Intercultural Competence in Business Life

The world is constantly changing, and so is the business world. Through today's impact of globalization, an employee of a global company needs to be skilled with intercultural competence in order to successfully navigate through a cross-cultural environment.

Roman Bösch & Medula Pararajasingam & Yves Schärer & Jocelyn Pleisch & Nghi Nguyen & Nadine Gehrig, 2023

Projektarbeit/Praxisprojekt, Hochschule für Wirtschaft FHNW
Betreuende Dozierende: Susan Göldi
Keywords: Intercultural Competence, Globalization, Cross-Cultural Work Environment
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This project work group aimed to elaborate on the awareness and importance given to intercultural competence by international companies. The goals were to define the skills and values expected of employees as well as to explain whether intercultural competence is measured and trained in global organizations and, if so, how. Furthermore, the project work group intended to identify the lack of knowledge and areas for improvement for global companies and to give recommendations to the FHNW regarding the promotion of intercultural competence.
Methods applied during the project work’s research were secondary and primary research. When conducting the secondary research, contemporary literature was used and analysed for the literature review as well as the websites of global companies. In addition, a qualitative study in the form of five interviews was conducted with global companies Roche, Georg Fischer AG, Axa, CSL Behring and Thorsten Eger, a lecturer at the FHNW. The interviews were audio recorded and eventually transcribed. The aim was to elicit their approach to intercultural competence.
During the secondary research, the project work group found that being intercultural competent is not only a critical skill in the global market nowadays but a critical economic success factor too. In fact, the representatives of the global companies who had been interviewed came to a similar conclusion. In order to take advantage of the combined skillset that constitutes intercultural competence, global companies offer a variety of internal and external courses and programs to learn and adapt such a skillset. However, companies differ in their assessment of the importance of the various skills. Additionally, we found that none of the companies is known to actively execute assessments that particularly measure the level of intercultural competence of its employees. Nevertheless, the companies do have measurement approaches of skills, which take place in form of an interview, self-reports, performance-based tests and in an assessment center. Even though there is an existing awareness for the importance of intercultural competence, some of the companies have the belief that working abroad will equip an employee enough with intercultural competence.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit:
Vertraulichkeit: vertraulich
Art der Arbeit
Hochschule für Wirtschaft FHNW
Autorinnen und Autoren
Roman Bösch & Medula Pararajasingam & Yves Schärer & Jocelyn Pleisch & Nghi Nguyen & Nadine Gehrig
Betreuende Dozierende
Susan Göldi
Sprache der Arbeit
Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Standort Studiengang
Intercultural Competence, Globalization, Cross-Cultural Work Environment