> Intercultural Readiness — what makes us effective when working across cultures? <

Are expatriate managers with years of international experience truly more effective abroad than managers who have not been abroad? Are young members of the workforce interculturally more competent than older members? And are women indeed interculturally more gifted than men?

The answers to these questions may very well surprise us. The book Intercultural Readiness: Four competences for working across culture is based on extensive research in international organizations with roots in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

In a 15-year series of studies, assessments were made of 45,000 members of international organizations, testing their competence in working across cultures. The results show that a lot of widely-accepted ideas about how we should deal with international challenges are incorrect.

Dealing effectively with cultural differences today presents organizations with entirely different demands than those they faced before the economic crisis. Top talent from outside Europe wants to swiftly move ahead into leadership positions; innovation and growth are driven by culturally diverse teams that can quickly and effectively work together, and new markets are only accessible if organizations understand the cultural logic of those markets.

Organizations need to revise their ideas about what makes us interculturally effective if they want to succeed in today’s global market place. Based on real-life examples, interviews and case studies, Intercultural Readiness shows how organizations can get ready for mastering these challenges, and how they can support staff in developing the intercultural competences they so urgently need.

Brinkmann & van Weerdenburg (2014): Intercultural Readiness: Four competences for working across culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan

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