The need for well-built cross-cultural competence [CC] (Lenartowicz and Apud, 2006) in the world of work is intensifying than ever before. Globalization and the shifting demographics in most of world leading nations have caused a significant increase in multicultural workplace. With the economic downturn and the opportunities offered by the ICT, many firms are also venturing into international business (IB). Academic scholars and business writers alike have identified CC as one of key ingredient in IB success. Culture as a concept and as a reality is wide and complex. On a regular basis, culture influences our existence — as an individual, people, societies, professions, organizations, industries and nations — as well as how we relate with one another in and across regional and national boundaries. In local and global workplace environment, individuals in organizations depict their respective cultural upbringings. In today globalized workplace, cross-cultural competence is essentially the capabilities that employees must have in order to function at the level of performance required in employment. CC is crucial for IB; the lack of it makes many MNEs to fail, their failure is not because of lack expertise and technical know-how but due to cross-cultural competence of the host country. Therefore, for firms to effectively manage their diverse workforce depends on the structure they have in place.
Defining CC Framework As It Applies In International Business
The prescribe journal, revealed CC was derived from behavioural adaptation that people engage in so as to relate effectively with individuals from different cultures (Lenartowicz and Apud, 2006). The academic authors, after series of examination of earlier definitions of CC and bearing in mind the complexity of international business environment, put forward a broad definition that is more general and clear-cut. They define cross-cultural competence as:
An individual’s capability to portray upon the necessary knowledge, skills, and attributes (KSA) so as to work successfully with people from diverse cultural upbringings within and outside the country.
This definition centred on employees’ performance. This entails the need for cultural literacy, abilities & aptitudes to adapt and willingness to learn (Lenartowicz and Apud, 2006) different cultures. The cultural intelligence model played a significant role in building of CC. Cultural intelligence is modelled out of these components; the cognitive, behavioural and motivational which are the linking variables to development of Lenartowicz & Apud cross-cultural competence framework. They highlighted role of the KSA dimensions (pp 530- 532) in the construction of their CC framework. These elements are assumed important to individuals intending to work in a cross-cultural business environment, and thus result on their effectiveness.
The Relevance Cross-cultural Competence in International HRM
The Cross-cultural Competence...