Cultural intelligence, cultural quotient or CQ, is a theory within management and organisational psychology, positing that understanding the impact of an individual's cultural background on their behaviour is essential for effective business, and measuring an individual's ability to engage successfully in any environment or social setting.
First described by Christopher Earley and Soon Ang in Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures.The book was published in by Stanford University. In Singapore, Soon Ang has created the Center for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence.
CQ is measured on a scale, similar to that used to measure an individual's intelligence quotient. People with higher CQ's are regarded as better able to successfully blend in to any environment, using more effective business practices, than those with a lower CQ.
CQ teaches strategies to improve cultural perception in order to distinguish behaviours driven by culture from those specific to an individual, suggesting that allowing knowledge and appreciation of the difference to guide responses results in better business practice.