Intercultural Appraisal and Coaching

As a global business manager, you'll already be well aware of the importance of getting the most out of your globally assembled or distributed teams. Unfortunately, this can often prove easier said than done and many international organizations find themselves forced to deal with high levels of frustration, tension in the global team, and employees who are simply depressed, unmotivated, and looking for a better job elsewhere. Fortunately, there's a solution - developing better intercultural competencies. ICCA™ and Team-ICCA™ are the key to understanding intercultural dynamics at national, organizational, and individual level.


ICCA™ - Intercultural Communication and Collaboration Appraisal

ICCA Facilitator's Manual The ICCA™ is a comprehensive psychometric, reliable, and cross-culturally valid diagnosis framework for intercultural coaching. It analyses the cultural predisposition of individuals, it assesses thought patterns, attitudes, and behavioural tendencies. This deep introspection helps participants to become increasingly culturally competent and skilled in professional interactions, it adjusts thinking and behaviour leading to more success and less stress in global endeavours.

The ICCA™ can be used by coaches, trainers, academic faculty, and researchers for a wide variety of purposes, including:

  • Individual appraisal/assessment in intercultural coaching and counselling situations
  • Group analysis in intercultural teambuilding efforts
  • Selection and preparation of expatriates
  • Needs assessment in an organization for intercultural training design
  • Further academic research

It consists of 160+ items across four distinct parts and can be taken either in paper and pencil form or as a low-touch online variant. The items are administered in a mix of standard Likert-type questions and a card sorting exercise using Q Methodology, which usually takes about 60 minutes.

The ICCA™ and related services are owned by Dr Wolfgang Messner and Prof Dr Norbert Schäfer; it is operated through GloBus Research

Past participants have expressed their motivation and objectives while participating in the ICCA™:

"Being part of the information technology sector, globalization has phenomenally increased interaction between people of various cultures. The opportunity to work and interact with people of different cultures excites me and also provides an opportunity to learn about other cultures. This appraisal will let me know where I stand in my understanding of various cultures."
R.M., Senior Project Manager, Infosys, Bangalore (India)

"I want to understand how I can work together with colleagues from other nations and cultures in order to achieve best results."
T.H., Team Lead, Capgemini (Germany)

"I build relationships with multinational clients in several countries; I have realised that there are different approaches to verbal and written communication. I am keen to know where I stand in terms of being able to effectively converse with people from diverse backgrounds."
S.M., Associate Director, Price Waterhouse & Co., Bangalore (India)


The Four Sections of ICCA™

Cultural Predisposition

Cultural differences can be described by cultural dimensions, which have an effect on the functioning of societies, groups, individuals, and businesses. First described by the Dutch academician Geert Hofstede and later verified and expanded in the GLOBE study by an international research team, ICCA™ uses validated questions to first characterize the home environment as perceived by the participant and then compares it with the target culture. The ICCA™ not only contains 25 countries with empirically validated profiles, but describes the differences and gives practical advice to the participant.

Time Personality

The concept of time personality describes preferences and feelings towards combining activities and high vs. low-context communication. Discovered way back in 1959 by the famous anthropologist and intercultural researcher Edward T. Hall, only very recently academics have developed and validated a scale independent of specific disciplines, which is driven by person's actual preferences and feelings and measures polychronic and monochronic tendency. The so-called PMTS-value enables to determine whether an individual matches the predominant time style in another culture and thereby allows to forecast the efficiency when working together within a specific cultural group.

Competencies in Intercultural Communication

In our research leading to ICCA™, we have identified and empirically verified twelve affective, behavioural, and cognitive key characteristics and competencies that need to be developed and balanced for successful intercultural communication. The diagnosis instrument consists of 48 items administered in a competency card exercise based on Q Methodology, which is a method for expert appraisals and superior to Likert-type questionnaires for describing individual viewpoints, i.e. how people think about a topic. Originally developed by the American psychologist William Stephenson, it was later adapted by Prof Dr Norbert Schäfer to assess the leadership qualification of managers. The ICCA™ report contains a graphical profile illustrating the participant's individual strengths and (relative!) weaknesses. Only if employees know for themselves how able or skilled they are in a particular area, they can overcome their weaknesses or deploy their strenghts appropriately. One way to build such awareness is to receive feedback and ICCA™ provides individual suggestions for improvement generated by its inbuilt expert system. The fewer surprises or unknown areas there are, the more likely employees are to be effective in intercultural encounters.

Organizational Commitment

The last part of the ICCA™ instrument looks at the participant's commitment and ties to the organization by examining affective, normative, and continuity related factors. Positive attitudes not only benefit the corporate organization in reaching its targets, but also support the individual in reaching personal goals and passing quickly and unharmed through the phase of disillusionment of international encounters. The difference between hope and reality can lead to frustration, but by looking at the affective, normative, and continuity factors as a snapshot of personal commitment, it is possible to counsel and coach to overcome culture shock as soon as possible.


The ICCA™ Report for Intercultural Training and Coaching

ICCA™ ReportThe ICCA™ generates an in-depth 15-page report containing the participant's graphical profile along with a detailed textual interpretation.

The ICCA™ report is proprietary information; if you want to have a look at a sample report, please fill in your details and a free will be delivered directly to your email inbox.


Intercultural coaching, in addition to all basic tenets of professional coaching, relates an individual's cultural perspectives with the worldview of the people around her or him. With help of the ICCA™ report, both the coach and the coachee take a look at the cultures involved, i.e. national cultures, organisational cultures, social background, professional affiliation, and individual personalities. Together they consider how to take them into account for the realisation of the organization's and the coachee's objectives. Misunderstandings and frustration caused by cultural differences can lead to a hardening of relationships and poor business performance. Cross-cultural coaching can help to avoid these pitfalls by creating an understanding of cultural differences and leveraging them for improved business performance.


The Team-ICCA™ Report for Organizational Assessment

Team-ICCA™ ReportThe Team-ICCA™ provides management with a consolidated insight into the cultural predisposition of its team members. Team-ICCA™ generates an in-depth 19-page report containing the organization's graphical profile along with a detailed textual interpretation; it helps to define measures which in turn help to adjust the team's soft skills with respect to intercultural competence.

The figures shown here are two sample evaluations on Power Distance (Cultural Predisposition) and one the Normative Factor (Organizational Commitment); further details and explanations are provided as part of Team-ICCA™.


Team-ICCA™ ReportTeam-ICCA™ is a low-touch appraisal in which employees can also participate online from home. A minimum of 50 participants are required to yield meaningful statistical analysis results. Team-ICCA™ uses the same items and design as the ICCA™ and thus participants can receive an individual ICCA™-report as a tangible benefit for participating and for their personal advancement of their intercultural competency. Also, individual coaching can easily be arranged based on the data collected for the Team-ICCA™.

The Team-ICCA™ report is proprietary information; if you want to have a look at a sample report, please fill in your details and a free will be delivered directly to your email inbox.




In-Depth Information about ICCA™

ICCA Faciliator's ManualThe ICCA™ Facilitator's Manual is an invaluable tool for trainers, coaches, educators, researchers, and for anyone who is using the ICCA™. It is also a good read for someone evaluating ICCA™ or just wanting to know more about this intercultural diagnosis framework. The manual provides practical guidelines for administering the ICCA™, a summary of research that supports the model and theory of ICCA™, and suggestions for interpreting the report results in an effective coaching or training session.

The manual is available for USD 60.00 incl. VAT (approx. GBP 38.00 / EUR 45.00) via:


Paperback: 86 pages | Publisher: Createspace (6 Feb 2012) | Language: English |
ISBN-13: 978-1470023348 ISBN-13: 978-14700233488


Licencing ICCA™ (for Trainers and Facilitators)

Coaches, trainers, academic faculty, and researchers can licence ICCA™ either as a paper & pencil instrument with an evaluation program or as an online instrument with automated reports via email for participants.

There is no mandatory certification program and the process for licencing ICCA™ depends on whether the facilitator intends to administer the paper & pencil or the online version.

Paper & Pencil ICCA™
Online ICCA™ 
The paper & pencil ICCA™ is ideal for 1:1 coaching sessions or very small groups. The facilitator is equipped with all necessary ICCA™ material to be self-sufficient to administer ICCA™ to participants and produce the ICCA™ report.
The online ICCA™ is a low-touch appraisal which participants can take from home; it is best suited as a pre-training module and for larger groups. The facilitator distributes a link a to the ICCA™ online module together with access codes, participants take the ICCA™ online and receive their evaluation report directly from GloBus Research Ltd. via email.

If the group is homogenous and large enough for a valid statistical analysis, a complimentary Team-ICCA™ report will also be provided.


Taking ICCA™ and Team-ICCA™ (for International Organizations)

Approach to ICCA and Team-ICCAOrganizations can use Team-ICCA™ to understand both organizational as well as intercultural dynamics at national, firm, and individual participant level.

The Team-ICCA™ is based on the online ICCA™ and a low-touch appraisal which participants can take from home. It is usually administered in the following steps:

  • Discuss aims, participant profile, and timeframe of the organizational study.
  • Send invites to employees to participate in ICCA™.
  • Participants take the ICCA™ online.
  • GloBus Research sends out individual ICCA™ reports to participants via email.
  • GloBus Research prepares Team-ICCA™ report.
  • Findings of the Team-ICCA™ report are discussed in detail; concrete organizational measures are suggested.

Running this process is not complicated, but in order to get the most out of it, it is best to evaluate the needs first. Please email or call us for a FREE initial discussion about your needs and the best approach to take.


Taking ICCA™ (for Individuals)

As an individual, you can take the Online ICCA™ as a diagnostic instrument to

  • identify the areas in which you and you environment are 'different' from the culture you are going to work with;
  • get concrete advice on how to develop which skills to be even more effective in intercultural collaboration;
  • get to know where you would benefit from individual coaching.

You will need to invest around 60 minutes to complete the Online ICCA™; please make sure you are not disturbed during this time. ICCA™ is much more than a questionnaire, working on the card sorting exercises of ICCA™ is a learning experience by itself!

Within approximately two weeks, you will receive a detailled diagnostic report of your intercultural predisposition, charactericstics, and competencies. This kind of self-appraisal helps you to understand what personal skills and qualities you need to develop and what strategies you need to adopt.

The price for online access to the ICCA™ for one participant including the ICCA™ report as pdf via email is GBP 200 (approx. EUR 240 / USD 315), plus India service tax at 12.36%, if applicable.

Please send an email to for payment instructions and to receive the link.


About the Authors

Dr Wolfgang MessnerDr. Wolfgang Messner is the Director of GloBus Research and Associate Professor of International Management at MYRA School of Business; he holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Kassel, an M.B.A. from the University of Wales, and a Master's Degree in Informatics after studies at the Technical University Munich and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He has worked with leading companies in Europe and spent a total of four years on expatriate assignments in India.

Prof Dr Norbert SchäferDr. Norbert Schäfer is Professor of Organizational Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences in Ludwigsburg; he holds a Ph.D. and a Master's Degree in Psychology from the Goethe University Frankfurt. His research focusses on employee selection and he is author of the Q-Sort Appraisal for management development. He has also taught at universities in China, Romania, and Russia.


ICCA™ Users and Ressoures

ICCA™ was launched in January 2012 after research, development, and testing in a university environment as well as in executive training and coaching. Selected institutions and organizations which have already benefited from the ICCA™ diagnosis framework include:

  • Capgemini, Business Unit Financial Services, Pune (India): A Team-ICCA™ study of 250 employees.
  • WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar (Germany): as part of the full-time MBA program.
  • Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (India): as part of the Advanced Management Program.
  • A multi-national service provider, Paris (France): as part of an intercultural communication training on India.
  • An engineering company in wireless and automotive business, Nürnberg  (Germany): as part of an intercultural communication training.
  • A service provider of Indian origin, Bangalore (India): a Team-ICCA™ study of 45 employees as follow-up of a training on 'Doing Business with Westerners'.
  • An international supplier to the manufacturing industry, Brussels (Belgium): as a coaching framework for an HR leader going on an expat assignment to India.
ICCA™ Articles and Publications
Messner, W. (tba). Effect of Organizational Culture on Employee Commitment in the Indian IT Services Sourcing Industry. Submitted to Journal of Indian Business Research.
Messner, W., & Schäfer, N. (2012). Advancing Competencies for Intercultural Collaboration. In: Bäumer, U., Kreutter, P., & Messner, W. (eds.). Globalization of Professional Services. Heidelberg: Springer. (download pre-proof)
Schäfer, N. (2011). Diagnose und Entwicklung von Schlüsselqualifikationen für Führungskräfte. Das Diagnoseinstrument Q-Sort-Appraisal. Sternenfels: Verlag Wissenschaft & Praxis.


We wish you a great collaborative intercultural coaching or training session!

Dr. Wolfgang Messner
GloBus Research
Prof. Dr. Norbert Schäfer
University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg