Ability to adapt constantly to work with different people from diverse cultures and manage the interconnectedness of today’s world are frequently mentioned among twenty-first century skills. Today’s global workplace requires individuals to be sensitive to, to interact appropriately with, and to be able to analyze people with different countries or cultures. To do all this, individuals, whether they are at home in front of their computer or abroad need cultural intelligence.
General concept of intelligence has been around for a long time. However, specific intelligences have been conceptualized in last 50 to 70 years. These include social intelligence, practical intelligence, emotional intelligence and a recent one is cultural intelligence.
Globalization, advancement in information, communitcation, transfortation technologies made the world smaller, and flatter, increased cultural diversity in work place and diversity in student base at schools.These changes called for another type of intelligence to understand why some people are better at interacting effectively in multiple cultures.
It is defined as multifaceted competency consisting of cultural knowledge, the practice of mindfulness and the repertoire of behavioral skills (Thomas&Inkson, 2004, pp. 182-183). Ability to engage in a set of behavior that uses skills (i.e. language or interpersonal skills) and qualities (i.e. languages or interpersonal skills) and qualities (e.g. tolerance for ambiguity, flexibility) that are tuned appropriately to the culture-based values and attitudes of the people with whom one interacts
Cognition refers to using knowledge of self, social environment and information processing. Cognitive CQ is knowing general knowledge about the norms of a culture. it is information gained from experience and education. For example, if you travel abroad you learn about certain food, or communication patterns. Acquired through educational and personal experiences Metacognitive CQ – individuals conscious cultural awareness during cross- cultural encounters. => To consciously question cultural assumptions and adjust cultural knowledge based on cross- cultural interactions. Motivational CQ – addresses the ability of an individual to direct attention and energy towards learning about appropriate responses and functioning accordingly in cross-cultural interactions. Behavioral CQ – the ability to exhibit appropriate verbal and non-verbal actions when interacting with individuals from different cultures.
CUT The concept of CQ has been widely used in international business literature (Earley, 2002; Earley & Ang, 2003). However, it is not only business world that benefit from culturally intelligent employees, but students of any culture who spent time in online environments and who take online courses with people from different cultures.
While the literature on the value of cultural intelligence grows, little is known about how CQ is developed, especially in virtual environments. It is intuitive that improving young people’s cultural intelligence can benefit them greatly.
Lets take a look at how virtual worlds can have a role in enhancing one’s CQ. Motivation can be enhanced through game-like atmosphere. Multimodality allows for presenting multiple aspects of cultures in virtual worlds.
Importance of non-verbal communications. Non-verbal cues used in Arab world are often different from those used in America or in western Europe. They pointed out the existence of over 200 gestures. Vcom3D has developed a library of culture-specific avatars, gestures and expressions that can be invoked on demand. These libraries consist of over 60 culturally diverse virtual human models as well as 40 facial expressions and 500 gestures, and can automatically lip-sync to over 22 mouth shapes that map to over 100 speech sounds of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
These can increase cognitive CQ as it would increase one’s cultural knowledge
The homely environment of the club is not just the outcome of the Indian seating and the cushions. Much of it is created by the people that manage the place and those who are regular visitors. Whenever I entered the main hall, I was always greeted by everybody in the club. When I was new to the club, everybody wanted to help me with finding whatever I needed. In the beginning a dance pose ball with a group dance was suggested and a couple more people joined to keep me company. In later visits some more single dance pose balls and animations were suggested. The first invitation for a couple’s dance came much later when I became a regular. This seemed like a general culture of the place. Though intimacy with the opposite sex seems to be a definite objective of many, the pace of the experience seemed to suite the sensibility of most of the Indian visitors. When asked why he likes Desi one member mentioned that “ppl are friendly and different from the rest of SL in terms of sex” The values and culture of the place is thus shaped by the Indian values and culture the visitors bring in to the club with them. Another interesting example of this is the way ‘changing of appearance’ is managed by the visitors. Many times, I saw people leaving the club for a bit and coming back with changed clothes. Many of the times it was to dress in appropriate ‘Indian’ clothes to fit in the crowd. I never thought of the phenomenon much till once I accidentally got submerged in the water surrounding the club and saw a girl changing her appearance under water. On another occasion, to try out a new shirt Sara suggested “ask waqas to tp [teleport] you to the tree house”. I did not get a chance to probe for reasons for such a behavior but it was interesting that changing clothes in the club space did not fit in the sensibility of the place. The meaning attached to the place is a complex mix of the structures, objects and open spaces provided as well as of what people bring to it. For example, the beliefs of people about what the place is, what being an Indian means, the behavior which portrays it,
Not all places were equally popular and populated. They also differed in size and motivation for creating the place. The creator of the Desi Beatz mentioned that “We wanted a place for Indian ppl and ppl interested in Indian Culture to come togather [sic] so we built this place”. Since India is a mix of diverse cultures each with its own language, music, dressing style, cuisine, architecture, images, and color schemes, I was interested to see how the places claiming to be ‘Indian’ portray a unified front. I realized that depending on the reference different places had a difference they invoked different images of ‘Indian’. The dance clubs invoked Bollywood culture to show a homogenized ‘Indian’ culture. Bollywood culture here refers to the culture portrayed in the mainstream movies created by film industry in Bombay/Mumbai. The ‘Bollywood as Indian’ phenomenon can be seen starting from the description that appears when you search for the place. Here are snippets of description for Desi Beatz: “… . Bollywood Music [The large collection of Indian Clothes](Saree Salwar Kurta Sherwani Bindi Lehenga Sari Mehendi and other accessories)” and Dhoom the Dance Club: “ Bollywood - The desi destination of SL, Musical fountains, Beach Football, Classic Indian designs and clothing !Come here and check out India !” In both places ‘Desi’ is equated with Bollywood. Interestingly, all the references to the Indian outfits and accessories (eg: Bindi Lehenga Sari Mehendi) are in Hindi, the language of the North Indian states. Except Sari, the clothes are all parts of North Indian and Punjabi culture. In spite of this lop sides representation, the visitors seem to be able to imagine ‘India’ in it, probably due to the mediation of Bollywood. Hindi being the language of Bollywood movies and the images of Lehenga and mehendi being consistence with the extravagant festivities shown in a mainstream Bollywood movie, these images seem familiar enough so as to invoke the memory of home. The portrayal of Bollywood culture continues in the Desi club and Mall. When I teleported to Desi Beatz, the first image I saw was of a larger than life golden doorway decorated with a peacock motif. Through the doorway you can see the impressive chandelier. The central structure of Desi is this closed space with doorways at four sides, the peacock entrance being the Primary entrance. Inside, the music played is primarily from the new Bollywood movies and from the Punjabi pop genre. I did not hear any other regional music during any of my visits.
Animated characters/avatars offer a high level of engagement, through their use of expressive and emotional behaviors, making them intuitively applicable for exploring personal and social issues.
I will presents examples from a project called Dream It Do It (DIDI) to analyze the possibilities of fostering cultural intelligence in 3D virtual environments. Specifically, how members of virtual teams can gain more culturally intelligent thought experiences in virtual worlds such as Second Life.
The Dream It. Do It Initiative (http://www.genv.net/didi) was a partnership in Second Life (SL) between Youth Venture and Global Kids to improve health and healthcare. Youth Venture (www.genv.net), launched in 1996, inspires and invests in teams of young people to design and launch their own lasting social ventures. Global kids (www.globalkids.org) a non-profit organization, aims at developing youth to become global citizens and community leaders. The organization has become one of the pioneers in using virtual worlds in education and leadership. Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the D.I.D.I. Initiative provided young people the seed funding and the support they needed to launch their own ventures that would create lasting community benefits.
As you may have realized enhancing teens’ cultural intelligence was not actually the main objectives of the project, so they are not directly measured. I am looking at CQ as a byproduct of being involved in a project like DIDI
• Workshops and meetings took place in the virtual medium Youth Participate in a series of interactive workshops that explore issues of health and guide them through the process of forming teams and developing detailed action plans for their venture projects Youth identify health-related problems in their community (local, virtual or international) and brainstorm ideas to tackle the problems using their skills and interests • Teens form a team (2+ is a team) • Identify health related problems in the community (social/mental health too) • Meet to develop their plan Present their plan to a panel: Selection Panel of peers and adults who determine whether the team’s venture is ready to launch What is a Venture? • Created and led by youth • Benefits the community • New org., business, or club • Ongoing and sustainable
Here is a screenshot during a workshop where teens connect the problems they have identified with their passions and skills
teams then present their ideas to a Selection Panel of peers and adults who determine whether the team’s venture is ready to launch If the venture is accepted, will receive seed funding of $1,000 Ongoing support of a community to keep ventures going
During the 18 months, DIDI contacted 185 teens out of which 107 attended at least one workshop. 107 (not the same teens) started the venture process. As seen in Fig.3, 37 teams formed out of this process completed an action plan for a venture. This is about 40% success rate. Based on 41 participants from 22 teams
As a result of discussions both during the workshops, while searching team members and writing up action plans, teens learned about each other and how to work with different people which many pointed out that was different from just hanging out in TSL. It was more serious.
Recent research has shown that if teams or individuals working in cross cultural situation can be pursuaded to pay more attention, the performance goes up. Another finding is that, mindfulness in virtual teams tends to be higher than it is in their face-to-face counterparts, although face-to-face contact is an undeniable asset when building a relationship. The virtual context helps people focus and pay attention to the right issues (Maznevski,2008).
There is a growing need for culturally intelligent youth who can function effectively in multi-cultural environments and will be ready for tomorrows’ globally distributed business world in an increasingly ‘‘flat’’ world of globalization (Friedman 2005). There is lack of research on how virtual environments can be used to develop cultural intelligence. Recent research has shown that if teams or individuals working in cross cultural situation can be pursuaded to pay more attention, the performance goes up.
In cross-cultural training, using avatars similar to the users may result in greater attention to the modeled behavior and more effective training. The malleability of identity available through the creation of avatars in virtual worlds should help trainers create avatars that look similar to the trainee. (Proteus Effect occurs when experiences take place via an avatar translate into transformed behavior, such as people who watch their avatars exercise more likely to exercise themselves. Viewing their own avatar should enhance attention to the behavior modeling and reinforce it through direct experiences at the same time. Virtual worlds could help assimilate the new behaviors into more familiar situations that help create mental connections in trainees’ mind. For exmaple, the environment in which the behavior is modeled could be made to resemble a familiar place that brings some level of familiarity to the trainee. Requires successive modeling. In simulations, talking to the same NPC gets repetitive unless there is a big repertuare of topics to talk about/discuss with the NPC. University of Texas is creating simulations to teach people about Afghani culture. Each time players are introduced to new characters. Cross- cultura training in VWs can deliver effective training, cut costs and resource commitment from organizations. Virtual immersiveness and opportunities for multiple experiences can help lessen one’s personal stress in new situations and may help one advance to a deeper understanding of another culture more quickly. Cost effective--------------
Silberstang, J.&London,M.(2009) How Groups Learn:The Role of Communication Patterns, Cue Recognition, Context Facility, and Cultural Intelligence Requires opennes to experience (Ang, Van Dyne&Konh,2006) The fkexibility to adapt self-concepts (Early&Ang,2003) Ability to ask about, discuses and consciously adapt one’s behavior is critical to the acquisition of cultural intelligence.
Culture is persuasive. Everyone, every organization, every region, and every country has a culture. Understanding cultural beliefs, values, and perceptions of other is a key to success, and vice versa. Learning diverse cultural heritage is rewarding, inspiring and empowering. Team work in the increasingly global and diverse workplace is impossible without CQ. “Us” and “Them” cultural programming and divide can be eased through better understanding of their perceptions. Rapport starts with understanding of where the other people are coming from and acceptance of their point of view and style. Exploiting cultural diversity is the key to unlimited innovation and growth. Role playing can be promoted in virtual worlds by providing youth avatars from different cultures and a handbook of clues for communication with people from different cultures. They further ask ‘What if the avatars of all team members appeared the same?’ They suggest that making all avatars appear the same may help a multi-cultural team build cohesion and trust more easily by reducing perceptions of interpersonal differences. After some initial bonding has taken place, the avatars of team members could “fly together” on a multi-cultural tour to introduce team members to the artifacts and peculiarities associated with the different cultures represented in the team. When the team has to generate new ideas, the team leader could place the team in a fantastical environment to stimulate creativity. The bottom line: there are many possibilities for interacting and working in virtual worlds that are not possible in face-to-face meetings. To address the challenges faced by virtual teams, their leaders need to think creatively about how they can use virtual worlds instead of trying to replicate face-to-face meetings.
Selen Turkay firstname.lastname@example.orgTeachers College, Columbia University
Cultural intelligence What is it? Why do we need it? Virtual worlds for fostering cultural intelligence Cultural intelligence in context - D.I.D.I Initiative Discussion and Conclusion
Background IQ SQ (Thorndike&Stein, 1937) PQ (Sternberg, et al., 2000) Theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983) EQ (Coleman, 1995) CQ (Ang&Earley, 2003) Intelligence is more than cognitive ability (Sternberg et al, 1986)
Background/CQ Globalization, advancement in information, communication, transportation, logistic => Smaller and flat world (Friedman, 2005) => increased cultural diversity in work place => increased cultural diversity in student base at schools.
Background/CQ An individual’s capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity (Ang, Van Dyne, & Koh, 2005; Earley & Ang, 2003; Earley & Mosakowski, 2005). Allows individuals to understand and act appropriately across a wide range of cultures (Thomas, 2006).
Background/CQ Poor CQ leads to stereotyping, unnecessary conflict, delays and leadership failure. High levels of CQ leads to strong mastery and sense of emotional display and physical presence. People with high CQ are very good at getting along with people from other cultures (Thomas, 2006) Necessary for those aim to work in foreign markets. Related to interpersonal trust, acceptance and integration by other team members and development of a global identity(Shokef &Erez, 2008)
Background/CQ Language acquisition Diversity of social contacts International work/studying abroad experiences (Shannon&Begley, 2008)
Background/Virtual Worlds Content Artifacts (i.e. clothing, environment…) Multi-modality See pictures and graphics Hear language, music Read Immersive Avatars Gestures, Animations
Background/Virtual Worlds Virtual forbidden city – immersive replica of Forbidden City in Beijing (a partnership between the Palace Museum and IBM) Simulations to train soldiers to get familiar with Arab cultures- funded by Department of Defense. (Taylor&Sim,2009) Cultures in Second Life
Background/Virtual Worlds IBM uses SL for hosting employee meetings, conduct employee training and even evaluates managers on their cross-cultural/geography skills. Useful in connecting people around the globe to drive collaboration. IBM has built 12 "virtual islands" in SL Aims to use them to explore how to conduct business in the virtual world.
Background/Virtual Worlds TURKEY – BOSPORUS IN SL MEXICO
Background/Virtual Worlds • Values of people and belief about the place • Greetings and noob welcome • Intimacy • Changing appearance (Tirthali, 2010)
Background/Virtual Worlds • How to portray ‘Indian’? • Bollywood as the ‘homogenized’ Indian culture “…. Bollywood Music [The large collection of Indian Clothes](Saree Salwar Kurta Sherwani Bindi Lehenga Sari Mehendi and other accessories)” (Tirthali, 2010)
Background/Virtual Worlds User Created Content is Good! Cultural Artifacts ▪ Buildings ▪ Music ▪ Items ▪ Clothing Having Avatars is Good! Animations Gestures Maybe use NPCs if someone cannot be at the place 24/7
Cultural intelligence is not static but evolves continuously through learning from social interactions (Thomas et al., 2008). Therefore, To what extend can virtual worlds foster individuals’ (especially teens’) cultural intelligence? How can we enhance individual’s cultural intelligence in virtual worlds? (Formal training? Role playing? Etc.) What are the affordances of virtual worlds for enhancing individuals’ CQ and how effective are they?
Background/StudyAbout the Project Dream It. Do It Initiative’ http://www.genv.net/didi Project Partners & Funders Global Kids www.globalkids.org Youth Venture www.genv.net Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Background/Study • Examine to what extent a virtual medium can promote youth changemaking • Explore online/offline cross pollination of youth development and changemaking • Determine the extent to which online endeavors affect youths’ mindsets about leadership and initiative • Test whether Youth Venturers could efficiently tip a virtual world from a culture of self-interest to promoting societal good
Background/StudyHow does D.I.D.I. Work? Dream It. Do It. Workshop Setting the ground rules
Background/StudyHow does D.I.D.I. Work? Dream It. Do It. Workshop Youth connecting problems they have identified with their passions and skills
Background/StudyHow does D.I.D.I. Work? When teams are ready to launch, D.I.D.I. provides: • Seed funding (up to US $1,000 per team) • Ongoing tools and support • Peer Mentors to provide expertise and support • A network of fellow Venturers both within and outside of TSL • An identity as part of the global Youth Venture movement (GenV.net) Selection Panel
Background/StudyAbout the Project : Participants & Data Collection Participants in D.I.D.I. – Majority were between 13 and17 years old. – Teens from general TSL population – Teens from after-school programs (organized groups), NY Data Collection – Pre-Post surveys – Action Plans of Teams – Workshop chat logs – will be – Interviews with team leaders – Survey administered to drop-outs Analysis - Deductive and Inductive analysis of data using NVivo 8
StudyFindings: Participants & Ventures In 18 months, DIDI reached 185 youths. 39 teams were formed. 37 teams created an action plan. 35 went to the selection panel. 24 launched ventures. 15 active launched ventures by May 2009. 13 teams had members from different countries. Ventures ranged wide areas spanning preventive health, social health, animal welfare and healthy atmosphere in SL
StudyFindings: What helped with increasing CQ -Searching for a venture idea Goal – to find a common topic Talked about their local communities Hobbies Passions Worries A common venture idea for many international teams were environment (especially climate change) or helping out new TSL residents
StudyFindings: Increased Metacognitive CQ and Motivational CQ • “I liked working with diverse groups and learn about and from them… and I am from Africa” – Global Warming • “It was fun. We learned some about the differences of communities. Also, we always had to consider everyone timezone when we wanted to have meeting, which can sometimes be a hard thing to do.” – Profound Hams • “It was interesting as I had the privilege of socializing with people from other cultures….I would like to do that more in the future…” – Motion Mall • “…there are others in the worlds who wants to do good things like I do. ” - Above It
StudyFindings: Increased Metacognitive CQ “Expressing certain opinions or ideas among a team can be far more challenging compared to working alone, especially in a virtual world... It was not easy but we were able to agree on things” –Motion Mall “You can access the large community of people around the world. It’s fun to work with them” – A New Tomorrow
Conclusion/DiscussionDiscussion: Strength & Weakness of this study S- Finding evidence of increased motivational and metacognitive CQ. W - Did not use a test to measure (like Ang et al.(2007)’s 4 factor 20 item CQ inventory). W -Studied CQ as a byproduct of the project. What happens if the aim is to increase participants’ CQ?
Conclusion/DiscussionDiscussion: Future Studies? Mindfulness in virtual teams tends to be higher than it is in their face-to-face counterparts, although face-to-face contact is an undeniable asset when building a relationship. The virtual context helps people focus and pay attention to the right issues (Maznevski,2008). Need for projects to explore potential of virtual worlds for fostering CQ. Need for a more robust study focuses on enhancing CQ with more robust measurements. Need for culture inventories Animations, clothing, avatars
Conclusion/DiscussionDiscussion: Future Studies – Emphasize Experiential Learning Experiential learning is needed to form behavioral patterns which support cultural intelligence. Cases, role plays simulation Understanding why a positive or a negative outcome occurred and how to repeat or avoid this outcome in the future is part of a life-long learning process-
Conclusion/DiscussionDiscussion: Future Studies – Emphasize Social Learning Theory People learn new behaviors through not only their own experiences and the results of those experiences but also through observing the behaviors and consequences of others. Social learning theory describes 4 elements necessary for learning : Attention Retention Reproduction Motivation
Conclusion/DiscussionConclusion: Virtual Worlds Initial qualitative analysis of data provided evidence that virtual worlds can be effective in improving individuals’ CQ.
Conclusion/DiscussionConclusion • Increased globalization across most industries has prompted observers to pay attention to the need for augmenting cultural intelligence in workers. • Exploiting cultural diversity is the key to unlimited innovation and growth. Virtual worlds offer unique possibilities for a virtual team leaders to think differently (Kahai et al., 2007).
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Selen Turkay email@example.comTeachers College, Columbia University