Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find if cultural awareness can be seen as one of the
core competencies in the IT multinationals. The study intends to answer this question and
further offer a solution by recommending a culture training module as a part of the soft skills
training in the IT firms.
Research Design/Methodology: The research adopts a qualitative and cross sectional
approach based on a questionnaire. Since the nature of the research question is subjective, the
interviews conducted were semi structured and encouraged narration of incidents and
Findings: This research found that having 'culture awareness' as part of the soft skills is
essential for an IT professional to succeed in the corporate world and lack of cultural
awareness would have an impact on their performance in the long run. In spite of the length
of academic literature and data available, there exist exceptions. It is difficult to have a
unanimous approval on a subjective topic. The number of years of work experience turned
out to be one of the most important factors that influenced the responses.
Research limitations: Study’s limitations are related to sampling and breadth of scope.
Although the research represents samples from different nationalities, gender, age,
designation and years of experience, the convenience sampling may impel reduced
level of details.
Practical implications: Organizations undertaking development initiatives are
encouraged to look further into the soft skills training programs and include
culture awareness module. Success depends not only on domain expertise in the
technical world, but also on such important elements as soft skills, contextual
awareness and cultural sensitivity.
Originality/Value: This paper begins with establishing the importance of soft
skills in the multinationals, and further researches if cultural awareness; which is a
subset of soft skills, can be one of the core competencies in these firms. The
contribution made by this research is the culture training module as a possible
solution. Author keywords: Soft skills, awareness, culture, leadership