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Swot Analysis of Cultural IntelligenceTerm Paper

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Cultural Intelligence SWOT Analysis

Evaluation of CQ Practices in Organizations

SWOT analysis for Cultural Intelligence

The capability of an individual to function and manage conditions and situations in conditions and settings that have a cultural diversity and enhance and develop the performance through interventions can be defined as cultural intelligence or CQ (Ang, 2006).

The differences that arise out of differences in culture need to be managed and the ones who are able to effectively do so are said to possess cultural intelligence. Such management requires the recognition of behaviors that are influenced by culture (Brislin, 2006).

In the globalized economy and especially in commercial and business organizations, there is always a need to adapt to different people from diverse cultures with different values and beliefs and ways and methods of functioning. This is a key element in the management of the interconnectedness of the modern world (Tan, 2004).

An important aspect in the development of cultural intelligence is the creation of means and ways that can be used to make sense of culturally different situations. It is also referred to by psychologists as a higher order thinking where the individuals who are culturally intelligent are able to create a new mental framework in order to understand what the individual sees and experiences (Tan, 2004). In effective cultural intelligence related decision, experts are of the opinion that an individual should delay a decision unless enough information is available. Thus it can be said that cultural intelligence is more of a personal attribute and the recognition of the abilities and capabilities of an individual are critical in effectively tackling situations of cultural differences.

One can analyze the personal requirements for efficient cultural intelligence through a SWOT analysis.

Strengths

The individual who is striving to attain a significant level of cultural intelligence has to deal with understanding the behaviors and recognize the differences in culture. As an individual a person having the ability to gain cultural knowledge - composed of content i.e. what and the process i.e. how, of the knowledge of other cultures is said to possess one of the strengths that are required to develop cultural intelligence (Tuleja, 2014).

Ability to understand the how and when people express certain attributes and expressions, agreements or disagreements and collect the feedback accordingly.

Habit of reading and gathering knowledge about other cultures through multiple channels such as newspapers, movies, books, while one is traveling to another country and having co-workers who belong to a different culture.

One has to recognize and identify thoroughly the uniqueness of one culture and analyzing such data to forecast when and where similar reactions would be evoked in the alien culture in the future

Possessing of relational skills that help to strike friendly relations with people from another culture and enjoying talking to and interacting with other cultures.

An important strength for a person striving to achieve cultural intelligence is the ability to be tolerant to uncertainty, ambiguity and unexpected changes in an interaction that involves people from different cultures. This helps not to get disheartened or bogged down by uncertainties and unexpected reactions from people of another culture (Templer, 2006).

It is also important that individuals are adaptable and are able to change one's behavior to match the needs and requirement of other cultures.

One should also possess empathy with the ability to be able to place oneself in the position of another person from another culture and imagine the situation from his or her perspective in order to understand the reaction and the influence of the culture on another person.

While interacting or trying to develop cultural intelligence, individuals also need to possess the ability to understand other people's feelings and subtle meanings while interactions in cross cultural situations.

It is also a strength for individuals and manages striving to attain a high level of cultural intelligence to be able to be aware of and understand the level of acceptance of authority that is naturally present in a culture. This is referred to as the power distance index which determines the extent to which people from another culture accept the authority of another person who is seemingly more powerful. This also entails the understanding the process of the choice of a leader in different cultures (Plum, Achen, Draeby & Jensen, 2008).

It is also important to understand and recognize the traits and habits of people from another culture to work in a group. Every culture has its own influences that decides whether people from a particular culture are happy and accept working in agorup or prefer to work as individuals.

Weakness

Different cultures have tolerance levels to certain conditions, especially emotional tolerance. Hence if one is not able to understand the tolerance levels and reasons for reactions to situations, then one would not be able to achieve significant degree of cultural intelligence. This is one of the weaknesses in certain managers and individuals functioning in multicultural situations.

Every culture has specific gender roles where each gender is expected to act in a certain manner and react to situations in a particular manner. A manager or any individual interacting or functioning in a cross cultural atmosphere should possessthe skills to understand the role of the masculine and the feminine of that particular culture. Not possessing this ability to understand this aspect of various cultures is one of the weaknesses for individuals.

Opportunities

Motivation to know more about different cultures is one of the attributes that increases opportunities and chances of better achieving high levels of cultural intelligence. Motivation can be considered as an opportunity for individuals and manager to better understand alien cultures and the intricacies associated with them (Crowne, 2008).

Understanding the concept of physical space in various cultures is another opportunity the individuals can develop to better understand foreign cultures and utilize it to achieve cultural intelligence.

Threats

One of the major threats to development of cultural intelligence is the understanding of focus of individuals from various cultures. Typically, every culture has its own concept of long-term and short-term focus with particular relation to objectives. Especially for business organizations, understanding the cultural predispositions with relation to long-term or short-term focus is helpful in setting goals and objectives. Not understanding this concept from the perspective of different cultures can pose to the threat to achieving goals and objectives.

Another threat to successful development of cultural intelligence is the concept of various cultures to aspects related to consumption, self-control, and frugality which essentially means the ability to control desire and not understanding this can hamper development of multicultural organizations.

Part II: Evaluation of CQ Practices in Organizations

This section would evaluate the practices in cultural intelligence that organizations practice that are aimed at creation of result oriented environments and encourages multicultural understandings in individuals and groups.

In the present context of a globalized business world, companies have transcended the political boundaries and have become multinational and many -- global. This means that companies now engage and hire people from different countries and since every single country has a culture of its own therefore the cultural difference sometimes becomes a hindrance to the overall development of business organizations. This affects the productivity of companies and business organizations as these employees form varied cultural backgrounds need to function together and in a cohesive manner in order to achieve the desired output (Sparrow, 2009).

With businesses growing multinational, companies have to deal with diverse cultures among workers and customers and this had become an integral and unavoidable part of the modern business. The problems that arise out of cultural differences can be reduced and eliminated by increasing cultural intelligence among employees as well as among mangers and other people in authority in the organization who have to regularly deal with people form varying cultures.

Thus companies need to undertake measures and means to enhance cultural understanding and increase cultural intelligence (Helms, Rutti, Lorenz, Ramsey & Armstrong, 2014).

A large range of emotions and feelings comprise every culture of nations and such feelings are also inherent in various subcultures of a national culture. The differences in culture -- like in language, ethnicity, policies, etc., can potentially be causes of conflict if they are not attended to or minimized in the beginning (Crowne, 2013).

People need certain capabilities and interactions for interpersonal communication in different cultures in order to establish relationships and overcome problems caused by cultural difference. Creation of the ability to be tolerant, understanding and sensitive towards different cultures and analyze new cultures is helped by cultural intelligence (IMAI & GELFAND, 2007).

Some of the measures that organizations adopt to foster cultural intelligence among the employees include:

Taking motivational steps: one of the major contributors to development of cultural intelligence is to be motivated to learn about other cultures and develop cultural knowledge. Organizations often stress on increasing cultural intelligence through the process of motivating employees to show more interest in other cultures and create confidence among the employees about dealing with co-workers from other cultures. Motivation can help employees… [END OF PREVIEW]

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