Turning Failure into Competence: The Role of Response-to-Failure Patterns


Webinar abstract

Whether it’s something relatively innocuous, like extending a hand in greeting rather than bowing, or a much more detrimental failed foreign market business strategy, we know that things don’t always go as expected when we cross cultural boundaries. Many believe that experience living and working abroad increases intercultural competence, but both research and anecdotal evidence have shown that experience does not always lead to competence.

So if some amount of failure is inevitable when working interculturally, can those failures be mined for information we can use to help individuals and organisations develop intercultural competency? In my research into intercultural competencies of global CEOs, distinct patterns emerged in how the subjects responded to failed intercultural interactions. This webinar will present this Response-to-Failure concept, and how the framework can be used as a diagnostic and development tool.




Dr Barbara Gibson is a consultant, researcher and lecturer focused on intercultural communication and global business. Her recently completed doctoral research explored “Intercultural Competencies Needed by Global CEOs.” With more than 25 years’ experience as a business communication professional, she has worked with companies worldwide, and is a past international Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She currently serves as President of SIETAR UK. She lectures on intercultural communication and global management subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for a number of institutions, including Birkbeck - University of London and Syracuse University London.


SIETAR Europa would like to thank Matthew Hill and the Intercultural Training Channel for making this webinar possible:


Matthew Hill