Cultural competence/Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Communication Effectiveness

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Koester & Olebe (1988) [1] the Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Communication (BASIC) effectiveness based on Ruben's earlier work.

Ruben's technique requires expert observers to assess trainees. “A researcher, trainer, program supervisor or director, is constrained, then, by the availability of such expert observers, and the costs, in both time and money, attached to creating opportunities for them to use the scales.” (Koester & Olebe, 1988:238).

1 Ruben's 7 dimensions

This work is based on Ruben (1976;1985) [2] [3] who depart from personality and attitudinal approaches in order to center on on specific communications behaviors during intercultural encounters.

Participants are observed and rated by judges.

Ruben identified seven dimensions (summary by Koester & Olebe (1988:236) [4]

  • display display of respect (the ability to express respect and positive regard for another person);
  • interaction posture (the ability to respond to others in descriptive non-evaluating and non-judgmental ways);
  • orientation to knowledge (the terms people use to explain themselves and the world around them);
  • empathy (the capacity to “put oneself in another’s shoes” or to behave as if one could)
  • role behavior (including task roles or behaviors that involve the initiation of ideas related to group problem-solving activities, relational roles or behaviors associated with harmonizing and mediation in a group, and individualistic roles which highlight the actions, needs, and behaviors of the individual in a group);
  • interaction management (skill in governing contributions to an interactive situation to meet the needs and desires of participants);
  • tolerance for ambiguity (the ability to react to new and ambiguous situations with little visible discomfort).

2 BASIC instrument

  • Can be obtained from the author. It includes Display of Respect, Orientation to Knowledge, Empathy, Interaction Management, Task Role Behavior, Relational Role Behavior, Tolerance for Ambiguity, and Interaction Posture. (to be verified)

3 References

  1. Koester, J., & Olebe, M. (1988) created the Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Communication Effectiveness. International Journal for Intercultural Relations, 12, 233-246
  2. Ruben, B. D. (1976). Assessing communication competency for intercultural adaptation. Group and Organization Studies, 1, 334-354.
  3. Ruben, B. D. (1985). Human communication and cross-cultural effectiveness. In L. Samovar & R. Porter (Eds.), Intercultural communication: A reader (4th ed.) (pp. 338-346). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  4. Koester, J., & Olebe, M. (1988). The Behavioral Assessment Scale for Intercultural Communication Effectiveness. International Journal for Intercultural Relations, 12, 233-246