Multicultural Skills Critical in Global Market

Nov. 21, 2008
Over next five years 30% of corporate leaders will be recruited globally says new study.

Iternational work experience is a crucial criterion for leadership in a global organization, according to a survey conducted by RW3, an online intercultural training organization and ORC Worldwide, a human resource consulting firm.

"During the current liquidity crisis, we've seen yet again how the global economy is entirely interconnected and how international cooperation is critical for the world's economic well being," says Michael S. Schell, CEO of RW3. "Understanding and appreciating how things get done in countries around the world is crucial for success."

Respondents to the survey were primarily from U.S. headquartered companies doing business globally. They represented a cross-section of international businesses ranging from multinationals in Fortune's Top 10 to smaller companies.

Key results of the survey included:

Global corporations recognize that their senior leaders need cultural skills:

  • 21.5% are born in countries outside their company's headquarters country
  • 28.5% have international experience
  • 28.6% have worked and lived in another country
  • In the next five years, organizations expect that nearly 30% of corporate leaders will be recruited globally.

Cultural skills are essential to business success in the global marketplace:

  • 75% indicated cultural implications of business decisions are sometimes or always considered when making business plans
  • 57% indicated that culture plays a very important role in the success of the organization's business mission.

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