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Monday, February 17, 2014

Cultural and Motivational Intelligence Contributes to Exports



Proper staffing with relevant skills is important to any business. In large firms the export manager should understand the cultures in which he or she is working within. The researchers looked at 153 U.S. companies to determine if an exporting manager’s cultural intelligence impacts the success of the company in engaging in international sales. Such skills allow for greater adaptation through understanding. 

Companies naturally move through marketing-mix adaptations whereby they change the way in which they handle internal and external pressures.  When done well it increases the strategic, financial, and competitive objective achievements into specific markets (Cavusgil & Zou, 1994). Much of this adjustment is based on the manager’s ability to understand the markets and make connections to the people within that market. 

According to Resource-Advantage Theory when firms can deploy the proper mix of financial, physical, legal, human, organizational, informational and relational resources they can become more productive (Hunt, 2000). The human aspects of R-A Theory relate closely to the marketing manager. This requires the skills of the international marketing manager to match with their motivations and metacognitive cultural intelligence to encourage additional product sales. 

Motivational Cultural Intelligence is the ability to continually put forward energy to learn about new cultures and situations where culture is important. It rests on the four dimensions of motivation, behavioral, cognitive, and metacognitive (Ang et al, 2007). It is a process of understanding norms, cultural rules, underlying values, and mental models of other people that can help in negotiations and business. 

When metacognitive CQ is high it contextualizes thinking with sensitivity to the embedded nature of culture and stronger cognitive flexibility that adjusts to changes in the environment (Klafehn, et. al, 2009). This helps managers understand their customers better from the perspective of their culture and create higher levels of business opportunities. It provides a context to the other’s culture and how to relate information to raise the value of products. 

The research found mixed results in terms of performance but does provide support that motivational CQ and metacognitive CQ can understand culture better, are willing to make adaptations, and can enhance strategic thinking within the organization. The study did have a limitation in terms of measuring how much control these managers have over the processes and whether or not any of their suggestions have been implemented. Simply having personnel with strong skills doesn’t mean there is going to be a benefit without some way of ensuring their ideas are heard and strong ideas are implemented.

Ang., et. al. (2006). Personality correlates of the four factor model of cultural intelligence. Group and organizational management, 31 (1). 

Cavusgil,S. & Zou, S. (1994). Marketing strategy performance relationships: an investigation of the empirical link in export market ventures. Journal of Marking, 58. 

Klafehn, et. al. (2009). Navigating cultures: the role of metacognitive cultural intelligences, “in Handbook of Cultural Intelligence: Theory, Measurement, and Applications.” Soon Angand and Linn Van Dyne, eds. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Magnusson, P. et. al. (2013). The role of cultural intelligence in marketing adaptation and export performance. Journal of International Marketing, 21 (4).

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