A comparison of two models explaining the same phenomenon : a comparative analysis of cultural intelligence and the integrated model of intercultural communication competence
The present study compares the model of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) with the Integrated Model of Intercultural Communication Competence (IMICC). Both models explain the phenomenon of intercultural competence (ICC) but were developed in different disciplines. This study is motivated by similarities that have been discovered on a superficial level between the two models, the criticism of some CQ scholars that CQ is a cleaner construct than ICC models (e.g. Ang & Van Dyne, 2008), and the difficulty of developing instruments that are coherent with its conceptual definition (Blalock, 1982). This study is driven by the need to develop coherent, reliable, and valid models and instruments, especially in today’s importance of assessment instruments. Results of the comparative analysis suggest that both models incorporate a similar view on explaining ICC, which points out the interrelatedness of both disciplines. It also confirms the notion that conceptualisations of ICC are often reinvented (Spitzberg & Changnon, 2009). The analysis also highlighted several flaws of both models. The models were tested in two countries, but the authors claim them to be applicable across cultures. Moreover, many items of both instruments are not coherent with their conceptual definition, which impairs the validity of the instruments. The analysis also demonstrated that the criticism by CQ scholars towards other ICC model is not justified as CQ features inconsistencies as well. The study demonstrated that the conceptualisation of ICC and CQ has to go beyond the common but limited approach of focussing on the individual and several dimensions. It is important to incorporate aspects that help to better reflect the actual communication process. Interdisciplinary research can assist in this quest, as it can lead to integrating and combining different approaches and methods, and eventually to building a more complete model of ICC (Cummings & Kiesler, 2005). Implications for future research also are that assessment instruments need to be developed carefully to ensure their validity and reliability, as an invalid instrument can result in the wrong assessment of individuals. ...
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