Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES)

The Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES) was developed specifically to evaluate the competencies critical to interacting effectively with people who are from cultures other than our own. This instrument is used primarily by non-profit organizations, including government agencies and educational institutions for:

  • Pre-and post- measurements for changes in intercultural competencies (used in higher education for accreditation purposes)
  • Global management, human resource management, cross-cultural communication, and diversity courses to increase student awareness and self-analysis for improvement
  • Intercultural competency needs assessment for training design or organizational diversity initiatives

The competencies assessed by the IES evaluate how well individuals work and interact with people who are culturally different from them (national culture, gender, generation, ethnic group, religious affiliation, etc.

The IES focuses on three dimensions of intercultural effectiveness. These three dimensions are combined to generate an Overall Intercultural Effectiveness Score, which is reported in a 22–page individual feedback report. This report includes analyses of the dimension scores, explanations of scoring profiles, and personal development planning for intercultural effectiveness. The three dimensions of the IES are summarized below.

1. Continuous Learning

This dimension assesses interest and general curiosity about people from other cultures as well as interest in gaining better self-understanding. To appreciate and understand those who are different from us, we need to be willing and motivated to learn about them and their culture. In addition, to set a good foundation for interacting effectively with them, we also need to understand ourselves well, including our values, beliefs and behavioral tendencies.

2. Interpersonal Engagement

This dimension evaluates interest in understanding other peoples and places in the world and developing and maintaining relationships with people who are different from us. Developing positive relationships with people who are not like us depends in large part on our interest in learning about and from them. The more we learn about the world around us, other peoples, their backgrounds, the issues they face, and so forth, the more we are able to effectively work with people who are culturally different from us

“We use these assessments because we have received significant feedback from the employers who hire our students that they would like to hire individuals who have the skill to work across difference, whether working within their home country or abroad. Employers find that teamwork is enhanced by global competence. After reviewing multiple assessments related to the development of a global mindset, the IES stood out as having a strong theoretical foundation with practical application opportunities.”

Amy Wallis, Ph.D.;
Wake Forest University School of Business

3. Hardiness

Interacting with people who differ from us culturally entails psychological effort. This effort, in turn, often produces varying levels of stress, uncertainty, anxiety, and sometimes fear. To interact effectively with those who are different from us requires an ability to cope with these psychological and emotional stresses. Coping can be accomplished by having a natural resilience to stress and also by better understanding the nature of the differences. Understanding differences increases our confidence, enables us to find more common ground, and decreases the psychological effort involved when interacting with people who differ from us.

*The IES is available in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

The IES evaluates competencies critical for effective interaction with people from different cultures. The IES is designed for higher education faculty and administrators, trainers, consultants, and coaches who want to expand their abilities to work with students in university programs as well as lower level managers or employees in profit and nonprofit organizations to develop intercultural effectiveness or competencies.