Cultural intelligence and sustainable career success in Intercultural Service Encounters

May Tungtakanpoung, R. Prouska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars have explored individual, organisation and external factors impacting career sustainability and framed these as part of a career ecosystem. While productivity is considered pivotal for career sustainability according to conceptual frameworks, there remains a gap in understanding its practical implications for occupations involving Intercultural Service Encounters (ICSEs). Culture significantly influences the attitudes and behaviours of service employees and shapes customers’ perceptions of service quality, thereby making cultural intelligence (CQ) a key competency for employees working in ICSEs settings such as in cultural tourism and the airline industry. This paper adopts De Vos, Van der Heijden, and Akkermans (2020) conceptual framework to underscore the significance of CQ in ICSEs and its connection to performance, thus fostering career sustainability in such contexts. Data from an ethnographic case study in Thai Airways, comprising semi-structured interviews with cabin crew employees, observations, and company records, were collected. Our study highlights the significance of CQ competencies in expanding the understanding of sustainable careers in ICSEs settings and aligns with the Career Ecosystem theory by emphasising the interplay between individuals, organisations, and national culture in shaping sustainable careers in such settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality and Religion
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 May 2024

Cite this