Assessing Cross-Cultural Competence – Implications for Selection and Training in the Canadian Forces


  1. Piasentin, K.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This report focuses on the construct of cross-cultural competence (3C) in terms of (a) what it comprises, (b) the methodologies that can be used to assess 3C, and (c) the utility of these methods for selection and training within the Canadian Forces (CF). Section 1 provides background information on parallel research pursuits within the CF that were the impetus for this report. In Section 2, conceptual and operational definitions of 3C are discussed. In Section 3, two considerations for assessing 3C are presented: (1) differences in the need for 3C between military and civilian populations (the latter is where the bulk of 3C research has been generated and validated); and (2) the extent to which 3C can be influenced through training, education, or experience. In Section 4, six methodologies for assessing 3C are described: self-report questionnaires/inventories; biodata instruments; situational judgment tests; behaviourally-based interviews; behavioural observations; and assessment centres. For each method, relevant examples of current 3C measures are presented. Section 5 presents practical implications of the available research on 3C with regards to how the CF can make effective use of both selection and training to acquire a cross-culturally competent workforce. Finally, in Section 6, recommendations for future research are provided.

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Cross-cultural competence;conceptual and operational definitions;assessment methods
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2012-067 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2013
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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