Cross-Cultural Intelligence (CQ): its impact on British expatriate adjustment on international construction projects

Ashwini Konanahalli, Lukumon Oyedele, John Spillane, Ron Coates, Jason Von Meding, John Ebohon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the facets of cultural intelligence (CQ) (cognitive, meta-cognitive, motivational and behavioural) and the dimensions of cross-cultural adjustment (interaction, general and work adjustment).

– Interviews and questionnaire survey were carried out with British expatriates from the architectural, engineering and construction sector. A total of 191 respondents, with experience from 29 different countries, actively participated in this research. Structural equation model was subsequently developed to investigate the relationship between elements of CQ and cross-cultural adjustment.

– Results of structural equation modelling revealed that collectively all the four aspects of CQ have significant influence on general, interaction and work adjustment, particularly motivational and cognitive CQ. Cognitive CQ which empowers the expatriates with in-depth knowledge about different cultures was a significant predictor of interaction and work adjustment, whereas, motivational CQ is a significant predictor for general and work adjustment. However, no support was gathered for meta-cognitive and behavioural aspects of CQ.

Practical implications
– Globally, construction companies and projects are entering an era of increased internationalisation which has prompted the migration/promotion of British construction professionals to different parts of the world for their specialised capabilities and skills. Thus, it is of utmost importance that these professionals adjust to their new world of varied culture and still be productive in their work.

– An understanding of these essential factors can actually help British construction organisations to select and mentor individuals and to provide necessary training for successful international assignments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-448
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural Intelligence, British expatriates, Cross-cultural adjustment,International Construction


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