Developing the management leadership team in a multinational enterprise

John R. Darling (President and Professor of Management and Arthur K. Fischer is Associate Professor of Management, both at Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, USA)
Arthur K. Fischer (Associate Professor of Management, both at Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, USA)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Publication date: 1 April 1998


Management teambuilding within a multinational enterprise is greatly enhanced if the interactive style reflected by each person is considered. The blend of behavioral styles can affect the collective achievements of the entire management team, as well as the accomplishments of each member of the team. In this context, behavioral style is a pervasive and enduring set of interpersonal characteristics focussing on how one acts ‐ on what one says and does. As noted in this article, there are four behavioral styles ‐ Relater, Analyzer, Director, Socializer ‐ no one of which is necessarily better or worse than any other. Effective management leadership teams are made up of and value individuals who reflect each of the four styles. In fact, it can be stated that the most productive leadership team in the multinational firm will usually have a balance of individuals who reflect each behavioral style. The functional dynamics of the team are thereby affected by the styles of its members; and, of course, each of the styles has strengths as well as characteristic weaknesses. Each of the behavioral styles also has a typical back‐up style that is the mode of behavior shifted into at the time individuals experience high levels of stress. The concept of behavioral style and a consideration of its elements are useful in helping to understand oneself and the interpersonal behaviors of others. However, it is not enough just to understand one’s behavior or the behavior of others in the multinational management team; one should also seek to adapt the skills of style flex than can enable the parties to function in a comfort zone congruent with the situation. Style flex thereby provides a way of interacting and communicating within another person’s comfort zone without losing one’s integrity or naturalness of expression. In short, style flex is a key to interacting effectively in the multinational enterprise.



Darling, J. and Fischer, A. (1998), "Developing the management leadership team in a multinational enterprise", European Business Review, Vol. 98 No. 2, pp. 100-108.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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