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Connecting Across Cultures: An Empirical Examination of Multicultural Individuals as Global Leaders

Advances in Global Leadership

ISBN: 978-1-78714-699-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-698-3

Publication date: 21 July 2017


Global leadership involves the ability to connect with individuals from different cultures. Connecting is an actionable process that creates mutual understanding, positive feeling, and a common approach to collaborate. Forming interpersonal connections can be an effective way for global leaders to cut across cultural differences as it is based on a universal human need for belonging. Our study aims to understand the specific actions global leaders engage in to connect with people across cultures. Furthermore, we examine how identity experiences of multicultural individuals contributed to their capabilities of connecting with people from different cultures in their role of global leader. Through a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with multicultural individuals in global leadership positions, we develop a model of connecting across cultures involving specific leadership actions that lead to emotive, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions for connection. Our model also illustrates how multicultural identity experiences equip global leaders with qualities such as empathy, perspective-taking, and integration, which enable them to engage in actions for connecting to people across cultures. The research in this chapter contributes to a better understanding of global leadership with novel insights into how global leaders connect to people and sheds light on the advantages of multicultural identity experiences in this process.



Shakir, F.Y. and Lee, Y.-t. (2017), "Connecting Across Cultures: An Empirical Examination of Multicultural Individuals as Global Leaders", Advances in Global Leadership (Advances in Global Leadership, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 89-116.



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