Cultural competence/Test to Measure Intercultural Competence

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Schnabel et al. (2015) [1] and Schnabel et al. (2015b) [2].

The TMIC combines 75 self-report questions (TMIC-SA) with 17 situational judgment items (TMIC-SJT)

The TMIC includes the following dimensions:

  • SC = Sensitivity in communication;
  • GS = Goal setting;
  • IS = Information seeking;
  • MI = Mediation of interests;
  • CIR = Cultural identity reflection;
  • SZ = Socializing.

1 Example TMIC items

The next table shows some example items from the TMIC (SA and SJT) from Schnabel et al. (2015b) [3].

FactorDescriptionN itemsLExample items (SA)SJT English with coding (1) = lowest value to (4) = highest value
SCTo put oneself in the position of another person during communication in order to understand him or her better; high sensibility for verbal and nonverbal communication aspects6 SA + 1 SJTGIch weiß, wie sich andere Personen fühlen, ohne dass sie es mir sagen.You are working together with a foreign delegation on a project. First of all, a meeting takes place in order to discuss the further progression of the project and to set important objectives. You have the impression that the project manager does not directly address which areas they will focus on during the project or talk about which points are most important to them. How are you most likely to behave? I wait to get more information after the discussion. (1) I keep quiet until the end of the discussion and then ask the project manager to summarize the most important points again. (2) I listen attentively in order to recognize what the most important points are. (3) I closely observe how the project manager formulates their points and acts during the discussion. (4)
PEu sei como as outras pessoas se sentem, sem que elas tenham que me dizer
EI know how other people feel without them having to tell me
ISPurposeful collection of information about a foreign country or another culture3 SA +
GBei der Planung einer Reise ins Ausland, nutze ich unterschiedliche InformationsquellenYou work for a company and you are going to be sent abroad for six months. How are you most likely to prepare for this?
I prepare myself professionally and will get to know the culture when I get there. (1) I read about the basic rules of behavior on the internet. (2) I read a travel guide and look at a map in order to be able to cope when I get there. (3) I stock up on books about the culture, the country, and the language and also do some research on the internet. (4)
PDurante o planejamento de uma viagem ao exterior, eu uso várias fontes de informação
EWhen planning a trip abroad I use various sources of information
SZEstablishing and maintaining contact with people from other cultures quickly and easily4 SA +
GIch nutze einen großen Teil meiner Freizeit, um Kontakte zu pflegenYou move to a new city and do not yet know anyone. How are you most likely to behave in this situation?
I concentrate fully on work. (1) So that I don't feel lonely I have long phone calls with friends or family from my hometown during my free time. (2) I make an effort to be friendly to everyone I meet and therefore signal my interest in getting to know new people. (3) I try to make contact with people through various free time activities. (4)
PEu uso uma grande parte do meu tempo livre para manter contatos
EI use a large part of my free time in order to cultivate contacts
GSHaving clear goals and being able to implement them consistently4 SA +
GWenn ich mir etwas vornehme, realisiere ich dies gewöhnlich auchYou have made it your aim to successfully complete the project by the end of the next month. However, after a short time you realize that you have barely made any progress with your project. How are you most likely to behave in such a situation?
I delay completion of the project. (1) I concentrate on the parts of the project that are going well. (2) I work on eliminating the aspects that are responsible for the delay. (3) I define what I must achieve and when I must have achieved it in order to come closer to my aims. (4)
PSe planejo algo, normalmente também costumo realisar isso
EWhen I plan something I usually then go on to achieve my aim
MIMediating between parties in order to achieve the greatest possible benefit from different approaches4 SA + 1 SJTGIch bin gut darin, zwischen Personen mit gegensätzlichen Interessen zu vermittelnYou have been sent by company headquarters to a subsidiary abroad where you are to manage a project. You quickly notice that the company headquarters follow quite different interests to the subsidiary abroad. What are you most likely to do?
I recommend that company headquarters give up on the project as soon as possible. (1) I use all of my resources to implement the interests of company headquarters. (2) I analyze which interests have a higher priority and support the most important ones. (3) I put in a lot of effort to mediate between the interests of the subsidiary and company headquarters. (4)
PEu sou bom na mediação entre pessoas com interesses opostos
EI am good at mediating between people with conflicting interests
CIRIntensively and constantly reflecting upon ones own cultural character4 SA + 1 SJTGIch bemühe mich zu verstehen, inwiefern mein Verhalten kulturell geprägt istYou begin a new position with a company based abroad. You find your new job very interesting and on the whole are satisfied. The only thing which bothers you are the new working hours which are much different to what you are used to in your working life. Your colleagues don't seem to be bothered. How are you most likely to behave?
I simply accept the new working hours so that I am not viewed negatively. (1) I look for a way to get as near as possible to the working hours I would like. (2) I consider why the working hours are so different. (3) I think about why the working hours bother me and how I can deal with this in the future. (4)
PTento entender como o meu comportamento é determinado culturalmente
EI make an effort to understand to what extent my behavior is shaped by culture

2 References

  1. Deborah B.L. Schnabel, Augustin Kelava, Fons J.R. van de Vijver, Lena Seifert, Examining psychometric properties, measurement invariance, and construct validity of a short version of the Test to Measure Intercultural Competence (TMIC-S) in Germany and Brazil, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 49, November 2015, Pages 137-155, ISSN 0147-1767, (
  2. D. Schnabel, A. Kelava, L. Seifert, B. Kuhlbrodt, Konstruktion und Validierung eines multimethodalen berufsbezogenen Tests zur Messung interkultureller Kompetenz, Diagnostica, 61 (2015), pp. 3–21
  3. D. Schnabel, A. Kelava, L. Seifert, B. Kuhlbrodt, Konstruktion und Validierung eines multimethodalen berufsbezogenen Tests zur Messung interkultureller Kompetenz, Diagnostica, 61 (2015), pp. 3–21