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Case study
Publication date: 2 April 2015

Guorong Zhu

Gloria Chen, an American educated Chinese management consultant, was asked by China Mobile, a leading telecommunication company, to deliver training on career management…

Abstract

Synopsis

Gloria Chen, an American educated Chinese management consultant, was asked by China Mobile, a leading telecommunication company, to deliver training on career management. Following her own training in the USA, the consultant developed a three-day training program that focussed on deep reflection of who you are and what legacy you want to leave. Much to her surprise, participants reacted strongly to the training with emotional reactions and expressed desires for career change. The consultant, therefore, had to reflect upon the design of the training program and the disconnect between the approach and the context across international borders. This case, written on the basis of first-hand experience, presents a dilemma in training and development where western concepts meet an eastern audience and cultural incongruence brings up new challenges. It is intended for undergraduate and graduate students who are taking training and development courses or international business courses with regard to cultural differences.

Research methodology

This case was based on the author's first-hand experience of delivering training and development programs to China Mobile, with supplemental information including company background and executive quotations provided directly by the client. Video recording of the training program as the author experienced it is available for review and clips from the video may be used to assist teaching this case.

Relevant courses and levels

This case is a Training and Development Case written for use by undergraduate students in Human Resources (HR) Management classes. It can be used more broadly in international HR, International Management, or International Business where cultural differences might be a sizable component. For the topic of training and development, the students are expected to have learned about identifying training needs, theories of learning, different training approaches, and started to explore transferring the learning into international context. For the broader topic of cultural differences and international business, the students are expected to have learned about the different manifest of culture, especially social norms related to expression of emotions, as well as inter-cultural experiences for business people working overseas.

Theoretical bases

Learning styles and training approaches. Learning styles refer to the various ways of learning particular to an individual, that are presumed to allow that individual to learn best. Most people prefer an identifiable method of interacting with, taking in, and processing stimuli or information (Ackerman et al., 1989; Pashler et al., 2009). Based on this idea, successful delivery of training needs to take into consideration the learning styles of participants involved.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 June 2001

Douglas T. Hall, Guorong Zhu and Aimin Yan

“It has become impossible for me — or for any one individual — to know everything that needs to be known about all the changes in market conditions, products…

Abstract

“It has become impossible for me — or for any one individual — to know everything that needs to be known about all the changes in market conditions, products, manufacturing, and distribution for each country or region. So, in the final analysis, you have to find the right people for the right problems — and then trust them to take the right actions.” Interview quote from Hay/McBer International CEO Leadership study (McBer & Company, 1995).

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-723-4

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Betzaluz Gutierrez, Signe M. Spencer and Guorong Zhu

The purpose of this paper is to examine senior leadership behaviors across samples of Chinese, Indian, and Western chief executive officers (CEOs).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine senior leadership behaviors across samples of Chinese, Indian, and Western chief executive officers (CEOs).

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory study, 101 CEOs from three different business contexts were interviewed to understand the leadership demands of widely different business and cultural contexts and the competencies associated with effective performance. The specific situations addressed by leaders were identified.

Findings

The authors found some common characteristics of outstanding CEOs across contexts, such as results orientation/achievement drive and forward thinking. There are also distinctive competencies manifested in the three cultures. While Indian CEOs are more likely to display consideration of the welfare of their nation in business decisions, Chinese CEOs uniquely influence for mutual benefit as well as criticizing themselves. Western CEOs, use interpersonal understanding and talent management.

Research limitations/implications

Although the competencies observed are linked to performance by comparisons within each group of outstanding leaders, the authors were unable to obtain contrast groups of more typical leaders in India or China. The Western group was less rigorously defined, perhaps accounting for the less focused nature of their competencies and situations. This study nevertheless suggests that the cultural context is an important variable in leadership.

Practical implications

Leaders may use the paper's insights to suggest how they might expand their own repertoires, either in their own context or in dealing with organizations from other cultures.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding of cross‐cultural management by identifying competencies that are unique to particular business contexts, as well as some that are common to the role.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Guorong Zhu, Steve B. Wolff, Douglas T. (Tim) Hall, Mireia Las Heras, Betzaluz Gutierrez and Kathy Kram

In today's turbulent business environment leaders must be able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. For this research the authors aim to focus on the issue of…

Abstract

Purpose

In today's turbulent business environment leaders must be able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. For this research the authors aim to focus on the issue of adaptability defined as the ability to work effectively within a variety of changing situations, and with various individuals or groups. They also aimed to examine how variables of career complexity affect development of adaptability.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on a unique database containing the career histories of 52 senior executives in a major global corporation. They use the term career complexity to represent the degree of variety in these individuals' career experiences, and they test the degree to which career complexity contributes to the development of adaptability later in their careers.

Findings

Findings from this study shed light on the relationship between specific career experiences and executive adaptability. Executives who had the experience to serve in an executive assistant role developed higher levels of adaptability. For executives without the executive assistant opportunity, job rotations through different types of roles provided a boost to their adaptability. Three role type changes (e.g. line, staff, or matrix) is optimal; 100 months is an optimal time to spend in each role type.

Originality/value

While the field of leadership development has generated substantial insight into the competencies required by executives, there are few models and empirical studies that describe the process of how specific competencies are developed. The authors' study highlighted the utility of the career complexity construct for both prospective understanding of career actions and processes and retrospective understanding of paths, patterns, and outcomes. The authors demonstrated the predictive value of the career complexity construct by presenting results of the statistical analyses of the hypothesized relationships between career complexity and career outcomes.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-160-6

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2016

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-138-8

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-479-4

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Book part
Publication date: 18 April 2012

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-002-5

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Book part
Publication date: 10 April 2003

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-866-8

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Book part
Publication date: 22 June 2001

Abstract

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-723-4

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