How to Improve Communication within an Organization? The Relationship between Cultural Intelligence and Language Competence

  • 1 University of Finance and Administration, Department of Economics and Management, Prague
  • 2 University of Finance and Administration, Department of Languages Prague

Abstract

Objective: This article deals with the effective functioning of an organization in the international context. It focuses on the two key aspects of the communication in this respects: cultural intelligence (CQ), the capacity to operate successfully in the multicultural setting, and the quality of internal communication; it is investigated whether CQ (and its components: metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioural) are rather related to the number of foreign languages or the language proficiency a person (or an employee) knows (has).

Methodology: The sample of 132 undergraduate students of the English and Czech study programs at one private business university in the Czech Republic was used. The Spearman correlation coefficient, Chi–Square test for independence and the one–way ANOVA test (all of them conducted in the statistical program IBM SPSS Statistics 21) are calculated in the paper.

Findings: CQ depends on the quality (the level of proficiency) rather than the quantity (the number) of foreign language skills. This conclusion applies regardless of gender: our data did not confirm that language skills were gender-dependent.

Value Added: Recently a very fashionable cultural intelligence (CQ) construct has been explored in relation to a variety of variables and outputs. Nevertheless, insufficient attention has been given to the relationship between cultural intelligence and language competence so far; moreover, the research has brought contradictory results up to now. This study fills the actual knowledge gap.

Recommendations: It is shown that in terms of the effective functioning in a culturally unknown environment and with a restricted time to learn foreign languages, it is preferable to develop continuously one´s skills in lingua franca than parallel and more superficial studies of several languages.

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