cultural intelligence case

Complete the Module 1 SLP before you start the Case Assignment.

The Case in this course is an experiential Case that is integrated through the entire course. You will be engaging in a cultural activity with a new cultural group and in so doing, will be integrating the self-awareness you gain from the SLP assessments, the general cultural knowledge from the background materials, and the specific cultural knowledge from the experiential exercise. The result is a new set of skills and development of CQ through cognitive, behavioral, and motivational patterns. Click the link to see the Experiential Case Requirements. It is important to look over the requirements now because in Module 2 you need to identify a specific intercultural activity in which you will engage for Module 3.

In this first phase of the Case, you will begin to lay the foundation for your cross-cultural experience through “awareness development.” You will accomplish this by writing a reflection paper on the topic of intercultural competence, introduced in this module. Your paper should be 4–6 pages in total and focus on the following topics:

  • CQ as a capacity
  • The developmental continuum of cultural sensitivity
  • Key components of CQ

Background material

All readings are required unless noted as “Optional” or “Not Required.”

Journal articles can be located in the Trident Online Library. Access the library from the TLC Portal page.

Application: Cultural Awareness and Leadership

In this module, we will examine several models of intercultural competence, including Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and Bennett’s developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. Let’s start with an interview with Carlos Ghosn, recipient of the INSEAD Transcultural Leadership Award (2008) for his work in successfully leading across national borders. It is a good illustration of why cross-cultural skills translate into superior leader effectiveness. If you have trouble finding it in the library, check the Business Source Complete database after clicking on “Additional Library Resources.”

Stahl, G. K. & Brannen, M. Y. (2013). Building cross-cultural leadership competence: An interview with Carlos Ghosn. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 12(3): 494–502.

Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity

Before delving into what it takes to be effective as a cross-cultural leader, it is good to take stock of where we are in terms of our own world views. Milton Bennett asserts that people vary along a continuum of cultural awareness, ranging from a viewpoint that our own culture is the critical lens through which to view the world to a more integrated view that takes the relative nature of culture into account. It is a developmental model that not only allows us to self-assess our current state, but also to see what the next step is on our journey to becoming more culturally competent.

What is interesting is that some people claim they are “culturally neutral” or “color blind” and treat everyone the same, but they are really ethnocentric because they are minimizing the reality of cultural differences. To examine the characteristics of the different developmental stages and assess where you are on the continuum, see Milton J. Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), discussed in the following article.

Hammer, M. R., Bennett, M. J., & Wiseman, R. (2003). Measuring intercultural sensitivity: The intercultural development inventory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27(4), 421-443. Retrieved from the Trident Online Library.

Cultural Intelligence

Currently, the most popular way to progress to a higher stage of Intercultural Sensitivity is to develop your Cultural Intelligence Quotient.

Cultural Quotient (CQ) helps us understand and communicate with people from other cultures effectively. It is one’s ability to recognize cultural differences through knowledge and mindfulness, and behave appropriately when facing people from other cultures. The cultural intelligence approach goes beyond this emphasis on knowledge because it also emphasizes the importance of developing an overall repertoire of understanding, motivation, and skills that enables one to move in and out of lots of different cultural contexts (Ang & Van Dyne, 2008).

Reference: Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook on cultural intelligence: Theory, measurement and applications. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. (Not required)

Cultural Intelligence is probably the most widely used construct for training leaders and managers in cross-cultural competencies. Following is the classic reference on cultural intelligence and is still considered to be the essential reading on the topic. If you have trouble finding it in the library, check the Business Source Complete database after clicking on “Additional Library Resources.”

Earley, P. C. & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Cultural Intelligence. Harvard Business Review, 82(10): 139–146.

For an explanation of four facets of acquiring cultural intelligence, watch this video from David Livermore. This course is designed to enable you to develop all four factors identified in this video:

Livermore, D. (2009). Leading with Cultural Intelligence. YouTube. Retrieved from

Optional Reading

In MGT501, you were introduced to the theory of Experiential Learning which posits that people learn from the way they adapt to the world through a preference for one of four Learning Styles—a combination of thinking, feeling, perceiving, and behaving (Kolb, 1984). The following article reports on a recent study that found that the Divergent Style (people who learn from observing concrete experiences and reflecting on how to adapt to this information) is most conducive to the development of cultural intelligence.

Winn, B. (2013). Learning to lead with cultural intelligence (CQ): When do global leaders learn best? People & Strategy, 36(3): 10–13.

This PowerPoint presentation, Cultural Competence, is another look at the topics in this module and may help to summarize and integrate the concepts from the various readings and presentations. Topics covered include:

    • What is culture?
    • Cultural Competence
    • The Cross-Cultural Competence Scale (similar to the Bennett developmental model of cultural sensitivity)
    • Cultural Intelligence
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