Business Studies Essay Paper on Managers’ Cultural Intelligence

Managers’ Cultural Intelligence

1.0 Introduction

Business in the global perspective has absolutely improved the interest in cross-cultural management research. In this period whereby the appreciation of diversity is being seen as a benefit, the need to deal efficiently with people from various cultural backgrounds has become important for ensuring success. The word globalization, multi-cultural, multi-national, and internationalization are no longer surprising words. With the introduction of globalization, people regularly in all fields of business, belonging to diverse cultural backgrounds are working collectively to ensure the success of business. With the expansion in the service sector globally, there has been a substantial need to deal and interconnect effectively with individuals from various cultural backgrounds. Individuals belonging to various nationalities have different cultural backgrounds and hence different viewpoints, values, attitudes, opinions, expectations and different underlying suppositions. Hotels and other different fields of hospitality are faced with the difficulty of cross-cultural service challenges and constantly need to assess their performance against the anticipations of their consumers, workers, and suppliers from a diverse background. The recognition of such inequality that exists in the results that comes from cultural differences is important as it assists in closely understanding the needs of your clients and others and meets their cultural prospect too.  Therefore, culture can be the basis of teamwork, unity, and improvement, instead of argument, breakdown, and failure.

In the service management literature, the word ‘service encounter’ is extensively recognized and points out the contact between the client and one who provides the service.  Service encounters in the industry of hospitality are important as they allow hotel services promotion, building a positive sense for the customer and promoting the general image of the business. Other issues also play a role in building an impression on the customer, but it is the interaction between the staff of the service and the customers that tells the result of the service encounter, particularly where the culture’s role in such relations intermediates. Therefore, the awareness of the customer to what makes up quality service is definitely the culture bound.

The role of those providing services therefore takes a step further when dealing with worldwide customers. If service managers are uninformed about the core cultural expectations of their customers, it will effect in the fissure of performance of service. Hence, when bearing in mind the case of the global hospitality industry, it becomes significant to understand that in order to benefit from the cross-cultural interactions between the service providers of service and the customers, a “mediator factor,” is required. This factor can assist to enlarge a link between the understanding of cultural matters by the service provider, and the cultural expectations of the customer. Consequently, cultural divergences are supposed to be valued and contained while performing in the industry of tourism or even hospitality.

On the other hand, one of the significant administrative competencies that are required for dealing efficiently with individuals from various cultural backgrounds is the “Cultural Intelligence.” The Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is an individual’s potential to operate efficiently in environments that have cultural assortment. It targets at giving a new view into the social skills and expansion of mental frameworks that assists in connecting cultural differences. Cultural Intelligence comprises of specific awareness about various cultures as well as common awareness about how cultures operate. It clarifies how some people are more capable of steering in the culturally diverse situations than others.

CQ is significant for global managers, expatriates, experts dealing with global contacts, members of multi-cultural teams, tourists or any other individual dealing across national or cultural background settings. If the Cultural Intelligence is merged in the foundation of the organizations, it shall facilitate the mangers to effectively handle cultural differences and disparities. When the managers build the capability of recognizing these variations, he shall become competent of lowering the cultural obstacles that may be formed and forecast what the customers thinks and how they shall respond to their pattern of behavior.  In addition, the employees study of such multicultural practices, the art of tying together the cultural diversity power.  Therefore, Cultural Intelligence is the potential to understand the association between cultural matters on one hand and business matters on the other. The complicated task lies in comprehending both the issues and combining them together without forgetting whom you are dealing with in the process. As far as working with global clients is concerned, it is vital to build a map of the cultures, one is working with and then recognizing how they are dissimilar or similar from one another and how this awareness should be tapped to ring the satisfaction of the customer.

However, such connections with global clients are greatly relevant and crucial while operating in a people intensive field like hospitality and tourism. There is an exponential expansion in the call for the services of hospitality in nearly every nation in the world. In response to this international need, and to take the advantage of the varying social phenomena, the description of hospitality has extended nationwide and internationally. Firms, customers, and workers have all become global and multicultural.  Most luxurious hotels everywhere in the globe anticipate a considerable part of their customers to be foreign. This is where the Cultural Intelligence’s role comes into play in the viewpoint of linking the gaps and acting as a “mediator factor” to dig out the benefits of cultural diversity in the global industry of hospitality.


Cultural divergences and cultural differences, in the present globalized world, is a challenge to be faced by people and organizations. The decrease of cultural boundaries across the globe, as a globalization impact, has made it essential for international managers to possess the suitable kind of skills that facilitate them to function successfully in diverse cross-cultural settings. Hotels and other fields of hospitality have to engage properly in efficient management of cultural differences deeply rooted in the perspective of supervising the responses of the customer from global travelers who possess assorted cultural backgrounds. In response to the present need, this study aims to establish the connection that exists between Cultural Intelligence and the Satisfaction of Customer in the global hospitality industry and discover how CQ increases the productivity of hospitality managers.

This research is quantitative in nature and has been carried out in three luxury five star hotels in Dubai with a sample size of 20, manager and executives, and 480 customers and employees respectively. The CQS has been attained along with a self-administered questionnaire that focuses on Cross-Cultural Guidance and Productivity. The other questionnaire for measuring the level of satisfaction for international customers was used. In addition, personal interviews had been carried out in the relevant hotels to draw conclusions on how the clients from multi-cultural backgrounds are being managed. Results show that, the CQ and the Satisfaction of the Customer are positively connected and simultaneously enhance the organizations’ productivity in order to positively satisfy the different cultural needs and their global client’s expectations.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Cultural Intelligence

The main objective of business is competing for customers, markets, and territories. The modern day clients have higher hope than before.  Better still; customers have a vast range of products to choose from. This makes it very essential to know who your customer is. It is important to note that your customer may be of a different nationality or may be of the same cultural background as you. The main reason for knowing and understanding the nationality and cultural background of your customer is to know how you can fully satisfy your customer’s needs. Apparently, there is the need to hire worldwide leaders and employees who are experts in the field of international businesses, for instance consumer custom and demand in different cultures. For those dealing with customers from diverse cultures, cultural intelligence is highly needed. A person’s capability to successfully adapt to new cultural settings fully features in the whole context of culture. With this in hand, one can effectively work with any international partners or clients.  This one characteristic is very different from the personal traits, which makes any businessperson exclusive and across circumstances. Still, some traits may connect to CQ.

The very first form that this discussion will be looking at is the cognitive CQ. This focuses on the knowledge of the practices, norms, and conventions of various cultures that are acquired from the experiences of the profession and or education. The whole cognitive CQ comprises of knowledge of legal, economic, and social systems of various cultures together with the basic frameworks of the values of each culture. Most times, the people with high levels of cognitive CQ have a better understanding of the differences and similarities across all cultures. 

The second form of CQ is the motivational form that replicates the capability to direct the necessary attention and energy towards knowing the history of a certain culture and its functions in every situation that is highly characterized by differences in culture. Those people who possess this form of CQ usually direct their energy and attention towards the cultures based on their interest and their confidence in their cross-cultural efficiency. 

Behavioral CQ is the next form of CQ to be discussed. It reflects the ability to show correct verbal and non-verbal actions, especially when getting to know other people from other diverse cultures. Those who possess this form of CQ show appropriate behaviors, but based on the variety of verbal and the non-verbal cues such as exhibiting of appropriate gestures and facial expressions.  

Now, these four dimensions of CQ are proving to be four different aspects of the general function and effective management of all settings of the diverse cultures. The bringing together of these four dimensions gives rise to a powerful, systematic framework field of understanding the reason as to why people differ in their effectiveness in relation to the coping with cultural novel settings. Research on the character capabilities for personal effectiveness show that effectiveness is unsystematic and meager, thus a big gap that is significant in our comprehension of why people are more effective than the others in the diverse cultures is created. Intelligence of linguistics refers to the skills of language that are needed to interact with people from other cultures, but a second language is not needed in this case for one to have cultural intelligence.  The other dimension of intelligence is the spatial intelligence that refers to the capability to become accustomed with the spatial behaviors in other diverse settings of culture. 

The other form of intelligence is the intrapersonal dimension of intelligence, which refers to the capability of someone to know his or her own style of culture. Lastly, interpersonal intelligence is the ability to respond correctly to other individuals.  These are the four main proportions of cultural intelligence, which help an individual to get along well with the other cultures. 

It has also been proven that any manager who has a high level of CQ will always be the first one in terms of knowledge concerned with fundamental issues and cultures across different cultures and their way of interacting. Better still, he will be mindful of what is taking place in the intercultural state of affairs and this means that he will be able to respond correctly to varying states. This therefore means that CQ can help strengthen the communication of any workplace and help in the building of strong business relationships. 

This means that businesses will be effective across all cultures, and that there will be a better understanding of vast and varying cultures among people. Later, a clear significance of CQ was made, suggesting that the CQ factor will be a very important factor in the provision of services.

            The many proportions conceptualized concerning CQ and the difference in relationships of the same dimensions, together with the specific intercultural efficiency and effectiveness shows the significance of continuing with the theory about CQ. This, in turn, shows the importance of CQ to different cultures and their outcomes. 

Researchers also came up with a framework of theoretical, firm level intelligence module and discussed the importance of CQ in global terms for instance off shoring.

Other researchers also discussed the level at which cultural intelligence can be applied and help in the understanding of its possible outcomes in the vast cultures. The relationship between differences in culture and intelligence of culture has also been looked into and the organizational results analyzed.   

One of the authors involved in the finding of cultural intelligence composition also came up with a model, suggesting that CQ be used as a moderator that will help to increase the likelihood on the fields where interstate assignments will be engaged. This will in turn, lead to wise universal leadership, accurate models of leadership and flexibility in styles of leadership. 

2.2 Impact of Culture on the Global Hospitality Industry and Service Encounters

Success in business in the 21st century will solely depend on how people and firms acquire and put into practice the skills in dealing with clients from all over the world and how they will deal with the issue of the global diversity of culture. It is therefore very important to know the impact of culture concerning international industry of hospitality, where people come across employees and customers who belong to different cultural background. 

It is established that once people are aware of their differences in terms of latent processes, they tend to create isomorphic ascriptions, which are better defined as the interpretation from an actor’s perspective and giving it the same meaning as that intended by the actor.

As for the sector of hospitality, the employee should take up the challenge of addressing and bringing satisfaction and meeting the cultural outlook of any customer even if the client is from a different culture.  Failure to meet the client’s expectations brings loneliness, disappointments, and fear. This can lead conflicts in terms of culture and its diversity.

If a service provider comes from a different cultural background from that of the client, then there is a probability of the terrible implications in regard to most of the important issues of hospitality and the delivery of service. It has been found that problems come up because the performance of the domestic provider of services does live up to the expectations of the foreign client hence creation of the intercultural provider’s performance gap.

It is very possible that the services rendered cannot be fulfilled at the usual level of performance if this gap is not filled. Now, since first class hotel have people to offer the services, factors in culture are more likely to mediate the attitude of the client to that of the service experience.  The current day mangers should be very aware of the specific parts of the experience of customers, which need to be open to the influences of culture. Diverse clients recognize that they are the respondents to low satisfaction levels and unbalanced service once they are served based on the behavior of service providers who are from within the region.  This is a sad fact, which is most likely to bring down businesses, and they can lead to drifting apart of different cultures.  A researcher once stated that a global class hotel or any organization that offers hospitality might analyze its own social or financial status of the sense of culture through asking itself some important questions. 

First, the organization concerned should ask itself, whether its way of operating business is in any way, making the firm suffer from the pulse of culture. Next, the organization should ask itself, whether the managers try to understand the fact about the culture of the employees, suppliers and customers. Lastly, the firm should ask itself, whether the managers involved do know the value of the difference of culture and whether they are promoting cultural unity. 

            Employees who are more sensitive to cross culture provide better services to clients from diverse cultures. These employees are able to adjust their styles of service provision to be able to meet the demands of their foreign clients who come from different cultural backgrounds and have different tastes and preferences. This kind of an act in service provision will highly benefit the hotel, since this kind of employees will help in the generation of more income through their very impressive way of providing services to all the clients, regardless of their differences in culture.  

3.0 Objectives

The objectives of this study are:

i) To establish the relationship between Managers’ Cultural Intelligence and Customer Satisfaction;

ii) To review the effect of Manager CQ on productivity and

iii) To discuss the status of Managers’ Cultural Intelligence in the hotels under study.

4.0 Hypotheses                                                                                            

The hypotheses, key to the present study:

H1: Managers’ Cultural Intelligence and the Satisfaction of Customer are positively connected.

H2: relationship exists between the managers’ Cultural Intelligence and high Productivity in global firms.

H3: difference is present in the indices of manager CQ in the Hospitality field.

5.0 Research Methodology

The current piece of study is examining in nature. Maintaining the view of the general objectives as well as the hypotheses of the research, a broad review of literature has been carried out in order to plan the questionnaires to be adopted in the process of research. It is important here to understand that as data makes up the most important part of any study and it is supposed to be collected cautiously in order to improve the general effectiveness of the study, it has been collected using a simple-random sampling. The study’s reach was restricted to the managers as well as international customers and employees in three international hospitality players in Dubai namely, The Radisson Blu Hotel, Samaya Hotel Diera, and The Royal Ascot Hotel.  The primary data was collected using two self-administered, structured questionnaires, one focusing on Cultural Intelligence and the other one focusing on the Satisfaction of the Customer, for collecting data from the target population, i.e., managers, employees and global customers respectively in the five-star hotels under study.

After the first examination, 380 questionnaires, out of 500, were returned along with the utilizable, complete, and legal responses that accounted for 77 percent response rate of the employees for the research.  As far as the global customer was concerned, data were collected amongst the 3 individual hotels from 165 respondents from each hotel.  The total usable responses amounted to 500 for the global customers and reflected a 61.3 percent response rate.

The employees who participated in the Cultural Intelligence questionnaire were 75 percent males and 24 percent females. Seven percent of these employees belonged to the age-group of 18-24 years, 59 percent of them were of the age-group of 25-34 years, 25 percent were of the age-group of 35-45 years, and only 6 percent were above the 45 years. A greater part of employees (46 percent) had done a graduate degree only, while 35 percent had done a professional qualification in the sector of hospitality administration.  18 percent of the employees had done a post-graduate degree or above. The entire number of employees who participated in the questionnaire from every hotel was 35 percent from The Radisson Blu Hotel, 31 Percent Samaya Hotel Diera and 34 percent from The Royal Ascot Hotel. Most of the employees (34 percent) in these hotels had been working for almost 2-5 years. The proportion of employees who had worked for almost 1-2 years was 31 percent and above 5 years was 31 Percent each.  Few employees (3 Percent) had been employed in their particular hotels for less than a year. The different working sections from where the data had been gathered are Front-Desk (17 percent), housekeeping (21 percent), Food and Beverage (52 percent), Administrative and Support (2.9 percent) and others (5.8 percent).

The customers’ demographic profile consisted of 59 percent males and 40 percent females.  A huge major (42 percent) fell in the age-group of 25-34 years, 35 percent of them belonged to the age-group of 35-45 years, 13 percent of them were above 45 years while only a minute section of 8 percent customers belonged to the age group of 18-24 years.  40 percent of them had gotten a post-graduate degree or above, 29 percent had attained a degree, 26 percent had a professional qualification while just 4 percent were undergraduates. The global customers belonged to North America (37 percent), Western Europe (26 percent), South Asia (11 percent), Central/South America (0.7 percent), West Asia (8 percent) East Asia (8.2%) and Australia (7.4%) and came from the other different countries.

The different languages spoken by the global customers were Sinhalese, Urdu, Irish, Guarani, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, English, Hong Kong, Arabic, Mandarin, Nepali, Sinhala, and Malay.  Nevertheless, 57 percent had English as their primary language while the rest 42 percent had English as their secondary language.

6. Findings, Results, and Discussion

The quantitative outcome of this research point out that managers’ Cultural Intelligence does not engage only experience with other cultures, but comprises an intricate mixture of at least three major constructs. These constructs are: (1) Comprehending cultural identity that may be regarded to us as the knowledge component; (2) the capacity to adjust to a multi-cultural setting that may be also known as the behavior component; and (3) readiness to study and learn about different cultures also known as the motivational component. These constructs shape the basis of a managers’ Cultural Intelligence capability framework.

For the first factor, that is Cultural Identity, a statistically major difference was established between the age groups. The age groups who were younger than forty-five years, and whose the Cultural Intelligence as Manager Competence entered the place of work or built up the majority of their experience during the some years of experience had an enhanced self-identity when interrelating or having to work together in a multi-cultural work setting. They have most likely developed an enhanced understanding of various cultures in the place of work than the older group who are over forty-five, and who may have become more set in their ways of work and who were used to do things their own way. This finding corresponds with that reported by Sauer (2008), who established that age and the experience of work had an impact on the Cultural Intelligence of the managers of these three hotels in general.

For the second factor, Adaptability to a multi-cultural setting, a statistically major difference was established between male and female executives, in terms of duration of the experience and managerial rank. In general, female executives exhibited a greater ability to fine-tune and accept different cultures.  Period of administrative work experience in a diverse-cultural society also symbolized easier conformity. The finding is self-explanatory, as experience maintains a better modification and acculturation. For the third factor, readiness to study about different culture, demonstrated no major difference in the sample group. The dependability of this factor signifies that managerial readiness to be engaged with different cultures is not being viewed by the managers of these hotels as a relevant construct to include. An assumption about this finding is that readiness to study about different cultures may be perceived as not important.  It could also be alleged as insignificant because the managers terror that they are seen as not being ready to engage, and this is not a tolerable behavior in the Dubai environment. They may also be ready to engage and study and hence this factor shows no major disparities in the sample group.

7. Conclusion

The current study work in the perspective of the international hospitality industry in Dubai brings forward the fact that Culturally Intelligent employees and manger are extremely capable of meeting the cultural requirements and expectations of their global customers and improve the productivity of the employees too while jointly working with them in the cross-national grounds.

Managers’ Cultural Intelligence and its significance as a managerial fitness cannot be denied. Dubai five star hotel managers are of the view that they can enhance their Cultural Intelligence capability. The two major scopes of skill building for Dubai managers, who have been dealing with multi-cultural work situations for years are ‘comprehending cultural identity’ of individuals in the work environment and ‘being competent to adapt’ and connect with people from various cultures.


The analysis, which was qualitative, focused on six open-ended questions, which focused on the acuity of managers on Cultural Intelligence.

 1. Question 1: If an employee from a different culture invites you to a ceremonial-dinner and you realize that the food might be dissimilar to what you are used to.  What are you going to do?

2. Question 2: What was your most exciting moment in having to work with individuals from different cultures?

3. Question 3:  My most discomforting moment in having to work with individual from a different culture was.

4. Question 4: What are your objectives as a manager when particularly dealing with a multi-cultural group?

5. Question 5: Are you vigorously trying to study about other cultures?  If yes, how?

6. Question 6: In having to work with individuals from different cultures, I would like to have a feedback on this process:


This questionnaire was used to assess the employees, customers, together with the managers’ take on Cultural intelligence.

General Information

Male                                        Female

Job Group

Manager                                  Employee


Years worked at the Hotel

Less than five years                Between five and tem                         Over ten years

CQ Strategy

                                                                                                            Strongly          Strongly

                                                                                                            Disagree         Agree

MC1                Cultural knowledge consciousness while interacting       1      2     3     4      5


 individuals from various cultural backgrounds

MC2                I amend my knowledge on culture as I mingle with        1      2     3     4      5

individuals from a different culture

MC3                I am aware of the cultural facts I apply to cross-cultural   1      2     3     4      5


MC4                I confirm the cultural knowledge when interacting with    1      2     3     4      5

individuals from unfamiliar cultures

CQ Knowledge

CQK1             I understand the economic and legal systems of                1      2     3     4      5

different culture

CQK2             I understand the rules of various languages                       1      2     3     4      5

(like the grammar and vocabulary)

CQK3             I understand the religious beliefs and values of                 1      2     3     4      5

different cultures

CQK4             I understand the marriage system of various cultures                     1      2     3     4      5

CQK5             I understand the rules of non-verbal expression                 1      2     3     4      5

behaviors of various cultures

CQK               I need to study about various cultures                                             1      2     3     4      5

CQ Motivation

MT1                I take pleasure in interacting with individuals from            1      2     3     4      5

various cultures

MT2                I am certain that I can freely mingle with the local             1      2     3     4      5

from a culture that is strange to me

MT3                I am certain that I can manage the challenges of                 1      2     3     4      5

adapting in a new culture

CQ Behavior

BE1                 I adjust my verbal behavior if cultural relations                 1      2     3     4      5

demands it

BE2                         I gauge the speaking rate if the cultural relation demands it.  1      2     3     4      5

BE3                         I can adjust my facial expression if the cultural relation            1      2     3     4      5

 requires it.