Examining the role of cultural exposure in improving intercultural competence: implications for HRM practices in multicultural organizations

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This paper examines the relationship between the breadth and depth of cultural exposure (CE), intercultural sensitivity and intercultural competence to draw implications that can improve recruitment and staff development practices in organizations with a culturally diverse workforce. Findings from a survey (N = 214) in Australia support the notion that intercultural competence is a broader concept that requires a deep exposure to other cultures as compared to intercultural sensitivity. The findings suggest that breadth of CE has limited potential whereas depth of CE is more beneficial in improving an individual’s intercultural abilities. Implications are drawn based on the findings of the study such that organizations are able to recruit and develop employees who are truly interculturally inclined and can effectively navigate the challenges of working in today’s multicultural organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1378
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Australia
  • Cultural exposure
  • intercultural competence
  • intercultural sensitivity
  • multicultural organizations

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