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INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND STRATEGIC THINKING COMPETENCY
International experience, also referred to as global experience, broadly defines the acquisition of working experience from other regions apart from one's domicile. Strategic thinking competency, on the other hand, is the ability to think skillfully about a person's (natural or artificial person) plans and objectives for oneself and others. It is the knowledge, skills, and abilities leaders need to formulate value-creating strategic goals and strategies.
International experience and strategic thinking competency are related: exposure to a new working environment, that is significantly different from the working environment in one's home country, can considerably alter one's strategic thinking regarding both career and personal life (Gwilliam). This is due to the interaction with people from different parts of the world who have different cultural backgrounds and work cultures that results in a high-contact global experience. Generally, international experience enhances attributes of strategic thinking competency in an individual, such as system perspective, intelligent opportunism, and timely thinking, by broadening their perspective regarding the business and its environment (Dragoni et al, 2011).
Global experience is vital for human resource managers, as it shapes managers' views and responses to their firm's competitiveness (Mello, Jeffrey, 2015). The HR managers need to have a global mindset to facilitate competent management of employees across the various branches of the firm which may be located in foreign regions. Also, international experience for human resource managers enhances their skill-set and serves as evidence of their ability to work in diverse workplaces away from their comfort zones. Moreover, the experience can be used as a qualification criterion to secure a better job in the future and as such, therefore, it helps managers to build their careers. For employees, global experience improves their ability to work and co-exist with people from diverse cultural backgrounds as well as to learn how to perform in different environments (Webb, 1997).