Intensive research on the relationships between cultural intelligence (CQ) and work-related outcomes has produced a substantial body of literature. This project provides a quantitative synthesis of the existing empirical evidence to clarify the associations between CQ and various outcomes and to lay the foundation for future research in this area. Based on a meta-analysis of 74 studies (84 independent samples and 20,642 individuals), we find that CQ and its dimensions are positively associated with expatriation intention, job satisfaction, cross-cultural adjustment, transformational leadership, and job performance in a cross-cultural work context.
Tests of the relative incremental validity show that CQ and its dimensions explain desirable work outcomes beyond the effect of personality traits, general mental ability, emotional intelligence, language proficiency, and international experience.
The results of commonality analysis reveal the unique and shared contribution of CQ dimensions in explaining key work-related outcomes, shedding new light on the conceptualization and dimensionality of the CQ construct and identifying a mechanism through which specific sets of CQ dimensions jointly predict different work-related outcomes. The study provides estimates of the effects, advances theory, and suggests directions for future research and implications for practice.