Are accounting academics culturally intelligent? An empirical investigation

Meredith Tharapos*, Brendan T. O'Connell, Steven Dellaportas, Ilias Basioudis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cultural diversity within accounting university classrooms creates a number of educational challenges that have been little investigated. This study draws on the theoretical framework of cultural intelligence (CQ), which is new to accounting research, to enhance understanding of the intercultural capabilities of accounting academics. CQ is comprised of four interrelated capabilities: metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioural. The previously validated cultural intelligence scale (CQS) survey was used to identify CQ levels and results were compared to demographic variables and other factors in order to explain differences. The results indicate that accounting academics display levels of CQ at the lower end of comparable studies on other professionals. Results also show that academics who have lived abroad for longer than one year and who have taught transnationally in Southeast Asia are likely to possess significantly higher levels of total CQ. Female accounting academics are more likely to possess higher levels of behavioural CQ indicating a propensity to more easily adapt their behaviour in culturally diverse situations. This paper contributes to the growing literature on CQ by increasing our understanding of the antecedents that influence CQ levels in the area of international experience, through the examination of the potential impact of overseas teaching experiences and overseas residency. Furthermore, this study introduces and examines new measures capturing the breadth and depth of international experience; that of long-term overseas residency and cultural distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Issue number2
Early online date11 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Accounting
  • Cultural distance
  • Cultural intelligence
  • Higher education
  • International experience


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