Cultural Intelligence In Today's Increasingly Culturally Diverse Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Cultural Intelligence

In today's increasingly culturally diverse world, cultural competence, or what has become known as "cultural intelligence (CQ)" has received increasing research attention. Several authors, with various purposes and audiences, have developed assessment instruments to help individuals and groups understand their level of cultural intelligence. Included among these is the instrument developed by Earley and Mosakowski (2004), under the title "Diagnosing Your Cultural Intelligence."

Earley and Mosakowski's instrument addresses three areas of CQ: The cognitive, the physical, and the emotional/motivational. The cognitive component can be regarded as the "head" of cultural competence. On a cognitive level, this areas focuses on an individual's understanding of differences between cultures. This involves asking questions and investigations to identify any differences that might exist among cultures. Being aware of these on a cognitive level can greatly enhance a person's ability to understand and interact with foreign cultures.

The physical component focuses on a person's ability to imitate or integrate physical behavior to match the culture in which he or she operates, even if these are foreign to the native culture. Many cultures, for example, identify their values and ideals by means of physical actions. Greeting is one excellent example of this. A culturally competent person from the United States will be aware of the way in which the Japanese greet each other by bowing, but will also participate in this practice by bowing himself when greeting a Japanese person.

Finally, the emotional component of the instrument measures a person's ability to engage in cross-cultural relationships in an emotionally stable way. In other words, a culturally competent person will be able to empathize and understand the basis for he foreign culture's way of doing things. He or she engages emotionally with the
...This ability is the most elusive of the three components.

Of the three components tested by this instrument, the cognitive is easiest to achieve. In fact, one does not even need to enter a foreign culture to achieve it, although it will help identify the finer points of how the foreign culture operates. In part, however, much of this component can be achieved by investigating online or hard copy documents that focus on the culture in question. The second is more involved in terms of in fact interacting with the foreign culture. Physically imitating actions that are specific to a foreign culture helps an individual to identify with said culture and also offers a connecting point between the individual and the culture in question. Being competent on the cognitive level provides a good basis for developing competence on the physical level as well. Finally, the emotional level is more subconsciously developed than with conscious effort by the individual. When enough time has been spent developing the cognitive and physical levels, it is most likely that the emotional level will be well developed. This component develops with time and with multiple interactions with the foreign culture.

The best way to therefore develop a full range of CQ according to this instrument is to start by studying various cultures on the cognitive level. When this level is well developed, it can be put into practice on the physical level, which would then lead to a higher level of competence within the emotional level.

Section II

Another CQ assessment tool is the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI). Developed by Christine Kelley and Judith Meyers, it is a self-assessment tool that can be used in training and development efforts that focus on cross-cultural adaptability. In these training efforts, it is often useful to apply the CCAI before and after training to determine whether such training has been successful in increasing…

Sources Used in Documents:


Earley, P.C. & Mosakowski, E. 2004. 'Cultural intelligence', Harvard Business Review, 82 (10), October, pp.139-146 [Online]

Mendenhall, Mark. 2007. Global Leadership: Research, Practice and Development. Routledge.

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