Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Dr. Patricia Davis-Wiley

Committee Members

Dr. John R. Ray, Dr. Jeffery P. Aper, Dr. Robert C. Maddox


Colleges and universities have taken steps to add international dimensions to their business curricula and programs with which they expect to positively impact students’ cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them to function effectively in the global arena. Since limited research had been done on identifying cross-cultural competencies that graduate business courses would produce as intended outcomes, this study was a first step to identify and reach consensus on the cross-cultural competencies considered essential for inclusion into international management curricula at the university graduate level. Specifically, this study sought to answer the following two research questions:

(1) What cross-cultural competencies are currently taught in international management courses, as presented in international management textbooks adopted by the leading graduate international business programs in the United States?

(2) In the opinion of the Delphi panel of experts, what cross-cultural competencies are essential for inclusion in international management curricula and teaching at the university/college graduate level?

A three-phase research design was employed to carry out the purpose of the study and to provide answers to these research questions. First, the textbooks in the field of international management were identified. Second, an analysis of chapter headings and subheadings for the identified textbooks provided a basic list of content statements. Then, these content statements were converted into competencies statements and organized into seven thematic groups. In order to validate and reach consensus on the identified competencies, a modified Delphi survey was conducted. Two rounds of the Delphi technique were implemented and produced the final list of cross-cultural competencies. The experts came to consensus on 23 of the 49 competencies evaluated. The identified competencies provided a list of desired outcomes which should be incorporated into international management curricula to provide effective preparation of business students for future management positions in the global arena.

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