Methods of Assessing Intercultural Competence for International Assignments: A Systematic Review of Reviews

John A. Hennings
Muma Business Review  •  Volume 5  •  2021  •  pp. 045-061
Despite the high cost and high frequency of failure in expatriate assignments, the potential value and opportunity gained by sending employees overseas is driving the number of business expatriates skyward. One way organizations can significantly mitigate risk is by assessing and selecting candidates for intercultural competence. Intercultural competence has affective, cognitive, and conative aspects. It can be measured via inventory or survey instruments, works of creative self-expression, dialogue, case study or critical incident analysis, and performance in real or contrived situations, but each approach has strengths and weaknesses. Experts recommend multiple assessments via mixed methods. Survey instruments have become prevalent in business because they are simple, quick, inexpensive, and yield easily comparable results. The author of this article conducts a review of reviews, or meta-review, of available survey instruments. Out of several dozen surveys, five met the criteria for review in this article, and three proved more valid and reliable than their peers. The author closes by discussing the services of global mobility consultants with proprietary assessment and training methods, then making recommendations for candidate selection processes based on risk tolerance, resources available, and the magnitude of the requirement.
Intercultural Competence, Cultural Intelligence, Intercultural Adaptability, International Assignments, Business Expatriates, Meta-review, Assessment, Instrument, Selection
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