Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2012.0202

For managers, intercultural effectiveness requires forging close working relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds (Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991). Recent research with executives has found that higher cultural metacognition is associated with affective closeness and creative collaboration in intercultural relationships (Chua, Morris, & Mor, & 2012). However, little is known about the social cognitive mechanisms that facilitate the performance of individuals who score high on cultural metacognition. We propose that one important question for cross-cultural research and training is identifying which metacognitive strategies enable successful intercultural collaborations. We suggest that one such strategy is “cultural perspective taking”—considering how another's cultural background shapes their behavior in a given context. We hypothesized that cultural perspective taking facilitates intercultural coordination and cooperation, and that a manipulation that boosts cultural perspective taking would be especially beneficial for individuals who score low in dispositional cultural metacognition. We found support for the above hypotheses in five studies using both quasi-field and experimental approaches. We discuss the implications of these findings for literatures on expatriate managers, cross-cultural training, cultural intelligence, and intercultural negotiations.

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