Effect of Prior International Experience on Cultural Intelligence Level and Cross-Cultural Adjustment Among Temporary Project Team

  • Li Ping Yow Department of Surveying, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Sungai Long Campus, Jalan Sungai Long, Bandar Sungai Long Cheras 43000, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7569-2505
  • Fah Choy Chia Department of Surveying, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Sungai Long Campus, Jalan Sungai Long, Bandar Sungai Long Cheras 43000, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5875-4858
  • Wah Peng Lee Department of Surveying, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Sungai Long Campus, Jalan Sungai Long, Bandar Sungai Long Cheras 43000, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9177-5415
Keywords: Construction expatriates, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, prior international experience, temporary project team


Globalisation is no longer a new phenomenon in recent years. Many businesses employ eligible expatriates to work in their organisations, including the construction sector. The ability of an expatriate to adapt effectively across cultures is commonly referred to as cultural intelligence (CQ) and cross-cultural adjustment (CCA). Both are cited as essential factors for expatriate performance in the international workplace. Nevertheless, the interrelationship between the CQ of the international construction project team and CCA has mostly been ignored. Hence, this study intended to explore the correlation between CQ and CCA levels among construction expatriates and further investigated the effect of prior international experience on their CQ and CCA level. Spearman rank correlation and Mann-Whitney U test were conducted on the 191 responses accepted. The results revealed their CQ has positively and significantly correlated with CCA, i.e. general, work and interaction, particularly in motivational CQ. Moreover, expatriates' prior international experience in the study domain could lead expatriates to a lower CQ and a lower adjustment level. Respondents with prior international work experience had a higher CQ level. However, the longer the period of previous international work experience, the weaker the cognitive CQ and behavioural CQ. This study can contribute to the predictors affecting the outcome of international assignments that can be employed to select the right applicants to fit into a multicultural project team in the construction industry.


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How to Cite
Yow, L. P., Chia, F. C. and Lee, W. P. (2022) “Effect of Prior International Experience on Cultural Intelligence Level and Cross-Cultural Adjustment Among Temporary Project Team”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(6), p. e001579. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v7i6.1579.