The journey towards cultural competence: first interventions

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paperpeer-review


Graduates worldwide are increasingly entering a global workplace which will require them to operate across national and cultural boundaries. This paper discusses the need to ensure that all students are equipped to work within this increasingly complex multi-cultural environment. It examines the issues which occur in preparing students within a UK Higher Education environment so that they are able to operate effectively within the international work situations in which they find themselves. This research builds on earlier research, which found that the effectiveness of an individual to work across cultural boundaries, in terms of work and communication, was increased by the number of international or intercultural experiences that a person has. Using this as a premise, an intervention was designed which aimed to increase students’ awareness of intercultural differences and their ability to function effectively in multicultural groups. This paper analyses the effectiveness of this highly innovative training intervention. It concludes that it was an effective way of making students aware of some of the issues around cultural competence is groups. In fact, the training was seen as most effective by students in addressing issues round group dynamics. The training obviously changed the outlook of a number students who took part it. There are, however, a number of issues which need to be addressed the re-running the training. These are notably, at what time in a student’s academic career such intervention is given, its integration into the curriculum and managing of student expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 28 Apr 2009
EventHE Academy Business, Management, Accountancy and Finance Subject Centre - Cardiff (UK)
Duration: 28 Apr 200929 Apr 2009


ConferenceHE Academy Business, Management, Accountancy and Finance Subject Centre
CityCardiff (UK)


  • graduates
  • global workplace
  • national boundaries
  • cultural boundaries
  • multi-cultural environment
  • UK Higher Education
  • international work
  • training


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