Defining the content domain of intercultural competence for global leaders

  • Bird A
  • Mendenhall M
  • Stevens M
 et al. 
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Purpose – Research on expatriation and global leadership has been characterized by wide variations in defining what constitutes intercultural competence. Greater progress can be achieved if a comprehensive definition of the intercultural competence domain can be established, particularly with regard to the specific context of global leadership. This paper aims to focus on the issues. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conduct an extensive review of the global leadership and expatriation literatures, integrating and synthesizing prior theoretical and empirical efforts to develop a comprehensive domain definition for intercultural competence in the context of global leadership.
Findings – The domain of intercultural competence in the context of global leadership comprised three dimensions – perception management, relationship management and self management. Each dimension is characterized by facets that further delineate aspects of intercultural competence. Research limitations/implications – The domain definition of intercultural competence for global leadership appears to be well supported in prior theoretical and empirical work focusing on expatriation and global leadership; however that work was fragmented in nature. A test of the comprehensive model, i.e. all three dimensions and 17 facets, is called for, as well as the validation of an instrument that measures them.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cross-cultural management
  • Human resource management
  • Leadership
  • Multinational companies

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  • Allan Bird

  • Mark Mendenhall

  • Michael J. Stevens

  • Gary Oddou

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