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international & culturally diverse aspects of leadership

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international & culturally diverse aspects of leadership

  1. 1. Week 9 International & Culturally Diverse Aspects of Leadership
  2. 2. Work Force Trends • Work forces are becoming more diverse and cultures of inclusion are becoming more common. • Globalization is compelling businesses to send more workers to other countries. • Leaders are traveling and working abroad in greater numbers. • Workers with international experience and skills are increasingly more sought-after in the workplace.
  3. 3. Diversity •Human characteristics that make people different from one another. •Leaders should be the champions for valuing the inclusion of these differences.
  4. 4. Understanding the “Differences” • The sources of our individual variations are complex, but are generally grouped into two categories: • Those over which we have little or no control • Biologically determined – race, sex, age, certain physical attributes, the family and society we are born into • Those over which we have some control • Through our conscious choices and deliberate efforts • Work, background, income, marital status, military experience, political beliefs, geographic location, education
  5. 5. Advantages of Managing Diversity • Reduction of turnover and absenteeism costs • Managing diversity well offers a marketing advantage • Companies with a favorable record in managing diversity are at a distinct advantage in recruiting and retaining talented people. • Heterogeneity in the work force may offer the company a creativity advantage, as well as improve its problem-solving and decision-making capability. • Diversity and inclusion programs help local economies thereby boosting social responsibility.
  6. 6. Cultural Factors Influencing Leadership Practice • Multicultural leaders have skills and attitudes to relate effectively to and motivate people across race, gender, age, social attitudes, and lifestyles. • One way to understand how national cultures differ is to examine their values or cultural dimensions. • The values embedded in a culture influence the behavior of leaders and managers as well as the behavior of other workers. • Relationships between people in a society are affected by the values programmed in the minds of these people.
  7. 7. European Styles of Management •French managers – who work in a strong culture of class - tend to behave in a superior, authoritarian, and bureaucratic manner. •German managers tend to avoid uncertainty, and are dispassionate, assertive, straightforward, and stern.
  8. 8. Malaysian Managers •Culture emphasizes collectivism and is human- oriented. •Culture discourages aggressive, confrontational behavior, preferring harmonious relationships. •Managers show compassion but are more autocratic than participative. •Managers act logically, decisively, and remain resolute. •Managers adopt a more formal, diplomatic style to avoid conflict and show consideration of others.
  9. 9. Northern US vs. Southern US Managers •Southern managers are low key and people- oriented. •Northern managers are more brusque, efficient, and task-oriented. •Culturally-based differences in leadership style are not as important as practices that work in every culture, for all businesses.
  10. 10. Cultural Sensitivity and Cultural Intelligence •Cultural Sensitivity is an awareness of and a willingness to investigate the reasons why people of another culture act as they do. •Cultural Intelligence is an outsider’s ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures the way that person’s compatriots would.
  11. 11. Global Leadership Skills • Refer to the ability to exercise effective leadership in a variety of countries. • The essence of global leadership is the ability to influence people who are dissimilar to the leader and stem from different cultural backgrounds. • Excellent global leaders have a leadership style that generates superior corporate performance in terms of: • Profitability and productivity • Continuity and efficiency • Commitment and morale • Adaptability and innovation
  12. 12. Leadership Initiatives for Achieving Cultural Diversity • Hold managers accountable for achieving diversity • Establish minority recruitment, retention, and mentoring programs • Conduct diversity training • Conduct cross-cultural training • Encourage the development of employee networks • Avoid group characteristics when hiring for person- organization fit • Modify products and services for targeted demographic groups • Attain diversity among organizational leaders
  13. 13. Summary • The modern leader must be multicultural. • Managing for diversity brings a competitive advantage to the firm. • The leader must be aware of overt and subtle cultural differences to influence, motivate, and inspire culturally diverse people. • Differences in cultural values help explain differences among people. • Cultural values influence leadership style as well as the behavior of other workers. • Cultural sensitivity is essential for inspiring people from different countries. • Global leadership skills help improve a company’s reputation and contribute to a sustainable competitive advantage. • Top management commitment to valuing diversity is clearest when valuing diversity is embedded in organizational strategy.

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