Advances in Global Leadership: Volume 8

Table of contents

(26 chapters)
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Preface

Pages xiii-xv
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Abstract

The 21st century confronts society with challenges that will determine the future of humanity and the planet. Such challenges defy traditional analysis. Paralyzed by the inadequacy of our standard logic, on which much of traditional scholarship relies, we search for meaningful and effective understandings that can guide us—understandings that seem inherently wise and just, and not simply empirically confirmable. Few of us question the need for wisdom, yet to date, academic scholarship has failed to address the role that it plays, and could play, in supporting international organizational processes capable of addressing the world’s most demanding societal challenges. 2 This chapter explores the nature of pragmatic wisdom—wisdom that incorporates both profound understanding and action. It uses the founding of an international development initiative, Uniterra, to highlight the need for and influence of wisdom in international organizational processes and outcomes. Uniterra’s core structure and central process involve partnering—forming networks of nonhierarchical relationships. The chapter therefore investigates the wisdom needed to create and maintain global partnerships. Given the chapter’s focus on pragmatic wisdom, it also explores the concepts of hope and courage, for without hope and courage, wisdom could never move beyond conceptualization to action. The writing style purposely differs from that of most scholarly articles. Beyond presenting a specific case, the writing offers readers the opportunity to experience wisdom via indigenous proverbs from a wide range of the world’s more pragmatic wisdom traditions. So as not to interrupt readers’ appreciation of the proverbs or reduce their impact or meaning merely to the underlying logical constructs, the chapter uses endnotes rather than more traditional text references.

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This chapter concerns the degree to which leader personality is specific to the geographical region in which leaders work or more generically global. In samples from several different countries (N = 11,969), we show that top leaders are significantly different from the general population on dimensions of occupationally relevant personality, but rather similar among themselves. In general, top leaders are more emotionally stable, and much more competitive, ambitious, outgoing, and well-informed than the average person. We then examine our top leader cohorts on a culture by culture basis, and find distinct cultural differences. We close by discussing implications for the selection, development, and coaching of top leaders.

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On a global scale, leadership takes place within a complex environment that is molded both by national culture and organizational culture influences. This chapter explores leader-culture (L-C) fit in this global context. Drawing together distinct perspectives on national culture and organizational culture, we identify potential contingencies of L-C fit across these levels. In addition to identifying key gaps and areas for future exploration, we also discuss the practical uses of fit when selecting and developing leaders. Overall, we argue that researchers and practitioners could benefit from an expanded perspective on cultural fit to simultaneously address aspects of national and organizational culture.

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This chapter examines the complexity of global leaders themselves. As global leadership research has begun to move beyond a limiting overemphasis on skills and competencies, we merge one focus on the deep structure of leader cognition with a focus on cultural identity that has matured largely independently. In so doing, we seek to push the field toward answering the broader question of what makes a global leader sufficiently complex to handle the vast complexities of the role. We place the construct of self-concept complexity as central to the performance of global leaders in ways ranging from organizational performance to social and community responsibility. By advancing our understanding of the role of self-concept complexity in driving global leadership outcomes, this research seeks to spur further theoretical development and practical application toward a deeper comprehension of the complexity of truly global leaders.

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Based on a review of multiple literatures, a comprehensive content domain of essential intercultural competencies for effective global leaders is presented. This domain is then used to guide the development of the Global Competencies Inventory (GCI), a 160-item self-report measure that assesses the degree to which individuals possess the intercultural competencies that are associated with global leader effectiveness. Using sample sizes ranging from several hundred to nearly 9,000 subjects, evidence from several studies is presented showing the GCI to have convergent validity, predictive validity, and freedom from demographic and ethnic subgroup biases. Implications for theory and future research are also discussed.

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This study compares multi-rater leadership evaluations of 1,748 executives in 10 national clusters to determine whether leaders in the East and West display different global leadership behavioral patterns. Data were collected via the Global Executive Leadership Inventory (GELI), which measures 12 dimensions of global leadership behaviors. The 360-degree GELI also provided feedback data from the executives’ 13,166 superiors, peers, and subordinates. Based on multilevel modeling analysis of self-ratings and observer ratings, findings indicated that the executives generally display similar patterns of global leadership behavior, but there are significant cultural differences on some leadership dimensions.

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Getting global leadership right is a huge challenge for companies. Having the right leaders has an impact on not only employee attitudes towards globalization but also their engagement levels and approach to working with colleagues across borders. Because of physical distance, language, and cultural differences global leaders face a huge challenge of generating and maintaining trust throughout the organization. The keystone of trust is the character of global leaders. In this chapter, we discuss our research on the role of character in global leadership. In particular we address the challenges of demonstrating character with a particular emphasis on maintaining integrity and connecting with people with different cultural norms and expectations.

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Global mindset is an important theme in the international business strategy and organizational behavior literatures. However, these different paradigms define and operationalize global mindset in disparate ways, which creates problems for conducting empirical research as the disparity hampers the development of testable models. This article seeks to unify the different paradigms by introducing a third perspective from cognitive psychology that clarifies the process of mindset activation. We apply a process model of mindset activation to global mindset to build a theory of mindset switching relevant for global leaders. We operationalize global mindset as a dynamic process of mindset switching and suggest that the most appropriate mindset for a situation can be primed to activate. We also propose cosmopolitanism and cognitive complexity as antecedents to appropriate mindset activation and mindset switching. Finally, we suggest that mindset/situation congruence results in global leader creativity and boundary spanning. By applying the cognitive psychology literature to global mindset research, we clarify the process of global mindset and why it is important for leaders to understand how different primes might activate the most appropriate mindset. Our model provides a means for managers to become more cognitively aware of how they problem solve in a highly complex and multilayered world. This paper proposes a unique, dynamic model that captures dualities of global leadership. The model provides a new perspective of global mindset that is testable with existing measures and procedures.

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Managing global change is one of the key competencies demanded of global leaders and one of the main challenges they face, according to some scholars. However, leading change in the global context is one of the most under-researched areas of global leadership. This conceptual chapter first contrasts the organizational development and organization change fields and then proposes a hybrid approach termed global strategic change. Global strategies require new patterns of employee behavior and an enhanced appreciation of the dynamics of intercultural change in which two or more national cultures are involved. Understanding these demands on employee behavior will aid managers in pursuing their globalization efforts. Culture is conceived as a boundary condition, and cultural values that might impact each stage in the change process are identified. Two case studies illustrate successful global strategic change by expert global leaders who were not intimidated by cultural stereotypes. Thoughtful executives can create strategic performance improvements by avoiding being trapped or intimidated by a simplistic interpretation of cultural constraints.

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In this chapter we examine the individual-level accelerators of global leadership development as they affect the acquisition of cross-cultural competencies through both cross-cultural training and developmental cross-cultural experiences. Individuals’ cognitive ability, prior knowledge, and personality traits will accelerate the knowledge they gain from cross-cultural training. Their personality characteristics, language skills, motivation, and prior experience will facilitate the development of cross-cultural competencies from high-quality international experiences. We highlight an aptitude × treatment interaction approach whereby the level of a given individual-level attribute affects how global leaders will respond to instructional methods, cross-cultural experiences, or developmental opportunities. The chapter suggests that global leaders’ individual differences can accelerate (or possibly impede) the developmental gains in their cross-cultural competencies.

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In the context of intense intercultural experience, the individual’s identity is often transformed by the forces of acculturation. Unexpectedly powerful demands, influences, and resistances buffet the values, beliefs, and behaviors of the sojourner, leading to confusion, and eventually resolution of profound identity issues. The resulting sense of being between two cultures or more, living at the edges of each, but rarely at the center, can be called cultural marginality. When these issues remain unresolved, the person is often confounded by the demands, and feels alienated in a state called encapsulated marginality. The constructive marginal resolves these questions by integrating choices from each culture of which the person is a part, choosing the appropriate frame of reference, and taking action appropriate for the context.

Global leaders need to recognize the characteristics of the marginal identity and leverage the skills the marginal brings to the organization. The mindset of hybrid professionals fosters increased creativity, culturally appropriate problem solving, and collaboration with other culture partners. Educators, trainers, and coaches can design developmental opportunities for sojourners to acculturate to new environments in a way that potentiates their intercultural competence and comfort with their bicultural mindset. By viewing a complex cultural identity as an asset to the organization, global leaders can avoid the common pitfall of overlooking cultural marginals and instead maximize their contribution to globalization.

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This qualitative study explores the acquisition of global mindset in business executives who engaged in short-term business travel. Global mindset is operationalized as actively seeking to engage and reflect upon perspectives and orientations that both complement and contradict one’s own worldview. The narratives of 16 global supply chain leaders who work for a multinational company were content-analyzed. The results indicate that short-term business travel provides the context for participant reflection on their development as global leaders. They describe their development as a continuous evolution over time that is focused less on becoming a cultural expert and more on being culturally responsive in order to build relationships and achieve business results. The findings suggest that companies could take steps to leverage the developmental opportunity that short-term business travel represents.

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This chapter describes two leadership programs at Ford aimed at cultivating present and future global leaders. The first is the Global Leadership Summit, which includes participants from among the company’s top 200 employees at the next level below the CEO and his direct reports. The second is the Compass Program designed to accelerate the development of future leaders in fast-growth markets.

Both programs share common objectives such as building networks across regions and functions, cultivating global leadership capabilities, and direct engagement with the business and with company leaders. Qualitative and quantitative research indicate that the ability to exert influence within a complex global matrix organization is a distinctive requirement for effective global leadership; the programs focus in particular on the key skill of influencing others without direct authority in order to achieve business objectives across regions and functions.

The Global Leadership Summit and the Compass Program – each in a way that is appropriate to the level of participants – incorporate 10 global leadership behaviors that build toward Influence Across Boundaries and the related skill of creating Third Way Solutions. The programs are outlined in detail not only through the lens of program design but also through experiences and anecdotes shared by participants who are given practical opportunities to reflect upon, experiment with, and apply behaviors that are characteristic of successful global leaders.

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Two major trends have shaped the international business field over the past decade: globalization and the quest for responsible leadership. Yet, what are the qualities that predispose business leaders to act responsibly in an increasingly complex, interlinked world, and thus to meet new social, environmental, and political responsibilities? How can organizations develop these qualities in their current and future leaders? In this chapter, we provide tentative answers to both questions by fleshing out some of the qualities global leaders need to succeed in a connected world and by comparing three innovative executive development programs that use international service learning assignments as a way to instill these qualities in their executives. These programs are PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Ulysses Program, Pfizer’s Global Health Fellows Program, and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps.

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About the Editors

Pages 377-378
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Table of Contents

Pages 391-412
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DOI
10.1108/S1535-120320148
Publication date
2014-07-29
Book series
Advances in Global Leadership
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78350-479-4
Book series ISSN
1535-1203