Essays on Cultural Intelligence as the Key Cross-Cultural Construct - Lenovo Case Study

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The paper 'Cultural Intelligence as the Key Cross-Cultural Construct - Lenovo " is a good example of a management case study. This essay is based on a cross-cultural construct emerging from the case study of how Lenovo handled its transition from a local Chinese company to a global company following its merger with IBM. Although there are several issues in relation to the culture that can be seen from the case study, one important thing that is addressed in detail in this essay is the issue of cultural intelligence in general and how it affected the process of transition of the company following the merger with IBM.

This issue is addressed under three subheadings in this essay as follows. In the first section, an outline of its emergence, as well as further developments based on research, is presented. This is followed by an analysis of the different ways in which cultural intelligence is applicable to contemporary global organisations. Lastly, a brief outline of the criticism that the construct has encountered from researchers and practitioners alike is presented. Throughout the essay, it is argued that cultural intelligence in general and differences in norms and values between different cultures, in particular, played a key role in causing the difficulties experienced by the company, worsening the extent of the aftermath and thereafter, determining how well the company managed to recover from the negative effects following the merger. The emergence of the construct of cultural intelligence In essence, cultural intelligence can be defined as a system that is composed of knowledge and skills which are linked by cultural meta-cognition that help people understand, adapt to and shape different aspects of culture that belongs to others (Earley 2002, p.

273). Therefore, cultural intelligence is seen as the capacity to collect and use information, draw conclusions from the gathered information and initiate actions based on the conclusions drawn within the context of interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds (Rahim & Golembiewski 2005, p. 222). Essentially, cultural intelligence can be seen in terms of three key elements: cultural knowledge, cultural skills and cultural meta-cognition (Thomas et al. 2012, p. 157). These are described as follows. To begin with, cultural knowledge, which refers to the ability to recognise, understand and appreciate differences between cultures, is the core element of the construct of cultural intelligence.

This is because it helps individuals to understand and evaluate the behaviour of others (Thomas et al. 2012, p. 158). There are basically two forms of knowledge that make up the element of cultural knowledge. The knowledge that is gathered by individuals about cultures, interactions among individuals in the society and overall history differs from procedural knowledge which essentially entails knowledge that one accumulates as a result of a response to the effects of the culture upon individuals. The second element of cultural intelligence that has emerged in the course of research is cultural skills.

There have been several different dimensions as to how cultural skills help individuals appreciate their own culture as well as that of others. One dimension has been based on the idea that individual characteristics determine the ability of people to acquire cultural intelligence as a whole (McRae 2012, p. 3). This implies that the personality traits of individuals play a key role in determining what aspects of culture the individuals learn, understand and appreciate.

The second dimension is based on the importance of two factors: information gathering and relationship skills, as being the most important factors that determine the how individuals develop cultural skills (Thomas et al. 2012, p. 167).

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Thomas, D C, Stahl, G, Ravlin E C, Poelmans S, Pekerti A, Maznevski M, Lazarova M B, Elron, E, Ekelund, B Z, Cerdin J, Brislin R, Aycan Z & Au, K 2012, ‘Cultural intelligence assessment’, in W H Mobley, M Li & Y Wang (eds), Advances in global leadership, Emerald, New York, pp. 15-175.

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