Advances in Global Leadership: Volume 6


Table of contents

(21 chapters)
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Pages xi-xiii
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Welcome to Volume 6 of Advances in Global Leadership. Our objectives in this volume remain the same as in Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this series (Mobley, Gessner, & Arnold, 1999; Mobley & McCall, 2001; Mobley & Dorfman, 2003; Mobley & Weldon, 2006; Mobley, Wang, & Li, 2009). We seek to advance the definition, conceptualization, and understanding of global leadership processes, and the development of international and global leaders.

Our passion for global management has remained steadfast. In this volume, questions about global mindset, cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and leadership for global virtual teams at the time of financial crisis have been asked and some answers given.

The Global Mindset Inventory® has been developed through a very rigorous theoretical and empirical process. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis indicated three components: (a) intellectual capital, (b) social capital, and (c) psychological capital. Each component had good internal reliability. Each component showed evidence for discriminant and convergent validity. The instrument development followed a multiphase, multimethod research methodology, and has robust psychometric properties as evidenced by its strong reliability scores and its multidimensional validity properties.

We develop a new look on leadership for innovation and propose that effective leaders alternate between a broad range of behaviors and tune their approach to the changing demands of innovation. This is referred to as ambidextrous leadership. As the importance of different leader behaviors varies not only across time but also across contexts, ambidextrous leadership takes different shapes depending on contextual conditions. We discuss culture as an important contextual condition that holds implications for effective ambidextrous leadership. Cultures have different strengths and weaknesses for innovation that can be leveraged or compensated. We use the cultural characteristics identified by the GLOBE project to discuss how leaders can take culture into account when leading for innovation.

Drawing on methods and metaphors from complexity science and organizational systematics, this chapter outlines a model for bringing about positive organizational transformation through the alignment of strategy, culture, and social networks. A key concept behind this model is that uncertainty and volatility arising from within or outside an organization must be met with purposeful and informed leadership intervention. The act of organizational alignment must become a core skill for the modern manager. Finally, the process and outcomes of taking such an approach to organizational change are illustrated through a case example.

Cross-border M&A has become one of the leading approaches for firms to gain access to global markets. Yet there has been little progress in the research literature exploring the role that culture may play in the success of these ventures. Poor culture-fit has often been cited as one reason why M&A has not produced the outcomes organizations hoped for (Cartwright & Schoenberg, 2006). Cross-border M&A has the added challenges of having to deal with both national and organizational culture differences. In this chapter we review the literature on cultural integration in cross-border M&A and provide a framework designed to help manage the integration process throughout the M&A lifecycle. This framework presents culture assessment and integration as a crucial component to reducing poor culture-fit as a barrier to M&A success.

This chapter seeks to explain the global influences and dynamics that have led to an eclipsing of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in multinational enterprises in favor of a rapid integration of sustainability practices within corporate strategy, operations, and marketing. The notion of the shareholder primacy norm is surveyed in light of new financial and strategic models for creating value for both shareholders and stakeholders. The purpose of the chapter is to put forward a model that indicates how a standard financial model for the firm might be re-cast to support a corporation's intent to invest in sustainability activities.

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Sustainability refers to an organization's activities that demonstrate the inclusion of social and environmental concerns in operations and in interactions with stakeholders (van Marrewijk, 2003). Presenting a framework for developing sustainability leaders, this chapter outlines the principles required for sustainable leadership. Sustainable principles are grounded in changes in thinking, knowing, and doing. These fundamentals can be summed up as developing sustainable thinking, building a sustainable knowledge base, and learning the latest ecologically based frameworks for use in organizations.

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In the light of the financial crisis and the radically changed conditions in the market place, international leadership development is facing new demands. The Danish-based International Leadership Institute Mannaz has researched the new conditions in collaboration with the Institute of Executive Development in the United States.

The research, conducted in 2008 and 2009, combines, in an innovative way, quantitative and qualitative inputs, from both current and future perspectives, from some 111 senior Corporate Executives, Heads of Human Resources and of Learning and Organisational Development in large international corporations headquartered in Europe and the United States; together with the thoughts of some 50 experienced practitioners involved in executive coaching as well as in designing, developing and facilitating leadership development programmes. Also we include a section summarising the key findings from recently published research from other leadership development surveys. Conclusions reveal that the crisis has propelled a long-awaited decline of the traditional classroom-based educational approach to leadership development. Instead, effective leadership development is suggested to build on experiential learning approaches rooted in real life, real time and allowing for more immediate impact and providing for considerably higher relevance and motivation. Coaching, leaders teaching leaders, stretch assignments, action learning, peer networking, customer insights and selective use of technology are seen as important contributors to the leadership development process going forward.

The field of industrial-organizational psychology has been unable to convince business executives that our science is able to effectively predict who will become valuable managers, let alone that our knowledge leads to measurable economic returns. The academic literature provides little guidance to a practitioner looking for guidance in regard to leadership development. We believe that leadership is complex and therefore requires a complex model to understand it and in turn aid leadership selection and development. We recommend focusing on defining specific leadership skills according to a leader's responsibilities and expected results or work outcomes to build taxonomy of leadership roles and work outcomes. To demonstrate the business case for engaging our field's services, we propose our field would be aided by adopting some concepts of a discipline widely accepted by executives, total quality management (TQM). An example of how TQM can be applied to leadership selection and development is presented.

Organizations put significant resources toward the management of global assignments; however, few realize the full benefits that these experiences provide in terms of the development of future leaders. This chapter presents three principles for directing global assignment strategies to maximize effectiveness and supports those principles with research among a sample of leaders at a global organization. First, effective global assignments are powerful sources of leader development and can be implemented to maximize this outcome. Second, assignments differ in their developmental value with some assignments providing significantly more value than others. Third, individuals differ in their ability to perform on assignment. Finally, implications of the research findings and principles for global talent management strategy are discussed.

Leaders of global virtual teams (GVTs) during the economic crisis of 2008–2009 faced a leadership challenge very different from leadership of traditional, face-to-face teams during normal economic conditions. Previous research has shown that the effect of leadership tends to become diminished in virtual team situations, due to well-known challenges of virtual working (geographic dispersion, computer-mediated communication, time zone, cultural and language differences); however, little empirical research has been undertaken during crisis periods such as experienced in 2008–2009 to evaluate the effect of leadership on team outcomes during times of crisis. We present findings which shed light on the impact of three sets of leadership behaviour, as described by FIRO theory (Schutz, 1958), that is, inclusion (participation), control (structure) and affection (personal support), on virtual team motivation and cohesiveness spanning the time of the recent global economic recession. Beginning in March 2008 spanning one year to March 2009, 221 team members within 31 operational GVTs located across 22 countries responded to a three-part, online survey relating to perceptions of team leader behaviour, team motivation and cohesiveness. Findings showed significant positive relationships between leaders' perceived expression of inclusion and personal support and motivation and cohesiveness outcomes. In addition, perceived team cohesiveness was positively correlated to perceived team motivation. Results suggest the need for virtual leaders to ‘turn up the volume’ in their initiated inter-personal behaviour, that is, to increase efforts in participation and supportiveness to bridge the considerable gaps between themselves and team members working virtually and to maintain motivation during difficult times. Correspondent to these findings, we surmise that leadership development programs need to be adjusted to include training and feedback mechanisms to support these types of GVTs leadership behaviours.

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This chapter discusses proactive leadership by elaborating the meaning of leaders' proactivity, the required competencies of proactive leadership, and the potentially different evaluations of leaders' proactivity by different observers, including leaders themselves, their supervisors, peers, and subordinates. Specifically, based on the goal generation – goal striving process view of proactivity, we define leaders' proactivity as “generating and enacting self-initiated and future-focused leading actions that are persistently sustained to bring changes toward the environment.” In line with the process view, we also propose the competency requirement of proactive leadership, by benchmarking against a scientifically developed, comprehensive competency dictionary, the Universal Competency Framework (UCF). Finally, we discuss the possibility that leaders' proactivity can be observed and evaluated differently by raters at different positions. Overall, this chapter provides a conceptual analysis of proactive leadership and points to potential research directions subject to empirical investigation.

The literature on midlife transformation indicates that many Chinese executives seem to be experiencing “midlife crisis” and at a younger age than observed in Westerners. This chapter suggests that such phenomena are less chronologically aged based and more related to how individuals are perceiving, understanding, and reacting to the changing cultural and role contexts they are interacting with in rapidly modernizing China. Kegan's constructive-developmental theory of an individual's meaning-making provides a conceptual basis for better understanding of how mid-career Chinese business executives working in multinational firms are dealing with the complexity and speed of change in China. This chapter discusses Kegan's theory as well as some of the literature on midlife crisis and then applies those insights to executive coaching through a recent Chinese executive coaching case.

Adapting to, creating, and managing change has become an unavoidable and even central part in today's organizations (Griffin, Neal, & Parker, 2007). At the external level, organizations are constantly seeking opportunities to identify and anticipate clients' needs, switch or expand into new markets, and establish or rearrange strategic alliances. At the internal level, they struggle with recruiting, retaining, and developing a healthy base of best talent, and reorganizing the structure of labor forces to match the organization's growing needs. The internal and external dynamics frequently intertwine, complicating the situations and creating competing demands; therefore, leaders are forced to understand, manage, and react quickly, innovatively, and effectively. Importantly, in order to grow business organically and sustainably, leaders are pressed to constantly identify and develop new products, processes, structures, and solutions. As revealed by Gonin, Napiersky, and Thorsell in their chapter of this volume, innovation has turned out to be one of the biggest challenges in times of crisis. All these challenges become more complex when organizational changes and innovations are conducted across national cultures. This has been illuminated by the three chapters in this volume, respectively focusing on: discussing issues in managing cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A), introducing useful tools to assist change initiatives, and tackling the innate paradoxes in engaging in innovative activities across cultures.

About the editors

Pages 347-348
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William H. Mobley is professor emeritus of management and advisor on executive education at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. He also is an experienced executive and management consultant and coach working primarily with executives and leadership teams based in China and the Asia Pacific region. He is the president and managing director of the Shanghai-based Mobley Group Pacific (MGP). MGP focuses on: executive assessment for selection and development; executive coaching; organizational design, culture and effectiveness; and China business entry and development. He earned his BA degree in psychology and economics from Denison University, USA and his Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. He also has been awarded honorary degrees from the University of Americans in Pueblo Mexico and the University of Akron and is an honorary professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has served as a visiting professor at National Taiwan University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and as a visiting fellow at Cornell University. He is author of Employee Turnover: Causes, Consequences and Control (Addison Wesley) and is executive editor of Advances in Global Leadership (JAI/Elsevier). He is a registered organizational psychologist and a fellow of APA, APS, and the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology. Bill previously served as corporate manager of HR Research and Succession Planning for PPG Industries; as dean of the College of Business Administration and later president of Texas A&M University; as managing director of PDI Asia Pacific, and president of the Global Research Consortia Ltd. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of several companies and foundations in Hong Kong, China, and the United States. He is a US representative on the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) (e-mail:

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Bryan Adkins is the president of Denison Consulting. His primary expertise is in the area of organizational culture and leadership. He is an experienced consultant and coach working with leaders and teams as they guide their organizations through transitions. Bryan has led a number of large-scale culture change projects and provides consulting services designed to leverage the data collected through the use of the Denison model and associated diagnostics. Bryan holds a master's degree in business from Penn State University and his doctorate in human and organizational studies from The George Washington University.

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Advances in Global Leadership
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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