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Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals Hardcover – August 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Succeeding in today's global economy requires organizations to acquire, develop, and retain professionals who can operate effectively around the world, irrespective of country or culture. More than ever before, organizations need a pipeline of professionals who possess cultural agility—the ability to quickly, comfortably, and successfully work in cross-cultural and international environments.

Filled with illustrative examples from a wide range of organizations, including the Peace Corps, the U.S. military, and many Fortune 500 companies, Cultural Agility offers business leaders and human resource professionals a step-by-step guide for creating and implementing highly effective, cutting-edge talent management practices to increase cross-cultural competence throughout their organizations. Validated through several years of her research and practice, Paula Caligiuri outlines the "Cultural Agility Competency Framework." This framework sets the foundation for the strategic talent management practices organizations need to effectively build a pipeline of culturally agile professionals, such as how to attract, recruit, and select professionals with cultural agility or those with the greatest propensity to readily develop cultural agility.

Cultural Agility also provides guidance for creating organizational cultures and HR systems to support the development of a workforce that is culturally agile. For example, international assignments are commonly enlisted as a means of developing global leaders, but these have proven to be only partially effective for building cultural agility. Caligiuri offers training and development practices that organizations can use in a learning system to continually build professionals' cross-cultural competencies, including specific recommendations for designing truly developmental international assignments.

This book is a must-have resource for human resource professionals and all business leaders who know that the key to their organizations' success in today's complex global economy is their culturally agile human talent.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Cultural Agility

"Any of us who travel outside our home country has experienced firsthand the need to be culturally agile. Caligiuri has done a marvelous job culling research, offering insights, and creating tools that will help us become more personally culturally agile. The twelve competencies give us a standard to prepare for new cultural experiences. Her work goes further to show how companies craft management practices to build a pipeline of agile global professionals. The book has great examples and applicable tools that any business or HR leader will adapt to ensure a stable supply of culturally agile global professionals."

Dave Ulrich, Ph.D., professor of business, University of Michigan; partner, The RBL Group; author, HR Transformation: Building Human Resources from the Outside In

"Cultural Agility masterfully illustrates the complex cognitive blend of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies needed to navigate successfully in cross-cultural contexts. From an overview of the requisite personality traits and skills, to recruiting and selection approaches, to development and training strategies, this work is an invaluable guide for organizational leaders whose success depends on intercultural competence."

Allison S. Greene-Sands, Ph.D., associate director for culture, Defense Language and National Security Education Office

"A must-read for leaders at all levels. Cultural Agility makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the importance of cultural context as a key determinant of the success of global leaders and their organizations. Context matters—and to successfully compete in today's global economy, cultural context matters a lot."

Charles G. Tharp, Ph.D., CEO, Center On Executive Compensation; executive vice president, HR Policy Association

"Every sector—whether international development, sport, government, military, or business—is affected by globalization and the complexities it has created. This book is a must-read for organizational leaders wanting to ready a workforce able to successfully navigate these challenges."

Nicholas Craw, past director, Peace Corps; president and CEO, Automobile Competition Committee for the United States

"Caligiuri has captured the true essence of cultural competence. She provides practical solutions and ideas on how to implement practices and tools within an organization to develop global leaders!"

Karen Bicking, global manager, international development programs, Johnson & Johnson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118275071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118275078
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D. is a work psychologist dedicated to helping companies, business teams, and executives become effective in today's complex global environment.

Dr. Paula Caligiuri is a Professor in the Human Resource Management Department at Rutgers University, where she was the Director of the Center for Human Resource Strategy (CHRS) from 2001 until 2010. Paula is a leading expert in strategic human resource management with a focus on global leadership development, international assignee management, and cultural agility. She has been recognized as one of the most prolific authors in the field of international business for her work in these areas.

She is also the President of Caligiuri and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in selection, performance management, and development of culturally agile professionals. Across a wide range of industries, her clients include private sector, military, and non-profit organizations in the United States, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Paula is a frequent keynote speaker for industry conferences and company meetings and is an expert guest CNN and CNN International.

Dr. Caligiuri's academic publications include several articles in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of World Business, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and International Journal of Intercultural Relations and she currently serves as the HR Area Editor for the prestigious Journal of International Business Studies. Paula has written Managing the Global Workforce (Wiley, 2010) with Dave Lepak and Jaime Bonache and Get a Life, Not a Job: Do What You Love and Let Your Talents Work for You (FT Press, 2010).

Dr. Caligiuri holds a M.S. and Ph.D. from Penn State University in industrial and organizational psychology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr FP on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Heading up an organisation that helps many of the world's leading companies deal with the challenges of building a global talent pipeline, I was thrilled to hear that Paula was writing this book. She is the most approachable professor, with messages (and a presentation style) that resonate with a corporate audience while always remaining rooted in academic rigour. To the best of my knowledge, it's Paula who first coined the term 'cultural agility' so it's appropriate that she has authored this excellent book. It is an important contribution to an issue so many companies are grappling with right now: i.e. how to build and sustain the pipeline of globally competent talent that their business growth strategies presume is, or soon will be, available.

So what did I particularly like? The calls to action at the end of each chapter; her analysis of the important cross-cultural competencies; the practical ideas for assessing 'developmental' roles; the ideas on how to set and assess performance goals for international assignees; her call for recruitment, talent development and global mobility functions to 'work together in a more integrated way, rather than the complimentary way they are likely to be working today'.

Following on this last point, it's interesting to see Paula asserting that 'global mobility professionals have a unique lens through which talent development decisions should be made when the decisions involve international assignments'. I hope this helps challenge some of the narrow, more traditional thinking about leaving such responsibilities divided across HR silos.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Global Executive on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There can be no doubt that globalization is the way of the future and to be successful in this environment, leaders must not only understand the nuts and bolts of their roles but also possess the competencies to succeed in a global environment. They need to be able to quickly assess unfamiliar situations, adapt their behavior and style as needed, and do all of this quickly and effortlessly. Paula does a great job of articulating these and other critical competencies for effective global leaders and she makes the case in a clear way and practical way.

Overall, Cultural Agility is a must-read for individuals who are in global leadership positions or who plan to be in the future. Students, particularly those who are interested in careers that may lead to global business travel or international assignments, would also benefit from the practical advice and real-life examples that Dr. Caligiuri weaves throughout this piece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mansour javidan on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Corporations in many parts of the world are looking beyond their borders for new markets, supplies, and talent opportunities. To succeed, they need managers and executives who are culturally agile. Dr. Caligiuri's book, Cultural Agility, does an admirable job of first explaining what cultural agility is and why and how it is relevant. She then provides a detailed examination of what constitutes cultural agility and the individual characteristics such as tolerance for ambiguity that are critical for success in global roles. The book offers valuable advice on how corporations can recruit individuals with high levels of cultural agility and what they can do to develop the cultural agility of their work force. It offers many real life examples of individuals and corporations and is well written and easy to follow.
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