Cross-Cultural Competence: Leader Requirements for Intercultural Effectiveness in the Human Domain
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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U.S. strategies focus on conducting increased engagement, and building of relationships and strategic partnerships around the world. The Army has organized regionally-aligned forces designed to provide to the combatant commander a force with enhanced understanding of the cultures, geography, languages, and militaries of the countries where they are likely to be employed, and an ability to impart military knowledge and skills to others. However, experience from recent conflicts has shown the need for more culturally-adept personnel. This paper examines the framework of individual cross-cultural competence, application to Army leaders and doctrine, and relevance to strategy. The Army has well-developed language and regional expertise training programs, but falls short on developing cross-cultural competence as an individual capability. Research shows that specific individual culture-general knowledge, skills, attributes, and affectmotivation KSAs are a greater indicator for cross-cultural effectiveness than language and regional expertise. These KSAs support adaptability, a necessary characteristic for Army leaders, and can be trained and developed. Army leadership doctrine should update to include these KSAs. Further, within the human domain, culture is operationalized when Army leaders use these KSAs aided by language and regional expertise during intercultural encounters to successfully influence others as necessary in order to achieve mission success.
- Administration and Management
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations