Investigating Strategies for Developing Cultural Intelligence: A Creative Learning Experience to Enhance Student Transition to a Global Workforce

  • Marco De SistoEmail author
  • Genevieve Dickinson


Employers of university graduates view the development of necessary employable ‘generic’ soft skills as the responsibility of higher education institutions. Amongst such skills, cultural intelligence has received much attention, particularly in Australia, due to the increasing level of cultural diversity characterizing the workforce environment. However, there are limitations and mix results on how soft skills capabilities are developed in university students to ensure their cultural intelligence agility is long-lasting and sustainable in the global workforce. This exploratory study was conducted with students enrolled in the undergraduate course, Human Resource Management at RMIT University to investigate the impact of a new mode of cross-cultural training so to contribute to a more general understanding of the role of cross-cultural training programmes. The chapter outlines a unique extracurricular case study, named Cultural Intelligence Evenings. A paper-based survey was utilized to collect 50 participant responses from the Cultural Intelligence Evenings. The survey employed a combination of response styles that included five-point Likert scales and open-ended responses regarding how and why the cultural Intelligence Evenings influenced student soft skill development. What emerged from the data is that rather than exclusively relying on textbooks in class, which may portray unbalance or biased coverage of different cultural groups, cultural-related activities outside class allow students to come together in a relaxed environment and understand other cultures through sharing personal narratives. Furthermore, the socialization and cultural exposure occurring during the extracurricular evening translates to a positive experience for students, fostering an increased sense of belonging.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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