In the last decade, it has become clear that doing business across national, ethnic, generational and cultural borders is becoming the norm. Today, the sum of exports and imports across nations is higher than 50% of global production. At the turn of the 19th century this figure was below 10%. According to information from the European Commission in 2016, currently multinational corporations are controlling more than half of international trade. Today, the number of parent Trans National Corporations (TNCs) is about 60,000, with about 500,000 branches being spread all over the world. Even for those whose job does not necessarily take them overseas, it is becoming more likely that they will be put into situations where they must interact and work with co-workers that are culturally different than themselves due to the rapid advances in globalization and increases in immigration worldwide.

A well-documented aspect of 21st century business is the harm that decisions by business managers can inflict upon business and society. It has been much studied. It has caused the destruction of wealth, created the loss of jobs, and ruined businesses, while creating a growing sense of distrust of business and its leaders. Business management is not just related to business but also about people. It is part of the culture of the society in which it takes place. As a result of our world becoming smaller and increasingly interdependent, there is a need more than ever for business managers who can lead culturally diverse teams with intelligence.