CCAI (Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory)

Enhancing cross cultural interactions   

Purpose and Use of the CCAI

The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory


By Colleen Kelley and Judith Meyers

The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) addresses one’s ability to adapt to any culture.  It is not intended to be a stand-alone selection instrument, but it has utility as part of a battery of interviews and testing. 

The CCAI is designed to respond to practical concerns which are expressed both by culturally diverse and cross-culturally oriented populations and by the trainers and professionals who work with them.  Those needs are to understand the factors or qualities which can enhance cross-cultural effectiveness; to become self-aware regarding those factors or qualities in which one is strong and those which need improvement; to decide whether to work in a culturally diverse or multinational company, whether to live abroad, and so on; to prepare to enter another culture through training customized to the individual; and to improve skills in interacting with people from other cultures when one is already in a multicultural or new cultural setting. 

The CCAI has been used effectively with people preparing to travel, live or work abroad; sojourners returning from abroad and readjusting to their home culture; those who work in a multicultural or culturally diverse environment; individuals who emigrate voluntarily or who are forced to relocate; and those professionals who work with the above groups.   

The CCAI is published by Vangent.  To order CCAI materials, please contact:


                        One North Dearborn,

                        Suite 1600,
                        Chicago, IL 60602


Tel: 800-922-7343 or 312-938-9200

                   Fax: 312-242-4400

The knowledge obtained by the evaluation includes:

  • Can the individual adapt to new assignments and new cultures?
  • Is there sufficient tolerance for differences and frustration?
  • What aspects of their work or leadership style need to be modified to adapt to the country's work norms?


A hand-scored profile illustrates scores within each of the four cross-cultural dimensions (emotional resilience, flexibility/openness, perceptual acuity, personal autonomy). Special scoring graphs help explain the relative balance among the four dimensions. The online version of the CCAI provides an alternate way to take and score the instrument. This version is completed online, computer-scored and provides an individualized feedback report.

CCAI Supplements

The CCAI Self-Assessment: The Heart of the Program

At the core of the CCAI survey approach is the well-researched individual self-assessment instrument. The CCAI instrument helps individuals identify their current strengths and weaknesses within four critical skill areas important for effective cross-cultural communications and interactions. These include:

  • Emotional Resilience
  • Flexibility/ Openness
  • Perceptual Acuity
  • Personal Autonomy

Because the inventory is culture-general, it helps measure dimensions common to all cross-cultural experiences. It does not include such easily measurable culture-specific factors as experience with and knowledge of another language or culture.

The CCAI instrument's 50 items, scoring sheet and profiling graph are all contained in one easy-to-use handout.

The report profile illustrates scores within each of four cross-cultural scales. This special scoring graph produces a visual profile that helps explain the relative balance among the four scales and provides immediate, actionable feedback.

Action-Planning Guide: The Key to Progress and Sustainable Results

A six-page CCAI Action-Planning Guide helps participants understand the potential implications of their scores and suggests activities that can help them strengthen or acquire cross-cultural effectiveness skills.

The CCAI Action-Planning Guide provides individuals with step-by-step directions for helping build a detailed action plan and support system for ongoing development outside the training system.

The CCAI Action-Planning Guide provides a practical tool that helps support continued improvement and follow-through. It is also a tool for helping to build and sustain an organizational culture committed to effective action.

Multi-Rater Kit: A Reality Check for Deeper Understanding

Often an individual's view of how he or she interacts is different from others' perceptions. It is for this reason that a 360-degree observer feedback survey can be useful in conjunction with self-assessment.

The Multi-Rater Kit is designed to help obtain the perspectives of up to three others who know the individual and can provide a useful comparison with the individual's responses. The kit includes one CCAI Self-Assessment and three CCAI Observer Feedback Forms. A profiling form provides a place for charting of all results. Complete observer instructions are also included.

The discussion that results helps provide invaluable information to the individual trying to understand current strengths and areas where work is needed to improve cross-cultural interactions.

Skill Building: Tools to Put Self-Awareness into Practice - A Cultural Passport to Anywhere and Facilitator's Guide

While many cultural training programs develop awareness, the CCAI program adds a simple, flexible format for helping develop the four skill areas assessed. The CCAI Cultural Passport to Anywhere and Facilitator's Guide help provide the basis for skill building. It also helps participants interpret their scores, uncover "cultural baggage", and work with their results when planning travel to another culture. Collectively, these tools allow for further enrichment and learning through other types of activities that the facilitator or teacher may choose to incorporate.

The CCAI Facilitator's Guide uses a step-by-step, seven-hour experiential format with the CCAI instrument as a base. Modular activities provide guided exploration of definitions of culture, personal cultural identity, preconceptions about cross-cultural experiences and the origins of cross-cultural conflict. Activities for development of skills on the four CCAI dimensions are also included.

The CCAI Cultural Passport to Anywhere is a booklet designed as a workbook to be used during the training experiences described above. Provocative questions and structured activities simulate participation and insight. The passport provides a personal record of discoveries and progress made during the training or class session. The materials can be easily used to augment training designs or lesson plans already in place.

These materials are designed to draw on areas of strength and to help focus skill development on areas of weakness. The goal is to help the individual to efficiently and systematically increase overall cross-cultural effectiveness.

User's Manual: A Complete Resource

The CCAI manual is an introduction to all aspects of the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory, including:

  • Target Populations and Uses
  • Development
  • Statistical Background
  • Normative Data
  • Reliability and Validity
  • Supporting Research
  • Description of Scales
  • Item Explanations
  • Step-by-Step Administration and Training
  • Sample Profiling and Interpretation
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