A Study on cross-cultural competency needed in cross-cultural employees

savitha lakshmanan


A Study on cross-cultural competency needed in cross-cultural employees

Cross-cultural competence refers to the capability to communicate proficiently with people from various cultural communities. Even though the actual explanation may differ, the foundation of cross-cultural competence can be a mix of knowledge, understanding, skill, and attitude (Jane Suderman, Understanding Intercultural Communication).At the company level, cross-cultural competence refers to a set of values, concepts, behaviors, attitudes, and guidelines that make it possible for a workplace system to function effectively cross-culturally (Cross, Bazron, Dennis, & Isaacs, 1989).  Cross-cultural competence can find its ideal building ground in shared respect, understanding, and inclusiveness. The principle of justice and fairness should be applied to everyone. There must also be a balance between diversity and unity. Five fingers are different but equal elements of a hand; yet one finger can’t lift a pebble (Hopi Indian Proverb).To understand cultural competence, it is important to grasp the full meaning of the word culture first. According to Chamberlain (2005), culture represents "the values, norms, and traditions that affect how individuals of a particular group perceive, think, interact, behave, and make judgments about their world" (p. 197). Taylor (1996) defined culture as, "an integrated pattern of human behaviour including thought, communication, ways of interacting, roles and relationships, and expected behaviours, beliefs, values, practices and customs." Nine-Curt (1984) qualified culture as, "The bearer of human wisdom that includes a wealth of human behaviours, beliefs, attitudes, values and experiences of immense worth. It also carries things that are offensive to a person's dignity and well being, and certainly to others whose cultural framework is different."While a few individuals seem to be born with cultural competence (reference needed), the rest of us have had to put considerable effort into developing it. In this paper we discuss about the factors that affect the cultural competence and the cognitive components needed to develop cultural competence.

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ISSN : 2251-1555