Understanding the Psychological Traits Affecting Functioning in Foreign Cultures and Performance in Foreign Languages: Application of the Kozai Group’s Global Competencies Index

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Author: Timothy Dean Keeley, Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan
Published: August 2014
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijbm.1.1.01

Citation: Keeley, T. D. (2014). Understanding the Psychological Traits Affecting Functioning in Foreign Cultures and Performance in Foreign Languages: Application of the Kozai Group’s Global Competencies Index. IAFOR Journal of Business & Management, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijbm.1.1.01


Abstract

This ground-breaking empirical study involving the application of Kozai Group's Global Competency Index (GCI) with 86 Chinese Students in Japan elucidates the importance of certain personality traits that modulate ability to succeed in business and other goal-oriented activities in foreign cultures and success in performing in oral performance in foreign languages. Fourteen of the 16 GCI dimensions were strong predictors of oral/aural performance in Japanese among the 86 Chinese subjects. The results indicate that the vast majority of the personality traits represented by the GCI, which have been validated in terms of enabling successful cultural adaption for optimal performance in global business, also facilitate oral/aural performance in foreign languages.

Adaptation to foreign cultures and acquisition of proficiency in foreign languages often prove to be key factors in determining the degree of success in a foreign assignment or long-term cross-cultural business relationship. Kozai Groups GCI has been widely used as a predictor of ability to function in foreign cultures and is especially applicable to screening candidates for long-term assignments abroad. This empirical study demonstrates that the same psychological traits that facilitate cultural adaptation also facilitate performance in foreign languages. This knowledge can form the basis for introspection and training programs for improving cross-cultural competences and cross-cultural communication. The key to understanding the reasons behind the sentiment of the statement "I am just not good at speaking foreign languages" and how to overcome this state of mind is provided.

Keywords

global competency index, foreign languages, cross-cultural communication