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Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals

ISBN: 978-1-118-27507-8
272 pages
August 2012, Jossey-Bass
Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals (1118275071) cover image
HR professionals' guide to creating a culturally agile talent pipeline

Succeeding in today's global economy requires organizations to acquire, develop, and retain professionals who can operate effectively around the world, irrespective of country or culture. More than ever before, organizations need a pipeline of professionals who possess cultural agility, the ability to quickly, comfortably, and successfully work in cross-cultural and international environments. As the competition for culturally agile talent grows, meeting this critical human resource challenge requires highly effective, cutting-edge talent management practices. With step-by-step guidance and evidence of effectiveness, this book offers those critical practices—many which can be implemented today.

  • Includes how-to details for implementing talent management practices to build a pipeline of cultural agile professionals in any organization
  • Features illustrative examples from a wide range of organizations, including the Peace Corps, the US Military, and many Fortune 500 companies
  • Allows access to the Cultural Agility Self-Assessment (CASA), an interactive online assessment

This book is a must-have resource for human resource professionals and all business leaders who know that the key to their organizations' success in today's complex global economy is their culturally agile human talent.

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Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

PART 1: Introduction: The Basics of Cultural Agility 1

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS CULTURAL AGILITY—AND WHY IS IT SO CRUCIAL TODAY? 3

Cultural Agility: A Mega-Competency with Three Levels 4

The Need for Speed in Building a Pipeline of Culturally Agile Professionals 7

Barriers to Creating a Pipeline of Culturally Agile Professionals 10

Take Action 18

PART 2: Who Is Culturally Agile? 21

CHAPTER 2: THREE CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCIES AFFECTING CULTURALLY AGILE RESPONSES 23

The Cultural Agility Competency Framework: Twelve Key Competencies 24

How the Competencies Affecting Behavioral Responses Are Different 26

Competencies Affecting Behavioral Responses in Cross-Cultural Contexts 26

Take Action 46

CHAPTER 3: NINE CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCIES AFFECTING SUCCESS OF CULTURALLY AGILE PROFESSIONALS 47

Three Competencies Affecting Psychological Ease in Cross-Cultural Situations 48

Three Competencies Affecting Cross-Cultural Interactions 53

Three Competencies Affecting Global Business Decisions 59

Take Action 64

PART 3: Attract and Select the Most Culturally Agile Talent 67

CHAPTER 4: ATTRACTING AND RECRUITING FOR CULTURAL AGILITY 69

Finding Culturally Agile Professionals 74

Attracting Culturally Agile Professionals 82

Creating the Employee Value Proposition for Culturally Agile Professionals 89

Take Action 92

CHAPTER 5: ASSESSING AND SELECTING FOR CULTURAL AGILITY 95

Résumé Screening 98

Foreign Language Assessment 100

Knowledge Assessment 102

Personality Assessment 103

Interview 108

Self-Assessment 113

Take Action 115

PART 4: Train and Develop Culturally Agile Talent 117

CHAPTER 6: BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR CULTURAL AGILITY WITH CROSS-CULTURAL TRAINING 119

What to Include in a Cross-Cultural Training Program 121

Delivery Methods for Cross-Cultural Training 128

Language Training 132

Timing and Sequencing of Cross-Cultural Training 133

Readiness for Cross-Cultural Training 134

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Cross-Cultural Training 135

Take Action 140

CHAPTER 7: CRAFTING DEVELOPMENTAL CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIENCES TO INCREASE CULTURAL AGILITY 141

How Cross-Cultural Experiences Become Developmental 143

Suggestions for Developmental Cross-Cultural Experiences 150

Take Action 156

CHAPTER 8: DEVELOPING CULTURAL AGILITY THROUGH INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS 157

International Assignment Goals and Cultural Agility 161

Using Strategic Global Mobility Practices to Build Cultural Agility 164

Take Action 182

PART 5: Conclusion: Leadership and Organizational Factors 183

CHAPTER 9: MANAGING AND LEADING TO BUILD CULTURAL AGILITY IN THE WORKFORCE 185

Your Organization’s Readiness for Cultural Agility Practices 187

Leadership Practices to Foster a Culturally Agile Organizational Culture 191

HR’s Role in Building the Culturally Agile Workforce 195

Your Cultural Agility 205

Take Action 205

Stay Connected to Learn More 206

Appendix: Lists to Assess Your Organization’s Global Employer Image 207

Notes 219

About the Author 231

Index 233

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Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D., is a professor of human resource management at Rutgers University, a work psychologist, and regularly appears as an expert guest on CNN. Listed among the top 50 most prolific authors in the field of international business, she is a frequent speaker and sought-out consultant for organizations in the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe. She is the author of three books and the HR area editor for the top-ranked Journal of International Business Studies.

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July 31, 2012
Acquire the Necessary Global Business Skills to Survive in the 21st Century

In the workplace, every single action you take is vulnerable to tireless scrutiny and analysis.  As companies become increasingly eager to enter the globalization scene, the danger of one little misstep is even more evident now than ever before; people often engage in cross-cultural business without having a full understanding of the culture they are dealing with, resulting in the forging of a relationship based on miscommunication and the potential to lead to unfavorable situations.

President of her own consulting firm specializing in ensuring that global organizations effectively utilize internationally-oriented talent, Paula Caligiuri recognizes that immersing oneself in a culture different from one’s own can be an intimidating challenge.  It involves more than just learning the language of the culture; it also involves learning such intricacies as cultural customs, traditions, morals, and habits.  This issue is precisely why she wrote Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-27507-8; August 2012; $36.95) – in order to help professionals obtain cultural agility: the ability to quickly, comfortably, and successfully work in cross-cultural environments. 

In a handy step-by-step format, Caligiuri effectively provides guidance on how to best implement particular talent management practices to form a powerful and knowledgeable culturally-competent team of professionals.   She delves into great detail about a range of topics, including:

  • The definition and importance of cultural agility
  • Cross-cultural competencies affecting the success of culturally agile professionals
  • How to build the foundation for cultural agility with cross-cultural training
  • How to craft developmental cross-cultural experiences to increase cultural agility
  • How to manage and lead to build cultural agility in the workforce

Cultural Agility is perfect for those working in HR management, development professionals, global executives, consultants, professors and students in graduate HRM, Strategic HR, International Business, and Career Management courses, and will certainly prepare them for a world that is expanding internationally at an exponentially rapid pace.

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