Learning tools to develop cultural intelligence for SMFEs: the role of social cognitive processes

  • Rubens Pauluzzo
Keywords: SMFEs; international experience; cultural intelligence; social cognitive theory


Purpose of the paper: The aim of this paper is to investigate how SMFEs can develop cultural intelligence (CQ) from international experience (IE) using Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory as a theoretical framework.

Methodology: The study involved the submission of a questionnaire to 150 owner-managers of Italian SMFEs. Participants were selected on the basis of a proportional quota sampling. Moderated multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings: The study shows that a learning method based on the observation of the link between behaviors of external economic agents and consequences of such behaviors can support SMFEs in developing CQ to inform decision-making activities and drive improvement in the internationalization process.

Research limits: The weight of each dimension is highly dependent on the context and time of the analysis and this may create some problems in the generalization of the findings. Potential bias may occur due to self-report surveys.

Practical implications: The findings reveal that, through observational learning, SMFEs are more likely to acquire and accumulate cultural and market-specific knowledge able to compensate their knowledge constraints in terms of internationalization.

Originality of the paper: The present study is the first attempt to explicitly examine the moderating effect of Social Cognitive Theory on the relationship between IE and CQ in family businesses. Yet to date, no research has empirically tested these links.


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