Bicultural Resourcefulness in Global Management: From Education to Corporate Collaboration

Lisbeth Clausen, Maria Hvass Keita

Abstract


Biculturals are increasingly viewed as a resource in global business. They are effective in multicultural teams, they are great boundary spanners between corporate headquarters and their subsidiaries, and their abilities are acknowl-edged in cross-cultural leadership. This article aims to generate typologies that will help global businesses gain a clearer understanding of the competences that biculturals can offer them. This study explores biculturalism in two set-tings: business education and global corporations. What unique skills and abilities allow biculturals to take advantage of knowledge from two or more cultures? Do they perceive their skills as resources? And how does corporate experience harness bicultural competences? Surprisingly, this study showed that the bicultural students were not aware of their strengths and advantages. In contrast, the corporate study provided ample evidence of how bicultural abilities were acknowledged and leveraged in international business, once bilculturals were established in the workplace. This article presents a theoreti-cal matrix of bicultural competences, based on the concepts of frame switch-ing and meta-cognition. The matrix categories are: 1) bicultural dissonance, 2) bicultural thinking, 3) bicultural action and 4) bicultural competence.

Keywords


biculturalism, business, competence, frame switching, meta-cognition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/cjas.v34i1.5192



Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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