The aim of the project is the validation of an innovative and holistic model including suitable measuring instruments for the assessment of intercultural competence, which can be applied in context-specific cultural overlapping situations as well as in culturally universal scenarios.
In addition, the concrete goal of this project includes five subgoals:
Subgoal 1: Review of a measurement approach for measuring intercultural competence.
Subgoal 2: Review the construct validity of the competence structure model of intercultural competence.
Subgoal 3: Check transferability to different target groups, check external validity.
Subgoal 4: Derive implications for intercultural competence development for specific target groups.
Subgoal 5: Compilation of a test battery for target group-specific diagnostics and promotion of cross-cultural and culture-specific intercultural competences.
In this project, the following questions are also addressed:
- Is the to be recorded competence structure model of intercultural competences valid with its differentiation regarding culture-specific and cross-cultural sub-competences (construct validity)?
- Can the expression of intercultural competence predict successful behavior in intercultural situations (prognostic validity)?
- Can this be transferred to practical requirements (external validity)?
- What specific abilities and skills distinguishes Intercultural Competence from other competences such as communicative competence, team competence, social competence (discriminant validity)?
The validation project and its main aim is divided into individual work packages for better illustration and control.
The focus of the research is to examine cross-cultural and culture-specific facets of intercultural competence. Within work package 1, questionnaires will be collected on those facets by the use of expert interviews and the Critical Incident Technique.
Work package 2 includes the development and implementation of suitable measuring instruments - both as an online survey instrument and as a paper-pencil survey instrument. In addition, adapted solutions for students, employed and unemployed persons will be developed.
The aim of work package 3 is to test validity criteria of the competence structure model for different target groups by checking, among others, construct validity, convergent validity to the Cultural Intelligence Scale and culture-specific competences for Germany.
Work package 4 is dedicated to the verification of the external validity of the model. In addition, the diagnostics and support tools will be made available free of charge via the website for all target groups.
Work packages 5 and 6 accompany the project from the beginning. The aim of these is the documentation and exploitation, presentation of results, monograph as well as project controlling and evaluation.
International economic interactions and migration make a valid definition, recording and development of intercultural competence simply indispensable. A valid diagnosis of intercultural competence can, for example, determine the state of previous experience and intercultural competence of your own employees, or monitor progress within the framework of systematic training and personnel development measures. For the assessment of potential employees from abroad it is also useful to record intercultural competence in general and for the German cultural area, since the integration of the newcomers will determine to a large extent how successfully or not the employees interact in the new environment.
Therefore, the field of application of the diagnostic procedure is the free economy, but also organizational and personnel development in authorities and educational institutions.
The model of intercultural competences and the diagnostic tools developed for it should be available for personnel selection and development measures as well as for education and studies. The aim is to enable companies to use the tools independently.
The idifferentiation into cross-cultural and culture-specific competencies will be ensured when implementing the model as a diagnostic tool in such a way that it becomes clear to users which competencies are of primary interest depending on the target group. In the area of culture-specific dimensions it will also be possible to measure and evaluate specific competence for the German cultural area. Culturally specific competences of other cultural areas will be defined by further validation steps in the respective cultures following this project. The model will enable companies to record intercultural competences in a new way that has not been possible before. Furthermore, the comprehensive validation offers security in the decision for use in the company, as the validity of the results is ensured.
The competence model can be used by various educational institutions and migrant associations for the purpose of promoting intercultural competences and raising awareness of diversity. The aim is to contribute to far-reaching social changes throughout society. The promotion of intercultural competences serves to improve integration and understanding. The model as well as the tools allow for intensive support in the integration of migrants, as this not only helps to reduce discrimination and stigmatisation, but also promotes equality based on a fair cultural process in personnel selection and development. In the long term, as in the economic sector, the focus is on enabling educational institutions to implement these measures independently.
Due to the increasing cultural diversity of the German population, the concept of intercultural competence is becoming increasingly relevant for occupational fields such as teachers and employees of state and local authorities, since some of these people have immigrated themselves, but also generally come into contact with many different cultures in the course of their teaching or administrative work.
The results are documented as interim and final reports and presented and discussed at national and international congresses. Reflected journal articles will be published in German and Anglo-Saxon languages using the validated measurement instrument. A monograph at the end of the project will be published as an edited volume summarizing the findings.
The publication and presentation of the results will stimulate the continuation of research into cross-cultural and culture-specific intercultural competences in an intensive exchange with experts. Due to the assured validity of the model and the associated diagnostic tools, it is highly probable that other researchers in the field of intercultural competences will use them.
Through validation at the pilot group of students, the model will consider structural and procedural factors of university education, in addition to individual diagnostics. Since the study will be conducted at different locations, inter-university comparisons (benchmarks) will contribute to quality assurance and quality evaluation. These concepts can be used in the respective graduate schools and centers for key qualifications and integrated into educational concepts. This forms the basis for the long-term training of students as competence ambassadors and multipliers of intercultural competences, thus indirectly creating economic and social value.