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Promoting Cultural Intelligence in Business Education

See how three business schools encourage awareness of international business and culture through their Innovations That Inspire.

Business schools around the world recognize the importance of internationalizing their curricula, as well as providing international learning experiences for students, faculty, and staff so they can be relevant and effective at preparing the world’s future business leaders. Three schools share unique ways that they take this notion a step further, by creating environments that prepare individuals to be more aware of international realities, as well as to be nimble and effective in multicultural environments.

Cultural Intelligence for the Whole School

IESEG School of Management (France)

IESEG School of Management considers itself to be a truly international school, largely due to its internationally diverse students and faculty population. However, the school aims to go beyond achieving international numbers and promoting success through activities and programs that help it become an intercultural school, as communicated through its mission: To educate managers to be inspiring, intercultural, and ethical pioneers of change. The school develops cultural intelligence through cross-disciplinary curricular modules focused on cultural intelligence (CQ). Students engage in compulsory and optional cultural development experiences, such as through the Cultural Diversity Passport, which includes self-assessments, peer activities, projects, and other opportunities for earning badges or certificates showing achievement of CQ competencies.

CoB Global Experiential Learning

Frostburg State University, College of Business (United States)

At Frostburg State University, the College of Business Global Experiential Learning (CoB GEL) program aids students, faculty, and staff in developing a sense of global citizenship and ability to participate in global business environments. Recognizing that business is global and that many students’ career paths will require that they work in international locations, with local and international companies, and in multicultural groups, the CoB GEL aims to develop students who are able to adapt to various challenges and work effectively in various cultures. The activities of CoB GEL include sponsored study abroad trips, on-campus events, in-class presentations, and professional development learning experiences. The CoB GEL also supports faculty and staff development by advancing knowledge on global issues related to business and business education, and by supporting global experiential learning activities within the CoB.

The UNIQUE Center

Birla Institute of Management Technology (India)

The Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) realized that, to fulfill its mission and vision to equip students for global business leadership and develop faculty as global thought leaders, its internationalization strategy—specifically with its European partners—needed to include a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding of European and Indian higher education systems. The UNIQUE Center was established to help promote international collaboration and exchange with EU higher education partners. It also provides information to students on topics around international exchange, such as credit system equivalencies, destination selection, scholarship information, host country information, and questions related to overcoming language and cultural barriers. The UNIQUE Center’s role as an information hub for all things on international exchange aims to promote collaboration and quality in higher education comparable with European standards in higher education.

About Innovations That Inspire

Since its launch in 2016, Innovations That Inspire has collected 840 innovative practices across a variety of themes and areas within business education. For each challenge year, a selection of innovations is featured at the International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM). Further, current members of AACSB’s Business Education Alliance have the ability to browse through all innovations using DataDirect. AACSB continuously highlights submitted examples in publications, events, presentations, and in other media as examples of business schools doing innovative things that push the boundaries of business education.

Hanna McLeodHanna McLeod is senior manager of research at AACSB International, located in the Tampa, Florida, office.