Cultural Competence: A Survey of Hospital Managers

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Health Services Management, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background and Objectives: Effective communication between managers and staff is a prerequisite to organization success. Cultural competence is key to effective communication. The aim of this study was to survey cultural competence in managers of selected hospitals.   Methods: Twenty teaching hospital managers and four private hospital managers of senior level participated in the study. Data were collected via research-made questionnaire which was examined in terms of validity and reliability. The questionnaire consisted of 30 questions related to three dimensions of cultural competence, including cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, and cultural skills. Data were summarized using descriptive statistical methods. T-test was used for comparison of the mean values.   Findings: The average score of cultural awareness, cultural knowledge and cultural skills was found to be 42.41, 45, 44.12, respectively giving a total cultural competence score of 43.84. No significant difference in cultural competence and its dimensions was observed between managers of teaching and private hospitals.   Conclusions: According to our study, the surveyed hospital managers enjoy a relatively high cultural competence, though there is still room for further improvement particularly in terms of cultural skills. The relatively small sample of this study, however, warrants caution in generalization of the results and call for further large-scale studies to explore this important factor among hospital managers.