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The origin of global leadership in cross-cultural management

Question:

Discuss about the Cross Cultural Management for Global Leadership.

The essay aims at providing an insight into the article, “From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and Adaptation”. The mentioned article put forward a historical review on the evolution of global leadership. While doing this, the article has also discussed the origin of leadership in the presence of cross cultural management. The essay tries to identify whether the evolutionary trends within the domain of the cross cultural management in actuality leads to the formation of global leadership. The essay will also portray the evidence used for justification of the argument. There are also supporting links in the essay to show support or distraction from the overall hypothesis of the article. The essay will concludes on a note providing necessary justifications and reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the point of view of the article.

According to Osland (2012), the concept of the global leadership took birth as result of the needs of the corporations in adapting to the global strategies, international expansion and competition in global marketplace. There realizations amongst corporations such capabilities were required for the development and implementation of the new strategic initiatives that necessitated the creation of various company specific models for development. Being a very young to the field, many training programmes and models offered by the consulting companies does not any empirical evidence. Global leadership is thus refers to the method of influencing the thought, attitude and behavioural process of the global community so that they can synergistically work towards a common goal or mission.

Bird and Medenhall (2016), thus puts forward the concept of the cross cultural management as differences in the cultural practices while undertaking management activities outside the home country which often takes comparative perspective. They tried to addresses a broader field of international management and referred to it as the cross cultural management which acted as the source for the advent of the global leadership divided into four stages and tried to review the way in which the literature of  cross cultural management dealt with concept of the leadership at each of the stages. Further they tried to put forward how the different streams from each of the stages gave rise to global leadership. Thus, according to the authors, the basis of global leadership remains multifaceted and is a reflection of composite contribution of intercultural communication, expatriate, global management and comparative leadership streams of research. Although the streams do not directly focus on the challenge of the global context but each of the streams put forward perspectives that remain useful for thinking about the attributes, roles and skills necessary for engaging in global leadership.

Evidence used to justify the argument

The Stream one represents expatriation where the Employees from the home country are send to work for a period that ranges between six months to five years. Stream two on the other hand represents intercultural communication which refers to the ability of appropriately and effectively executing the communication behaviour that leads to the formation of a diverse environment culturally. Stream three portrays comparative leadership which represents the differences between the behaviour of leader and follower between different cultures. This helps in explaining why leaders in the higher power distance cultures remain more autocratic compared to the ones in the cultures with lower power distance. While the stream four refers to the global management since it ensures involvement of the responsibility across the cross border which sometimes requires the balancing the competing as well as contradictory demands across the multiple units in the different countries and the regions. The research on the global managers often remains couched in contrast to the domestic managers. 

Bird and Medenhall (2016) also tried to point out that the empirical works on global leadership carried till date has focused completely on the understanding of the competencies, attributes, skills and traits. Yeung and Ready’s  (2005) carried out a quantitative study that helped  in analyzing the samples of close to 1200 managers who were working in 10 different corporation across 8 countries. The list was made based on the identification of the competencies that included articulating a vision which is tangible, possession of the orientation of results, possession of customer orientation ability and the ability of empowering the others. Black et al. (2013) undertook the interview process of close to 130 HR managers and the line executives for finding the criteria for the global executive. Goldsmith et al. (2006) interviewed close to 207 global and current leaders. The study included close to included 200 higher potential executives, questionnaire of the focus group consisting of 28 CEOs. With focus on the task analysis of the global leader and the necessary ability, knowledge and skill, Caligiuri and Tarique (2012) carried out the survey of close to 240 leaders operating globally.

Bird and Medenhall (2016), through their analysis also found that there was huge number of competencies that conceptually overlapped while there were many that differed only in the semantic terms. There were even some that overlapped with the variables that directly influenced the selection of the expatriate, their effectiveness, adjustment and transformation along with the variables that remained crucial to the intercultural communication. However, Mendenhall and Osland (2002)  ensured  command over the chaotic nature by grouping the dimensions of competency into six broader categories that included expertise in global business, visioning,  global organization savvy, cognitive orientation, values and traits and the skills for building cross cultural relationships. Thus, the competencies of global leadership span over range of qualitative characteristics. There are however various pre-dispositional characteristics of the personality that includes optimism and inquisitiveness while the attitudinal orientations includes results orientation or Cosmo politanism. The cognitive capabilities include intellectual intelligence or cognitive complexity whereas motivational inclinations include tenacity or the motivation of learning. The knowledge bases include the knowledge related to the global business or the technical skills which are value added the behavioural skill represents boundary spanning or cross cultural communication. This makes the global leadership a set of competencies which are multifaceted.

The four stages of global leadership

Also, according to Jeong, Lim, and Park (2016), there appears to be a growing interest in the concept of global leadership amongst the practitioners and the scholars since the institution and the organizations increasingly recognizes its strategic importance for the expanding services, products and the resources. Then area of human resource development (HRD) have also emphasized on the core competencies of the global leadership. The core competencies of the global leadership primarily included   expatriate and cross-cultural training, international business, management and Human Resource Development (HRD), organizational leadership and psychology. However, while reviewing the literature for the leadership there existed little consensus among researchers and the practitioners regarding the criteria of global leadership and the means for developing the global leaders. There were however suggestions from the scholars regarding the various approaches for not only developing the global leaders but also the competency models for global leadership. The different perspectives were related by discipline that helped in easily explaining the global leadership. For instance, literature related to the expatriates emphasizes the experiences of the global leaders in carrying out the international assignments in the foreign country whereas the cross cultural studies focus on the identification of the similarities or the cultural differences for improving socialization, adaptation and communication across the different cultures. In spite of the differences, studies related to the global leadership have tried in capturing the influence of leaders as change agents across the borders in a multicultural, equivocal and complicated environment. As per, Jeong, Lim, and Park (2016), put forward the definition of global leadership as leadership of the individuals who influences and brings about major positive change within communities, organization and firm through the facilitation of the appropriate trust level, process and structures of the organization and involves varied stakeholders, culture and resources under the complexity of geographical, cultural and temporal conditions. Thus, based on the definition global leadership considered a process while the global leaders as the individuals. This definition is appropriately selected since it comprehensively explains the global leadership features aligned with the concept put forward by Bird and Mendenhall (2016) who also addressed the diverse contexts of the global leadership through highlighting the situational complexity and the multiple cultures whereas the other definitions emphasized on the particular aspects of global leadership related to traits, leadership roles and diversity. According to Jeong, Lim, and Park (2016), the global leaders included managers and leaders of both the groups across the levels since they not only influence their subordinates but also influence the colleagues, upper managers and diverse stakeholders under the global contexts particularly characterized as uncertain, dynamic and complex. Thus, the global leaders and the managers is regarded as the emerging  group of professionals who are capable of adapting to the operations carried out in the multicultural and international context, a  breed with the identifiable traits who works primarily in the organizations spanning the national borders.

Competencies of global leadership

However, according  to the views put forward by Hassanzadeh et al. (2015),  global leaders needs a specific set of global competencies of leadership for effective fulfilment of  their  roles. They helped in identifying the seven competencies of the global leaders which includes

  • Culture Sensitivity and awareness
  • Global perspective and mindset
  • Learning from the experiences
  • Maintaining and developing relationships
  • Communication
  • Attitudes and traits
  • Skills and knowledge

They also put forward the importance for describing and identifying the global leadership competencies. There are various organizations who do not have defined global leadership competencies since their competencies are mostly related to the domestic leaders. But with globalization moving at a rapid speed there raises the need for more global leaders.

According to Allon and Higgins (2018), global leaders need to be emotionally sensitive and culturally attuned. They also put forward the necessity of developing leaders who is capable of responding to specific foreign ambience of the different countries having varied interpersonal work conditions. Therefore, according to them, there two emerging constructs relevant for effective global leaders which includes emotional intelligence and culture. It is found that under the conventional view of the intelligence specifically measured by the IQ, emotional and cultural intelligences provides the necessary framework for effective understanding the cross cultural leadership and the clarification of the possible adaptations that requires  implementation in the development programs related to leadership for the multinational firms. Therefore, the authors try to portray that analytical intelligence (IQ), emotional intelligence (EQ) and the leadership behaviours restrained by the cultural intelligence (CQ) for the formation of a successful global leadership.

Finn (2012) tries to put forward that the world keeps constantly changing around the organizations on a day to day basis. To deal with such changes leaders portrays an increasing need of the innovation in the technology, newer ways of doing the business, globalization and the emerging markets. Without added dimension of global context, changes within organizations are difficult. Issues such as the language, culture and the geographical context are some of the obstacles faced by the leaders while attempting to effect change on a global scale. Here the author mentions bout the contextual and the cultural factors involved in the global leadership that allows for in depth understanding of the differences and similarities that exists between the domestic and global change.

Conclusion:

To conclude, one can say that although the research made an attempt of incorporating various frameworks of global leadership however it was not without the limitations. The limitation helps in preventing the generalization of the more convergent behavioural characteristics of the leader. There was also discussion related to the relevant theories of the leadership or the perspectives for fulfilling the definition of the global leadership. The mention of the leadership theories like cross-cultural leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, authentic leadership, flexible leadership, strategic leadership and situational leadership would have merit additional development and integration of the global leadership. The behaviours or the competencies identified in numerous studies are not only redundant but also lack an effective and systematic framework thereby making it challenging for the practitioners and the researchers for extracting the suitable competency required for the global leaders. There was another problem which lay in the challenge of creation of the behaviour scale and the competencies that remains effective across the cultures.

References:

Alon, I. and Higgins, J.M., 2018. Global leadership success through emotional and cultural intelligences. Business horizons, 48(6), pp.501-512.

Bird, A., Mendenhall, M., Osland, J., Oddou, G. and Reiche, S., 2016. Global Leadership in Perspective. The Routledge Companion to Leadership, p.348.

Black, J.S., Morrison, A.J. and Gregersen, H.B., 2013. Global explorers: The next generation of leaders. Routledge.

Brownell, J. and Goldsmith, M., 2006. Commentary on “meeting the competency needs of global leaders: A partnership approach”: An executive coach's perspective. Human Resource Management, 45(3), pp.309-336.

Caligiuri, P. and Tarique, I., 2012. Dynamic cross-cultural competencies and global leadership effectiveness. Journal of World Business, 47(4), pp.612-622.

Finn III, E., 2012. Global leadership in a changing world.

Hassanzadeh, M., Silong, A.D., Asmuni, A. and Wahat, N.W.A., 2015. Global Leadership Competencies. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 5(2), p.137.

Karin Andreassi, J., Lawter, L., Brockerhoff, M. and J. Rutigliano, P., 2014. Cultural impact of human resource practices on job satisfaction: A global study across 48 countries. Cross cultural management, 21(1), pp.55-77.

Mendenhall, M.E., Osland, J., Bird, A., Oddou, G.R., Stevens, M.J., Maznevski, M.L. and Stahl, G.K. eds., 2017. Global leadership: Research, practice, and development. Routledge.

Park, S., Jeong, S., Jang, S., Yoon, S.W. and Lim, D.H., 2017. Critical Review of Global Leadership Literature: Toward an Integrative Global Leadership Framework. Human Resource Development Review, p.1534484317749030.

Yeung, A.K. and Ready, D.A., 2005. Developing leadership capabilities of global corporations: A comparative study in eight nations. Human Resource Management, 34(4), pp.529-547.

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