The Impact of Cultural Intelligence on Multinational Leadership: A Semantic Review




Never before the need to function efficiently in multicultural contexts has been more apparent than today as, in our global and interconnected world, cultural intelligence (CQ) has become the central pillar of efficient leadership. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to critically analyze the specific literature on cultural intelligence and its modeling role for performant leadership and to identify gaps or inconsistencies of research employing this concept to contribute to its revamping. Based on a systematic review, we have structured this article into four directions of conceptual clarification, which could improve the current notions and applicability of CQ. The first two sections investigate and present the existing conflicting definitions and models of culture and cultural intelligence and move towards the common ground in our new challenging economic context. The third direction particularly questions the validity of the actual cultural intelligence scales and will try to point the need to develop new adapted measuring tools. The last one focuses on the limitations and new influencing factors of the link between cultural intelligence and efficient leadership, considering that globalization, the digital revolution, immigration, circular economy, or artificial intelligence are shaping a new operating business model. Our conceptual research is based on a systematic approach to literature and a critical analysis of the main concepts and ideas dealing with cultural intelligence. The findings, regrouped around inconsistencies, show that the new economic reality might impact the existing academic theories regarding the link between cultural intelligence and multinational leadership. The research limits are bordered by emotional intelligence (EQ), an individual parameter, and main leadership success factors. However, our present work will develop an understanding of the cultural intelligence impact on multinational leadership and opens the gate for future research questions and challenges arising from this study's findings.


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How to Cite

PAIUC, D. (2021). The Impact of Cultural Intelligence on Multinational Leadership: A Semantic Review. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 9(1), 81–93. Retrieved from