” (1985: 41), while the perceptual dimension contains cognitive processes
that facilitate an expatriate’s “ability to understand why foreigners behave the way they do,” thus
enhancing their “ability to make correct attributions about the reasons or causes of host-nationals’
behavior” (1985: 42).
This categorization has been a fruitful one over time in the literature (Thomas, 1998) and is,
in part, the basis for the most rigorously tested, influential and robust model of expatriate
adjustment in the field, The International Adjustment Model (IA), which was developed by J. Stewart
Black, Mark E. Mendenhall, and Gary R. Oddou in 1991 (for reviews and empirical validation of
this model see: Bhaskar-Shrinivas, Harrison, Shaffer, & Luk, 2005; Hechanova, Beehr, &
Christiansen, 2003; Mendenhall, Kühlmann, Stahl, & Osland, 2002; Shaffer, Harrison, & Gilley,
In their IA model, Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou. (1991) renamed Mendenhall and Oddou’s
(1985) earlier categories. Self-orientation was relabeled, self-efficacy, reflecting the degree to which an
individual believes he or she has the ability to succeed in new tasks and settings (Bandura, 1977).
The other two dimensions, others-oriented and perceptual, were respectively re-labeled as relational and
perceptual in the IA model.
These three dimensions constituted the Individual dimension of Black, Mendenhall, &
Oddou’s 1991 model, which focused on traits and competencies that had been shown in the
literature to positively influence heightened levels of success in interacting with people from other
cultures in overseas or cross-culturally significant settings. This Individual dimension constituted one
of four dimensions of direct determinants of expatriate adjustment (the others were labeled: job,
organizational, and nonwork) in the IA model.
A comprehensive meta-analysis of the IA model by Bhaskar-Shrinivas and colleagues (2005)
of over 50 determinants of expatriate adjustment using data from 8,474 expatriates in 66 studies
emphasized the “centrality, criticality, and complexity of adjustment, strongly supporting Black,
Mendenhall, and Oddou's (1991) model (p. 257).” They also concluded that the “meta-analytic
findings attest to the importance of some individual factors--overall self-efficacy and relational skills -
- in predicting expatriate adjustment. The variance explained by the latter exceeded that explained
by other predictors by 30 percent (p. 272).” Thus, competencies associated with Mendenhall and
Oddou’s 1985’s categorization were found to have a powerful influence on a person’s ability to be
successful in cross-cultural and global milieus.
To summarize, the research suggests that the content domain of global competencies can be
usefully summarized using three broad facets or dimensions for individuals: the cognitive/perceptual,
other/relationship, and self/self-efficacy domains (Bhaskar-Shrinivas, et. al., 2005; Mendenhall & Oddou,
1985; Black et. al., 1991; Thomas, 1998: 247).
For clarity and pedagogical purposes for use with students, these three dimensions have been
re-titled the Continuous Learning, Interpersonal Engagement, and Hardiness domains in the Intercultural
Effectiveness Scale (IES).
These three major competency dimensions will be reviewed below, along with their two,
major sub-facets; a discussion of the empirical support for each sub-facet from the extant literature is
included as well.
The first dimension that will be reviewed is the Continuous Learning dimension.
Based on their review of the pre-1985 research on expatriate adjustment Mendenhall &
Oddou (1985) concluded that, in large part, those who learned to adapt to foreign culures were able
to do the following:
1. Make correct attributions regarding host nationals’ behavior;
2. Be nonjudgmental when evaluating host nationals’ behavior;
3. Make loose vs. rigid evaluations of host nationals’ behavior;
4. Update and modify cognitive schema regarding the host culture;
5. Seek out information to better process host national cultural stimuli.
Reviews of the empirical literature support this perceptual dimension as a forceful influencer
of intercultural effectiveness. (Arthur & Bennett, 1995; Dinges & Baldwin, 1996; Gersten, 1990;
Kealey, 1996; Boyacigiller, Beechler, Taylor, & Levy, 2004; Levy, Beechler, Taylor, & Boyacigiller,
2007; Oddou & Mendenhall, 1984; Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997; Osland, et. al, 2006; Ronen, 1989;
Stahl, 2001)).
Individuals’ perceptual orientation toward the world of culture, and others from different
cultures, influences their effectiveness in their cross-cultural social and business interactions. The IES
dimension of Continuous Learning examines how people cognitively approach cultural differences. It
assesses the degree to which individuals engage the world by continually seeking to understand
themselves and also learn about the activities, behavior, and events that occur in the foreign
The dimension of Continuous Learning is therefore assessed in the IES by measuring two
important cognitive variables: Self-Awareness and Exploration. These variables influence intercultural
success in an individual by acting as internal motivators to learn about why people in other cultures
behave and think the way they do. People who consistently strive to learn new things about cultures
and people are more successful at living and working effectively with people from other cultures
than individuals who are comfortable with what they already know.
Self Awareness (SA) refers to the degree to which people are aware of: 1) their strengths
and weaknesses in interpersonal skills, 2) their own philosophies and values, 3) how past experiences
have helped shape them into who they are as a person, and 4) the impact their values and behavior
have on relationships with others.
Self awareness influences one’s ability to continuously learn as well as how one learns. High
scorers are extremely aware of their own values, strengths and limitations, and behavioral
tendencies and how they impact and affect others; they are constantly evaluating themselves and
this process in their lives. Low scorers report little concern or interest in knowing themselves or how
their behavioral tendencies affect other people, and are not very interested in trying to understand
their experiences. High self-awareness provides a foundation for strategically acquiring new
competencies and skills, whereas low self-awareness promotes self-deception and arrogance. For
example, if I am aware that I am not very good at developing relationships, but I am going to Japan
where I know it is key to doing so, I might be more likely to pay careful attention to how people
address one another and make a greater effort to interact with people.
Jokinen (2005) categorizes this competency as being one of the primary competencies that is
fundamental to effectively work with people from other cultures. Similarly, Varner and Palmer
(2005) argue that, “conscious cultural self-knowledge is a crucial variable in adapting to other
cultures (p. 1).”
Goldsmith, Greenberg, Robertson, & Hu-Chan (2003) include self-awareness as an
important competency in the personal mastery component of their global leadership model. One of the
important benefits, according to Goldsmith, et. al, (2003) regarding this competency is that it allows
one to strategically involve others in one’s work to complement one’s personal weaknesses. Wills and
Barnham (1994) found that emotional self-awareness was an important predictor of intercultural
effectiveness, and Chen (1987) found that it related to intercultural communication competence.
Similarly, Bird and Osland (2004) concluded that one of the byproducts of the competency
of self-awareness, a sense of humility, is an important competency for successful intercultural
These findings are in harmony with the research literature in domestic management where
self-awareness has been found to be one of the crucial competencies possessed by effective managers
(Whetten & Cameron, 2005).
Exploration (E) reflects an openness towards, and an active pursuit of understanding
ideas, values, norms, situations, and behaviors that are new and different. It involves the willingness
to seek to understand the underlying reasons for cultural differences and to avoid stereotyping
people from other cultures. It also includes one’s capacity to actively take advantage of opportunities
for growth and learning. It reflects a fundamental inquisitiveness, curiosity, an inner desire to learn
new things, and the ability to learn from mistakes and to make adjustments to your personal
strategies to ensure success in social and work settings.
Tucker, Bonial, and Lahti (2004: 230) conceptualize it as “the capability to accept new ideas
and see more than one’s own way of approaching and solving problems.” It is akin to the Big Five
dimension of Intellectance or Openness to Experience, which reflects the “breadth, depth, originality, and
complexity of an individual’s mental and experiential life (John & Srivastava, 1999, p. 121).”
Shaffer, et. al. (2006) state that individuals high in Intellectance, as well as exhibiting other tendencies,
are “more curious and eager to learn” new information about others and themselves (p. 113.); in
their research it predicted expatriate work adjustment, contextual performance, and task
This competency also emerged in reviews of the global leadership literature (Bird & Osland,
2004; Jokinen, 2005; Mendenhall & Osland, 2002; Osland, 2008) and has also found support in
work by Kealey and his associates (Hudson & Inkson, 2006; Kealey, 1989, 1994, 1996; Kealey &
Ruben, 1983) and others in the expatriate literature (Arthur & Bennett, 1995, 1997; Black &
Gregersen, 1991; Mol, et. al., 2005; Moro Bueno & Tubbs, 2004; Ronen, 1989; Sinangil & Ones,
1997; Kühlmann & Stahl, 1996, 1998; Oddou & Mendenhall, 1984).
Based upon interviews with 90 senior executives and 40 nominated global leaders in 50
companies located in Europe, North America, and Asia, Black, Morrison & Gregersen (1999) found
that inquisitiveness was the most important global competency within the constellation of
competencies identified in their study. Also, Black & Gregersen (1991) found that individuals who
took the initiative to learn about the new culture to which they were assigned to live and work in
had higher levels of intercultural adjustment than did expatriates who did not do take such initiative
or who relied only on company-provided training. Kealey (1996; 87) cited this as a primary
competency in his review, stating that:
Being intrigued about different cultures and wanting to learn about them is
associated with effective collaboration across cultures…this interest usually leads to a
sincere desire to get to know the country, its people, and its traditions.
The extended effect of inquisitiveness is often that it leads to a preparation and a motivation
to exhibit or improve competencies associated with the Interpersonal Engagement dimension. The next
section will review the Interpersonal Engagement dimension along with its two associated competencies,
Global Mindset and Relationship Interest.
In their review of the research, Mendenhall & Oddou (1985: 41) found that a the ability to
develop positive relationships with host-nationals, “emerged as an important factor in successful
overseas adjustment (Abe & Wiseman, 1983; Brein & David, 1971, 1973; Hammer, et. al., 1978;
Harris, 1973; Hawes & Kealey, 1981; Ratiu, 1983), accounting for large portions of the variance in
the factor analytic studies studying adjustment (Hammer, et. al., 1978; Harris, 1973).”
Strong relationships with people from the new culture also become sources of information to help
one understand the new culture and are sources of social support. The development of positive
relationships is a critical aspect of effective intercultural job performance (Harrison & Shaffer, 2005;
Mol et. al., 2005). Developing positive relationships depends in large part on one’s interest in
learning about people from other cultures, their customs, values, etc. The more information that is
known about them, the greater the common ground that can then become a more solid basis for an
effective relationship. This dimension, therefore, is assessed in the IES using two scales, Global
Mindset and Relationship Interest.
Global Mindset (GM) measures the degree to which one is interested in, and seeks to
actively learn about, other cultures and the people that live in them. This learning can take place
from such things as newspapers, the Internet, movies, foreign media outlets, course electives in
school, or television documentaries. The degree to which one actively seeks these outlets, by one’s
own choice, to expand personal knowledge about people and their cultures, reflects the strength of
one’s global mindset. It provides the basis upon which one can interact more effectively with people
from other cultures.
To be effective in a global or cross-cultural milieu, it is necessary to have a perspective of
time and space that extends beyond one’s local milieu (Adler & Bartholomew, 1992; Boyacigiller, et.
al., 2004; Kedia & Mukherji, 1999; Flango & Brumbaugh, 1974; Goldberg, 1976). This is an
important orientation for global leaders to possess (Boyacigiller, et. al., 2004; Levy, et. al., 2007),
and emerged in reviews of the literature on effective global leadership competencies (Bird & Osland,
2004; Mendenhall & Osland, 2002; Osland, et. al., 2006; Osland, 2008).
Our conceptualization of global mindset reflects the notion of cosmopolitanism of Levy, et.
al. (2007) who argue, after reviewing the literature in this area, that cosmopolitanism “represents a
state of mind that is manifested as an orientation toward the outside, the Other…a willingness to
explore and learn from alternative systems of meaning held by others (p. 240).” Similarly, in the
expatriate and immigrant adjustment literature, an interest in foreign cultures appears as a
contributing variable to adaptation (Arthur & Bennett, 1995, 1997; Hudson & Inkson, 2006; Hull,
1978; Klineberg & Hull, 1979; Pruitt, 1978; Ronen, 1989; Ward & Searle, 1991; also see Ward,
Relationship Interest (RI) refers to the degree to which people have a desire and
willingness to initiate and maintain relationships with people from other cultures. People high on
this dimension will work hard to develop relationships with others; Mendenhall & Oddou (1985)
defined this competency as “the ability to develop long-lasting friendships with host nationals” (p.
41). Black et. al., (1999) describe it as the ability to “emotionally connect with others.”
This relationship between relationship development and adjustment to foreign cultures has
remained constant in the literature since the publication of Mendenhall & Oddou’s 1985 review and
categorization of the intercultural competencies that positively influence cross-cultural adjustment.
In all of the reviews in both the global leadership and expatriate adjustment literature that we
reviewed, the ability to create and maintain relationships with individuals in cross-cultural/global
settings was found to be a key competency domain (Arthur & Bennett, 1995; Bhaskar-Shrinivas, et.
al, 2005; Dinges & Baldwin, 1996; Jordan & Cartwright, 1998; Harrison, et. al., 2004; Kealey,
1996; Mendenhall, et. al, 2002; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985; Mol, et. al, 2005; Oddou &
Mendenhall, 1984; Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997; Osland, 2008; Ronen, 1989; Stahl, 2001; Thomas,
1998; Thomas & Lazarova, 2006).
Reviews of the literature have also shown specifically that the development of relationships is
critical to cross-cultural effectiveness and adjustment, though this dimension has been classified
using different terminology, such as people orientation (Shaffer, et. al., 2006) interaction management
(Ruben & Kealey, 1979), relationship building (Kealey, 1996), outgoingness or extraversion (Arthur &
Bennett, 1995; Ronen, 1989), relational abilities (Jordan & Cartwright, 1998; Thomas, 1998), sociability
and interest in other people (Kealey & Ruben, 1983; Stahl, 2001), interpersonal skills (Hechanova, et. al.,
2003) and intercultural competence (Dinges & Baldwin, 1996). Global leadership literature reviews
similarly note that this is an important competency for effective intercultural interaction (Jokinen,
2005; Mendenhall & Osland, 2002).
Empirical studies continue to sustain the role of relationship development, and its attendant
skills such as communication competence, as being critical to expatriate adjustment and
intercultural competence (Arthur & Bennett, 1997; Bikson, Treverton, Moini, & Lindstrom, 2003;
Black & Gregersen, 1991; Cui & Awa, 1992; Cui & Van Den Berg, 1991; Hammer, 1987;
Hechanova, et. al., 2003; Kühlmann & Stahl, 1996, 1998; Martin, 1987; Martin & Hammer, 1989;
Shaffer, et. al., 2006; Sinangil & Ones, 1997; Sudweeks, Gudykunst, Ting-Toomey, & Nishida,
1990; Thomas, 1998; Torbiorn, 1982).
For example, Waxin (2004) found that “social orientation” had a significant overall effect on
French, German, Korean, and Scandinavian expatriates’ ability to adjust productively to interacting
with Indians. Similarly, Tucker, Bonial, & Lathi (2004) found that the dimension in their model,
social interpersonal style, which was made up of the variables of “interpersonal interest” and “social
adaptability” was significantly related to intercultural adjustment in their sample of corporate
Tsang (2001) argued that extroversion, which is positively related to sociability and interpersonal
involvement would be positively related to general and interaction adjustment in his sample of
expatriates. This hypothesis was supported in his findings, reinforcing similar findings from past
studies (Parker & McEvoy, 1993; Searle & Ward, 1990; Ward & Kennedy, 1993). Social support, a
variable in Tsang’s 2001 that he defined as “help received from other people when encountering
difficulties in coping with a new environment (p. 356),” is similar to the aspect of relationship
development, and was also found to significantly influence general and interaction adjustment in his
study (Tsang, 2001).
Mendenhall & Oddou (1985) noted that exercise of relationship development had the effect
of establishing friendships with host nationals who then took on mentoring roles to the expatriate,
guiding “the neophyte through the intricacies and complexity of the new organization or culture,
protecting him/her against faux pas and helping him/her enact appropriate behaviors.” (p. 41-42).
Bhaskar-Shrinivas, et. al., (2005) found strong support for this competency in their meta-analytic
review of the expatriate adjustment literature, where they found that the variance explained by
[relational skills] exceeded that explained by other predictors by 30 percent.” (p. 272).
In the next section, we will review the last major domain area, Hardiness, followed by a
detailed look at its two competencies, Open-mindedness and Emotional Resilience.
To work effectively with those who are different from us and adapt to the new environment,
it is crucial to be open to differences and avoid being judgmental. Being open increases our chances
for developing positive relationships in the foreign culture. It increases our desire to learn more and
better understand the host culture. In sum, it helps build bridges rather than build walls. Therefore,
Openness is key to working effectively with people who are different from us. However, regardless of
how adept we are at acculturating, there will always be differences that will cause some frustration
and stress. Not always knowing what to do and not always being able to perform at our normal level
are stressful experiences for us; as a result, our ability to withstand stress and the hardships and
remain calm is also critical.
Activities and attributes that serve to strengthen the expatriate’s self-esteem, self-confidence,
and mental hygiene are therefore key to intercultural effectiveness (Mendenhall & Oddou,1985, pg.
40). We have typed people’s ability to effectively manage their emotions and stress, along with the
ability to be open-minded and nonjudgmental about ideas and behaviors that are new as the
Hardiness dimension.
Subsequent reviews of both the global leadership and the expatriate literature support the
validity of this dimension as an important contributor to intercultural effectiveness. Various
variables have been linked to intercultural effectiveness in this domain; common variables receiving
general support in the reviews of the literature include: coping with stress (Arthur & Bennett, 1995,
1997; Jordan & Cartwright, 1998; Kealey, 1996; Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997; Ronen, 1989;
Thomas, 1998), psychological hardiness (Arthur & Bennett, 1995, 1997; Caligiuri, 2000; Kealey, 1996;
Mendenhall, 2001; Osland & Mendenhall, 2002; Osland, 2008; Ronen, 1989), self-confidence (Arthur
& Bennett, 1995, 1997; Bhaskar-Shrinivas, et. al., 2005; Goldsmith, et. al., 2003; Hechanova, et. al.,
2003; Jordan & Cartwright, 1998; Kealey, 1996), and optimism (Arthur & Bennett, 1995, 1997;
Caligiuri, 2004; Jokinen, 2005; Kealey, 1996; Kühlmann & Stahl, 1996, 1998; McCall &
Hollenbeck, 2002; Ronen, 1989).
Positive Regard (PR) refers to the extent to which one is inclined to withhold or suspend
judgment about persons or situations or behavior that is new or unfamiliar. It measures the degree
to which one thinks positively about people from other cultures. If people are rigid or use only their
own culture as the standard for evaluating cultural differences, then they will be less effective
working with people from other cultures. Waiting to understand the situation or person before
making a judgment or strong attributions enhances intercultural effectiveness; the opposite
tendency, making snap judgments about situations or people—and being reluctant to change those
judgments—is not efficacious in cross-cultural interactions. Positive Regard also assists individuals in
avoiding getting upset, stressed, frustrated, or angry when they encounter situations, people,
behavior, and ideas that are different from which they are accustomed.
Black (1990) and Shaffer et. al. (2006) referred to the obverse of this competency as
ethnocentrism, “the propensity to view one’s own cultural traditions and behaviors as right and those of
others as wrong (p. 114)” and argued that this mindset interferes with making accurate perceptions
in cross-cultural encounters. Shaffer et. al. (2006) found that ethnocentrism negatively predicted
interaction adjustment and contextual performance, and strongly influenced withdrawal from
assignment cognitions in their sample of expatriates.
Aspects of this competency appear both in the global leadership and in the expatriate
literature as being related to intercultural effectiveness (Arthur & Bennett, 1995, 1997; Cui & Awa,
1992; Gersten, 1990; Ronen, 1989; Sinangil & Ones, 1997; Hudson & Inkson, 2006; Kühlmann &
Stahl, 1996, 1998; McCall & Hollenbeck, 2002; Moro Bueno & Tubbs, 2004; Oddou &
Mendenhall, 1984).
Emotional Resilience (ER) refers to the extent to which a person has emotional strength
and resilience to cope with challenging cross-cultural situations. Emotional resilience reflects the
psychological hardiness that allows a global manager to carry on through difficult challenges.
Individuals who can manage and control their emotions are also better equipped to deploy other
global competencies than those who are low in emotional resilience.
This competency emerged in Mendenhall & Osland’s 2002 review of the global leadership
literature, and in Bird & Osland’s 2004 review of global competencies. Emotional resilience is a
common indicator of intercultural effectiveness in the expatriate literature as well (Arthur &
Bennett, 1995, 1997; Caligiuri, 2000; Kealey, 1996; Ronen, 1989).
Emotional resilience is akin to the ability to carry on in the face of adversity, perseverance,
which is described by Kealy (1996) in his review of the literature as being an important attribute of
working in foreign cultures. He classifies it as being a key predictor of success in a cross-
cultural/global work setting. Kelley and Meyers (1992) assert from their research that:
The emotionally resilient person has the ability to deal with stress feelings in a
constructive way and to “bounce back” fro them. Emotionally resilient people . . .
have confidence in their ability to cope with ambiguity . . . and have a positive sense
of humor and self-regard.
The body of theoretical and empirical research in global leadership competencies and
development, and in expatriate adjustment and performance, provide strong support for the
conceptual formulation of a three dimensional framework as represented in the Intercultural
Effectiveness Scale (IES). Specifically, Continuous Learning, Interpersonal Engagement and Hardiness constitute
three distinctive though related domains. Moreover, each of these competencies can be broken
down into separate competencies, each of which captures an important aspect of overall
intercultural competency.
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Mark E. Mendenhall is a Senior Vice-President of the Kozai Group, Inc. He also holds the J. Burton Frierson
Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He is past president of the
International Management Division of the Academy of Management, and has authored numerous books and scholarly
articles in the areas of global leadership and international human resource management. His most recent books are:
Global Leadership: Research, Practice and Development (2008, Routledge), Readings and Cases in International Human Resource
Management (2007, Routledge), and Managing Human Resources in Mergers and Acquisitions (2005, Stanford University Press),
and his research has been published in journals such as Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Review, Journal of
International Business Studies, and Organizational Dynamics. He has consulted with, and conducted numerous training
programs for many firms, some of which include: IBM-Asia Pacific, IBM-Japan, National Aeronautic and Space
Administration (NASA), Boeing, General Motors, United States Army, J.C. Bamford Excavators (JCB), BlueCross
BlueShield, and The Dixie Group.
Michael J. Stevens is a Senior Vice President of the Kozai Group, Inc. He also holds an appointment as a
professor of management and international business at the University of Texas-Pan American. His primary areas of
expertise include: improving organizational performance through teamwork, empowerment and cross-cultural
effectiveness; individual assessment and selection (especially for teams, emotional intelligence, and cross-cultural work
assignments); leadership training and development, and its impact on organizational culture and employee performance;
and interpersonal effectiveness in the global workplace. Dr. Stevens received his Ph.D. from the Krannert School of
Management at Purdue University, where he received the Ralph G. Alexander Best Dissertation Award from the
International Academy of Management. He is a noted author who has conducted pioneering research in the areas of
predicting a person's aptitude for working successfully in teams and in culturally diverse global work environments. He is
the lead author of the commercially distributed "Teamwork-KSA" employment test, and also consults with a wide variety
of organizations. He has held leadership and board positions in industry, government, and not-for-profit enterprises, and
is active in several professional societies. His empirical research has been published in such academic journals as the
Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International Business, Journal of Management, and International Journal of Human
Resource Management.
Allan Bird is President of the Kozai Group, Inc. He is also the Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor of Japanese
Studies and Director of the International Business Institute at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has
authored/edited numerous books, including Global Leadership: Research, Practice and Development, The Encyclopedia of Japanese
Business and Management, Japanese Multinationals Abroad: Individual and Organizational Learning and Ekuzekuchibu no Kenkyuu
(Research on Executives). With more than 90 articles and book chapters, his work has appeared in the Academy of Management
Journal, the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, the Journal of International Business Studies and
other academic and practitioner journals. His research interests focus on effective management in intercultural contexts,
with a particular focus on intercultural sensemaking and global leadership development. Some of the companies he has
worked with include AT&T, Fujitsu, GE, Molex, Monsanto, Nippon Express and Watchmark.
Gary R. Oddou is a Senior Vice President of the Kozai Group, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in organizational
psychology from Brigham Young University and currently serves as a professor of international management at
California State University, San Marcos, where he directs the Global Business Management program. He has taught
and given business seminars in a number of countries, including the U.S, U.K, France, Switzerland, Yugoslavia (at that
time), Vietnam and Taiwan, and Japan. His research is principally in two areas: international human resource
management and global leadership, specializing in the factors related to effective cross-cultural competence and global
leader effectiveness. He has authored or co-authored several books, including Cases in International Organizational Behavior,
Managing Internationally: A Personal Journey, Managing an Organization: A Workbook Simulation, and most recently International
Human Resource Management: Readings and Cases, 4th edition (2007), and Global Leadership (Routledge, 2008). His
management consulting and training activities have been in the areas of expatriate and repatriate program effectiveness
and global management competency evaluation. He has worked with such organizations as IBM, Applied Materials,
Molex, and Doctors Without Borders. He speaks French and English fluently and has basic conversational Vietnamese
and Spanish language skills. He has lived in the U.S, France, England and Yugoslavia.
... The IES, developed by the Kozai Group, evaluates competencies, attitudes, and awareness, all essential for effective interaction with people from different cultures and demographic backgrounds. In addition to a measure of overall intercultural competency, the IES divides the concept of intercultural effectiveness into six competencies and provides students with an in-depth graphic feedback profile of these specific areas (Mendenhall et al., 2012). ...
... engagement is comprised of global mindset and relationship interest, while hardiness involves positive regard and resilience. The IES scores on continuous learning, interpersonal engagement, and hardiness are combination scores of their respective subdomains. Lastly, an overall IES score is generated by combining the results of the six subdomains.Mendenhall et al. (2012) provide a brief description of the three major competency areas and six key subdomains:"Continuous Learning -How one learns about others and the accuracy of that learning:• Self-Awareness -To what degree one is continuously learning about him/herself • Exploration -To what degree one is open to different ideas, values, norms, situation, ...
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Virtual Exchange (VE), a pedagogy that uses technology to facilitate online, collaborative work among students and their peers in other countries, is viewed as a high-impact practice contributing to engaged learning and student success in higher education. This study investigates the impact of various types of VE on the intercultural effectiveness skills of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses across disciplines. The relationship between VE and intercultural skills for minority and non-minority students was also investigated, along with the relationship between dosage (length and duration) of VE and intercultural skills. Results indicate VE positively impacts the development of intercultural skills of students and that there were no differences when the data are disaggregated by individual classes or disciplinary areas. There were no significant differences for minority and non-minority students and for the impact of dosage, but further research is recommended for these two important topics. Findings of this study underline the generalizability of VE across disciplines and its suitability for providing wider access to international experiences for all students.
... Four studies used standardized questionnaires: the Miville-Guzman Universality Diversity Scale in its short form (M-GUDS-s) (Ertmer et al., 2011), a questionnaire based on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (Bartel-Radic et al., 2015), and the Virtual Team Competency Inventory developed by Hertel et al. (2006). Krumm et al. (2013) used a questionnaire based on the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (van der Zee & van Oudenhoven, 2000), the Intercultural Readiness Check (van der Zee & Brinkmann, 2004), the Global Competencies Inventory (Bird et al., 2010b), and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (Bird et al., 2010a). Five studies used self-developed and unvalidated questionnaires (Bueno-Alastuey & Kleban, 2016;Ray et al., 2012;Sevilla-Pavon & Haba-Osca, 2017;Wang et al., 2013). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has been forcing people to work remotely in virtual teams around the globe. Global virtual teamwork will continue, and people are not sufficiently prepared for this, resulting in reduced team commitment and lower performance. Higher education institutions need to equip their graduates with International Online Collaboration Competencies (IOCCs), but research into these is fragmented, lacking even a definition of these competencies. This study was systematically reviewing empirical studies on IOCCs. 516 studies were reviewed, and data from 14 full texts were analyzed. Six competence domains emerged from the literature. Most studies focused on single domains of IOCCs, and none of the studies covered all domains. Results indicate that this preliminary framework for higher education students provides a first overview of the fragmented literature on IOCCs. Methods to teach and evaluate IOCCs acquisition are underdeveloped but urgently needed to equip professionals for global virtual teamwork.
... The Global STEM project is being assessed using a convergent parallel mixed method design. Among the tools being used in this evaluation include surveys, and pre and post assessments such as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES), and Science/Math Teacher Efficacy & Beliefs Instrument (STEBI/MTEBI) [31][32][33]. ...
... skills) of the workers that make them good candidates for work abroad. In the first place, it is about personality traits, such as achievement motivation, openness to cultural diversity (cultural flexibility), stress resistance, cultural empathy and adaptive skills [Rozłucki W., 2010, p.78], as well as mobility, sociability and cultural flexibility [Mendenhall M.E. et al., 2011] and finding out if they affect international career. Results of studies conducted by psychologists on linking personality traits with mobility are quite contradictory. Van Vianen's studies do not confirm the hypothesis that any of the Big Five 3 personality traits affects professional mobility. However, it turns out that the level of ne ...
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Our effort focuses on the development of a process of cross-cultural peer coaching through which we have sought to grow as reflective practitioners and strengthen authentic conversations between two individuals, from Poland and the United States. By building a theoretical framework around peer coaching, intercultural interaction, and auto-ethnography we have worked to make explicit our development as educators working to enrich the process of the organizational learning and to make education more open, democratic and human. As Kottler [1997] claims, it is possible to find stages that a tourist goes through during the process of recognizing and knowing another culture that was used to mirror the sensation of the professional growth. The findings shed light on how peer coaching might be strengthened, as well as the development of an observation protocol to structure such reflective and, ultimately, life changing work.
... skills) of the workers that make them good candidates for work abroad. In the first place, it is about personality traits, such as achievement motivation, openness to cultural diversity (cultural flexibility), stress resistance, cultural empathy and adaptive skills [Rozłucki W., 2010, p.78], as well as mobility, sociability and cultural flexibility [Mendenhall M.E. et al., 2011] and finding out if they affect international career. Results of studies conducted by psychologists on linking personality traits with mobility are quite contradictory. Van Vianen's studies do not confirm the hypothesis that any of the Big Five 3 personality traits affects professional mobility. However, it turns out that the level of ne ...
Full-text available
Due to the internationalization of Polish enterprises, it is appropriate to look at the tendency of managers to take up business and compete in the global labor market. The purpose of this article that is of theoretical and empirical character, is, therefore, an attempt to evaluate the mobility of Polish managers, or their willingness to change their place of work outside the home country. The matrix is a theoretical discussion of the importance of mobility for today’s corporations. Empiricism refers to the author’s own research (these are telephone interviews with 15 managers and two expert opinions) carried out for such this article, and also presented the results of the exploration of other researchers addressing these topics.
... We did not apply established questionnaires of intercultural KSAs to avoid having too narrow a selection of KSAs and to be able to address the specific challenges of virtual collaboration. Please note, however, that the 60-item pool included in the current study covered KSAs derived from established questionnaires such as the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (Zee & Oudenhoven, 2000) as well as its successor, the Intercultural Readiness Check (Zee & Brinkmann, 2004), the Global Competencies Inventory (Bird, Mendenhall, Stevens, & Oddou, 2010a), and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (Bird, Mendenhall, Stevens, & Oddou, 2010b). 1 Holland (1985) developed a typology of organizational environments covering these six broad organizational themes. Realistic jobs are characterized by practical and physical work; investigative jobs largely involve intellectual engagement; artistic jobs require creative activities; social jobs are characterized by supporting and helping others; enterprising jobs involve leadership and competition; conventional jobs are characterized by organizational and clerical work. ...
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Due to the growing globalization of business processes, teamwork increasingly requires intercultural skills. Furthermore, many teams rely predominantly on electronic collaboration (virtual teams), requiring team members to develop and adhere to norms in a cue-deprived environment. In the current study, we conducted an online survey with 171 participants who fell into one of two subgroups of cross-cultural teams: members of either traditional or virtual teams. We compared the two groups of team members with regard to their importance ratings of several competencies for team performance. Starting with a large set of intercultural competencies derived from the literature, exploratory factor analyses yielded a four-dimensional solution (working conscientiously, coping with stress and ambiguity, openness and perspective taking, and knowledge about other cultures). Among those clusters, only the cluster working conscientiously yielded substantial differences between traditional and virtual-team members, indicating specific requirements for cross-cultural collaboration for virtual as compared to traditional teams.
This study explores the effects of international short-term educational trip experience on intercultural competence, specifically intercultural interest and effectiveness. Surveys and interviews with undergraduate educational trip participants from Macao, China, were conducted to measure the differences in intercultural competence and to investigate the reasons for its perceived differences between pre- and post-trip. The results support overall enhancement of both intercultural interest and effectiveness after the trip, while insignificant improvement for some students were found mostly because their intercultural competence was already high before the trip. This study suggests the utility of short-term international educational trips in enhancing intercultural competence in tertiary education, thus providing implications on intercultural education through tourism.
Our French and German managers find themselves bumping up against the reality of working in the “brave new world” of globalization. Despite all the ballyhoo and commotion about new business models, networked organizations, virtual teams, technological advance, and the like, the real work still has to be done in the trenches by managers who must rely on their knowledge and skill to get the job done. Getting the job done seems more difficult now, though, than it did before. We'll return to their plight later in this chapter and see if we can help them out. First, let's sort out effective global managing, what it means and what it takes.
Culture plays a major role in the success of expatriate managers. If companies can identify the crucial cultural variables associated with success, they will be able to select and train expatriate managers more effectively and increase the success of their expatriation process. In this article, we argue that conscious cultural self-knowledge is a crucial variable in adapting to other cultures; yet the development of self-knowledge is typically not part of expatriate training. The article analyses and synthesises research and theories from the literature and presents an integrated four-stage plan for preparing expatriates, using cultural self-knowledge to improve the success of cultural adaptation. The discussion demonstrates the impact of self-knowledge on business behaviour and advances eight propositions about specific cultural variables and how they relate to expatriate behaviour. The focus is on be role of be individual, the importance of hierarchy, the importance of context in communication, and attitudes towards time and change. The article closes with discussing four stages in the expatriation process. In stage 1, potential expatriates are screened for personality characteristics that have been identified in the literature as contributing to expatriate success. In stage 2, expatriates focus on developing a conscious self-awareness including their preferences, likes, and dislikes. During stage 3, potential expatriates study the other culture and their reaction to it. In this process they are developing a cognitive map of their own and the other behaviours. In the final stage, expatriates explore adaptation possibilities and strategies.
A 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates that the youngest of the baby boom generation (i.e., individuals born between 1957 and 1964) held an average of 10.8 different jobs between the ages of 18 and 42. To remain viable, today's workforce must continually develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes in order to adapt to changing technological and environmental demands. Training is the classic mechanism for such skill enhancement. This chapter provides an overview of training and other developmental activities from the organizational science perspective, including mentoring and coaching. Several classic models of training are reviewed, and an overarching organizational framework delineating the key variables of the training process is presented. Several suggestions for furthering our understanding of training and other forms of development are also offered.
In this chapter we examine an assumption in the literature on international assignments, the belief in a direct positive relationship between the adjustment of expatriates and their performance. We first outline the historical basis for the overwhelming focus on adjustment. We then review the literature on the conceptualization and measurement of both adjustment and performance and on the adjustment–performance relationship. Finally, we reflect on the state of knowledge of this relationship and discuss implications for future research.
Applying the evolutionary theory of personality, this study proposed and tested the hypotheses that each of the Big Five personality characteristics (Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Openness or Intellect) predict two criteria of expatriate success: (a) desire to prematurely terminate the expatriate assignment, and (b) supervisor-rated performance on the expatriate assignment. The participants were 143 expatriate employees (and 94 supervisors) from a U.S.-based information technology company. Results from correlation and regression analyses suggest that Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Stability are negatively related to whether expatriates desire to terminate their assignment. Conscientiousness is positively related to the supervisor-rated performance on the expatriate assignment. Practical implications for expatriate management (e.g., self-selection) are given.