Intercultural competencies for fostering technology-mediated collaboration in developing countries

Kampermann, Albert, Opdenakker, Raymond, Van der Heijden, Beatrice and Bücker, Joost (2021) Intercultural competencies for fostering technology-mediated collaboration in developing countries. Sustainability, 13(14), p. 7790. ISSN (online) 2071-1050


With the rapid global spread and application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the question is whether every culture makes similar use of the ideology that often underlies its creators’ design. ICT applications are designed with underlying beliefs or principles about e.g., work, communication, and individuality. These beliefs or principles are invisible and hidden in software and, as such, in many instances not recognized by users in other cultures. These hidden principles might even frustrate the understanding, use, knowledge-sharing, and e-collaboration between people from different cultures. In this article, we aim to explore, from a historical point of view, the early years of adaptation of ICT in developing countries, and we will highlight the importance of the use of intercultural (ICT-)skills to learn to recognize cultural differences from a relationship-based definition in technology-mediated collaboration. A semi-systematic or narrative review approach is used that is particularly suitable for topics that have been conceptualized differently. Our review firstly summarizes and categorizes the cultural factors impacting the adaptation and diffusion of ICT, especially in developing countries, and investigates which factors could hinder and/or facilitate the collaboration with other countries. Secondly, the findings of a thorough comparison between different intercultural competencies’ frameworks indicate that intercultural competencies show a combination of motivation, knowledge (-management), and skills, which are key competencies in the light of successful technology-mediated collaboration.

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