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Cultural intelligence, cultural quotient or CQ, is a theory within management and organisational psychology, positing that understanding the impact of an individual's cultural background on their behaviour is essential for effective business, and measuring an individual's ability to engage successfully in any environment or social setting. A current trend is to use cultural intelligence in pre-employment assessments. First described by Christopher Earley and Soon Ang in Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures. The book was published in 2003 by Stanford University. In Singapore, Soon Ang has created the Center for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence. with its U.S. counterpart, the Cultural Intelligence Center  based in East Lansing, Michigan
Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski in the October 2004 issue of Harvard Business Review described cultural intelligence. CQ has been gaining acceptance throughout the business community. CQ teaches strategies to improve cultural perception in order to distinguish behaviours driven by culture from those specific to an individual, suggesting that allowing knowledge and appreciation of the difference to guide responses results in better business practice.
CQ is developed through:
- cognitive means: the head (learning about your own and other cultures, and cultural diversity)
- physical means: the body (using your senses and adapting your movements and body language to blend in)
- motivational means: the emotions (gaining rewards and strength from acceptance and success)
CQ is measured on a scale, similar to that used to measure an individual's intelligence quotient. People with higher CQ's are regarded as better able to successfully blend in to any environment, using more effective business practices, than those with a lower CQ. Soon Ang worked together with Linn Van Dyne to validate the Cultural Intelligence Scale.
David Livermore has written several books applying cultural intelligence to various fields, including Leading with Cultural Intelligence and The Cultural Intelligence Difference.
Dr. Richard D. Bucher has also written on this topic: "Building Cultural Intelligence - Nine Megaskills." These megaskills are Understanding cultural identity; Checking cultural lenses; Global consciousness; Shifting perspectives; Intercultural communication; Managing cross-cultural conflict; Multicultural teaming; Managing bias; and Understanding the dynamics of power - published by Pearson in 2008. Building CQ website
Cultural intelligence is a particular concern for expatriates in foreign environments where not knowing what to expect and the differences that can be encountered upon arrival and in the early stages of settling in can often result in culture-shock – the disorientation felt by a person subjected to an unfamiliar way of life.
- Affective education
- Cultural behavior
- Cultural competence
- Emotional intelligence
- Human fit
- Organisational culture
- Race and intelligence
- Do You Know What Your CQ Score Is? « Select Perspectives – Select International Blog – Pre-employment Assessments & Employee Screening Tools. Blog.selectinternational.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
- Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures (Stanford Business Books) (9780804743129): P. Christopher Earley, Soon Ang: Books. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
- Center for Leadership & Cultural Intelligence: The CLCI Team. Cci.ntu.edu.sg. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
- Cultural Intelligence Center | Home. Culturalq.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
- Cultural Intelligence Matters. ExpatArrivals.com.
- Huffington Post 'Teaching Cultural Intelligence Could Provide Advantages In Job Market'
- Forbes 'CQ: The Test Of Your Potential For Cross-Cultural Success'
- Economist 'In Search of High CQ'
- The Times 'Trend watch: Cultural intelligence' 2 December 2004
- Value Based Management
- Cultural Intelligence: Knowledge, arts and skills
- NBC's Education Nation ' CQ: The New IQ for American Students Competing in a Global Marketplace
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