The global economy and the depth of technological innovation have transcended national boundaries more swiftly and effectively (Reuter, 2006). But in order for meaningful exchanges across societies to occur, it is incumbent on those who wish to work in other cultures (or with members of other cultures) to develop competence in managing those interactions.
This cultural competence according to Chang (2007) is an “essential requirement for many workers in multicultural settings” (p. 225). Over the last three decades, social science and educational researchers improved cultural competency through training and practice (Colvin-Burke, Zugazaga, & Davis-Maye, 2007; Egan & Bendick, 2008; Ford & Whiting, 2008; Rao, 2006).
It is useful to distinguish “cultural competency” from similar terms (Chang, 2007), particularly in a case study where the consideration of cultural competency becomes a practical matter. Flaskerud (2007) suggested that similarly phrased constructs such as cultural relevance, cultural sensitivity and cultural responsiveness do not adequately capture what has come to be the “accepted” standard in social and education research in the last two decades. Flaskerud noted the “most widely used definition” of cultural competence.
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