Cultural competence/Business Cultural Intelligence Quotient

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The Business Cultural Intelligence Quotient was created by Ilan Alon, Michele Boulanger, Judith Meyers & Vasyl Taras , (2016) [1]

The following items were taken from the Appendix. Instrument items, by dimension

Response items are a five point Lickert Scale: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always, except for factor four (true/false)


Factor 1

1.  I could live happily in any culture.
2.  *I am open to new ideas, people, and cultures.
3.  I deal effectively with the stress of working in different cultures.
4.  *I enjoy the novelty of experiencing new cultures.
5. I successfully adapt to other cultures.
6. *I integrate well into other cultures.
7. *I have a desire to experience cultures that are different from my own.
8. I tolerate quite well the uncertainty of an unfamiliar cultural experience.
9. I effectively handle uncertainty.
10. *I feel a natural drive to connect with other cultures.
11. *I enjoy communication with locals in a new cultural setting.
12. *I interact well with people from other cultures.
13. I adapt to the customs and social behavior of those in other cultures.
14. I expect to make friends in the new culture when working abroad.
15. *I make friends with people who are different from me.
16. *I establish and maintain relationships with people from other cultures.
17. *I am comfortable interacting with people of different cultures.
18. I form close friendships with people from other cultures.
19. My friends say that I am culturally savvy.
20. *I take an interest in the social practices of other cultures.

Factor 2

1. I pay attention to how information is exchanged in a new cultural setting.
2. I attend to cross-cultural cues as part of my communication style.
3. I see problems from a cultural perspective other than my own.
4. I adjust my communication style to meet the demands of a cross-cultural business meeting.
5. *I pay close attention to how my words affect the people with whom I interact.
6. *I am aware of how I impact the emotions of others during cross-cultural interactions.
7. *I think about the feelings of others when communicating.
8. *I pay close attention to the words I use in cross-cultural situations.
9. I am effective in dealing with cross-cultural conflict.
10. I observe the degree of non-verbal communications between myself and others.

Factor 3

1. *I read editorials on international business.
2. I mirror the habits and mannerisms of those in other cultures in order to immerse myself.
3. When I enter a new culture, I examine their business practices.
4. I am prepared to work cross-culturally because of my academic training.
5. *I rely on the international media to stay abreast of new global developments.
6. I am prepared to work cross-culturally because of my professional experiences.
7. I keep notes on the cross-cultural business practices that I have found to be successful.
8.  I use a mentor or trusted resource to help me process cross-cultural information.
9.  *I follow international news.
10.  I demonstrate the flexibility needed to work across time and distance.

Factor 4 (Scale: True/False)

1.  *In the US, people greet each other formally in continuous business relations using their titles and surnames.
2.  *East Indians sometimes shake their head from side to side to show agreement with what is being said.
3.  *The Muslim religion forbids eating milk products with meat.
4.  *The ethnic composition of South Africa is predominantly white.
5.  *In Japan, even the smallest tokens as gifts are considered bribes.
6.  *Israelis prefer indirect communications with others to avoid hurting their feelings.
7.  *The euro is the currency of Switzerland.
8.  *The Japanese believe that a firm handshake and direct eye contact is good for establishing trust (or as a sign of stature).
9.  *Confucianism suggests that a husband is the master of his wife.
10.  *It is common in America to challenge your boss when you disagree.
11.  *A knife is not an appropriate gift in Russia.
12.  *The teachings of Islam emanate from Saudi Arabia.
13.  *Knocking on the desk as a way to clap is common in Germany.
14.  *Jamaica was once the center of African slave trading.
15.  *The thumbs-up “ok” is a universally understood sign around the world.
16.  *Standing close to one another is typical in Middle Eastern cultures.
17.  *The carnival in Brazil is always held immediately after Easter.
18.  *The counting systems of China, Korea, and Japan are known for being brief and logical.
19.  *If Power Distance is a measure of how much a country values a hierarchy, then Sweden is low on the Power Distance Index (PDI).
20.  *As a culture, Australians require a great deal of certainty.

Items denoted with * were retained in the final version of the instrument


  1. Ilan Alon, Michele Boulanger, Judith Meyers & Vasyl Taras , (2016),"The development and validation of the Business Cultural Intelligence Quotient", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 23 Iss 1 pp. 78 - 100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-10-2015-0138