Scholars have argued that it is important to investigate how authentic leadership is manifested in different cultures (Avolio et al., 2005; Gardiner, 2011; Shamir and…
Scholars have argued that it is important to investigate how authentic leadership is manifested in different cultures (Avolio et al., 2005; Gardiner, 2011; Shamir and Eilam, 2005). Hence the purpose of this paper is to capture a cross-cultural view of authentic leadership, using a sample of South Asian leaders.
Because of a dearth of qualitative empirical evidence, the authors adopted a “life story” approach to collect data. A total of 14 leaders from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were interviewed to share their leadership experiences.
Findings indicate that the concept of authentic leadership is culturally relevant. It emerged as a multi-dimensional construct constituting self-concept, follower development, organizational outcomes and culture (Meacham, 2007), and contextual knowledge. The authors propose a cross-cultural model of authentic leadership.
Research limitations include researchers’ possible biases in design of data and an assumption that leaders interviewed were authentic. Despite these limitations, the study provides valuable insights about authentic leadership to strengthen its theoretical foundation.
Organizational and social problems in South Asian are often attributed to a leadership deficit (Khan, 2014; Khilji, 2013; National Post, 2014; Sardesai, 2013). This study provides evidence of transformative authentic leaders in South Asia who are engaged with their and followers’ authentic growth, and are building authentic cultures for positive organizational outcomes.
The value of the present research is in providing qualitative empirical evidence from South Asia, and proposing a cross-cultural model of authentic leadership.
Using human capital theory and resource-based view (RBV), the authors argue that individuals and societies derive economic benefits from investments in people (Becker, 1992; Sweetland, 1996), thus effective management of talent is critical for economic development (Lepak and Snell, 2002; Khilji, 2012a). Next, the authors review governmental policies in three of the world's most populous countries, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, in order to highlight their national talent development efforts. The authors discuss how each country is meeting the challenge of making the talent they own, as well as buying diaspora talent in order to strengthen their local capabilities. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The authors adopted a comparative analysis approach in order to frame our arguments and discussion.
The paper finds that Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have implemented a wide range of initiatives, from skill development programs to citizenship policies for its diaspora, in order to upgrade their local capabilities. In addition, these countries are simultaneously using inclusive, exclusive, and subject dimensions (Gallardo-Gallardo et al., 2013) in developing their national talent. The paper highlights prevalence of the paradox of development and retention particularly in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where youth is also being trained to emigrate.
Global talent management (GTM) has become an increasingly important policy initiative, in view of a global generational divide that will require youth-rich emerging economies and aging developed countries to implement policies that help them meet global talent needs.
This commentary advances a macro GTM view, and argues in favor of promoting a policy perspective to better connect policy, research and practice that may lead to maximizing human potential globally and addressing global talent shortages.