Cultural Intelligence: A Key Competence for Managers in a ...

Cultural Intelligence: A Key Competence for Managers in a ...

Cultural Intelligence: A Key Competence for Managers in a Diverse and Global Workplace By: Yvonne du Plessis Sumari ONeil Riana van den Bergh University of Pretoria South Africa Overview What is Cultural Intelligence

Importance of Cultural Intelligence Purpose of this study Methodology Results Discussion & Conclusion Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 2 What is Cultural Intelligence? The ability to adapt to new cultural settings Capability to cooperate effectively with other people from a dissimilar cultural background and understanding

Ability to function in Culturally Diverse situations Thomas & Inkson (2003) Early & Ang (2003) Early, Ang & Tan (2006) Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 3 Basis of Cultural Intelligence (CI) CI finds a place alongside the different components of intelligence: Emotional Intelligence (EI) Social Intelligence CI picks up where EI leaves off by taking the impact of culture on interactions into account Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007

4 Components of Cultural Intelligence Meta-Cognition (Head) Learning Strategies Clues to shared understandings Motivation (Heart) Overcome setbacks High Self-Efficacy & Confidence Behaviour (Body) Mirror Customs & Gestures Adopt Habits & Mannerisms

Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 5 Importance of (CI): Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 6 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to explore how managers in South African organizations, who have to succeed in an existing multicultural workplace, perceive the term cultural

intelligence, as well as its importance as a key managerial competence Capture the experiences and perceptions of South African managers in culturally diverse settings Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 7 WHY? The need for this study CI is a relatively new and unexplored concept as a holistic phenomenon (lot on Diversity and EI, but not CI) Assess, Evaluate and Develop managers in

diverse environments Sustainable performance in diverse globally competitive environments Intercultural/multi-cultural training & development Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 8 Methodology Qualitative part of a broader study Basis of Questionnaire: CQ Self Assessment (Linn van Dyne & Soon Ang, 2005) Convenience Sample of 500 SA Managers Response Rate: 70.6 % (353)

Development of a CI measurement instrument for South African Managers (Poster presentation by Ms. Sumari ONeil, Dr Yvonne du Plessis and Prof Leo Vermeulen) Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 9 Methodology (Cont) Cultural Intelligence Questionnaire Section A: Biographical Information Section B: Cultural Intelligence 37 Closed-ended Items, 5-point Scale (Motivation, Cognition, Behaviour)

6 Open-ended Questions (Experiences, Perceptions, Attitudes,Motivation) Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 10 Data analysis Qualitative Analysis of 6 Open-Ended Questions Emergent themes per question coded Frequency Analysis Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007

11 Results Question 38: An employee from another culture invites you for dinner and you know that the food may be different to what you are used to. What do you do? Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 12

Themes: Give it a Try Accept Invitation Only eat certain Foods Inform host of dietary of requirements Ask for guidance w.r.t. Tell host of likes/dislikes menu/explore

the food beforehand Decline Invitation Only Accept if I want to Feel Uncomfortable get to know the person better Don't Eat/Eat Beforehand Suggest a restaurant/ different venue Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 13

Question 39: My most exhilarating moment in having to deal with people from different cultures was: .. Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 14 Themes: Teamwork/ Teambuilding

Work-Related Experiences Negotiating Presenting Education-Related Experiences Student Life/Schooling Workshops/Training/ Teaching Understanding differences/Similarities Celebrating

Differences Mutual Understanding Learning more about different cultures Interactions with different cultures Language Travel/ Learning about other cultures Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 Conversations Cultural Events

(weddings, funerals, dinners) 15 Question 40: My most embarrassing moment in having to deal with people from different cultures was: Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 16 Themes: Race/Gender-related issues in the workplace

Discrimination Categorisation/Stereotyping Cultural Events Cultural Rituals & Ceremonies Dinners & Social Gatherings Cultural Misunderstandings Assumptions Greetings

Gestures/Comments/Actions Language Barriers Insensitivity/Lack of knowledge Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 17 Question 41: What are your goals as a manager/supervisor of a multicultural group?

Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 18 Themes: Cross-Cultural Understanding Knowledge & Understanding Respect Differences/Tolerance Equal/Fair Treatment, Maximising Potential Productivity Organisational Objectives

Achieve Results irrespective of Culture Managing Diversity Communication Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 19 Question 42: Are you actively trying to learn about other cultures? How? Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007

20 Themes: Participation in Cultural Events DIRECT INTERACTIONS Travel Social Interactions, Asking Questions ACTIVE LEARNING METHODS Learning a new Language

Reading Training Television/Radio/Internet Forums Workshops Passive Learning/Not Learning Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 21

Question 43: In having to deal with people from different cultures I would like to have answers on the following: .. Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 22 Themes: Taboos/Offensive Behaviour Greetings/Display Respect

SOCIAL CONDUCT/ Language & Communication APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR PERCEPTIONS BETWEEN CULTURES Globalisation Stereotypes/ Specific Cultural Questions How different cultures perceive each other Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 23

Discussion & Conclusion Managers in SA state that CI is important as key competence in multicultural settings Managers are positively inclined towards learning more about different cultures, especially through active participation in cultural events, learning new languages and interaction with other cultures The achievement of organisational goals take preference above cultural intelligence Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 24 Key issues that emerged from

the analysis: Participation in multi-cultural events Mutual understanding and acceptance Achieving organisational objectives Learning and understanding through interaction Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 25 Discussion & Conclusion (Cont) Suggestions for future research: Test validity of emergent themes (replication study) Exploring the attitudes, perceptions and

experiences of managers outside the RSA context in order to determine the generalisability of results Comparison of results across different nationalities/countries Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 26 Outcome of the study We hope that these shared experiences and perceptions of South African managers on Cultural Intelligence will inspire the rest of the world. Managers can benefit

from CI as key competence, to deliver sustainable performance in a diverse global competitive environment. Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 27 Any Questions? Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 28 Thank you

Cultural Intelligence: EAWOP 2007 29

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