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Working in the ‘global village’: The influence of cultural intelligence on the intention to work abroad


  • Remhof, Stefan
  • Gunkel, Marjaana
  • Schlaegel, Christopher


Firms’ international activities require an early identification of potential employees with an intention to work abroad. Based on social cognitive theory the current study examines the influence of prior international exposure and cultural intelligence on the individual intention to work abroad. In particular, we examine the influence of language skills, international experience, and networks abroad on the intention to work abroad through cultural intelligence and the moderating role of cultural distance on this mediated relationship. Utilizing a sample of 518 German business students we show that networks abroad have a direct influence on the intention to work abroad, while cultural intelligence fully mediates the relationship between language skills as well as international experience and the intention to work abroad. Cultural distance moderates this mediation for two of the four cultural intelligence dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Remhof, Stefan & Gunkel, Marjaana & Schlaegel, Christopher, 2013. "Working in the ‘global village’: The influence of cultural intelligence on the intention to work abroad," Zeitschrift fuer Personalforschung. German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 27(3), pages 224-250.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:zfpers:doi_10.1688/1862-0000_zfp_2013_03_remhof

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    international exposure; cultural intelligence; cultural distance; intention to work abroad; self expatriation;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions


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