In today's globally interlinked world, managers need to know how to get the most out of international intercultural teams. It is inevitable that in an international environment, individuals will be faced with cultural differences. How individuals deal with foreign culture situations and their ability to function in ambiguous environments relate to cultural intelligence (CQ). This study explored the effect that the behavioural component of cultural intelligence has on task performance in international intercultural working groups. The behavioural component focused on not only behavioural CQ, but also behavioural characteristics and national cultural dimensions as defined by Hofstede (1983).
A quantitative study was performed on 31 MBA students who partook in a consulting project in international intercultural groups consisting of South African, Chinese and American students. The groups' CQ were compared to results achieved in the project and it was found that neither increased CQ nor increased behavioural CQ had an effect on task performance. However, the behavioural characteristics of having set expectations in terms of team processes and shared goals, as well as the cultural dimensions of Power Distance (small), Short-term orientation, Indulgence and Masculinity attributed to increased task performance. Increased cultural dissimilarity, with specific relation to the dimension of Individualism, as well as communication difficulties relating to language barriers decreased task performance.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.