Essential competencies for cross‐cultural knowledge absorption

D. Christopher Kayes (Department of Management Science, School of Business, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Anna B. Kayes (Department of Management Science, School of Business, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Yoshitaka Yamazaki (The International University of Japan, Niigata, Japan)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 1 October 2005


Purpose – To describe the competencies necessary for managers to effectively engage in cross‐cultural knowledge absorption. Design/methodology/approach – A comprehensive literature review of knowledge management and cross‐cultural competency research which identifies seven thematic competencies for knowledge absorption. Findings – The study identifies and provides examples of seven cross‐cultural knowledge absorption abilities: valuing different cultures, building relationships, listening and observing, coping with ambiguity, managing others, translating complex ideas, and taking action. Research limitations/implications – The research relies on a single theory of learning and integrates research into a single set of assumptions. The research has not been tested empirically. Practical implications – The paper provides a model to guide managers and others in organizations through successful knowledge transfer and absorption efforts including training, development, selection and project planning. Originality/value – The paper integrates diverse and extensive literature on knowledge absorption into a single framework based on how managers learn from experience and suggests competencies for managing absorption efforts.



Kayes, D., Kayes, A. and Yamazaki, Y. (2005), "Essential competencies for cross‐cultural knowledge absorption", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 20 No. 7, pp. 578-589.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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