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The Intercultural Competency Scale

Muriel I. Elmer originally began work on the Intercultural Competency Scale (ICS) for her Ph. D. research at Michigan State University. Today the ICS is an empirically tested instrument designed to measure characteristics predictive of intercultural effectiveness identified in many earlier research studies.

During its' development, the ICS underwent several rigorous field-tests to assure validity. In the final field-test expatriates in 30 countries were asked to complete the ICS questionnaire. Each response was then correlated with three performance criteria as measured by their supervisors. The three performance criteria were personal adjustment, task effectiveness and relationships with national counterparts.

The ICS is a 45 item questionnaire that can be completed in 20 minutes. The scores are broken down into 12 factor scores and one total score. These factors reflect behaviors and attitudes necessary for intercultural success and allow for an estimate of a person's strengths and weaknesses. No one person is strong in all of them. Click on Interpreting the ICS for a description of the factors and total score. Further information about what the scores mean is available by clicking on The Facts. Several organizations and schools use the ICS to assess and advise short-term and long-term candidates for international assignment.

Currently, the Intercultural Competency Scale is available to people who are attached to an institution that has contracted with us for this service. Please visit our Contact us us page and send us your questions and comments. Our driving concern is to help people make the best transition from one culture to another and be able to perform effectively once they have arrived.

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