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Cross-Cultural Competence in Army Leaders: A Conceptual and Empirical Foundation

Military operations increasingly require Army leaders to anticipate the actions of, interact with, and influence individuals and groups whose cultural context differs widely from their own. The Army and other Services have responded by increasing the availability of language and regional training. These efforts develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and interact with a particular population in a particular location. However, full- spectrum operations demand a broader cultural capability, whereby Army leaders are able to adapt successfully to any cultural setting. Meeting this capability will require the development of culture-general knowledge and skills as a necessary complement to language skills and regional knowledge. This report presents a framework for cross-cultural competence in Army leaders, reviews empirical research on predictors of intercultural effectiveness, and describes existing measures of cross-cultural competence and related constructs.