Cultural Intelligence of SME’s Leaders Involved in Internationalization Processes


  • Claus Schreier, Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Luca Macchi Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts



In the globalized world, SMEs' decision makers inevitable face a number of challenges in pursuing their going international process. Success of SMEs ongoing internationalization depends on the capabilities and competencies of individuals that engage in decision making. This research investigates whether or not decision makers develop their cultural intelligence (CQ) while involved in the going international process of the SME they are working for. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is defined as “an individual’s capability to function effectively in situations characterized by cultural diversity”. An online survey was conducted in Switzerland in 2015. The number of returned survey was 75 in total. After filtering for only respondents who completed the survey, 53 respondents are qualified and their information obtained from the survey are used for the analysis. The paper’s quantitative investigation clarifies SME decision makers’ cultural intelligence profile and shows that people who are involved in internationalization decisions have a significantly higher level of cultural intelligence.

Keywords: cultural intelligence, SME internationalization, decision making, leadership capabilities

Author Biography

Claus Schreier, Prof. Dr. rer. pol., Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Head of MBA Lucerne