Influence of cultural intelligence on employee performance in international humanitarian research organizations in Kenya
Shikanga, Sharon Masitsa
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Currently, the world has become a global community as people are working across cultures, countries, and continents hence the need for firms to take part in cross-cultural and international business. Cultural intelligence has become a device that helps people to interact effectively with people drawn from other cultures. The deficiency of cultural intelligence results in stereotypes, poor relationships, cultural shock and stress. Cultural intelligence has attracted the attention of the academicians and scholars with reference to cross-cultural management research studies. Many studies conducted have observed that cross-cultural intelligence improves employee performance. Presently, there exists limited research to establish the influence of cultural intelligence on employee performance within Kenya in the context of international humanitarian research organizations. Thus, the main purpose of this research was to establish the influence of cultural intelligence on employee performance in the context of international humanitarian research organizations based in Kenya. This was achieved by specifically establishing the influence of metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioral cultural intelligence factors on employee performance. The targeted respondents were 150 employees from 15 international humanitarian research organizations which are underneath the canopy of the consultative group for international agricultural research organizations based in Nairobi, Kenya. A survey design was adopted which was used to generalize the findings representing the entire population. A questionnaire developed by Ang et al. (2007), was utilized to measure CQ and address each of the four CQ dimensions. The questionnaire items addressing employee performance were developed from various literature with additional questions added in. Cronbach’s Alpha results revealed that the questionnaire items exhibited a high level of internal consistency. Descriptive statistics were employed to establish the perceived level of cultural intelligence factors and employee performance. The results regarding metacognitive intelligence revealed that the employees utilize cultural knowledge when associating with individuals from different cultures. Regarding cognitive cultural intelligence, the findings observed that the employees were aware of the marriage, legal and economic systems of other societies. Whereas motivational cultural intelligence the findings established that the employees enjoy living in different cultures and are confident in socializing with people from different cultures. With behavioral cultural intelligence the findings indicated that the employees easily change their verbal behaviors when a cross-cultural interaction demands it. Finally, regarding employee performance the descriptive results revealed that the employees are highly productive, they deliver services efficiently and they produce quality work that is satisfactory. The research investigation used a factor analysis model to condense the questionnaire statements into four factors of cultural intelligence namely; metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioral it also produced a single employee performance factor. Spearman’s rho correlation model and multiple linear regression model were used to establish the influence of metacognitive, cognitive, behavioral and motivation on employee performance. The Spearman’s rho correlation analysis results revealed that all cultural intelligence factors had a positive significant relationship with employee performance though the relationships were weak. The findings of the Multiple Linear regression analysis revealed that the three cultural intelligence variables had a positive significant influence on employee performance except cognitive cultural intelligence which had an insignificant influence on employee performance. The key shortcoming of this research inquiry was the exclusive utilization of questionnaires to collect data. Future studies should consider employing interview guides to collect qualitative information and use secondary sources to retrieve secondary data, in order to triangulate the research findings to deliver a deeper comprehension of the influence of cultural intelligence on employee performance.