Cross-culture training is another way of managing diversity in an organisation. It has been the main method used for facilitating effective cross-cultural communication and interaction.

Cross-cultural training was defined as a procedure or practice used to increase an individual’s ability to cope with cross-cultures and perform well in a new cultural environment.

Cross-cultural training contributes in increasing ability of employees to understand culture of others, values and ethos of another culture. It develops the interest to understand employees own background and cultural heritage.

They should feel good about own culture and similar way the employees should accept and appreciate culture of other employees.


Learn about: 1. Meaning and Importance of Cross-Cultural Training 2. Types of Cross-Cultural Training 3. Education and Training Process 4. Education and Training Effectiveness.

Cross Cultural Training: Meaning, Importance, Types, Process and Effectiveness

Cross Cultural Training – Meaning and Importance

Cross-culture training is another way of managing diversity in an organisation. It has been the main method used for facilitating effective cross-cultural communication and interaction. Cross-cultural training was defined as a procedure or practice used to increase an individual’s ability to cope with cross-cultures and perform well in a new cultural environment. Zakaria said that cross-cultural training helps in transition from a home based management local mode to a new suitable cultural mode.

Cross-cultural training contributes in increasing ability of employees to understand culture of others, values and ethos of another culture. It develops the interest to understand employees own background and cultural heritage. They should feel good about own culture and similar way the employees should accept and appreciate culture of other employees.

For example, employees of Indian culture should know and appreciate own culture and further in same way accept and appreciate culture of English and American also. This helps a lot in adjustment with the people of other cultures and many related problems can be avoided.


Keeping in view the advantages of cross-culture training, many companies have established cross- cultural training programmes continue to struggle with understanding the business value and to get benefits of these programs. But still many of them have to start cross-cultural training programme in near future. In absence of this they have adopted the practice of outsourcing of their main activities also.

Despite of its importance, it has been criticized by some of the experts on the grounds that it is insufficient and incomplete so far. It is a waste of time, efforts and money. Keeping both its advantages and criticisms in mind it is concluded that it is fruitful in present time and would be more beneficial in near future.

When people from diverse and conflicting cultures meet and work together, they are provided cross-culture training. They start respecting their own as well as culture of others. They work together for achievement of the objectives of the organisation for which they are working. This develops a healthy work environment and that is beneficial for all concerned.

The importance of cross-culture training is increasing day-by-day and it helps in the following:


(a) Working in different culture countries.

(b) Collaboration for working on one project with teams from other countries of different cultures.

(c) Working of divisions or departments of the company in different countries.

(d) Suppliers from other countries for outsource activities.


(e) Customers located in different countries of different cultures.

(f) When partners and alliances with parties from diversified cultures.

Cross Cultural Training – 5 Different Types

Under the broad umbrella of cross-cultural awareness, education, and coaching fall several minor, but distinct types of training. Each type of cross-cultural training has a single objective to inculcate demonstrable levels of cultural awareness in employees where a common cross-cultural reference point is not present or doesn’t exist at any significant level. Different types of cross-cultural training are there to fulfil the objectives. These can be used individually or in parallel.

These are the following:


Type # (a) Training for Dealing Cross-Cultural Challenges:

Diversity of cultures is creating a lot of challenges and opportunities. The difficult situation is to deal with the challenges and to be become more effective in job performance. The training imparted is with the objective to deal the challenges without any difficulty or less difficulty.

In this type of training the methods, techniques, strategies and practices used in different countries workplace are highlighted. The workforce is made aware regarding those things and in turn can be applied in future working. It explains the challenges arose due to cultural diversity, suggests ways to deal with such challenges and provides possible solution to those challenges so that the effectiveness of cross- cultural teams can be improved.

This would be in a position to create awareness, develop trust and confidence so that the team-spirit is developed among them. This ultimate would contribute to cooperation, smooth working and effective communication.


Type # (b) Training for Diversified Workforce:

Due to globalisation in business activities, a lot of job opportunities are made available across the world. The multinational companies during their business have employed talented employees from different countries. The workforce due to this has become highly diversified. The management faces an uphill task to deal with this diversified manpower.

For that purpose the management is provided training to develop awareness regarding cultural elements, values and behaviour. Human resource management team deals with the people and this training is especially useful for them. With proper knowledge of employees and their cultural background the HR manager finds himself in the position to deal with people from various cultural backgrounds.

This helps a lot in understanding people and contributes in maintaining good relationship at workplace. The peaceful working definitely improves the quantity and quality of the performance.


Type # (c) Training on Specific Country:

This depends on the situation of the business. When a company is having business in a particular country, there is need to know the culture of that country only. Training should be conducted to create awareness of culture of that country only. The training should be provided regarding geographical location, climate, culture, economy, behaviour of people of that countries, consumption pattern, social and moral values, etc.

This would create awareness of managers and help in dealing the customers, clients, partners, employees and consultant. If the knowledge regarding the specific country background is good, then difficulties would not be faced by dealing managers. Their effectiveness on jobs would definitely improve. If proper care not taken regarding this then at every step a lot of difficulties are to be faced and may leads to failure in that country.

This training is mainly for the managers working in that specific country or visiting to that country. This is specially designed for teams and personnel who need to visit overseas countries and interact with clients or teams from foreign cultures. This training covers, in details the particular values, ethos, morals, behaviour and business practices and customs of a particular country or an ethnic group.

Type # (d) Training in Management Practices:

Training is provided to the managerial staff for managing the business activities across the world in diversified cultures and manpower. The different practices, methods, techniques, strategies and philosophy used by management team in different countries are highlighted. There awareness is created so that these can be applied in managing projects across the world.


It enables the management to understand business management activities across the global markets and manage, guide and supervise the cross-cultural teams. This would help in performing the tasks smoothly without any difficulty. The effectiveness of management team over cross-cultural projects would improve definitely.

Type # (e) Training for Conducting Negotiations:

During business activities performed across the world market, the management takes a lot of decisions. For finalizing a deal relating to business they are involved in negotiation. For example, deciding partners, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, dealers, vendors and employees the negotiation process is involved. It is very difficult to deal with negotiation with parties of diversified culture.

In this type of training awareness is creating regarding cultural backgrounds and negotiation skills developed to deal with cross-cultural parties. This training is of a special type and helps to equip with negotiation skills relating to specific culture, negotiating team, clients, customers, employees.

Due to developed negotiation skills the deals can be finalized effectively or settlement can be made by negotiating on terms and conditions applicable to the deals. Without proper negotiation skills the agreements, settlements and deals cannot be finalized properly. Finally these affect the business performance.

Cross Cultural Training – Education and Training Process

Cross-cultural education and training process is a complex process. In it a set of activities are arranged in a logical sequence and the stages or activities involved in are creating cross-culture awareness, providing cross-cultural education, and providing coaching or consultation.


These are explained below:

(a) Creating Cross-Cultural Awareness:

The first step in this process is to create cross-cultural awareness. When employees are working people of different cultures do not know elements of culture of own and of others. They should be educated regarding own cultural factors which affect their own trust, belief, attitude, perception and understanding. Simultaneously, they should know the cultures of others also.

They should be made in a position of compare and contrast between the different cultures. This would develop knowledge base of different cultures of employees. It would be helpful to understand the people and their cultures. It would develop broader view of employees. They would start liking their own culture and take pride in that. Similarly, they like and appreciate the cultures of other employees.

This helps a lot in developing a new organisational culture out of the diversity. This is the need of the hour in globalisation era. This affects on perception, attitude, teamwork, cooperation and performance. If proper care is taken in creating awareness the organisation would be benefited in a number of ways.

For creating awareness properly the managers should have thorough knowledge of different cultures. Cross-culture education is very well helpful for developing better relationship and even for business partnership and alliances.


(b) Providing Cross-Cultural Education:

For diversified workforce the employees are provided education in the field of management in different countries. The objective of this education is to provide knowledge to the employees relating to management of the companies in different countries. It helps to create awareness regarding companies in various countries and cultures manage their employees and projects and business.

It provides knowledge about different strategies, methods and management processes used by various companies in different countries. It provides knowledge about the culture affects on business and people behaviour. It highlights the differences in different countries in these activities.

On the basis of knowledge the comparison is possible and of these areas the best practices, methods, and strategies can be identified and used to affect the business and behaviour of the clients, customers and public as a whole. This becomes very helpful the company which carry-out the business across the borders in international markets.

(c) Providing Cross-Cultural Coaching:

When company is performing its business in different countries of diverse culture, facing may cultural issues to solve. The knowledge of managers is not sufficient to handle it effectively. They need coaching or consultation from experts of that country. If the coaching or consultation is provided then it would bring changes in thinking, attitude, and problem-solving vis-a-vis cross-cultural issues.


If that is not available timely then it may become a bottleneck in cross-border mergers, acquisitions, FDI, and other business activities. For example, Indian companies involved in oil exploration business in African country, the employees are not familiar with African culture and they face a lot of difficulties over cultural issues.

They need help from experts from that country so that the cultural issues can be handled effectively. Different methods for this purpose can be used as per need of the situation. The methods of providing coaching or consultation vary from culture-to-culture.

Cross Cultural Training – Education and Training Effectiveness

The effectiveness of the cross-cultural education and training programme depends on many factors. If proper care is taken by the management in designing, implementation and review of the programme then the effectiveness is going to be high without any doubt. If there are lapses in these activities then definitely there are chances that the effectiveness would go down.

It can be said the deeper the well, cooler the water. It is directly related to care and involvement of management responsible for cross-cultural education and training programme. The effectiveness can be maintained if following points are considered and managed properly and further due to proper management the effectiveness can be improvement with timely adjustment in existing practices.

The factors affecting the effectiveness are the following:


(a) Structure of the Programme:

Structure of cross-cultural education and training programme is to be designed to meet the requirement of business in different countries. The contents of the programmes should be according to the objectives, target group, skills needed, duration, position, responsibility and locations. These points are to be kept in mind to match the requirements.

The programme can be designed for executives, senior managers and top executives located in different countries. The programme can be of foundation, technical, team building, etc. The duration of course should vary with objectives and target group for whom the programme has been designed.

Contents and timing and duration of courses should as per the requirement of the target groups. If proper care is not taken then it may lead to mismatch and objectives of the programme would be defeated. Special care should be taken. In future, through review the programmes can be modified so the effectiveness can improve further.

(b) Continuity of the Programme:

The cross-cultural education and training programmes should be conducted till the objectives are fulfilled. These should not be stopped in between without achieving the objectives. Further one programme should be connected with the other programme in course-curriculum itself. The employees should know which course they are undergoing for a particular duration.

The programme should be completed properly and on completion of the course the candidates should be evaluated and certification should be done. This would improve morale of the employees. If not done so the effectiveness of the whole programme would go down and there would be wastage of time, efforts and money. It should not be taken lightly.

(c) Quality of Programme:

Quality means the pre-decided standards of performance are met properly and give satisfaction to the concerned parties. It can be said quality is defined as fitness for use. When the programme is designed, implemented, evaluated and completed should be as per the pre-decided standards. There should not be any deviation anywhere. If any deviation is there then immediately the remedial actions are to be taken.

The effectiveness of the system should not go down. Quality should be maintained in course structure, course pre-work, content, delivery, evaluation of performance according to standard of excellence. Special efforts should be put to complete the programme without any irregularities. Further, if responsible manager is not satisfied with any area of programme then immediate remedial action should be taken so that in future the effectiveness of the programme can be improved.

(d) Consistency of Performance:

When conducted cross-culture education and training programme the delivery should be proper. From one course to another course the standards of performance should be maintained. The quality is to be maintained. If quality is not maintained properly and regularly then the result would not be achieved. It would not be in a position to develop confidence in candidates.

The objectives of the programme would be defeated if consistency in performance and quality not maintained, Proper care should be taken for future so that effectiveness can be improved. If lapses are there in this the candidates would not take interest in such programmes.

(e) Properly Justified Programme:

The cross-cultural education and training programme can be designed and implemented for creating awareness among employees regarding different cultures, motivating their participation and developing good working environment. The programme should be justified properly.

The justification whether it is required or not, design and implementation for the target group is proper, course contents, training methods, involvement of technology, assessment methods, costs involved, time and efforts needed for completion of the programme. If the answer regarding these points is positive then it should be conducted otherwise not. There should be proper justification and should not face opposition in later stages.

(f) Suitable for Target Groups and Easy to Measure:

The structure of the programme should be designed in such a way that it is meeting the objectives of the programme. It may be for different parties such as – managers, employees both in different locations. The contents, schedule, methods of conducting training programme, duration, etc., should be such that it becomes suitable to the target group to fulfil the objectives of training programme.

Time-to-time it should be adjusted as per the requirements of concerned parties. It should not mismatch to the requirements. It should be designed as tailor-made programme. Further, the impact of it on knowledge, awareness and performance should be measurable. If it is so then only the effectiveness of the programme can be measured and can say whether it is good or poor.

These two things are possible on the basis of feedback from the participants. After getting feedback the programme can be further tailor-made and the effectiveness and results of programme can be measured.

If the management takes proper care regarding the above mentioned points then the effectiveness of the programme would be good. If anywhere any deviation is found in feedback then efforts can be put to improve the conditions. The effectiveness in future also can further improve.