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RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
To my three daughters Silva, Dana and Mira, who make all the difference to us. May the world make a difference to you, as your hearts, minds and souls pave your way of making a difference in the future.
Research Handbook of Global Leadership Making a Difference
Lena Zander Uppsala University, Sweden
Cheltenham, UK • Northampton, MA, USA
© Lena Zander 2020
Cover image: © Annica Delfos All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing Limited The Lypiatts 15 Lansdown Road Cheltenham Glos GL50 2JA UK Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. William Pratt House 9 Dewey Court Northampton Massachusetts 01060 USA A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Control Number: 2019956339 This book is available electronically in the Business subject collection DOI 10.4337/9781782545354
ISBN 978 1 78254 534 7 (cased) ISBN 978 1 78254 535 4 (eBook)
List of figuresviii List of tablesix List of contributorsx Forewordxxiv Richard M. Steers 1
Prologue to the Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a Difference1 Lena Zander LEADERS AND TEAMS: MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
Multicultural leadership: keeping multiplicity alive and well Gundula Lücke
Global leadership: sustaining classic managerialism Stefan Sveningsson and Mats Alvesson
Action intent: getting closer to leadership behavior in 22 countries Lena Zander, Audra I. Mockaitis and Anne-Wil Harzing, with Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Srabani Roy Choudhury, Anabella Davila, Joyce De Leon, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Ferreira, Axèle Giroud, Kathrin Köster, Yung-Kuei Liang, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Joseph O.T. Odusanya, Sharon L. O’Sullivan, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Ayse Saka-Helmhout, Sununta Siengthai, Ayda Uzunçarşılı Soydaş and Linda Viswat
The motivational forces and moral imperatives of relational models: implications for global leadership Markus Vodosek and Lena Zander
Meeting the challenges of globalization in order to make a difference: implications for teams and team leadership Kristiina Mäkelä, Jakob Lauring, Christina L. Butler, Hyun-Jung Lee, Gundula Lücke, Christof Miska, Cecilia Pahlberg and Günter K. Stahl
Making a difference: managing identities and emotions in multicultural teams Yih-teen Lee and Susan C. Schneider
Making a difference in the digital age: global leadership and multiteam systems 126 Jeffrey L. Herman, Tracy C. McCausland and Daniel Bliton v
vi Research handbook of global leadership 9
The new Millennial global leaders: what a difference a generation makes! Christina L. Butler, Ciara Sutton, Audra I. Mockaitis and Lena Zander
Leadership for tomorrow: Taiwanese youth, ethnic identity and social networking164 Fiona Moore
FIRMS AND INTER-FIRM PARTNERSHIPS: MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
Responsible global leadership: a multi-level framework Günter K. Stahl, Christof Miska, Laura J. Noval and Verena J. Patock
Exploring responsible global leadership in corporate–community transactions Kate Daellenbach, Richard G. Seymour and Cynthia M. Webster
Beyond corporate social responsibility: global leadership virtues that make a difference Daina Mazutis and Christopher Zintel
Inclusive leadership for the ethical management of cultural diversity Laurence Romani and Charlotte Holgersson
Developing global leaders who make a difference Thomas Maak, Markéta Borecká and Nicola M. Pless
Middle managers in mergers and acquisitions: agents and recipients of change 266 Satu Teerikangas
Buffering and bridging: how leaders can make a difference during the post-merger integration process Güldem Karamustafa and Susan C. Schneider
The Nigerian leadership crisis: is shared leadership the answer? Christina L. Wassenaar and Craig L. Pearce
PART III UNIVERSITIES AND BUSINESS SCHOOLS: EDUCATING GLOBAL LEADERS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE 19
Taking the lead in making a difference: the role of business schools Stefan Gröschl, Patricia Gabaldón and Laurent Bibard
Making a difference in the classroom: developing global leadership competencies in business school students Mark E. Mendenhall, Lisa A. Burke-Smalley, Audur Arna Arnardottir, Gary R. Oddou and Joyce S. Osland
Developing socially responsible global leaders and making a difference: Global Leadership Lab social innovation projects Joyce S. Osland and Gretchen Vogelgesang Lester
Contents vii 22
Intersectional interventions in leadership education Åsa-Karin Engstrand
In search of responsible global leadership that makes a difference Allan Bird
A world of learning: the future of management education based on academia and practitioner universitas393 Peter Zettinig, Udo Zander, Lena Zander and Audra I. Mockaitis
Epilogue: developing holistic leaders – beyond the obvious Karsten Jonsen
Map of the book
Far-from-action to close-to-action concepts
The Relational Models Leadership Grid: expected follower responses
A conceptual framework of identity salience on team outcomes
Core guiding principles of inclusive practices
Beyond traditional CSR: the value chain as a means for positive impact
Systems approach to corporate sustainability
Global Leadership Virtue Impact Model
Core guiding principles of inclusive practices
Acquisition integration timeline: announcements, business unit integration periods
Individual actions that facilitate the post-merger integration process
Competencies affecting global leadership effectiveness
Choosing methodologies with most potential for transformation
Pyramid model of global leadership
A model of global leadership expertise development
Scenarios and response alternatives: measures of action intent
Action intent by country (a)
Action intent by country (b)
Culturally endorsed leadership dimensions: definitions and keywords
Action intent and culturally endorsed leadership dimensions by scenario
Relational models: moral motives and moral imperatives
Examples of behaviors based on congruent and incongruent relational models
Relationships among key variables
Examples of moral disengagement
Competencies required to support different CSR approaches
A comparison of CCT in a global context
Summary of strategic corporate sustainability approaches
Global leadership character: the virtues that enable a systems approach to corporate sustainability
A summary of the findings from the chapter
Student A’s personal development plan
The media example assignment
Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Lund, Sweden, the University of Queensland Business School, Australia and Cass Business School, London. His research interests include critical theory, gender, power, professional services firms, organizational culture, leadership, identity, organizational image, qualitative methods and philosophy of science. Recent books include Interpreting Interviews (2010), The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education and Work Organization (2013), Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research (2013, with J. Sandberg) and The Stupidity Paradox (2016, with A. Spicer). Audur Arna Arnardottir is MBA Director at Reykjavik University, Iceland. Her primary teaching areas are personal development, leadership, change management and performance management. Her research centers around personal development, work–family balance and group dynamics of corporate boards. Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen obtained his PhD from the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki in 2003, and now works as Professor of Business Administration at Åbo Akademi University School of Business and Economics in Turku, Finland. Issues related to language, communication and knowledge sharing in international business contexts count among his longstanding research interests. His work on these topics together with different co-authors has appeared in journals including the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Management and Organization Review and the Journal of International Management. Wilhelm has a specific interest in the individual level of analysis and in mixed-method approaches. Cordula Barzantny is Professor of Human Resource Management with a focus on International and Intercultural Management at Toulouse Business School. She is also strongly involved in AeroSpace business and management education development around the globe. Her main research interests are in cross-cultural management and global leadership, European and international human resource management. She is an associate editor of the European Journal of International Management and on the editorial board of the Journal of Business Research, the German Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of General Management, International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management and the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance. Prior to completing her PhD at Toulouse University, her professional career was in finance, accounting and management control with Siemens. Laurent Bibard is Professor at the ESSEC Business School and Chair of ESSEC’s Edgar Morin Chair of Complexity. Laurent holds a PhD in economics and political philosophy. His research benefits from this twofold education, questioning management from a philosophical perspective, and thought on the basis of experience and practice. Some of his recent research concerns organizational vigilance interpreted as the organizational conditions favoring collective as well as individual mindfulness on one hand, and gender relations on the other. Laurent x
Contributors xi is a thorough consultant, accompanying leaders and organizations in changing environments. Laurent has been invited to many prestigious universities such as in Germany (Mannheim), Canada (UQAM) and Japan (Keio Business School, Keio University). Allan Bird is Professor of Global Management at Pacific University. He is also Associate Vice President of International Affairs. He has authored, co-authored or edited nine books, 40 book chapters and more than 70 articles in journals and periodicals. His most recent book (with M. E. Mendenhall, J. S. Osland, G. R. Oddou, M. L. Maznevski, M. Stevens and G. Stahl) was Global Leadership: Research, Practice and Development, 3rd Edition. His research interests focus on global leadership and effective management in intercultural contexts, with a particular emphasis on assessment and development. Daniel Bliton is a learning strategist with Booz Allen Hamilton. He consults for a variety of non-profit and governmental organizations on designing and implementing emerging technologies and instructional approaches. He is a passionate learner and has been deeply engaged with research on effective learning transfer. He is the creator of the documentary film “The Machinima Primer” which showcased the use of video game technologies for storytelling and the rapid production of movies. Markéta Borecká holds a PhD in strategy and management from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, and a double master’s degree in adult education and personnel management, English and American studies from Charles University Prague. After her studies she worked for several years in the business consulting and recruitment industry in Prague. Today she is chief executive of the social enterprise FOREWEAR, which she founded in 2013. FOREWEAR received the Social Impact Award in 2013 and the Sole Trader of the Year 2015 in the city of Prague. Lisa A. Burke-Smalley is Guerry Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she teaches human resource management at the undergraduate, MBA and executive levels. Lisa’s research centers primarily on management training, development and education. Christina L. Butler is Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Kingston Business School. She holds an MBA from Ivey Business School and a PhD from London Business School. Her research interests include the leadership of and process issues in global teams; understanding bi/multicultural employees; the nature of global work; and the influence of language on work performance. Her work has been published in leading journals such as Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of World Business, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of Management Inquiry and Scandinavian Journal of Management. Srabani Roy Choudhury is Professor in Japanese Studies, Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prior to joining Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2007, she was a faculty in the International Management Institute where she taught a specialized course on Cross-Cultural Management. In 2012, she was recipient of a visiting scholar programme to Keizai Koho Centre, Ministry of Economics and Industry and Japan and Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance, Japan. In 2014, she was a visiting fellow at REIB Kobe University and worked on The Growing Indian Middle Class: Attracting
xii Research handbook of global leadership Indian Tourist to Japan. While broadly working in the area of cross-cultural management, her current research interests lie in understanding Japan and Japanese companies working in India. Kate Daellenbach was previously Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington. Prior to joining the university she held management roles in a number of non-profit arts organizations in Canada and New Zealand. Her research interests include corporate decision making surrounding arts sponsorship, social marketing and marketing education. She has published articles in journals including the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, Arts and the Market, the Journal of Social Marketing, Australasian Marketing Journal and the Journal of Brand Management. She is currently taking a break from academia to pursue new interests. Anabella Davila is Professor of Strategic Human Resource Management and Latin American Management at the EGADE Business School, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. She holds the Research Chair on Strategy and Management in Emerging Economies and has co-edited several books and chapters on Latin American human resource management. Her research articles have appeared in Journal of Business Ethics, Business and Society, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Journal of World Business, among others. Her research interests include human resource management, human development and sustainability. Her work examines the social logic that governs Latin American organizations. Davila is an active member of the Academy of Management and a member of the National Researchers System in Mexico (Tier II). Joyce De Leon is Head of Risk Management for a regional Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bank operating in the Philippines. She has been a risk-management practitioner for 13 years spanning market risk, liquidity risk, enterprise risk, non-financial risk, operational risk, business continuity, credit risk and has handled various financial products including core banking (deposits, loans), treasury (fixed income, foreign exchange, asset/ liability management, derivatives), investment banking (equity capital markets, debt capital markets, corporate advisory, mergers and acquisitions), stock brokerage (cash, margins), including some exposure to insurance, asset management for local, global and regional ASEAN banks operating in the Philippines. She finished her master’s in international business in the University of Melbourne in 2006. Åsa-Karin Engstrand is Reader in Labour Studies, Senior Lecturer, Division of Business Administration, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden. Her work is broadly focused on labor and work organization issues. Engstrand is Director of the Master’s Programme in Gender Studies at Linköping University. She mainly teaches courses in business ethics, intersectionality and equality work and has a particular research interest in intersectional analysis. Engstrand is currently involved in two research projects; one focuses on the role of conflict in knowledge-integration processes, the other on gender-equality strategies in academia. Her latest publication is the co-authored article with Gundula Lücke and Lena Zander (2018), “Desilencing Complexities: Addressing Categorization in Cross-Cultural Management with Intersectionality and Relationality”, International Studies of Management and Organization, 3. Alvaro Espejo is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at ESE Business School, Universidad de Los Andes, Chile. He received his PhD from IESE Business School. His
Contributors xiii current research interests include shared leadership in teams, pro-social motivation and proactive behaviors in the organization. He has been part of several cross-cultural research networks, studying leadership, values and trust across cultures. Rita Ferreira studied business management, law and languages at IESE Barcelona, Nantes, Oxford, Torino, Catolica Lisbon, Lisbon University and Tianjin University. Rita taught international undergraduates, MBAs and executives in four languages at ESSEC Paris, Algarve University, Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, AESE/IESE MBA and Catolica Lisbon. Rita has multicultural work experience from Portugal, Spain, France and Turkey, and multi-industry managerial experience in education, management consulting, real estate, banking and credit cards and tourism and hospitality startups. She recently served as Marketing, Communication and HR Director of Universidade Católica Portuguesa. She currently manages real estate portfolio and is a board member of the Portuguese Federation of Cycle Tourism and Bike Users and of a music school. Patricia Gabaldón is Associate Professor of Economic Environment at IE Business School, Spain. With a PhD in economics, she has developed her research around the role of women in the economy and its effects in economic growth and sustainability. Patricia is a graduate in economics of the University of Alcala, Spain. Her research has also been published in numerous book chapters and articles in academic journals such as Long Range Planning, Journal of Business Ethics, Corporate Governance: An International Review and European Management Journal. Axèle Giroud is Professor of International Business and Head of the Comparative and International Business Group at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, and Visiting Professor with the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her main research interests are multinational enterprises’ economic and social impact in host countries, technology and knowledge transfers and international strategy. She previously worked as Senior Economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and she was President of the Euro-Asia Management Studies Association. She has completed several research reports for major organizations. She sits on the editorial board of several academic journals and has published extensively in journals such as Journal of World Business, Asian Business and Management, International Business Review, Management International Review and World Development. Stefan Gröschl is Research Professor in the Department of Management at ESSEC Business. Stefan is widely known for his expertise in responsible leadership and diversity management, and has shared this expertise in a wide range of academic and public arenas. He has published several textbooks on responsible leadership, diversity management and international human resource management-related aspects. His research has also been published in numerous book chapters and articles in both the international trade and academic press. His research and teachings have brought Stefan to assignments in a wide range of academic institutions around the world. He is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous international academic management journals. Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London, Visiting Professor at Tilburg University and Fellow of the Academy of International Business. Her research interests include international human resource management, expatriate
xiv Research handbook of global leadership management, headquarters–subsidiary relationships, the role of language in international business, the international research process and the quality and impact of academic research. She has published more than 120 journal articles and book chapters on these topics. In addition to her substantive research areas, Anne-Wil also has a keen interest in issues relating to journal quality and research performance metrics. In this context, she is the editor of the Journal Quality List and the provider of Publish or Perish, a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. Jeffrey L. Herman is responsible for global special initiatives and planning for Ferring Pharmaceuticals based in St-Prex, Switzerland. He has more than 15 years of experience in organizational research and practice, including ten years in management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. He has published in the areas of global leadership, international assignments and adaptive performance. Jeffrey holds a PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from George Mason University and a BA in psychology from Duke University. Charlotte Holgersson is Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Economics and Management at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Her research is located in the intersection between gender studies and management and organization studies. She defended her doctoral thesis on the recruitment of managing directors and the concept of homosociality in 2003 at the Stockholm School of Economics. One of her main empirical concerns has been the perpetuation of men’s dominance on top positions in organizations. She is also interested in processes of change and several of her research projects focus on equality, diversity and inclusion practices in organizations. Karsten Jonsen was Research Fellow in Organizational Behaviour and International Management at International Institute for Management Development, Switzerland and a visiting professor at several European universities. He earned his MSc in economics from the Copenhagen Business School, MBA from ESCP in Paris and PhD from the University of Geneva. His research interests and publications covered a variety of managerial topics including work–family balance, team performance, virtual teams, leadership, cosmopolitanism, globalization, research methodology, career mobility, cross-cultural communication, gender and workforce diversity. Jonsen served as an advisor to large corporations in the field of workforce diversity and was a multiple award winner for his academic contributions, including the Carolyn Dexter Award for best international research paper at the Academy of Management 2010. Güldem Karamustafa is a research associate at the Institut Interdisciplinaire du Développement de l’Entreprise within the School of Management and Engineering Vaud, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. She received her PhD in management from the University of Geneva. Güldem specializes in the process of learning and adaptation and examines how individuals, groups and organizations can learn and grow through diverse experience. Her research evolves around the themes of organizational learning, cross-cultural management and sustainable development. Güldem also holds an undergraduate degree in environmental engineering and a master’s degree in human resource management. Prior to embarking on a career as a researcher, she gained experience as a human resources professional at a multinational.
Contributors xv Kathrin Köster is Professor for Leadership and International Management at Heilbronn University, Germany and faculty member of the Executive Academy at Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. She studied economics, Chinese studies and Japanese studies in Germany, China and Japan and earned her PhD at Erlangen-Nuremberg University, Germany. Kathrin is an innovative academic, social entrepreneur and a seasoned international manager. Her research focuses on awareness building as the pillar of transformation and self-leadership in a global context. Organizations around the world base their transformation efforts on the 12 alignments, a purpose-driven framework for sustainable growth. Leaders worldwide use the Formies approach, an integrative method for awareness building. Jakob Lauring is Professor at the Department of Management, Aarhus University. Jakob’s research interests are focused on different themes within international management, more specifically, expatriate management and multicultural teams (co-located and virtual). He has published more than 100 international articles in outlets such as the Journal of World Business, British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Journal and International Business Review. Hyun-Jung Lee is Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at London School of Economics. Her research focuses on cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and intercultural relations in multinational corporations and in society more broadly. Her work has appeared in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Academy of Management Learning and Education among others. She has taught in Europe and Asia and advised global firms including Samsung Electronics, LG, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Rolls-Royce and several United Nations organizations. She also advises several United Kingdom-based voluntary organizations including Engage for Success. Yih-teen Lee is Professor at IESE Business School, Barcelona. He specializes in leadership and leading global collaboration in his roles as educator, researcher and consultant. His research has appeared in the Journal of Management, Personnel Psychology and Academy of Management Discoveries. Raised in a Chinese cultural context, Yih-teen has been living and working in Europe for over 15 years and identifies himself as a multicultural individual. This exposure alongside his unyielding passion for various cultures drives him to embrace diversity and devote his energy to the search of deep-level cultural knowledge and cultural competences, with the goal of contributing to the ability of managers and organizations to navigate global cultures effectively. Yung-Kuei Liang is Associate Professor of International Business and Strategic Management at Tatung University, Taiwan. He obtained his PhD at National Taiwan University and had worked in the United Kingdom and Thailand for several years before joining academia. His research interests include trust building and partnership management in international collaborations, and innovation and entrepreneurship in cross-cultural ventures. His research has appeared in International Business Review and Journal of World Business, among others. Gundula Lücke is Research and Teaching Associate at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University. She received a PhD in international business from the Sonoco International Business Department at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on institutional and sociocultural approaches to understanding organizational processes, including topics such
xvi Research handbook of global leadership as multiculturalism, institutional multiplicity and multinational corporation innovation. She is currently exploring the emergence of novelty in multinationals, specifically opportunity recognition, focusing on the underlying micro-processes and multicultural dynamics, drawing in particular on sociological and anthropological theories and taking relational and interpretive approaches. Thomas Maak is Professor and Director of the Center for Workplace Leadership in Melbourne. He is President of International Society of Business, Economics and Ethics. He has formerly held positions at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, INSEAD in France and the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, and is a visiting professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from the University of St Gallen. A management scholar and business ethicist by training, he is a leading scholar in the area of responsible leadership. His other research includes business ethics, political corporate social responsibility, shared agency and the micro-foundations of responsible management. Daina Mazutis is Associate Professor of Strategy at the Telfer School of Business, University of Ottawa, where she also holds the Endowed Professorship in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. Her areas of interest are strategic leadership, decision making and responsible business and her work has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics, Academy of Management Learning and Education, California Management Review, Business Horizons, Business and Society, Management Learning and the Annals of Social Responsibility. She has presented at international conferences and co-authored several award-winning and best-selling cases. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, Daina was Professor of Strategy, Leadership and Ethics at International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. She obtained her PhD in strategy at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. Tracy C. McCausland is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation working primarily on military manpower and personnel topics. Her research at RAND focuses on enhancing individual- and organizational-level performance through systematically examining work role requirements to include work activities and worker attributes. Recent projects include methods to improve entry-level recruiting, screening and development for Air Force special operations and combat support specialties; determining effective strategies to reduce time burdens placed on Army company-level leaders; and attempting to bridge the military–non-military employment divide via non-technical skills. Her past research and consulting focused on topics including leadership, teamwork, diversity, selection, training, retention, organizational culture and program evaluation. McCausland has a BSc in psychology from Davidson College and a PhD in industrial-organizational psychology from George Mason University. Mark E. Mendenhall holds the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and is a partner in the Kozai Group, a consultancy that specializes in global leadership identification, assessment and development. He has published numerous books and journal articles on issues associated with global leadership and expatriation. His latest co-authored book is Global Leadership: Research, Practice, and Development (2018). Christof Miska is Assistant Professor at the Institute for International Business at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, from where he earned his doctoral degree. He is
Contributors xvii also an alumnus of CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education, and the Nordic Research School of International Business. His research interests focus on the phenomenon of responsible global leadership at the intersection of corporate responsibility and sustainability, global business ethics, international management and cross-cultural studies. His research has been published in outlets such as Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics and Advances in Global Leadership. Audra I. Mockaitis is Professor of International Business at Maynooth University School of Business, Ireland. She has held tenured positions in Australia (Monash) and New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington). Her research interests center on cross-cultural management, cultural values, multicultural virtual teams, global team leadership and migration and identity. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Ethics and International Journal of Human Resource Management, and she has received multiple best paper and best reviewer awards. Audra serves on the editorial boards of Thunderbird International Business Review, Journal of World Business and the Baltic Journal of Management. See www.mockaitis.com. Fiona Moore is Professor of Business Anthropology at Royal Holloway, University of London. She received her doctorate from Oxford University, where she studied at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, in 2002. Her research on identity in German multinational corporations has been published in the Journal of International Business Studies, among others. She has written a monograph, Transnational Business Cultures, on German expatriates in the City of London, with a second forthcoming monograph on Taiwanese elite labor migrants in London and Toronto. Her current research focuses on the impact of Brexit on German expatriate identities in London. She also writes science fiction, and her first novel was published in 2018 with a second due in 2020. More information is available at www.fiona -moore.com. Michael J. Morley holds the Chair in Management at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland, where he has also served as Assistant Dean for Research, Head of the Department of Management and Marketing and Head of the Department of Personnel and Employment Relations. His research interests encompass various aspects of international, comparative and cross-cultural human resource management which he investigates at different levels. He has authored numerous articles in leading international journals and has published several books and edited volumes. He currently serves as an editor with European Management Review and is a member of several editorial boards including the Journal of International Business Studies, Group and Organization Management, Human Resource Management Review and the British Journal of Management. Barbara Myloni is Assistant Professor of Management at the Department of Business Administration, University of Patras. She is a graduate of Athens University of Economics and Business, with postgraduate studies in International Management and Doctorate in Human Resource Management from Bradford University School of Management. Barbara has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business administration, business policy and strategy, organizational behavior, human resource management, organizational change, among others. She has collaborated with universities abroad representing Greece in international surveys, as well as with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in matters concerning multinational enterprises and foreign direct investment. Her research interests
xviii Research handbook of global leadership include international human resource management, leadership, motivation and organizational culture, multinational enterprises and foreign direct investment and strategic and knowledge management. Kristiina Mäkelä is Professor of International Business at Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki and Provost of Aalto University. Her research focuses on people-related issues in multinational corporations, including those concerning human resource management practices, the human resources function, knowledge, social capital and interpersonal interaction. Her work has appeared in more than 20 international peer-reviewed journals and books, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Human Resource Management, Journal of World Business, International Business Review, Journal of Managerial Psychology, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Organizational Dynamics, among others. Before entering academia, she worked for more than ten years in Procter & Gamble, the world-leading consumer-goods multinational. Laura J. Noval is Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Imperial College Business School. She holds a PhD from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and an MBA from the European School of Management and Technology. In addition to her studies, she has extensive international professional experience in Argentina, the United States, France, Germany, Austria and England. Laura’s research lies within the fields of organizational behavior and behavioral business ethics and has been published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Business Ethics and Organizational Dynamics. Her PhD thesis won the Society for Business Ethics Best Dissertation Award in 2016. Sharon L. O’Sullivan is Associate Professor at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. She is cross-affiliated with the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment and School of International Development and Global Studies. Sharon’s research focuses on how human resource management strategies can enable knowledge exchange and learning, particularly in cross-cultural and sustainable development contexts. She has published in the Journal of International Business Studies, Human Relations, Human Resource Management and the European Management Journal, among others. She has also received Best Reviewer and Best Paper distinctions at the Academy of Management and the European Academy of Management. Gary R. Oddou is Emeritus Professor of International Management at California State University, San Marcos, where he developed and directed the current Global Business Management program for nine years. He has taught and given business seminars in the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, France, Switzerland, then-Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan. His research is principally in two areas: international human resource management and global leadership, specializing in the factors related to effective cross-cultural competence and global leader effectiveness. He has authored, co-authored or contributed chapters to several books, on international human resources issues and global leadership. Joyce S. Osland is the Lucas Endowed Professor of Global Leadership and Executive Director/Founder of the Global Leadership Advancement Center at San Jose State University. Her current research addresses repatriate knowledge transfer, a global leadership typology and global leadership expertise and development. She has received numerous awards for both teaching and scholarship, most recently the Academy of Management’s International
Contributors xix Management Division’s Outstanding Educator award. With over 100 publications, Joyce’s research appears in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Human Resource Management, Journal of International Business Studies and Organizational Dynamics. Recent books are Global Leadership: Research, Practice, and Development (2018) and Advances in Global Leadership, Vol. 10 (2017). She is a senior partner in the Kozai Group. Cecilia Pahlberg is Professor at the Department of Business Studies. She conducts research within international business and marketing. Her research interests concern headquarters– subsidiary relationships in multinational firms, the impact from cultural differences as well as organizational learning. Building on a business network perspective, she has in the last decade mainly focused on firms’ relationships with non-business actors such as political actors and non-governmental organizations. For instance, relationships between small firms and political actors within the European Union have attracted her attention and more recently the impact from sociopolitical actors on multinationals in emerging markets has been studied. At present, ethical issues as well as how firms handle cooperation and competition in their relationships are the focus of her research. Ananda Kumar Palaniappan is an Educational Psychologist and currently consults for several universities and organizations on research and publication. He was a professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya for 24 years. He obtained his doctorate in creativity from the University of Malaya in 1994. He specializes in creative teaching, creative and innovative thinking, organizational creativity and creative problem solving. He lectures in research methods and statistics and has been conducting SPSS and AMOS workshops since 1995. He has given numerous invited keynote addresses at both local and international conferences and has presented papers on creativity and assessments for numerous groups. Ananda has also researched and published internationally on creativity and the validation of several instruments. He has published in many international journals. Verena J. Patock is Research Fellow at the Society and Organizations Center at HEC Paris. She holds a doctoral degree in social and economic sciences from Vienna University of Economics and Business. Her research focuses on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, strategy and international business issues. Prior to joining academia, she worked in marketing and in the corporate social responsibility department of a German think tank. Craig L. Pearce is the Ben May Distinguished Professor at the Mitchell College of Business, University of South Alabama. He has lectured at many prominent universities, including Harvard, Duke, Amsterdam, Seoul National and Instituto de Empresa. He has received several awards including the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Fellow Award. His book Shared Leadership: Reframing the Hows and Whys of Leadership has been cited more than 1,400 times; his more recent book The Drucker Difference is currently printed in ten languages. Other books include Share, Don’t Take the Lead and Twisted Leadership. His research has been cited more than 11,000 times. Nicola M. Pless is Professor of Management and Chair in Positive Business at UniSA Business School. Prior to joining UniSA, she served for six years as a full-time faculty member at ESADE and held for five years a joint faculty appointment at the University of St Gallen and INSEAD. In 2011 she was awarded the Honorary Jef Van Gerwen Chair from the University of Antwerp for pioneering work in the field of responsible leadership; in 2013
xx Research handbook of global leadership she received the Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence. Her award-winning research has been published in leading academic and practitioner journals. Her mission as professor and former vice president leadership development is to advance the practice of responsible global leadership and its development through research and teaching innovation. Paulo Prochno is Clinical Professor of Strategy at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Paulo earned his PhD in management from INSEAD, his MBA from Vanderbilt University and his BEng in industrial engineering from the University of São Paulo. He has written articles in the areas of knowledge management, organizational routines, cross-border management and manufacturing strategy. He teaches strategy courses in executive development programs, MBA, MSc and undergraduate programs, having won multiple teaching awards. In 2018 he was Chair of the Teaching Community of the Strategic Management Society. Laurence Romani is Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. Her work focuses on issues of representation and interaction with the cultural other in respectful and enriching ways. Her current research empirically investigates leadership and practices of diversity management (see www .casl .se). She considers contributions from critical management, feminist and postcolonial organization studies to further cross-cultural management research and teaching. Laurence’s work appears in Organizational Research Method, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Business Ethics and the International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management. She co-edited Cross-Cultural Management in Practice: Culture and Negotiated Meanings (2011, Edward Elgar Publishing). Ayse Saka-Helmhout is Professor of Comparative Management at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. Her research focuses on how multinational enterprises display social agency despite their institutional embeddedness. Her work has highlighted responses by multinationals to multiple institutional pressures from a comparative perspective. She has published on these issues in journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Management and Organization Review and Journal of World Business. She serves as an editorial board member of Organization Studies and Journal of World Business. Susan C. Schneider is Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva. Her research activities focus on intercultural management, diversity and corporate social responsibility. She co-authored the book Managing across Cultures (1997, 2nd edition 2003, 3rd edition 2014, with translations in French, Dutch and Chinese). Susan has a PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University, New York and a postdoctoral degree in organization analysis from New York University Graduate School of Business. Richard G. Seymour was most recently Senior Lecturer and Program Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Sydney Business School. Prior to joining the university in 2006, he worked in the corporate, non-governmental organization and consulting sectors. As well as having run his own business, Richard advised small and medium-sized enterprises on corporate divestments, capital raisings and cross-border transactions, and worked with a number of European, Asian and Australian organizations in the financial, property and environmental sectors. Richard’s research included the creative
Contributors xxi industries, innovation and entrepreneurship (both social and business), defining and measuring entrepreneurial activity, case studies of internationalizing enterprises, exploring value created by entrepreneurial activity and understanding how innovation and enterprise can best be taught and encouraged. Sununta Siengthai is Professor of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior at the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. She was awarded her PhD by the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations (currently the School of Labor and Employment Relations), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984. She has taught, researched and published extensively in the areas of human resource management and development, organizational behavior, performance management and industrial relations in the new economy. Günter K. Stahl is Professor of International Management and Director of the Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. His current research interests include the drivers of responsible innovation, grand societal challenges and their implications for management and leadership, and the changing nature of global work. His research has been published in leading academic journals and has been profiled in a wide range of media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Günter is currently Senior Editor of the Journal of World Business and Academic Fellow of the Centre for International Human Resource Management at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, as well as Fellow of the Centre for Global Workforce Strategy at Simon Fraser University. Ciara Sutton is Assistant Professor at the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). She is Academic Director of the SSE CEMS master program and Program Director of the master of international business, SSE’s ranked master program and has extensive teaching experience in the areas of strategy and international business. Ciara is the co-author of the first and second European editions of Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage and has published in journals such as Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the European Journal of International Management. Her current research project is on tertiary education practices and leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a team of researchers and educators from five African countries. Stefan Sveningsson is Professor of Business Administration at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University. He has been visiting researcher at Cardiff Business School, Melbourne University, University of Sydney and Auckland Business School. Research includes leadership, managerial work, strategic and organizational change and organization of knowledge intensive work. Recent books include Changing Organizational Culture, 2nd edition (2015, with Alvesson), Managerial Lives: Leadership and Identity in an Imperfect World (2016, with Alvesson) and Reflexive Leadership (2017, with Alvesson and Blom). Satu Teerikangas is Professor of Management and Organization at the School of Economics, University of Turku, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Management at University College London. Her research centers on strategic change, which she explores in the context of mergers and acquisitions, studying the managerial, human and cultural dynamics therein. She is co-editor of The Handbook of M&A (2012), and her research features in the Journal
xxii Research handbook of global leadership of Management, British Journal of Management and Human Resource Management, among others. Prior to joining academia, Satu worked in the oil and gas industry in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in management consulting and human resources roles. A Finnish native, Satu withholds international exposure through living across three continents. Ayda Uzunçarşılı Soydaş received her master’s degree at the Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Human Resource Management, İstanbul University and PhD at the Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Public Relations and Publicity, Marmara University. She has been a member of the Faculty of Communications at Marmara University since 1993. Her major teaching subjects are new media and intercultural management-communication. She has written a book on intercultural communication and several book chapters, as well as several international and national published articles. Markus Vodosek is Clinical Associate Professor in the Management and Entrepreneurship Department at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Before joining Kelley, he was Professor of Strategic Management and Leadership at the German Graduate School of Management and Law in Heilbronn, Germany. He received his PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan. His research interests include interpersonal relationships in organizations and global leadership skills as a strategic resource. His research has been published in the International Journal of Conflict Management, Journal of Management Inquiry and International Journal of Psychology. Markus is also co-editor of the International Management volume of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Management. Gretchen Vogelgesang Lester is Associate Professor at San Jose State University. Her research encompasses multidomain leadership as well as global leadership development. She has published in such journals as the Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Dynamics, Academy of Management Learning and Education and Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences. She also has presented her work at the Academy of Management conferences and organized symposia focused on developing multidomain leadership at the European Academy of Work and Organizational Psychologists conference. She is a coordinator for the Network of Leadership Scholars and serves as a reviewer for a number of leadership journals. Christina L. Wassenaar is Assistant Professor of Management in the Mitchell College of Business at University of South Alabama. She earned her PhD in management from Claremont Graduate University where she also spent five years as the academic director for the Drucker School of Management. She is a consultant with international expertise in leadership, strategy and educational planning. She has taught in the United States and internationally at the undergraduate, graduate and executive levels in academic and corporate settings. Prior to transitioning to academia and consulting, she spent 11 years in research, marketing and development for companies including Johnson & Johnson, MGM, ACNielsen and Verizon. Her primary areas of research focus on shared leadership theory, corporate social responsibility (including questions of irresponsibility), international management and corruption. Cynthia M. Webster is Associate Professor in Marketing for the Macquarie Business School in Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD from the University of California, Irvine and has held academic positions at the University of California, Los Angeles, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle. Her research
Contributors xxiii interests focus on consumer value, well-being and engagement, social network analysis and exchange, social marketing and entrepreneurship. She has published articles in such journals as the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Small Business Management and European Journal of Marketing. Lena Zander is Professor of International Business at Uppsala University in Sweden. She has previously held positions at Victoria University of Wellington and the Stockholm School of Economics, and as visiting scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Stanford University and the Wharton School. Her research is on leadership and teams in global organizations from a cultural perspective. She has published in journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business and Management International Review. She has contributed to books, blogs and practitioner-oriented journals. Her work has attracted external funding, been profiled in media and she has received multiple best dissertation, paper and reviewer awards at AIB, ANZAM and AOM. Udo Zander is Professor of International Business at the Stockholm School of Economics. He is Fellow of the Academy of International Business and the European International Business Academy and is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Udo has published in journals such as American Sociological Review, British Journal of Management and European Management Review and is Associate Editor at Academy of Management Review. He has taught in over 30 countries and has been visiting professor at Stanford University, the Wharton School, Victoria University of Wellington and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Peter Zettinig is Adjunct Professor in International Business at the University of Turku, Finland. His central curiosity in research and education revolves around the question of how change unfolds in different contexts and on different levels related to international business phenomena. This includes research in entrepreneurial firms which transform into multinational corporations; global virtual teams and their development trajectories; cluster organizations and their collective dynamics; and the central questions regarding knowledge and learning in their various forms either at the individual or organizational levels. These central research interests feed a deep passion for experimenting and developing exciting teaching and learning designs, which present themselves as transformation processes in which learners discover new knowledge and develop new solution trajectories across disciplinary boundaries. Christopher Zintel is on the faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), where he designs and delivers leadership solutions across industries. Prior to joining CCL, Chris worked as a learning manager and executive coach at IMD Business School. He holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, a BA in philosophy from Whitman College and is a graduate of University of California Berkeley’s Executive Coaching Institute.
Foreword Richard M. Steers
Leadership has long been considered the magic elixir that brings employers, employees, and other stakeholders together in ways that facilitate organizational effectiveness. It is often considered the essence of good management and the aspirational goal of countless would-be executives. Indeed, when a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, brought together over a thousand corporate executives, heads of state, and cabinet ministers to discuss world problems, one observer characterized the meeting as having a unified overarching theme: the importance of developing global leaders—in corporations, nation states, and non-governmental organizations. The observer further suggested that the two most popular words in the business lexicon today are “global” and “leadership,” and when you put these two words together people in suits begin to salivate. In other words, anyone and everyone who works across cultures needs to master the basics of global leadership. So far, so good. But how do managers actually accomplish this? How can they become global leaders? How can they impact the people around them? How can they lead groups more effectively? How can companies benefit from more effective leadership? And how can universities and educators contribute to these changes? In other words, how can we develop more effective global leaders and how can such leaders actually make a difference for organizations and the people associated with them? Such is the topic of this volume. Leadership is a topic that often escapes clear definition and mutual understanding, despite the plethora of books and articles written about the topic over decades. Exploring this topic from a global perspective only serves to multiply the complexities and opportunities for misunderstanding. Part of the problem here is that managers tend to view leadership from a top-down perspective (how do we get people to follow?), while employees often view it from a bottom-up perspective (why should we follow?). And outsiders often view it from both perspectives. Such frames of reference can become important obstacles to misunderstanding and action. Moreover, much of what is written about leadership frames the concept largely in terms of Western beliefs, values, and cultures, and then offers models to the world as keys to managerial success, a viewpoint that is of little value for managers charged with the responsibility of getting things done globally. As a result, existing theories of leadership are often found wanting for two specific reasons: (1) a failure to recognize and accommodate contextual variables, such as cultural differences, in leadership and work environments; and (2) an inability to offer useful suggestions for developing managers who can accommodate such differences. Consider one example: leadership differences between China (and much of East and Southeast Asia) and much of the West. What is generally referred to as Western civilization traces its origins to the culture, beliefs, and traditions of ancient Greece. The Greeks developed the concept of eidos (ideal), as a perfect form that humans should aspire to and achieve as télos (goal). In this scheme, the work of a leader consists of bridging the gap between télos as an ideal state and reality (or actual practice) with a goal of achieving perfection. By contrast, the concept of an ideal or archetype that could serve as a model for action and a desirable final xxiv
Foreword xxv state of affairs never developed in ancient China or in much of Asia. Instead, reality in the Ancient East was seen as a process emanating from the interaction between opposing and complementary forces, or yin and yang. Order did not result from an ideal to be accomplished but from a natural propensity of processes already in motion. Because the emphasis is on current processes evolving here and now, Eastern thinking focuses on very concrete and specific situations of everyday life, rather than abstractions of the essence of an ideal form. Since Eastern thinking tends not to abstract and generalize in the search for an ultimate eîdos, traditional Chinese language did not include words for essence, god, being, ethics, and the like. Indeed, even today’s modern Chinese and several other Asian languages incorporate these concepts only from a need to translate them from Western languages. Understanding this difference helps explain the separate paths of social thought and practice in these two divergent regions of the world. In many cases, Western thinking is difficult to understand or interpret without reference to concepts such as “the ideal.” Current thinking about leadership, as taught in many parts of the world, is based on the original Greek concept of the ideal and purposeful action. Strategy is conceived as the art of arranging means towards desired end states. Corporate vision and mission make for a concrete definition of organizational ideals. Executives manage by objectives, and leaders strive actively to move the firm closer to achieving business goals and ideals that are carefully and publicly defined and implemented. Eastern tradition, on the other hand, emphasizes positioning oneself in the flow of reality in a more passive way, so that we can discover its coherence and benefit from its natural evolution. Rather than establishing a set of objectives for action, one has to flow within the potential of each situation and the dynamics that the situation affords. A common metaphor that can be found in traditional Chinese texts tells of a general and his soldiers benefiting from a given evolution of events, rather than behaving with particular heroism or bravery. As such, leaders must locate themselves so that the desired path of events becomes the only viable alternative, the same way that they do not force their opponent, militarily or commercially, into a situation in which their only alternative is to behave bravely against them. As a result, leadership performance in the Western tradition results from minimizing the gap between the goal and the achievement, the planned and the attained. Action in the West is seen as a separate entity, an external disruption to the natural order of things. In East Asia, by contrast, leadership performance results from a minimization of action itself, leaving the situation to achieve its full potential in terms that benefit the organization. Eastern leaders thus focus on continual processes following their own internal dynamics, uninterrupted. Western action is seen from the Asian perspective as being extemporaneous, quick, direct, and costly, while the Eastern “effortless action” is slow, indirect, progressive, and natural. Western leaders act, while Asian leaders transform. This transformation—as opposed to action—extends itself through time, as if without beginning and end, imposing itself albeit in natural ways. Because it comes from the inside of the situation, it imposes itself softly, without resistance. Changes emanate by themselves and do not require heroic efforts and determination, as they are part of a continuous progression that is barely noticed. This does not imply that the concept of action is not present in traditional Eastern thought. However, it is a subdued type of action: slow, subtle, anticipatory, and naturally inserted in the natural flow of events. Rather than sudden action, occasions are anticipated, providing for the outcome of what will naturally appear. As a result, Chinese and many other Asian leaders pursue objectives in modest ways, silent and almost anonymous, compared to the grandiloquent apparatus and appearance of the heroic decision maker often seen or imagined in the
xxvi Research handbook of global leadership West. Action is freed from activism and becomes discrete and subtle, confounded in the course of events, ignorant of particular protagonists. As a result of these differences—multiplied countless times around the world—we often find it difficult to even articulate a useful definition of leadership, let alone action plans for leadership effectiveness. Some languages do not even have a word for the concept. In others, the translation invokes a variety of images, including dictator, parent, expert, and first among equals. Some of these terms have strong connotations of highly directive or authoritarian styles of leadership that many people reject. Leaders are not necessarily to be trusted, and people wonder about their motives and true goals, or about other potentially undesirable behaviors and characteristics. To make matters even more complex, not only does the term “leader” translate differently across various cultural groups, but the meanings that are construed from these translations can also differ, sometimes significantly. For example, in individualistic societies (e.g., Australia, Canada, United Kingdom) leadership typically refers to a single person who guides and directs the actions of others, often in a very visible way. In more collectivistic societies (e.g., China, Japan, and South Korea), however, leadership is often less associated with individuals and more closely aligned with group endeavors. In hierarchical societies (e.g., Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia) leaders are often seen as being separate and apart from their followers, while in more egalitarian societies (e.g., Denmark, Sweden) they are more approachable and less intimidating. The rather common Anglo-American celebration of the accomplishments of various leaders stands in stark contrast to Lao Tzu’s ancient observation cited above, that effective leaders work quietly and let workers (or employees) take the credit. Cultural differences also influence followership. In many egalitarian societies, terms such as “followers” or “subordinates” are seen as being inappropriate. For instance, subordinates in the Netherlands are frequently referred to as co-workers (medewerkers) instead of subordinates, and leaders are careful to avoid appearing condescending. With such a diversity of opinions concerning the characteristics and proposed appropriate actions of effective leaders, what does this suggest about our ability to apply largely Western-based leadership theories across borders? What does this say about our ability to build or implement leadership development programs that will work all over the world? Even more, what does this say about so-called leadership gurus who travel the world with their packaged leadership programs? So, here is the challenge: Whatever the location, global leaders up and down the hierarchy face the same problem of how and when to adapt their leadership styles to fit local circumstances in order to achieve corporate objectives—if this can actually be done. What follows in this book is a serious effort to explore the etiology of global leadership from multiple perspectives and disciplines by many of the foremost thinkers on the topic. Some of the chapters reported here focus on theory building, while others report on empirical investigations. Some build on previous models, while others represent entirely new thinking. Some focus on generational issues, while others focus on technological and environmental impacts. Some are value-laden, while others are not. And finally, many of the chapters focus on how to improve global leadership training within a global context so future managers will be better prepared for the new world that awaits them. Taken together, this book represents a compendium of theories, research, and action plans, all focusing on what people with diverse cultural backgrounds and working in diverse organizations around the world can learn in order to become better managers and corporate citizens. For those interested in improving their global leadership understanding and skills, this volume is an essential read.
1. Prologue to the Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a Difference Lena Zander
HOW IT ALL STARTED … The Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a Difference came into existence as a book project in Limerick, Ireland where serendipitously two happenings occurred on the same sunny day. One was that Ms Francine O’Sullivan, publisher at Edward Elgar Publishing, inquired whether I was interested in editing a research handbook of global leadership. I was. And two, Professor Nakiye Boyacigiller in her keynote speech mentioned how the move from the United States to Turkey had made her reflect and focus on the importance of making a difference. The keynote brought vivid memories of my own father to mind. How he had, when he worked and we lived in Africa, Asia and Europe, spoken to me, as I grew up, about leadership, and about what was the most important: “it is what you do and how you act in everyday life that matters”. Like generations of family members before him, he would emphasize how a leader should be a role model. Always. And in so doing trying to make a difference to the people around themselves. These remembrances resulted in this book project on global leadership taking on a personal, additional important role – that of making a difference as a leader. I invited scholars who are knowledgeable, insightful, reflective and importantly want to make a difference with their research and teaching. The invitation placed particular emphasis on three issues; first, that the choice of topic was entirely open as long as it contributed to our understanding of leadership in the global arena. Second, it should have implications for making a difference regarding global leadership. And third, the chapters could be theoretical or empirical, or take the form of shorter idea-based essays, whichever format the authors preferred for conveying their ideas, research and scholarly insights. The open and rather loosely framed invitation led to that scholars, who have global leadership at the core of their research, engaged in conversations with those whose research touch on the contours of global leadership. Thus, offering both inside and outside perspectives while not shying away from critical viewpoints, the ambition of the volume is to provide an exceptional set of contributions to the field of global leadership. Before outlining the structure of the book and introducing the chapter contributions, a few words on the intellectual journey towards the realization of the Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a Difference.
CONTRIBUTORS ENGAGING IN CONVERSATIONS Early on during the project, I organized a workshop in Sigtuna, Sweden. Authors were invited to submit their draft chapters to the workshop, where they would be able to present their work, receive feedback from a dedicated discussant and the rest of the group in addition to my comments. In the lovely milieu of Sigtuna Folkhögskola with its view over the small quaint 1
2 Research handbook of global leadership historical town of Sigtuna (founded in 970 ad) by the waterside of Lake Mälaren, a stimulating exchange of ideas about leadership took place. The conversation was perhaps influenced by the atmosphere of Sweden’s first town, which had been developed according to a city plan during the Viking era, and quickly became a vibrant cosmopolitan trading center where languages and cultures met and mixed. To many scholars writing is a lonely endeavor. To others this is the best part, but wherever you find yourself on the scale from the need for society to the need for solitude, you will most probably agree that engaging in research conversations with knowledgeable others is not only beneficial but also enjoyable. We concentrated on global leadership, culture, and the ideas proposed in the chapter drafts, but we also had time to ponder on how this book could be made relevant to a broad(er) readership. One suggestion that came up was that each chapter could, in a designated and systematic way, provide ideas for further research as well as briefly outline the chapter’s relevance for educators and practitioners. This was agreed upon, and the result in the form of marked textboxes on these topics are visible at the end of each chapter in this volume. Another suggestion was to take the idea behind the book and the individual chapters to a wider academic audience, such as that at the Academy of Management’s annual conference, which we did. The overall purpose of our proposed panel symposium was to take to heart the queries of how people, teams and firms can make a difference with global leadership, and how universities and business schools can educate global leaders. It turned out that there was such a positive response from the chapter authors that the panel had to be divided into three “sub-panels”, all to be held sequentially at the same session. On the day of the panel symposium we were gathered in a large conference room, exceptionally full, where an enthusiastic audience engaged in conversation with members of the three panels, and each other. Needless to say, this impressive turnout posed quite a challenge to the panel participants as well as to us as organizers in terms of timing, managing the flow of input into the discussion and providing a relevant summary at the end of the session. What became overwhelmingly clear was that the questions of making a difference with global leadership from a people, team, firm, university and business school perspective had definitely engaged the participants at the panel symposium, bearing promise of an interest in the collection of chapters in this volume.
A MAP OF THE BOOK Across the chapters, global leadership is examined from different perspectives, namely that of leaders and teams, firms and inter-firm partnerships as well as universities and business schools, dividing the volume into three parts. Interestingly, given the open nature of the invitation to participate in this book project, it became clear already from the outset that certain themes were prevalent across the submitted chapters. Keywords such as cultural multiplicity, cultural competence, awareness and mindset, cultural boundary spanning, blending and bridge making as well as bicultural and multicultural identities are characteristic of the first part of the volume where global leaders and teams are in focus. The second part is characterized by keywords such as responsible leadership, virtuous leadership, inclusive leadership and shared leadership, but also by how firms can develop leaders, or how leaders develop through inter-firm partnerships. The keywords of the third part include developing global competencies, social consciousness and intersectional understand-
Map of the book
ing among students, but it also contains reflections on how business schools and universities can interact with practitioners and influence education of the future. The last contribution in the volume is an epilogue that takes a look at the chapters in the volume while exploring the idea of developing holistic leaders. A map modeled on the town of Sigtuna, where we held our initial workshop, is depicted in Figure 1.1. The main streets and buildings, where people meet, talk and work together, represent Part I of this volume with its focus on global leaders and teams. Turning to the tree-covered green areas of Sigtuna on the map, we find Part II on global firms and inter-firm partnerships with its focus on responsibility and sustainability, doing good, growing, and developing as leaders, and standing firm when the cold winds blow. Moving on to Part III with a focus on universities and business schools, it is a short walk uphill on the map to arrive at the place where the Sigtuna workshop was held. As it is a venue for education, it symbolizes innovative approaches to educating global leaders for the future, as well as universities and business schools taking on new roles and partnering with practitioners. Hovering above Sigtuna is an aircraft named “Epilogue”, providing a helicopter view of the book chapters, but also taking a critical look at developing holistic global leaders for the future. And then there is the sailing boat called “Prologue”. A boat that has experienced (much) more than expected, from smooth sailing in running wind when making progress, to stormy waves of unpredictability, followed by non-motion when there is no wind in the sails at
4 Research handbook of global leadership all. Sometimes tedious zig-zagging tacking up against the wind would work. At other times the sailing boat would end up stuck in irons with the sails flapping uselessly. But eventually the ship reached the shore carrying its prologue to the Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a Difference.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE PARTS … As an appetizer, or perhaps a trailer, the intent of the following brief introductions to the chapters is to inspire further reading, but also to give an overview of the range of contributions in each part of this volume. Part I – Leaders and Teams: Making a Difference with Global Leadership Chapter 2 places leadership firmly in its global cultural context. Gundula Lücke examines the cultural implications for leaders (and teams) in “Multicultural leadership: Keeping multiplicity alive and well”. Leadership is, in her view, “by definition cultural as perceptions, understandings and actions are guided and shaped by the culture(s) they are embedded in”. Cultural multiplicity thus becomes a fundamental resource to global leaders, which they need to recognize, engage, leverage and mobilize in their leadership. Lücke proposes that integrative and generative leadership, and the interaction of the two, are critical processes underlying multicultural team activity. Integrative leadership involves sharing and unifying the processes necessary to handle multicultural challenges, communication and coordination, while generative leadership draws on cultural meanings to find new solutions, engages in the exploration and exploitation of novel opportunities and adapts flexibly to changing environments. Global leaders practicing integrative and generative leadership, based on underlying sociocultural dynamics, will be at the helm of making a difference with global leadership. In Chapter 3 on “Global leadership: Sustaining classic managerialism”, Stefan Sveningsson and Mats Alvesson provide us with a critical treatment of the concept of global leadership. In their detailed scrutiny, they problematize and demystify global leadership, its underlying assumptions, and how in their view it is deceptively framed as an all-embracing and intuitively good discourse. Moving away from a leader-centric conceptualization, Sveningsson and Alvesson instead propose that leadership is a socially constructive influencing process. Exercising leadership, the authors argue, fundamentally means influencing (and changing) how people think about what is desirable, possible and necessary to accomplish. It may not always be what the leader does, but instead how it is interpreted by others that is important. Leadership connects to culture, and to make a real difference attention is needed on how people make sense of work, relations, interactions, processes and organizational objectives. Chapter 4 by Lena Zander, Audra Mockaitis, Anne-Wil Harzing together with 20 country co-investigators is entitled “Action intent: Getting closer to leadership behavior in 22 countries”. When faced with the same situation/task or circumstances (as described in leadership scenarios) and when given a set of identical alternatives, leaders in 22 countries are shown to respond or react differently to most of the leadership situations. Notably, even when their action intent is similar, the percentage of respondents selecting the same action alternatives as first-ranked choices varies greatly across countries, and can be meaningfully explained using
Prologue 5 culturally endorsed leadership theory. Notably, in some countries, for some situations, there is within-country variation in preferred action alternatives. Zander and colleagues propose that in order to make a difference, a global leader not only needs to possess cultural knowledge and awareness. An understanding is also required for whether there are taken-for-granted leadership actions to consider, and whether or not there are large degrees of freedom in how to approach a leadership situation. Chapter 5 entitled “The motivational forces and moral imperatives of relational models: Implications for global leadership” is authored by Markus Vodosek and Lena Zander. Social relationships wield strong motivational forces, but expectations vary greatly across cultures. People organize their social relationships according to four basic models: Communal Sharing, Authority Ranking, Equality Matching and Market Pricing. Vodosek and Zander address what happens when a leader engages in a culturally incongruent activity, which clashes with subordinate or team member social relationship expectations. They suggest that congruence is motivating, and incongruence demotivating, when the moral imperative associated with a relational model is important to the subordinate (or team member). However, if the moral imperative is unimportant to them, congruence will lead to functional behavior, while incongruence will lead to dysfunctional behavior on their part (e.g., shirking work). Global leaders who wish to make a difference need to understand the motivational forces and the possible consequences of non-congruent perceptions of social relationships. Chapter 6 by Kristiina Mäkelä, Jakob Lauring, Christina Butler, Hyun-Jung Lee, Gundula Lücke, Christof Miska, Cecilia Pahlberg and Günter Stahl is entitled “Meeting the challenges of globalization in order to make a difference: Implications for teams and team leadership”. Globalization brings on three challenges of particular concern to global team leaders: stakeholder diversity (the increase in number of internal and external stakeholders to manage), multiple boundaries (the need to interact across more and different types of boundaries) and local–global tensions (an increasing necessity to integrate local responsiveness and global coordination). Mäkelä and colleagues provide an empirical illustration of how the general manager of a Japanese branch of a German bank used strategies and solutions that involved boundary spanning, bridging and blending capabilities to exemplify how team leaders can meet global challenges. The authors emphasize that by leveraging such capabilities, team leaders can make a difference and manage the effects of globalization on the team. Chapter 7 by Yih-teen Lee and Susan Schneider is entitled “Making a difference: Managing identities and emotions in multicultural teams”. The empirical findings from examining multiple identities in multicultural teams of master’s students indicate that when social identities, especially based on national identity or country of origin, become salient in teams, negative emotions, less effective communication and conflict are likely to occur. But also the reverse holds, namely that negative emotions, difficulties in communication and conflicts make social identities more salient. These types of negative group dynamics can hamper the work process and prevent teams from performing their optimal best. Lee and Schneider propose that team leaders who act as “identity crafter, emotion manager, psychological safety ensurer, and trust builder” can make a difference by helping teams maximize the benefits of harboring different identities by becoming truly global. Chapter 8, entitled “Making a difference in the digital age: Global leadership and multiteam systems” is authored by Jeffrey Herman, Tracy McCausland and Daniel Bliton. There is a rise of multiteam systems defined as networks of interdependent teams. These systems have become a necessary way of organizing in the digital age, but they face complex challenges
6 Research handbook of global leadership when combined with the cultural realities of today’s connected world. Herman and colleagues suggest that research on such multiteam systems will expand our understanding of global leadership, especially as leadership happens in relational patterns of interaction among individuals. They posit that there is a need to overcome outdated assumptions about how we lead and how we learn, and an empirical illustration is provided. By simplifying assessment approaches global leadership learning outcomes can, the authors argue, offer a meaningful metric for how well global leadership makes a difference. In Chapter 9 entitled “The new Millennial global leaders: What a difference a generation makes!”, the authors Christina Butler, Ciara Sutton, Audra Mockaitis and Lena Zander take a close look at the “Millennial” generation. Generational cohorts may endorse different value systems and vary in their leadership expectations, and Millennials are found to, as a cohort, possess a distinct set of characteristics that differentiates them from earlier generations. After a description of three important global leadership roles: boundary spanning, blending and bridge making, Butler and colleagues examine how the Millennial generation, given their characteristics, can be expected to function in these roles. Some of the expected leadership roles and tasks may not come naturally and easy to them. On the other hand, Millennials bring new competences, such as being born digital natives, to their global leadership assignments. With the Millennial generation’s strengths and weaknesses in mind, it becomes important for contemporary global leaders to make a difference by encouraging and supporting this future generation of global leaders in the right way so that they in turn can make a difference as global leaders. Chapter 10 by Fiona Moore is entitled “Leadership for tomorrow: Taiwanese youth, ethnic identity and social networking”. The chapter builds on findings from a London and Taiwan-based ethnographic study of recent graduates, young professionals and entrepreneurs. Moore finds that identity plays a critical role to the Taiwanese young diaspora as they engage in networking, boundary spanning and seeking out mentoring relationships to help them develop knowledge. Educational, ethnic, social and professional organizations become important in their careers, and for providing opportunities for leadership assignments in the future. As international social networks in this context are a prerequisite for global leadership, it is argued that these will contribute to the Taiwanese youth of today making a difference for tomorrow. Part II – Firms and Inter-Firm Partnerships: Making a Difference with Global Leadership The second part of the volume starts with Chapter 11 entitled “Responsible global leadership: A multi-level framework” by Günter Stahl, Christof Miska, Laura Noval and Verena Patock. They provide an overview of responsible global leadership (including ethical decision making, shared leadership and corporate social responsibility). Based on this, it is outlined how the context (organizational, institutional and cultural) of global corporations influences global leaders, and under which conditions these engage in responsible or irresponsible behavior. Stahl and colleagues illustrate with a real-life case how a global leader can make a difference by safeguarding ethical conduct and achieving triple-bottom-line outcomes (social, environmental and economic sustainability) both locally and globally. The “doing good” versus “avoiding harm” distinction underlines responsible leadership, and the authors remind us
Prologue 7 that, although responsible global leadership is highly complex and demanding, “it offers vast opportunities for global executives to make a difference for their companies and society”. Chapter 12 by Kate Daellenbach, Richard Seymour and Cynthia Webster entitled “Exploring responsible global leadership in corporate–community transactions” begins with historical real-life examples of corporate–community grand-scale involvement such as that of Cadbury’s and Rowntree’s establishments of villages with housing, public baths, playgrounds and sports fields for their employees in 1879. Daellenbach and colleagues define and examine corporate–community transactions, such as philanthropic gifts, philanthropic expenditure (donation or sponsorship), and philanthropic operational investment (shared value and social entrepreneurship), involving corporate entities and individual leaders. They remind the reader of one of their findings, namely that the motivation for such transactions needs to be carefully considered from both leader and community perspectives, and not only from the view of the recipients. The authors conclude that global leaders, with their ability to respond to complexity and diversity and to act responsibly and with compassion, have a possibility to make a difference to both firm and community by engaging in corporate–community transactions. In Chapter 13 entitled “Beyond corporate social responsibility: Global leadership virtues that make a difference”, Daina Mazutis and Christopher Zintel argue that for global firms to make a difference and “help solve the world’s biggest problems such as climate change, poverty alleviation, human rights and resource scarcity” there is a need for a systems approach. They examine and compare traditional corporate social responsibility with a value chain approach, and a systems approach, and explain that business in the systems approach is a subset of our planetary ecosystem and cannot exist independently from social and environmental systems. For a systems approach to work, and have a positive impact, it needs global leaders of strong and virtuous character. Mazutis and Zintel identify six such virtues (wisdom, courage, temperance, transcendence, justice and humanity) and discuss how these can enable global leaders to make a difference by contributing to solving some of the planet’s most critical social and environmental issues. In Chapter 14, entitled “Inclusive leadership for the ethical management of cultural diversity”, Laurence Romani and Charlotte Holgersson take a critical look at today’s management of cultural differences and diversity management, which they claim is deeply unethical. Finding the business case for diversity management to be fundamentally flawed, and extant definitions of differences (such as grouping people into predetermined categories) highly questionable, they instead propose inclusive leadership as a way forward. Defining leadership as relational, instead of leader-centric, Romani and Holgersson draw on the cross-cultural management and diversity literature to outline a model for inclusive leadership based on three guiding principles: experience, understand and include. Global leaders who engage in inclusive leadership would in this way, the authors argue, move away from the ethical dilemmas of diversity management while engaging in responsible global leadership, which is a prerequisite for a sustainable society. In Chapter 15 entitled “Developing global leaders who make a difference”, Thomas Maak, Markéta Borecká and Nicola Pless have studied how global firms provide culturally challenging team-based learning experiences abroad through what is called “international service learning programs”. Maak and colleagues outline a multistakeholder overview of the outcomes, benefits and best practices from three such programs on social engagement in developing countries: the Ulysses Program at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Next Generation Development Program at HSBC and the Novartis Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.
8 Research handbook of global leadership Although costly with long-term effects that are difficult to evaluate, it is clear that these programs make a real difference to the leaders, firms and communities where they take place. Global leaders gain experience, confidence, leadership skills and intercultural competence, as well as broader insight into sustainability issues and social problems, which enables global leaders to make a difference by acting responsibly. Chapter 16 by Satu Teerikangas is entitled “Middle managers in mergers and acquisitions: Agents and recipients of change”. Drawing on research on four Finnish industrial, globally operating firms’ eight cross-border acquisitions, the challenge for middle management is what Teerikangas refers to as “double-hatting”. That is to lead and manage such radical change initiatives as mergers and acquisitions, while simultaneously living through that very same change. The potential of middle managers to make a difference depends on their ability to combine these two roles, and to develop as a leader during the experience. If middle managers can learn to deal with their “inner world” of change, become more resilient, emotionally intelligent and develop a capability to manage radical change, they are more likely to develop into global leaders who can make a difference, as well as become better at enabling change in others. In Chapter 17, entitled “Buffering and bridging: How leaders can make a difference during the post-merger integration process”, the authors Güldem Karamustafa and Susan Schneider examine the actions taken by key individuals during the post-merger integration of a German family business by a large American publicly owned global firm. The integration of two global firms can generate a broad range of emotional and behavioral reactions among those concerned. Facilitating interaction and exchange becomes particularly important when two formerly independent organizations are to be merged to create value in concert. Global leaders who act responsively can alleviate tension, but also find ways of moving forward. Karamustafa and Schneider identify leadership actions intended to reduce intra-group and inter-group tensions (“buffering”) and actions to provide a sense of stability and direction by ensuring continuity between the past and the present (“bridging”). Through buffering and inter-temporal bridging global leaders can make a difference during post-merger integrations. Chapter 18 by Christina Wassenaar and Craig Pearce is entitled “The Nigerian leadership crisis: Is shared leadership the answer?”. In a personal treatise of the topic, based on their own experience of working and living in Nigeria, Wassenaar and Pearce bring out the highlights and the depths of the leadership problem currently facing the country. As in global firms, the failure of leadership can take on many forms, but at its core there is a lack of social responsibility. In the case of Nigeria, it is the all-pervading corruption. Wassenaar and Pearce provide some hopeful examples of positive development and urge for increased transparency and checks and balances on power. Given that the latter are embedded in the philosophy of shared leadership theory, this approach could, they argue, provide a way forward towards increased transparency, responsibility and accountability, which is what is needed among leaders (and followers) in contexts like that of Nigeria to make a difference for the future. Part III – Universities and Business Schools: Educating Global Leaders to Make a Difference The third part of the book starts with Chapter 19 on “Taking the lead in making a difference: The role of business schools” by Stefan Gröschl, Patricia Gabaldón and Laurent Bibard. Business schools need to rethink their curricula, and how future leaders and members of society are educated. For too long business schools have promoted a bottom-line result-orientated
Prologue 9 agenda, where even sustainability has been addressed with profitability instead of responsibility arguments. Gröschl and colleagues propose that business schools can alternatively make a difference by developing interdisciplinary courses, which take a more holistic perspective at the subject areas taught, and by encouraging students to question and challenge what is taken for granted. Introducing a humanist perspective at business schools could lead to new ways of thinking and a focus on contribution to the common good. Faculty could encourage students to understand social, ethical and moral consequences of actions, and thus prepare and enable them to make a difference as responsible global leaders in the future. Chapter 20 is entitled “Making a difference in the classroom: Developing global leadership competencies in business school students” by Mark Mendenhall, Lisa Burke-Smalley, Audur Arna Arnardottir, Gary Oddou and Joyce Osland. The question posed, and responded to, is whether global leadership competencies can be developed in business school students. Cognitive behavior therapy is proposed as a possible method. Students, according to this approach, can select a specific competency that they wish to improve, which is intended to motivate them to engage in their own development over the course of the term. They are also asked to prepare a detailed plan to focus on incremental progress, and find ways to buffer any negative thoughts that could occur during the process. Mendenhall and colleagues provide an empirical example, a case study of one student’s attempt to develop a specific competency, illustrating the value of using cognitive behavior therapy in the classroom. The argument is that business schools can make a difference by helping students develop global leadership competencies. But also, in making the students realize that they have acquired a way to develop competences on their own, they can prepare and enable students to make a difference as future global leaders. Chapter 21 by Joyce Osland and Gretchen Vogelgesang Lester is entitled “Developing socially responsible global leaders and making a difference: Global Leadership Lab social innovation projects”. In this study, students are provided with the opportunity to work together on a social innovation project in a multicultural team, very similar to a “real” work experience. They have to create a social innovation submission for a university-sponsored competition. Working together in global teams can lead to developing a global mindset and gaining a better understanding of multiple perspectives, but also to learning about social problems, being creative and working towards a common good. Osland and Vogelgesang Lester conclude that despite being time-consuming and costly, social innovation projects can teach students the global leadership skills that they need in order to make a difference before and after they leave university. Chapter 22 by Åsa-Karin Engstrand is entitled “Intersectional interventions in leadership education”. Taking a critical perspective, and inviting students to take a critical intersectionality perspective, Engstrand reports on a course that she has developed on problematizing leadership. More specifically, the focus is on leader categorizations and cultural constructs, and the pedagogical approach draws on critical management education and norm-critical pedagogy. The focus of the course is to study how intersections of ethnicity, gender, age and other social identities operate in leadership constructions in the media. An example of how to design an intersectional leadership assignment, and student reactions to the same, is provided in the chapter. Engstrand does not shy away from addressing the pedagogical difficulties involved, e.g., questioning norms (more difficult regarding some norms than others), the potential impact of the teacher’s own intersectionality and that dealing with multiple categories (and
10 Research handbook of global leadership their intersections) is demanding for both student and teacher. The chapter is aimed to serve as inspiration for leadership teachers (and researchers) who want to make a difference. Chapter 23 entitled “In search of responsible global leadership that makes a difference” by Allan Bird outlines an initiative by Northeastern University in the United States for academic scholars and corporate executives to meet and build a community. The Global Leadership Summit has successfully been organized over a number of years, and in this chapter the summit focusing on a theme of responsible global leadership is described in more detail. Drawing on different themes each year, keynote speakers are invited and panel discussions and thought leader sessions are organized with the theme in focus. In line with the overall goal of facilitating meetings across the academic–practitioner divide, the program encourages informal conversations during walks, over meals and at socializing coffee breaks. The Global Leadership Summit has explored issues in depth, led to a stimulating exchange of ideas, identified (new) difficult questions, and uncovered overlap and differences between practitioners and academics. Bird concludes that “an important prerequisite for making a difference is providing opportunities that inspire and enable people to make a difference”. Chapter 24 by Peter Zettinig, Udo Zander, Lena Zander and Audra Mockaitis is entitled “A world of learning: The future of management education based on academia and practitioner universitas”. The authors argue that it is time to take seriously the idea of learning as a dynamic constructive process, which takes individual, situation-specific and contextual influences into account, and requires the learner to be an active provider of both questions and answers. Zettinig and colleagues propose that universities should become a contemporary version of what they originally were in Europe, universitas (communities) of masters and scholars leading a common life of learning and investigation together. In this proposed twenty-first-century vision, universitas would consist of practitioners who in interaction with faculty are encouraged to question established ways, seek answers, probe and to look for novel solutions to salient self-experienced and societal problems when pursuing executive education. This could pedagogically be realized through inquiry-based learning approaches and virtual learning platforms. A few promising examples from European contemporary university courses are provided. Reinvented universitas would enable universities to make a difference by engaging in a world of (continued) executive learning together with practitioners, which in turn will inspire and enable these current and future global leaders to make a difference. Chapter 25 by Karsten Jonsen is the Epilogue titled “Developing holistic leaders – beyond the obvious”. Observing that today’s leaders are ill prepared to deal with social, environmental, ethical and other issues facing them, Jonsen focuses on what was a heart-felt topic for him, the education and development of holistic leaders. In the Epilogue he points to eight areas in dire need of research to move global leadership into the future: cultures are not always quantifiable, critical enlightenment, power-perspective studies, intersectionality, shared leadership, social identity conflicts, interventions, and mindful leadership. Jonsen draws on the chapters in this volume, carefully fitting their contributions into his own argument, when providing a broad-brush view of a research agenda for the study of global leadership. This Epilogue is a testimony to Jonsen’s engagement in developing a more holistic understanding of leaders and global leadership.
SO, WHAT DO WE NOW KNOW ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH GLOBAL LEADERSHIP? Making a difference as a global leader presupposes many things, such as acquiring a plethora of competencies and skills, possessing certain individual characteristics and qualities as well as acting in an ethical and inclusive manner. It also becomes necessary to make sense of the relationships that you have with relevant others, to be culturally knowledgeable and aware, to be observant of your cultural surroundings, as well as being clued in as to what degrees of freedom you have in terms of leadership behavior in other cultural contexts. To this we can add that global leaders need to be attentive to how relevant others perceive social relationships and what they find motivating, but also how they make sense of interpersonal interactions, team processes and the like in order to understand their needs and expectations. Moreover, doing good rather than just avoid doing harm, and endorsing virtues such as wisdom, courage, temperance, transcendence, justice and humanity can support global leaders in their endeavor to act responsibly, while contributing to solving the critical social and environmental issues facing the world. This is all rather overwhelming, and probably much more than one individual can possibly grasp, let alone become and aspire for. On the other hand, global leaders need not, and cannot, necessarily be “fully trained and well accomplished” at the outset of their global assignment. Leadership grounded in inquisitiveness, and an interest in people and cultures are the first steps towards being able to act in a culturally aware, socially conscious and responsible way. If this genuine curiosity and learning about “the other” is coupled with a capacity to absorb and distill useful learning from one’s own behavior and experience, global leaders will be able to improve and strengthen their interpersonal skills, as well as broaden and deepen their intercultural understanding over time. Being a multicultural team leader and/or managing inter-firm partnership integration can become a transformational process with the capacity to hugely improve global leadership skills and competences. Leaders who work with radical change can find this to be a crystalizing experience as they live through the change themselves while providing support and guidance to others throughout the change process. Intense and demanding happenings, such as global mergers and acquisitions, provide opportunities to develop global leadership skill sets, such as buffering the team from external (and internal) tension, and providing a sense of stability and direction over time. With a better understanding of intra- and inter-group challenges, and the emotion that can come with these, leaders can engage in crafting team identity, providing psychological safety and building trust. Learning team leadership behaviors like these can prove most helpful when working with multicultural and global teams in other settings. Global leaders may moreover be active in other types of partnerships, such as corporate–community transactions, where their capacity to respond to complexity and diversity paired with responsibility and compassion can encourage and energize firms’ willingness and ability to do good for society in progressive ways. At the societal level, transparent and accountable, sometimes shared, global leadership is a promising recipe for countries as well as firms that have strayed away from the path that people want to take, and where culture, be it national or organizational, is far from ethical or inclusive. In such environments, cultural diversity is predominantly viewed as a source of conflict, people feel let down by the system and moving ahead is not based on meritocracy. This difficult situation is exacerbated by a lack of will or courage to take on the arduous tasks and challenging, yet necessary, socially conscious actions towards change. Yet, although the
12 Research handbook of global leadership fact that shared, responsible and inclusive global leadership is indeed highly demanding, it has the potential to make a real difference to people, firms and societies in difficult corporate and societal environments. When facing cultural multiplicity at work or in global teams, leaders will sooner or later engage in a set of roles and tasks. As globalization brings on challenges of particular concern to global team leaders, such as the need to interact across additional and different types of boundaries and address a larger diversity of stakeholders, team leaders need to engage in boundary-spanning activities. Another global leadership role is to overcome sub-grouping, polarization and faultlines in teams. The blending used to do this is similar to integrative leadership and builds on unifying processes. Global leaders also engage in bridge making between team members. The criticality of this role is witnessed by somewhat similar activities going under many names, for example cultural broker, cultural translator and cultural facilitator just to mention a few concepts that are the “same, same, but different”. Metaphorically building bridges between team members to alleviate cultural misunderstandings and facilitate coordination also captures facets of integrative leadership, while practicing generative leadership is about drawing on multiculturalism as a resource to generate innovative solutions. To carry out these global leadership roles and tasks, leaders can draw on models that provide methods for engaging in intercultural interaction. These models start with mapping and experiencing culture, followed by taking a step back to decenter and understand, whereafter integration, or perhaps the contemporary more ethical practice of inclusion, can become feasible. Importantly, in this model diversity and multiculturalism are valued resources that can be experienced and understood to help make a difference with global leadership. As a route towards developing culturally aware, responsible and socially conscious global leaders, internationally active firms offer their employees exciting opportunities. Examples include novel in-house training programs with actual real-life projects carried out in new cultural and social settings outside the firm; learning programs on leading and organizing in multiteam environments in the digital age; and exchange of knowledge and experience at inspiring meetings between practitioners and academics. In this way, global leaders can gain cultural awareness, practice and confidence as well as insights into sustainability, ethical and social issues. Developing global leaders who help to enact an organization’s vision to make a difference and to instill positive change is, however, not solely the responsibility of global organizations and the people themselves, but also that of universities and business schools. Many future global leaders are educated within higher education systems where they are formed in terms of attitudes and beliefs about what constitutes contemporary best practices. We like to think of global leaders as possessing cultural “savoir-faire”1 and being culturally savvy,2 both indispensable to global leadership, but the question is what, apart from gaining experience from volunteering assignments and mindful traveling, could support students’ global leadership development at universities and business schools? Higher education courses offer great opportunities today. Knowledge and insights about learning processes and teaching effectiveness increase, develop and change, as do curricula and teaching methods. Good education has arguably become more learning-focused, creative and enquiry-based, ideally featuring all three rolled into one. Experience-based learning and “flipped classroom” are some contemporary examples. Novel approaches to the education of future global managers include drawing on cognitive behavior therapy when aiming to develop global leadership competences, providing experiential learning in global virtual teams tasked with social innovation and inviting students to scrutinize media using a critical intersectional
Prologue 13 perspective on leaders. These are direct and relatively immediate ways to inspire and empower students to make a difference in their future roles as global leaders. Taking a more long-term perspective on providing opportunities for students to develop into thoughtful, responsible and socially conscious global leaders comes with a call for a renewed role of business schools to adopt a more humanist and critical perspective. This would involve a continued broadening of university and business school education away from a singular focus on profit maximization, cost efficiency, competition and optimization. It could also mean a move towards modeling executive education as a collaborative learning adventure, where practitioners jointly with faculty identify critical questions, novel solutions and develop as global leaders in contemporary, revived universitas. We can expect that increasing multiculturalism will alter and modify the shape of global leadership as we know it through those who will enact it over the years to come. For example, we can observe a growing number of biculturals and multiculturals in tandem with a larger movement of highly skilled migrants as well as refugees crossing borders to enter the workforce. For those of them who will work in the global arena, they will bring their experience and qualities to their assignments as global leaders. The incoming Millennial generational cohort may find certain aspects of global leadership challenging. However, they will also bring with them specific skills, such as those deriving from being a digital native by birth. Young members of the diaspora face other challenges than the local young, and try to cultivate contacts and networks in hope of acquiring their first leadership assignments. Even if early in tenure and young in experience, the support of mentors and social networks can help develop their confidence and competence. As the need for knowledgeable and culturally insightful global leaders increases, there is a parallel expectation that the young will develop global leadership skills and competences. This places high demands on universities, business schools and firms to provide a fertile ground for global leaders to grow their interpersonal and intercultural awareness, competences and skills. Noteworthy is the need to nurture and further develop future global leaders’ learning ability and capacity, while recognizing them as complex intersectional individuals, instead of categorizing them into neat predetermined boxes. Such developments are fundamental to being able to encourage, engage and enable future global leaders to make a difference to people, firms and societies.
CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS What makes this volume a unique read on global leadership is that it has brought together a large group of scholars who intelligently and passionately study, conceptualize, theorize and reflect on global leadership from the perspective of leaders and teams, firms and inter-firm partnerships as well as universities and business schools. Building on theoretical, conceptual and empirical work, the authors have examined contemporary issues by taking a fresh look at leaders and leadership in the global arena. Some chapters provide us with empirical evidence or illustrations, while others are based on theoretical reasoning. There are chapters critically questioning global leadership, while others are inspirational thought-pieces. Some chapters include contributions describing pedagogical methods, whereas others aim to broaden our minds about how universities and business schools can partner with practitioners in novel ways to educate global leaders for a future to come. Chapter themes and findings intersect in various ways to create a deeper understanding of the studied phenomenon. The chapters have
14 Research handbook of global leadership in common that they are sincere and thought-provoking, while providing insightful input to theory and practice with implications for making a difference with global leadership. I am also acutely aware of our responsibility as academics to contribute to making a difference by bringing our research forward, by sharing scholarly insights and by bridging the academic–practitioner divide. I hope that this volume on global leadership is seen not as a step but as a leap in the right direction. The overarching aim of this collection of chapters is to increase our knowledge and understanding of how leaders, teams and firms can and do make a difference with global leadership, and how universities and business schools can and do educate global leaders to make a difference. At the heart of global leadership lies engaging and interacting with people across differing cultural contexts, and with that comes great complexity and great responsibility. I believe that my fellow contributors to this volume would agree with me that if only one of the ideas presented in this book constitutes a seed that grows to make a difference, we would rejoice, although we of course hope to reach a broad readership with many of our ideas. Our aspiration has been to contribute to making a difference with our research, teaching, practice and – importantly to those around us – in our everyday life.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To the 73 contributors in the Global Handbook of Leadership: Making a Difference, thank you – you made a difference! My gratitude also goes to the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) for the financial support of the Sigtuna workshop and for the time that I have been able to dedicate to this volume. And I would like to extend my thank you to Sigtuna Folkhögskola for the wonderful arrangements, service and hospitality. A note of thanks also to Professor Michael Morley at the University of Limerick for inviting me to co-chair a doctoral consortium. Apart from being such an enjoyable experience it was also the inception of this Research Handbook as this is where I met Francine O’Sullivan and attended Professor Nakiye Boyacigiller’s keynote speech. My grateful appreciation goes to Associate Professor Christina Butler, Professor Audra Mockaitis and Clinical Associate Professor Markus Vodosek for preparing the Academy of Management panel symposium submission together with me and for helping me to facilitate the three “sub-panels” – I could not have done this without you. Thank you also to all chapter authors who participated in the panels, and to the participants in the panel symposium session – your engagement was truly inspiring. I also wish to thank my colleagues at Uppsala University for the helpful feedback that I received at our internal research conference in June 2019. To the Department of Business Studies, and especially to Professor Ulf Holm and my colleagues in the International Business research group at Uppsala University, my appreciation for providing such an inspiring setting for research and writing. And to my colleagues globally – thank you for being there across time and space. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Rick Steers for the Foreword, which in itself is a true contribution to this volume, and also take this opportunity to say thank you for your advice and support in my parallel role as Senior Editor at the Journal of World Business. It is with sadness that I express my gratitude to Karsten Jonsen for the Epilogue, such an important contribution to the book. Karsten passed away in 2018, but despite experiencing harsh side effects of his treatment, he was set on finalizing the Epilogue as well as his other work. I am grateful for this and also for the conversations we had about life. Thank you.
Prologue 15 My appreciation also goes to Annica Delfos, an acclaimed Swedish painter and installation artist living in Den Haag, the Netherlands, for giving us permission to use her striking painting W.S. 54 (painted in 2016, oilpaint on white paper 21 cm x 29 cm) from her installation “Watch and See” in Leiden, the Netherlands, 2017, on the book cover (for more information see https://annicadelfos.info/). This book would not look the same without it – thank you. Thank you also to Dana, Silva and Mira Zander for creating Figure 1.1 – it is a perfect map for the contents of the book. To my Mother, the rest of the family, the relatives, the in-laws and the friends – thank you for being you. And to my late Father (who by the way was always early) thank you. I miss you. Thank you to Finn Halligan, Barbara Pretty and Dawn Preston for their always friendly, highly conscientious, and most helpful support in the last phases of this book project. Finally, my gratitude goes to the graciously patient Francine O’Sullivan, publisher at Edward Elgar, whose support throughout the process, especially when the going got tough, has been inspirational and indispensable.
“Savoir-faire is the confidence and ability to do the appropriate thing in a social situation”, accessed from www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/savoir-faire and “Capacity for appropriate action”, accessed from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/savoir%20faire on July 20, 2019. 2. “Savvy” as in “having or showing perception, comprehension … especially in practical matters”, accessed from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/savvy and possessing “practical knowledge and ability”, accessed from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/savvy on July 20, 2019.
PART I LEADERS AND TEAMS: MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
2. Multicultural leadership: keeping multiplicity alive and well Gundula Lücke
INTRODUCTION In today’s globalizing business contexts multiculturalism is becoming more and more central for organizations. Multinational corporations (MNCs) are by nature embedded in multiple cultural environments that need to be integrated and coordinated (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1998). In order to achieve this, the use of multicultural teams is becoming more common practice, and global leadership receives increasing interest both in theory and in practice. Even domestic firms more frequently have multicultural employees, business partners and other international stakeholders. Culture in current leadership literature is conceptualized and incorporated in different ways. Universal approaches to global leadership forego culture altogether and treat global leadership as a universal behavior (e.g., charismatic or transformational) that is essentially non-contextual, assuming constant leadership traits and processes (Sanchez-Runde, Nardon & Steers, 2011; Steers, Sanchez-Runde & Nardon, 2012). In other approaches, culture is incorporated as something that can be addressed by overarching, enduring personal leadership skills such as a global mindset or cultural intelligence that enable the leader to be effective throughout the world across even strong cultural differences (e.g., Earley & Ang, 2003; Javidan, Steers & Hitt, 2007; Mendenhall, Osland, Bird, Oddou & Maznevski, 2008; Thomas, 2010; Thomas & Inkson, 2003). Contingency approaches view leadership as a culturally embedded process, essentially local and highly diverse across national contexts, so that leadership styles and traits differ cross-culturally (Steers et al., 2012) as exemplified by the GLOBE project studying cultural differences of nations and their effects on leadership (e.g., House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman & Gupta, 2004). In these approaches, culture is often conceptualized as unified and nationally homogenous, categorizing the world (and leadership) in common ways and as separate from leadership. Culture is treated in terms of variables and dimensions, and the leadership literature is concerned with how to deal with the stark differences that exist between cultural groupings and with resulting challenges such as communication problems and rifts. Finally, culture can also be viewed as one of the various aspects of the complex context of global leadership in which global leaders operate (Mendenhall & Bird, 2013; Mendenhall, Reiche, Bird & Osland, 2012). For example, global managers face cultural diversity in addition to political, economic and managerial diversity. One tendency that follows from assumptions about culture in current approaches is that cultural differences and diversity tend to be viewed as problematic, a challenge to overcome or a local context to adjust to. This widely underconceptualizes that cultural multiplicity may also be inherently full of opportunities. I suggest that it is important to keep multiplicity alive and well and think of global leadership in terms of engaging, leveraging and mobilizing this multiplicity. Specifically, the ever-present multiplicity of different cultures, rather than being 17
18 Research handbook of global leadership a separate aspect of global leadership, should be considered underlying all elements of global leadership. Multiplicity is understood as pluralism and continued co-existence of perspectives, meanings, cognitions or capabilities stemming from a heterogeneous composition of the workforce. It incorporates parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability of cultural views. Utilizing cultural multiplicity involves interactive, dynamic and emergent processes arising from connecting diverse cultural meanings. While cultural differences are often considered somewhat absolute, constituting organizational challenges in theory, practice and training – including key concepts of difference and distance associated with conflict, discordance and friction – a multiplicity approach also emphasizes the positive side of multicultural management and leadership, that is, the opportunities that might lie in wait to be created and successfully employed. I base this on a view of culture as interpretive and culture-cognitive with organizations and organizational members being fundamentally sociocultural so that having shared as well as varying understandings is a basic factor in work life and essential for team functioning. While cultural meaning and interpretation have had a long history in the literature on culture (e.g., DiMaggio & Markus, 2010; Geertz, 1973, 1994; Hannerz, 1992; Quinn, 2005; Shore, 1996; Strauss & Quinn, 1997) and that of organizations (Daft & Weick, 1984; Weick, 2012) and organizational processes such as the transfers of ideas or practices (Brannen, 2004; Czarniawska & Joerges, 1996; Czarniawska & Sevón, 1996; Fiss & Zajac, 2004; Morris & Lancaster, 2006; Powell, Gammal & Simard, 2005; Zilber, 2006), we lack a suitable and sufficient conceptualization in the global leadership literature. We do not do the cultural literature – often found in other disciplines – justice and run the risk of not properly understanding how fundamental culture and multiculturalism are in everyday work situations. Leadership itself is “vitally concerned with what people are thinking and feeling and how they are to be linked to the environment to the entity and to the job/task” (Alvesson, 2002; Nicholls, 1987: 21). This involvement of leadership with thoughts and interpretations takes on fresh meaning in a setting in which multiple cultures are present and engaged, as the fundamentals for interaction, communication and coordination have to be reconsidered as socially constructive to and by teams. A view of multicultural meanings and cognition incorporates both the dynamic processes of multiculturalism in groups as well as the individual processes of multicultural individuals. Critical to understanding multicultural leadership is how multicultural teams live and engage with culture and cultural multiplicity. Culture shapes how organizational members experience, see and understand the world. All interaction and work, in fact the very fabric of organizational life, are affected and constituted by acts of interpretation. While in primarily monocultural, domestic contexts this “culturalness” recedes into the background, a global or multicultural context calls for a better understanding of this multiculturalness. For instance, what does cultural multiplicity in an organization mean and how does it affect individual and group processes in everyday work life? Based on this, we can then understand how multicultural leadership can be understood, what processes can be managed and how multicultural leaders can add to this (Knight et al., 1999). How can the challenges inherent in cultural multiplicity be addressed? And, as importantly, are there potentially positive effects of cultural multiplicity, what are they, how do they function and how can they be utilized? Managing cultural multiplicity is then fundamental to global leadership and essential to its exploration. As cultural interpretation is deeply social and interpersonal, I understand leadership processes in these terms, emphasizing a multicultural leader’s influence as dynamic and embedded rather than as due to leader traits such as charisma. Global leadership is hence
Multicultural leadership 19 understood as a catalyst of certain sociocultural processes and changes, rather than as directing these or setting certain more or less predetermined outcomes. Specifically, I will argue that global leaders can make a difference through integrative and generative leadership processes, addressing the hazards of multiplicity and the generative potential inherent in it. This speaks to questions such as what it means to lead within a multicultural setting – for example a multinational team – so that multifaceted cultural aspects cohere in concerted efforts and yet still contribute their own unique perspectives. The chapter is divided into three sections. In the first part, based on a view of cultural meaning systems represented in shared cognitions, I will review culture and multiculturalism as underlying and indispensable in MNCs, teams and individuals. The second part describes how leaders can manage multiplicity, drawing attention to how cultures connect across and within people, and develop the role of multicultural leaders when practicing and combining integrative and generative leadership techniques. The third part elaborates the particular capabilities multicultural leaders can bring to the table in facilitating how cultures come together.
THE UBIQUITOUS NATURE OF MULTICULTURALISM IN GLOBAL LEADERSHIP Organizations are interpretive systems; they are extremely complex, fragmented and multidimensional and hence dependent on how individuals, groups and the organization as a whole make sense of and give meaning to their surroundings (Daft & Weick, 1984). People ongoingly interpret their environments and enact their understandings, making the world more orderly and understandable. Meanings and the associated processes of interpretation and sensemaking are not simply about truth and accuracy but about plausibility, rationalizing and trying to understand what people are doing and saying (Weick, 1995; Weick, Sutcliffe & Obstfeld, 2005). Imagine then these processes set in a context that spans multiple meaning systems. What happens when not only the complexities of the environment (Mendenhall & Bird, 2013) but more fundamentally multiple interpretations confront individuals and groups in organizations? This is nowhere as pronounced as in multinational – or more aptly named multicultural – teams as sites where individuals from different cultures come together in an organized work unit in order to accomplish specific goals and tasks. This is where global leadership can, and should, make a profound difference. Global leadership is not limited to multinational teams, yet these represent one setting in which multiculturalism occurs within regular interactions and the influence of leadership is particularly noticeable. As such, multicultural team processes will serve here as a setting to elaborate aspects of global leadership. While many definitions of leadership exist, it is typically associated with an influence process (Alvesson, 2002; Mendenhall et al., 2012). It is a deeply interpersonal process with leader actions mattering as much as followers’ perceptions. Leadership “calls for a careful grounding in, and continuous interpretation of, what is on the minds of the subordinates and how they relate to the ideas and arrangements of the leader” (Alvesson, 2002: 99). As such, leadership is profoundly social requiring careful consideration of the sociocultural context in which team interactions and leadership take place. Meanings and interpretations of what is happening are crucial, which makes leadership interwoven with culture. While this is less prevalent, or even noticeable, in a monocultural setting, it is essential in a multicultural one.
20 Research handbook of global leadership The importance of global leadership lies hence not just in the complexity of the environment, but in the fact that modern global organizations span many different cultural meaning systems that overlap and intersect with one another and are highly internal and interpersonal. As such, the issues are exceedingly fundamental and all-pervading. It is then important to examine the dynamic, interactive ways in which cultures come together within and across individuals, not only in specific aspects of work, tasks or settings, but in the everyday workings of multicultural organizational life. The conceptual elements needed for such an exploration are straightforward: one is a fundamental understanding of culture, the second concerns how culture functions in everyday life in its enabling and constraining aspects and the third delves into the question of what happens when multiple cultures come together affecting the nature of global leadership. Culture and Multiculturalism Culture is understood as meaning systems that are mentally represented in widely shared interconnected cultural schemas (d’Andrade, 1995; DiMaggio, 1997; DiMaggio & Markus, 2010; Quinn, 2005; Strauss & Quinn, 1997). As such, culture is neither external to individuals nor is it located in the heads of people, but essentially it is “between” people and intersubjective, inherently shared and bound by certain cognitive processing such as the interconnectivity of schemas. Shared cognitions form the basis for common understandings. They result from bottom-up interpersonal processes of meaning-making and involve distinct interpretations of concepts – such as “diversity” or “team work” – as well as ways of thinking, inferences and attributions. As cognitions, or shared schemas, are learned throughout life, even widely shared cultural schemas are not fully fixed but rather vary in terms of their schematicity (Lücke, Kostova & Roth, 2014; Norman, 1982). Culture is not bound by nations or people in the strict sense. However, because it is fundamentally interpersonal, including public discourse, societal culture remains highly influential. Culture is central to organizations in that it is underlying interpretation and understanding of others and organizational processes, and elemental to identifying problems, finding solutions and making decisions. It is fundamental and causal to ongoing work life playing out in these interactive contexts. Therefore culture is ubiquitous in organizational processes. At the same time though, it is notoriously difficult to manage and lead – and even grasp. For example, in a multicultural team every concept, every practice, every activity has potentially multiple cultural meanings, and these differences may range from slight deviations to colossal misunderstandings of essential organizational aspects. In fact, the very concepts of leadership and teamwork are interpreted differently across cultures (Gibson & Zellmer-Bruhn, 2001, 2002; Sanchez-Runde et al., 2011; Steers et al., 2012). We also know that practices are reinterpreted and take on new meanings when transferred into different cultural environments (Brannen, 2004; Czarniawska & Joerges, 1996; Czarniawska & Sevón, 1996; Fiss & Zajac, 2004; Morris & Lancaster, 2006; Powell et al., 2005; Zilber, 2006), indicating that the interpretive basis of individuals from different cultures varies greatly in their assumptions and their taken-for-granted and even evaluative aspects (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). The flowing together of different multicultural perspectives introduces dynamics that are not just external or group differences but have fundamental integrative qualities on the cognitive and social levels.
Multicultural leadership 21 This view of culture is inherently relational, which contrasts with categorical views such as conceptualizations of culture that are grounded in a dimensional understanding of culture as value dimensions distinguishing national groupings (Lücke, Engstrand & Zander, 2018). Culture understood in such a relational manner lets us explore that culture is not unified, but differentiated and potentially relatable cross-culturally. While a categorical approach to culture “presumes internally stable concepts, such that under normal conditions entities within that category will act predictably, the [relational] approach embeds the actor within relationships and stories that shift over time and space and thus precludes categorical stability in action” (Somers & Gibson, 1994: 65). Social reality then is depicted in dynamic and processual terms rather than by assuming categories and entities as static or at rest and internalized norms and values as given and fixed driving certain outcomes and behaviors (DiMaggio, 2011; Emirbayer, 1997; Granovetter, 1985). While not applied to culture per se, Mendenhall and Bird (2013) also emphasize cross-boundary relatedness referring to the mutual interplay and connections of actors in the global leadership context. Different cultures are hence not completely separate and to be contrasted as a whole, but differentiated systems that are interacting and even overlapping. This relational nature of culture is not to mean that (national) groups of people cannot differ quite systematically on certain understandings or preferences, but it does indicate that networks of meanings can interact – rather than simply contrast and conflict as a whole – and hence different views may be learned and multiple perspectives can even be recombined to form a more complex or novel view or lead to the discovery of formerly unconnected aspects (Lücke, Kostova & Roth, 2014; Lücke, 2010). This redirects attention to cultural intersections and the processes and dynamics that result from these, and ultimately to what difference leadership can make in shaping these. More specifically, it shifts our focus from national and interpersonal boundaries that need bridging to how meanings “intersect”, from differences in people to differences and connections among meanings, and from adjusting to cultures to co-existence and mixing of multiple cultural perspectives. Culture as Constraining and Enabling How does culture function in interactive contexts, and what happens when multiple cultures exist within one setting such as a team? Culture is not only constraining but, more often forgotten, it is also enabling. Thoughts and actions are shaped, and as such limited, by culture, while, at the same time, communications and social interactions are facilitated – and in fact fundamentally enabled – through the existence of shared cognitions. Specifically, culture constrains individual agency, confining people’s thought and action to set cultural ways and limiting agency and free thought (DiMaggio, 1997). Alternatives to what is shared and deeply assumed are not likely to surface, so that (in a monocultural context) problems may be viewed only from certain angles and interpreted in certain ways, and only a limited set of solutions may come to mind. By its very nature of being widely shared cognitions, culture limits what can be seen and imagined. These same shared assumptions can be perceived as facts as they impart the certainty of knowledge within a culture (Berger & Luckmann, 1966; Strauss & Quinn, 1997), although they may or may not make sense for individuals from other cultures given their own distinct meaning system. However, this shared aspect of culture, far from being irrational, serves the socially useful purpose of mutual understanding and is an efficient means of interaction and communication, providing the psychological gain of narrowing choices to a manageable
22 Research handbook of global leadership number. As such, culture enables social interactions. Not everything has to be quite literally spelled out, but rather assumptions, references, hidden meanings and associations are taken for granted or at most implied. As a result of the double function of culture as enabling and constraining, viewing the issue of culture in terms of a dichotomy of constrained and free thought would hit somewhat beside the mark. When viewed from the “outside” shared understandings have the appearance of constraining agency; from “within” though culture enables interaction, smoothes communication and allows coordination. Even more, culture equips people with cultural understandings that make free thought, action and change possible. Berger and Luckmann (1966), who are commonly attributed with elaborating the significance of taken-for-grantedness, consider such agency in front of the background of common assumptions and shared meanings, which shape individual thought through their usefulness more than through a mysterious power culture holds over its subjects. Imagine now a multicultural setting such as a team with members from various cultures. The enabling aspect of culture that remains so unobtrusively invisible in the background of (monocultural) existence becomes sharply relevant when cultures meet and start mingling in the form of individuals and groups interacting and attempting to achieve goals and tasks together. In such a setting, we recognize the unpleasant truth that the enabling aspects of shared cultural cognitions are not necessarily given, and what has been comfortably assumed as taken for granted may not appear so simple now. What has been considered fact or knowledge among one’s cultural peers becomes suspect and unclear when questioned by foreigners. Thus, multiculturalism in a global leadership context in the most basic sense indicates that we cannot assume the enabling basis of culture. When multicultural group members are deprived of effective and reliable interpretation mechanisms because they do not share basic understandings, what are they left with? Different interpretations, perspectives and views in multicultural settings can manifest in various ways. For example, a specific picture or concept could exist and make sense in different cultures. At the same time, it may take on a quite different meaning. When interacting with others, a person from a foreign culture would quickly realize that his or her native interpretations and assumptions are of limited use when trying to understand a situation. Instead multiple meanings and absent shared assumptions often lead to misunderstandings and challenges in communication and coordination. Hence multiculturalism insofar as it disrupts culture as enabler posits an ongoing leadership challenge. At the same time, the constraining effect of culture is also changed in a multicultural context. It is essential for global leaders to recognize that, because of this, a multinational team holds the potential to attenuate the cultural limitations of a monocultural setting. The presence of multiple cultures constitutes the availability of different cultural interpretations that can be seen as a cultural repertoire of the team. This though does not mean that multiculturalism (of a team) is static, a portfolio of cultures. Multiple cultures coming together indicate dynamics because (1) culture is constructed and reconstructed within social interactions, and (2) culture is relatable. When multiple meanings intersect in multicultural settings such as a team, they can be combined, merged, changed. A multicultural team setting hence promises a plethora of views, ideas, attributions and understandings just waiting to be recombined, transformed and further developed. While shared meanings in a cultural sense are historically rooted, relatively durable and slow to change, their social construction and reconstruction processes occur ongoingly in social
Multicultural leadership 23 interactions. Multinational teams then are not only where cultural meanings intersect, but moreover they are sites of cultural participation and meaning-making (Lücke, 2010). This can involve sensemaking and understanding each other as well as combining cultural perspectives in order to gain novel insights. Culturally rooted assumptions, ways of approaching a problem or situation or conceiving of explanations and solutions can be contrasted once other cultural understandings are introduced, and what had been taken for granted can be questioned and potentially changed. This can even affect a change in evaluation and desirability of choices. In sum, both the lack of enabling shared cognitions and the presence of multiple perspectives produce unpredictable dynamics in a multicultural setting. Global leadership thus can be imagined as facilitating the double functions of culture of enabling interpersonal dynamics and diminishing constraints on culturally limited agency. The question for leadership then becomes how to shape the necessary processes to gain positive outcomes and how to manage emergent, generative aspects of multiculturalism as well as shared understandings. As a result, multiculturalism cannot simply be faced as a challenge or hindrance by being aware, open or tolerant. While these may be admirable and useful characteristics, leadership needs to go beyond this to incorporate an understanding of cultural multiplicity, rooted in a different understanding of the world and its (intersubjective) possibilities. Culture is hence not a moderating variable or a dimension that interferes with organizational processes but a dynamic context that infuses all parts of the multicultural setting. This changes the landscape of meanings and ideas dramatically both for leaders and followers. In fact, a deep comprehension of the team members and interpersonal dynamics is essential for effective global leadership. Exploring global leadership and how global leaders can make a difference calls thus for an all-encompassing cultural view, in particular an understanding of cultural multiplicity in an interpersonal team context. Cultural Multiplicity What kind of leadership setting does the described perspective provide? What are the essential characteristics that global leaders have to face? I suggest that multiplicity is the essence of what multiculturalism in teams and MNCs entails, rather than other concepts such as diversity or complexity (e.g., Mendenhall et al., 2012). Complexity is often too general to capture cultural co-existence, while diversity brings up questions of “more or less” and “better or worse” rather than describing aspects of multicultural leadership effectively. The basis of multiplicity is of course that multiple cultures come together and continue to co-exist, and it indicates “more and different” rather than just “more” (Mendenhall & Bird, 2013). There are several aspects to cultural multiplicity: parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability. First and most fundamental is that different cultures exist in parallel. They are not just different, distant or diverse in an abstract sense, but they comprise largely alternative perspectives, rationalizations and explanations of real-life events. People in different cultural contexts all go to work, engage with family or participate in leisure activities, but what they see, how they think and what they do takes on very distinct interpretations. This does not mean that every concept and every meaning necessarily has an equivalent in other cultures, but it points to the co-existence of alternative understandings in a multicultural setting. These alternatives can be related, compared, contrasted, juxtaposed, mulled over and reflected upon. Analogies can be drawn and insights gained. While the parallel nature of socially constructed realities is essential to understanding multiculturalism, it is also the most overlooked aspect and it holds the seeds for complexity, ambiguity and mutability.
24 Research handbook of global leadership Second, cultural multiplicity implicates increased complexity. Higher complexity involves more interconnected elements and more interconnections between elements (Suedfeld & Bluck, 1993). Given the relational nature of culture, this refers to interrelated ideas, meanings and understandings and their cognitive manifestations. In a multicultural context then a concept or practice can take on more meanings that are related to each other and connected to various parts of life and with diverse outcomes. For example, an organization can be understood as a family or as an integral part of society, relating to quite different areas of social experience and carrying different associations. A more complex image of the organization can emerge when integrating perspectives. Multiculturalism hence does not only mean more (cultural) elements but also links to quite different ones that might previously not have been considered together. Third, complexity does not necessarily indicate complication or conflict, but when meanings from different cultural systems are brought together ambiguity is often present (Mendenhall et al., 2012). This can be the source of misunderstandings and can cause fundamental breaks in communication and coordination when basic interpretations are equivocal, misleading and confusing. It can be most prevalent when unstated assumptions co-exist and are brought together. As these are generally not articulated, equivocality can be very pronounced and yet hard to detect and clarify. Confusion might arise if an implicit family imagery for a firm is invoked by one team member, yet another team member has no reference, for example, for the nurturing quality or emotional responses this evokes. When team members experience this as uncertainty and anxiety, it may lead to negative team outcomes. The problem with ambiguity though is not simply one of disruption of communication and understanding but also one of incomplete distribution of shared understanding, which can result in the creation of within-team subsystems. These increase within-subgroup interaction but hold the risk of reducing across-subgroup interaction and the construction of shared understandings. Fourth, when different cultural meanings become related (e.g., through people interacting or through other discourse), cultural constraints can be weakened, increasing the mutability of understandings. At any point, individuals within a cultural system are subject to many culture-cognitive constraints such as repeated and often unconscious patterns (Berger & Luckmann, 1966; DiMaggio, 1997). These taken-for-granted aspects tend to be undetectable from within the system and as such act as very powerful forces that blind individuals to seeing alternatives. In multicultural contexts though, these limitations can become visible and subject to questioning. In other words, what may be considered fact in a monocultural context (it simply is that way) might be recognized as social construction and accordingly examined in a multicultural one. This process may be more or less conscious and more or less intentional. In the place of one perspective step alternative explanations and contrasting views, thus giving way to different insights and solutions. Realizing alternative views can stimulate reflective thought and experimentation. Parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability are not independent of each other, but different aspects of cultural multiplicity. For example, a certain vagueness of a concept may allow the necessary space to spark different trains of thought and change existing ones. In sum, cultural multiplicity calls for the leadership and management of parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability.
Multicultural leadership 25
INTEGRATIVE AND GENERATIVE LEADERSHIP: LEVERAGING MULTIPLICITY Given the above, how can we succeed in developing a finely built leadership process assuring communication, understanding and continuity on the one hand and putting into action the abundance of multiple perspectives and views on the other hand? Along these lines, I argue that the pitfalls and opportunities inherent in cultural multiplicity can be addressed by understanding two multicultural modes, or processes, of leadership – integrative and generative leadership – associated with distinct team dynamics. In the following, I will first turn to multicultural leadership as involving meaning-making, the shaping of ideas and understandings within a team as well as across team boundaries. This will lay the groundwork to explore integrative and generative leadership as critical processes underlying multicultural team activity. Second, I will address integrative leadership involving sharing and even unifying processes in order to face multicultural challenges and breaks of communication and coordination. Third, generative leadership will be investigated in its potential to facilitate emergent and innovative processes. Finally, the last part will address the simultaneous achievement of both integrative and generative leadership. Leadership as Multicultural Process Smircich and Morgan (1982) stated that leadership necessitates a strong aspect of management of meaning that involves enabling people to capture the meaning of, and create meaning around, their work tasks and goals and shaping of ideas, perceptions and even feelings (Alvesson, 2002). This takes on renewed importance in a multicultural context. It also focuses our inquiry into global leadership to the interpersonal aspects and social dynamics of multicultural teams. As mentioned earlier, culture is understood as a bottom-up process of constant construction and reconstruction within social interactions. Global leadership thus necessitates combining the top-down processes of influence with the bottom-up multicultural processes. If we accept that culture is a system or network and in some fashion relatable and that multiculturalism, as, for example, in a multinational team context, changes both the enabling aspects of culture as well as the constraining ones, exciting opportunities open up – if only one can better understand the interpersonal processes that are underlying these changes. Global leadership hence cannot be imagined as a top-down, highly controlled process. Emphasis is instead on the ongoing work life and the relations internal and external to a multicultural team. What is then essential to global leaders is managing the nature of interactions and interpersonal dynamics and how these are characterized by parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability. In situational terms this means that certain disruptions in multicultural communication, understanding and coordination are unavoidable and are to be managed. At the same time though, there is a greater chance that cultural constraints may be loosened resulting in new insights and broader thinking. Leadership affecting these two forces in a multicultural team I call integrative and generative leadership. They are essential, in fact fundamental, to the management of cultural multiplicity. However, this does pose a certain paradox. On the one hand, openness and complexity are innate and necessary for multicultural teams and their inherent benefit to organizations. On the other hand, the teams as subsystems need a certain degree of closure and shared cognitions to facilitate interaction experience and have integrity as a system to function and produce recognizable and familiar patterns; they need to be enabled
26 Research handbook of global leadership on the level of basic understanding. In cultural reality, this is not a paradox but simply part of the tendency of social patterns and shared understandings to emerge when diverse individuals interact and multiplicity is introduced by members or through other means. A multicultural team though is an extreme case with great opportunities and rather daunting challenges inherent in cultural intermixing and multiplicity. Integrative Leadership The immediate response to the discovery of problems with mutual interpretation and communication by members of a team may be to reduce these troubles by sticking together with birds of a feather, in other words with other members of their familiar culture. It is hence after all not surprising when multicultural teams experience rifts – or faultlines understood as dividing lines that split a team into cultural subgroups and negatively affect its performance (Earley & Mosakowski, 2000; Lau & Murnighan, 1998, 2005). Cultural diversity can also harm group productivity by undermining team cohesion and communications (Jackson, Joshi & Erhardt, 2003; Williams & O’Reilly, 1998). One can imagine that it is quite troublesome, particularly when under work pressures, if communication problems persist. Multicultural friction though can go much deeper causing personal discomfort when fundamental assumptions become questioned; after all, these often have a fact-like character for a person. Furthermore, what is considered desirable in one culture may not be viewed as such in another, potentially affecting emotions and identities within the team (Lee & Schneider, Chapter 7 in this volume). That cultural differences can cause problems is of course not new. But do we conclude that this is a gap to breach, a chasm to bridge, or do we consider that this is an intricate network of meanings to interlink? And furthermore, are these cultural differences set or can they be changed or merged or shaped within a team; if so, then how? This is where a view of culture as relational networks of associations and cognitions can be useful in finding out more about the dynamics among members of multiple cultures working together (Lücke, Engstrand & Zander, 2018). Because culture is fundamentally interpersonal, it can easily be envisaged that the problems as well as the multicultural solutions are fundamentally interpersonal. Creating mutual understandings across cultures can be seen as a bi-product of interactions (Zander, Zettinig & Mäkelä, 2013). As such, integrative leadership involves influencing dynamic team processes of interaction between individuals and groups at the intersections of different cultures in a multicultural team. In particular, cultural complexity and ambiguity potentially lead to tension, misunderstandings and reduced flows of knowledge within and across team boundaries. Cultural complexity is not in itself good or bad, but simply means that issues are differentiated on multiple interrelated dimensions. The problem is the ubiquity and prevalence of complexity of work aspects that may call for simplification and finding a common denominator in understanding and communication. A potentially bigger challenge is ambiguity, that is, team-shared understandings of work issues are vague and obscure resulting in anxiety and inhibit establishing clear objectives and routines (Alvesson, 2002; Mendenhall & Bird, 2013). A multicultural team is a created instance of cultural heterogeneity, one that does not “naturally” occur but is typically imposed or structured in some sense through the organization. This makes it problematic for cultural meanings to be explained, negotiated and gradually socially constructed. Nevertheless, I suggest that the tendencies for social patterns and sensemaking to emerge will prevail if given a chance. It is precisely in this area where a global leader can
Multicultural leadership 27 make a remarkable difference. Specifically, space has to be created for meaningful interaction episodes, communication and reflection. The emphasis here is on enabling meaningful social interactions that allow the bottom-up processes of cultural construction. Establishing meaningful social interactions at the cultural intersections, I suggest, is a matter of establishing cultural resonance. With this I mean that communication and new experiences relate to one’s own understandings with a quality that makes something personally meaningful; they cognitively resonate often involving active engagement and emotion that feed upon themselves. Cultural interpretation is an ongoing, dynamic process that occurs simultaneously at the individual and the collective (team) level as it is inherently intersubjective. Team members interpret experience using their cultural cognitions, but at the same time new and dissonant meanings can reshape said cognitions and lead to new understandings if a person can make sense of the experience. This occurs when the experiences resonate with their own cultural understandings and can be related to on a personal level. For multicultural leadership, the centrality of interactions and the quality of these come to the fore. Rather than treating relationships as channels, teams here are sites or spaces for the mediation of cultural meanings and for cultural participation. Excessive ambiguity and complexity in the cultural setting can become accessible and manageable within interactive contexts through relationships and social interactions. Zander, Mockaitis and Butler (2012) point out that one of the main roles of global team leaders is to act in a unifying fashion. They point in particular to the importance of building a superordinate team identity (Hornsey & Hogg, 2000), a workplace culture of liking (Pittinsky, 2010) and satisfaction of team belonging (Shore, Randel, Chung, Dean, Ehrhart & Singh, 2010). To this I add the significance of the purely multicultural aspect of creating common meanings that fundamentally enable the functioning of the team, building on taking advantage of people’s tendencies to form social patterns given interactive space and time. This relates to Zander and colleagues’ (2012) bridge-making role of global leaders in that it facilitates intra-team communication, but differs in emphasis on the construction of (possibly new) shared cognitions and interaction resonance over the bridging of boundaries. That is, the primary focus is on creating and orchestrating interactive spaces rather than on building bridges. This may involve deliberately suspending specific interactions at one point of the team, or in time, in order to facilitate resonant interactions at another. Integrative leadership must though pay particular attention to the intersections of culture that undoubtedly exist in some form, specifically where disruptions occur. This may be within the team as well as at the cultural intersections that tie the team to the broader organizational and external context. In other words, the leadership task is not only one of building an (isolated) community but also integrating and facilitating resonant interactions with others allowing learning and synergies to develop. Generative Leadership Overcoming cultural challenges is essential to global leadership, but at the core of multicultural teams is the potential for novelty and creativity and for walking in different and unexpected directions. Organizations need novelty not only in terms of new technologies, processes or products and new markets, but also to face uncertainty and change. MNCs in particular have to operate in ever-changing contexts. Detecting durable changes and those that hold future opportunities is critical for realizing the potential inherent in an MNC’s distributed system. Managing cultural multiplicity facilitates this innovative and adaptive functioning as, at any
28 Research handbook of global leadership time, multiple arrangements and perspectives can be imagined and multiple solutions are possible. In a multicultural team, complex views can be mutually constructed as shared thought experiments and potential solutions in resonant interaction contexts of a team. This constitutes essential adaptive capabilities innate to cultural multiplicity. The potential benefits of multicultural groups do not simply appear when culturally different team members come together and, in fact, may never materialize. Therefore, in addition to integrative processes, generative processes need to occur. Generative leadership refers to shaping emergent team processes of utilizing variations in cultural meanings to spot problem areas, find new solutions, engage in exploration and exploitation of novel opportunities and adapt flexibly to changing and uncertain environments. It has the clear connotation of considering and utilizing multiplicity for the emergence and getting out of existing thought patterns. The logic of novelty based on cultural diversity is a simple one: “Two people with different perspectives test different potential improvements and increase the probability of an innovation” (Page, 2007: 7). The idea that cultural team heterogeneity makes it possible and indeed likely that occasionally cultural constraints are broken down and innovation transpires is intriguing. In practice (as well as in theory), occasional may not be what a company is looking for. The principle though stands; rather than having single perspectives, multicultural teams should have many. While much of integrative leadership implicates sharedness and even commonality, a critical element of generative leadership is that aspects of multiplicity should be, in fact have to be, maintained. Essential to the emergent dynamics of generative leadership is the maintenance of multiplicity, the continued co-existence of multiple perspectives. By the very nature of having more than one cultural perspective present, cultural multiplicity offers a certain parallelism of reality, which allows comparison and analogical reasoning. New views arise when experiences are exchanged in the process of learning and reconfiguring and reconceiving the team members’ previous and others’ understandings. More complex understandings can emerge when concepts and meanings from multiple cultures become related (i.e., complexity), providing insights not before seen and laying the basis for a different and more comprehensive perspective for the team. Cultural views are also more easily changeable and less schematized and automatic (i.e., mutability) when alternative and contrasting perspectives are introduced through others as these serve as a basis for questioning and juxtaposing. The numerous tensions of possible views here are not the same as strains of cultural differences and distances when these cultures are considered as a whole. They rather increase the likelihood that individuals can become aware of unstated and often unconscious assumptions, both of themselves and others, and constitute opportunities for exploration and discovery as differences can be strengthened and further explored. This, in turn, enables a team’s capabilities to recombine perspectives and identify and test novel alternatives. That is, views that remain invisible within a monocultural team can come to the fore when questioned from a different perspective. The effects of different cultural perspectives are not simply additive and do not function like a portfolio from which to choose an alternative. While this promises greater potential benefits of cultural multiplicity than considering diversity to be simply additive, it also poses greater challenges of harnessing the innovative and adaptive potential and increases the importance of managing multiplicity. Specifically, emergent team dynamics such as creativity do not simply happen based on variance in perspectives, but require processes of dialectic negotiation and the synthesis, reorganization and combination of the various (cultural) perspectives (Harvey, 2014), so that at the heart of generative leadership in multicultural teams is the enabling reso-
Multicultural leadership 29 nant of interactions in a manner that retains the integrity of multiplicity and contrasting alternative views, hence facilitating the construction of complex views and allowing for changes in perspectives to occur on the individual and team level. Cultural differences – as in differences in meaning and thinking rather than group differences – then function as a valuable source of insight, experience and skill that can be utilized in organizational tasks. Based on this, there are several important insights for generative leadership. First and most fundamental is that cultural multiplicity should not be lost in efforts for integration and shared team culture. Instead, ongoing multiplicity in understanding is essential for novelty and change. Second, appreciating the full value of multiculturalism in teams requires drawing attention away from individual and (sub)group differences to multiplicity in perspectives. An important leadership task is therefore to facilitate learning to communicate and think in terms of distinct and relatable views rather than “us versus them” differences. This may also preempt or weaken faultlines in teams based on culture. Third, emergent and innovative processes require team interactions that are inquiry-based and explore alternatives. This goes beyond understanding of others to combining and constructing meanings. Finally, in order to shape emergent team processes, generative leadership is not a direct influence process. The leader functions as a catalyst of team dynamics that are inspired by cultural multiplicity. What emerges is not known beforehand and facilitating resonant interaction flows is of greater concern than control of team processes. Developing a team in which co-existence, novelty and variation of cultural perspectives is encouraged, strengthened, and reflexive questioning of existing processes is necessary for the exploration of novel alternatives to be possible. Integrative and Generative Leadership: A Matter of Balance? It is almost too obvious to state that integrative and generative leadership are not independent or separate modes. Given the view of culture we have adopted, these leadership dynamics are part and parcel of the ever-present social construction, maintenance and modification of culture combined with the recognition that no culture – or nation if you wish – is a closed or static system or even remotely homogenous. Culture is evolving for the team, constantly developing, being shaped by and shaping the team. Leadership is set within this ongoing process. There are several aspects though that deserve special consideration. First, the mutual consideration of integrative and generative leadership is an essential part of a successful multicultural team functioning. A close look at the interplay of integrative and generative dynamics reveals the necessity of both aspects of multicultural leadership, each deeply rooted in personal interactions. Integrative leadership, by its nature of enabling common understanding and communication, provides the very basis for change and novelty to occur in a manner that can be used for analysis, problem solving and other team tasks. Only when ambiguity is not debilitating and when situations are perceived as manageable in complexity, is generative leadership bound to be fruitful. As such, leadership involves developing a “background of [culture that] opens up a foreground for deliberation and innovation” (Berger & Luckmann, 1966: 71). Second, given the team’s composition, contexts, goals and tasks integrative or generative processes may temporarily take precedence. The assessment of team settings and situations and facilitation of each aspect and their interplay are hence critical for global leadership. Third, it is also important to consider time in this matter. Integrative leadership with the goal of establishing common understandings, preventing or combating faultlines and smoothing working conditions can be argued to take primacy in the early phases of teams that have been newly
30 Research handbook of global leadership formed. This is, though, to be taken with a bit of caution, as it does not mean that short-term teams may not have a chance to become generative. Particularly, if they are tightly defined and have, for example, a professional common basis of understanding, generative processes may come to the fore quite early in the team’s existence. The development of faultlines in shorter-lived project-based teams may also be less likely to occur. Fourth, targeting the development of both generation and integration at the same time may leave a group stuck in the middle with neither integration nor generation being successful. Integration is more likely to involve a dialectic that resolves issues and leads to reconciliation, or unity even, in a Hegelian dialectic. Generation follows a dialectic that accepts, puts up with or even seeks non-resolution of perspectives in a tradition more akin to Socrates and Plato. In a leadership task and team dynamic, this may lead to more rather than less cognitive dissonance and has to be managed with care as this often goes against the instinctive resistance to such dissonance. It also requires conscious discipline: affirming multiple views as equally true even if they are contradictory or uncomfortable. Taken together, explicitly integrative and generative processes can interfere with each other and to achieve both integrative and generative goals a careful design of activities is essential. For example, a team may consciously push away an integrative mentality of resolution and adaptation to focus on emergent thoughts and ideas or, vice versa, it may push away generative and emergent phenomena to focus solely on understanding and finding common ground. This argues for a certain separation and alternation of integrative and generative developmental practices.
MULTICULTURAL LEADERS Multiculturalism of global leaders, the multicultural leader, focuses on the culture-cognitive capabilities of multicultural individuals that enable them to go beyond what monocultural leaders can do. While the main purpose of this chapter is to underline the fundamental nature and importance of culture and multiculturalism for global leadership, at least a brief discussion of multicultural leaders in line with the culture-cognitive tradition is pertinent. What are multicultural leaders and how can they make a difference in global leadership? Are they, for example, particularly good at facilitating integrative and generative team processes, and what is this based on? Addressing these questions calls for an understanding of the mental representation of culture in the individual team member and leader’s mind. Multiculturalism denotes how culture – multiple cultures – are internalized and function in the person’s minds and affect their way of thinking and interpreting themselves and their surroundings (e.g., Lücke et al., 2014). Cultures hence do not just come in contact across organizations, units or people, but they “meet” also within individuals. This has a profound effect on how these individuals understand and act. That is, cultural multiplicity is not just the team setting but rather is very much within minds. This is not to indicate individual nature – culture is essentially shared – but that mental representations matter for multicultural leaders. It affects how they relate to their followers and shape meanings in the process of leadership. Specifically, multiculturals are defined as individuals, who have internalized more than one meaning system and thus hold cultural cognitions that are shared in more than one culture (Lücke et al., 2014). They have capabilities that enable them to understand the world around them from various and often quite different perspectives. There is not a simple one-to-one
Multicultural leadership 31 correspondence of national context and multiple “sets of” cultural cognitions. Rather, and more interestingly, cultural schemas from different cultures can become linked and integrated, giving rise to different culture-cognitive content (multiple cultures) and structure (interrelation of these cultures). This may, for example, allow a multicultural person to develop more complex and even novel understandings of people and settings. Multiculturals are both insiders and outsiders in a culture, which allows them to overcome some of the cognitive constraints of monoculturals (Berger & Luckmann, 1966). The interrelation of cognitive structures allows leaders to recognize, understand and break with taken-for-granted aspects, prestructured associations, modes of thought and ways of doing that are grounded in each culture and commonly prevent the realization of alternative views, motivations and behaviors. In simplified terms, they have cultural tools that enable them to interact and interpret drawing from various cultural perspectives, see differences and commonalities, interconnect meanings and are restricted less by culture-cognitive constraints. The question for global leadership is then, if multicultural leaders are especially prepared for or capable of multicultural leadership as shaping of meanings in interactive contexts. They have first-hand experience with cultural parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability. Their own multiculturalism should prepare them to fulfill roles at the intersection of cultures even when they do not take a formal leadership role. This can be within and outside their team. Cultures intersect in terms of meanings and in terms of social interactions in which these meanings play out. Multicultural leaders can mediate at these cultural intersections, the cognitive-symbolic and the social-relational. Two aspects are therefore vital for the specific skills of a multicultural leader, culture-cognitive mediation and interpersonal mediation. These spheres are not independent but exist in a mutual constitutive manner, representing the duality of the symbolic and the social (Mohr & Duquenne, 1997); one cannot be comprehended without the other and influencing one (e.g., social interactions) will affect the other (e.g., symbolic meanings) and vice versa. A closer look at the conceptual distinctions reveals the usefulness of multicultural capabilities and allows a more complete exploration of how multiculturals can contribute to integrative and generative leadership processes and tools. Culture-cognitive mediation is based on multicultural culture-cognitive capabilities of interpretation. It refers to the ability to understand different cultural meanings, relate them to each other and see facets of a situation that others may not be able to perceive. Multiculturalism has been associated, for example, with cognitive complexity, the ability to take multiple perspectives or to switch between cultures (Benet-Martínez, Lee & Leu, 2006; Benet-Martínez, Leu, Lee & Morris, 2002; Tadmor, Hong, Chiu & No, 2010; Tadmor & Tetlock, 2006). Furthermore, multiculturals can integrate meanings from different cultures, which can stimulate novel ideas or generalize patterns across different cultural meaning systems (Lücke et al., 2014). Culture-cognitive mediation aims at the management of meaning. It involves, for example, engaging in reinterpretation and translation processes that occur in multinational teams and guiding team members’ interpretive processes. Interpersonal mediation targets social, interactional processes, and through this affects the construction and change of shared meanings. Multiculturals’ cultural fluency can provide them with advantages to engage in interpersonal mediation. The emphasis is thus on interaction and communication with others navigating the intersections of cultures in a deeply interpersonal way. Affecting changes is, for example, useful for preventing or softening the strength of faultlines by mediating between and belonging to several subgroups. Similarly, Zander et al. (2012) suggested that bicultural leaders of global teams would be particularly
32 Research handbook of global leadership skilled in bridge-making roles. In this way, both culture-cognitive and interpersonal mediation are tools for integrative and generative leadership. Multicultural Leaders and Integrative Leadership Facilitating integrative leadership requires more than getting to know team members and connecting with each of them by switching between cultures. Rather, they can leverage their own increased cultural understandings and cognitive complexity by shaping the quality and quantity of sensemaking and meaning-making among team members using their own culture-cognitive mediation skills. This allows for different sets of team experiences to be connected in meaningful ways, for opening up conversations and for reflection. Multicultural leaders can thus help to create an enabling basis for the team and between the team and others on the level of meanings. They can do so, for example, by detecting actual and potential misunderstandings and by clarifying what is difficult to assess for monoculturals in the team because it exists for them in an unstated and preconscious manner. Their interpersonal mediation skills help multicultural leaders connect with others and shape team dynamics and links to other units. Similarly, biculturals have been argued to be particularly skilled at connecting and unifying within and across multinational teams. Zander and colleagues (2012), for example, discuss that bicultural leaders are particularly qualified to fulfill the critical leadership roles of boundary spanning, bridging and blending and thus facilitating the functioning of multicultural teams. Boundary spanning links multicultural team members to other units or groups, bridging addresses cultural and linguistic boundaries between multicultural team members within a team fostering deep understanding of others’ world views, and blending involves creating unity in a team where different multicultural identities may cause rifts. Multicultural Leaders and Generative Leadership Multicultural leaders are also in the position to make a difference regarding generative leadership. In terms of culture-cognitive mediation, increased cognitive complexity and awareness of co-existing cultural perspectives can facilitate the generative processes within teams by enhancing contrasts and juxtaposing different views. This concerns relational work in terms of helping the team construe and recombine different (cultural) views, for example, by highlighting and relating previously distinct, alternative interpretations. Multicultural leader abilities to generalize patterns and to engage in analogical reasoning can also help them ask targeted questions that encourage team members to elaborate ideas that do not immediately fit into any of the team members’ cultural perspectives. Hunches that may otherwise go unnoticed can thus take shape as a result. In addition, multicultural persons can also be, culture-cognitively speaking, very different from other members of the team. This is especially pronounced when many in the team are monocultural themselves. Leadership value then rests on the leader’s distinctiveness, “leadership through difference”, which contrasts with cultural congruence (House, Wright & Aditya, 1997). As such, they can conceive of and introduce changes and novelties, thereby stimulating generative processes. This means that, within the team, multicultural leaders add difference, even peculiarity, to fuel the team’s creative process and illustrate that being culturally different is acceptable and even desirable.
Multicultural leadership 33 Interpersonal mediation skills can also directly shape the nature of interactions between team members in a generative manner. This is about actively shaping the team’s social dynamics and leveraging its cultural multiplicity. It involves the leader’s relations with team members as well as moderating the interplay among team members. Being versed in multiple cultures helps to function as a social catalyst and facilitate processes of dialectic negotiation, reorganization and combination of multicultural perspectives that are fundamental for generative leadership. This helps create a space in which the spark of an idea and hunches can be nurtured and further developed. In this case being multicultural may be more vital for team effectiveness than holding a formal leadership position.
DISCUSSION This chapter’s mission is to outline (1) cultural multiplicity as essential and underlying successful global leadership, (2) what difference global leaders can make when practicing integrative and generative leadership techniques in multicultural teams and (3) how multiculturalism of global leaders can shape both their personal contributions and team dynamics. Leadership here is seen less as a controlling influence on and rather as a catalyst for sociocultural interactions and for processes of sensemaking and meaning-making. These, in turn, are argued to be indispensable for managing cultural multiplicity. In this sense, global leadership does not fall into one of the three contemporary approaches to leadership that Steers and colleagues (2012) outlined, the universal approach such as charismatic or transformational leadership, the normative approach promoting overarching, general global leadership skills such as cultural intelligence or global mindset, or the contingency approach arguing that the leader should be local and situated. Instead, I speak to the call for leadership as a cultural construct (Sanchez-Runde et al., 2011) and suggest that the management of cultural multiplicity is critical for furthering the field of global leadership. This necessitates an emphasis on the social interactional level among team members as well as to external parties with specific attention to cultural intersections where meanings are constructed and cognitions are becoming shared. Culture is relational and both enabling and constraining. Attention shifts to team dynamics and the leader as a catalyst and enabler. Managing multiplicity does not simply mean reducing differences. Instead, leadership should increase resonant interactions and understanding while maintaining cultural diversity in meanings, opinions, views and perspectives. Hence, it is not the primary objective to merge or renegotiate multiple cultural worlds and create a more unified version, but to maintain differences, even enhance them, while increasing mutual understandings and reducing incompatible assumptions. For this, differences in people (team members) are transferred to differences in aspects, perspectives and views. Leadership is by definition cultural as team members’ perceptions, understandings and actions are guided and shaped by the culture(s) they are embedded in. This aspect is essential to understanding global leadership as it involves multiple cultures. These constitute the very fabric of organizational life in multicultural teams and hold challenges as well as opportunities. For the team this means a focus on processes of communication, reflection, resolution of ambiguity, generating shared understandings as well as novel insights and exploration. What can be considered knowledge or facts in monocultural contexts is open for reflexive consideration in multicultural settings.
34 Research handbook of global leadership On this basis, several paths to furthering global leadership insights can be imagined. First, the insights from cultural multiplicity and integrative/generative leadership can be extended to other multicultural settings in which different meaning systems interact and overlap, such as different professions, stakeholders or functions. In these cases, developing culturally resonant interactions and facilitating recombination take center stage in a fundamentally interactive view of leadership. Simply put, when different individuals and discourses come together to pose a leadership challenge, integrative and generative processes benefit the team by functioning in an enabling function as well as by breaking existing constraints of thought and action. Building on the enabling, and not just constraining, nature of culture and that being enabled by culture provides a basis for agency and novelty, leads to further questions as to what specific activities encourage integration and generation. These are tools for a leader to employ. The interplay of integration and generation inspire additional thought and require further inquiry into each of these aspects both from a practical and from a theoretical standpoint. Some of these processes may be ongoing, yet others could be targeted activities or events that promote integrative or generative team dynamics. Particularly interesting is the interrelationship of expansive, generative forces with sharing, constraining forces for the team. Further research is necessary into how integrative and generative activities interact; for example, should they alternate, should they involve an iterative process? Every emergence of novel ideas and solutions needs to involve not just wild generation but also focusing (i.e., integrating) forces in order to take more concrete shape. Furthermore, should the weight placed on integration versus generation shift over the course of team development? Second, using the fundamentals of cultural multiplicity, other leadership challenges such as identities and emotions (e.g., Lee & Schneider, Chapter 7 in this volume) can be reconsidered. While the issue of cultural identities and cultural cognitions, the cultural self and mind, are often confounded, the difference – and consequential consideration of both – is critical to better understanding multicultural (group) dynamics. The former view often emphasizes communication problems, faultlines and conflict when identities in which individuals are invested become challenged and differences become stereotyped and hardened. Notions of difference and distance as liabilities or challenges are pervasive in the literature and often lead to problem-focused views of diversity. Intergroup relations based on culture are a real threat to leveraging the benefits of multiculturalism. As argued above, integrative mechanisms alone may affect the challenges of cultural identity and faultlines positively but are not enough to unlock the generative potential of multiculturalism. A better understanding of cultural identities, when they matter and how they affect a beneficial management of cultural multiplicity is needed. Finally, another field of inquiry focuses on multiculturalism of global leaders. While they may be imbued with certain skills, culture-cognitive and interpersonal, it remains unclear how their position as both insider and outsider affects their leadership not only positively in a multicultural sense but possibly negatively. For example, what are the personal demands on a multicultural to belong to multiple subgroups and both be culturally congruent with others as well as (multiculturally) distinct and offering novelty. This moves the leadership development beyond facilitating multiculturalism in leaders to training them how to effectively utilize their multiculturalism for the management of meanings and relations within teams. In addition, multiculturals cognitively organize and integrate multiple cultures variably leading to distinct sets of skills (Lücke et al., 2014). Further examination can provide insights into how these different forms of multiculturalism can contribute to a leader’s abilities to engage in integrative and generative leadership.
Multicultural leadership 35 In sum, this chapter and the proposed directions for future research suggest taking a step away from problem-focused thinking in multinational organizations and engaging with theories and concepts that facilitate understanding multiculturalism in terms of multiplicity, as relatable and as a resource for organizations. This is essential not only for basic functioning and effectiveness in multicultural workplaces, but also for understanding multiculturalism as opportunity and resource and ultimately for positive local and organization-wide change. Global leadership focusing on underlying sociocultural dynamics and practicing integrative and generative leadership will be crucial in initiating such organizational changes and, as such, are at the helm of making a difference.
BOX 2.1 IDEAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH This chapter invites readers to consider the multiplicity and continued co-existence of different cultural interpretations within contemporary organizations and what this means for global leadership understood as a catalyst for sociocultural organizational dynamics. This not only overcomes problematic aspects such as communication barriers but also holds opportunities for generation and emergence rooted in the very nature of cultural multiplicity. Scholars may find promising avenues for research, including the following: • How can we conceptually and empirically capture culture and cultural multiplicity as a truly central aspect of global leadership? • How can cultural multiplicity be the new normal in organizations, moving beyond integrating, including and adjusting to creating functional, invigorating and nurturing multicultural organizations? • What are the challenges in implementing integrative and generative leadership practices? • What are specific generative processes of multicultural settings such as teams, and how can they be leveraged effectively?
BOX 2.2 RELEVANCE FOR EDUCATORS This chapter addresses the ever-present nature of culture in everyday work life pointing out the need to understand how culture functions in order to better understand multiculturalism and its importance for leadership. Culture is not simply outside individuals, or separate, but an intrinsic part of all communication and a critical part of multicultural teamwork. For educators this can provide material to highlight relevant insights in the classroom. • Understanding culture as both enabling and constraining thoughts and actions of individuals and groups. • Understanding the challenges and also opportunities inherent in a multicultural setting. • What is the nature of cultural multiplicity as a potential resource in multicultural groups? • How can multicultural dynamics be managed by global leaders? • Practicing techniques to facilitate integrative and generative group processes.
36 Research handbook of global leadership
BOX 2.3 INTEREST TO PRACTITIONERS For practitioners the chapter provides an extended view on global leadership, beyond considering culture as an external or separate aspect of leadership. While dimensional or variable-centered research may have a parsimonious appeal, practitioners need to understand the cultural nature, and associated assumptions, not only of others but also of themselves and their work. Only then can a practitioner be expected to orchestrate the complex sociocultural dynamics that play out within multicultural settings. In addition, realizing the ongoing nature and generative potential of cultural multiplicity can help unlock what may remain hidden in more problem-centered traditional views of cross-cultural encounters. The goal of leadership activities is hence not one of creating commonality or unity but of being a catalyst in a setting characterized by continued co-existence of multiple cultural perspectives.
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38 Research handbook of global leadership Powell, W. W., Gammal, D. L. & Simard, C. 2005. Close encounters: The circulation and reception of managerial practices in the San Francisco Bay area nonprofit community. In B. Czarniawska & G. Sevón (Eds.), Global ideas: 233–58: Liber & Copenhagen School Press. Quinn, N. 2005. Finding culture in talk: A collection of methods: Palgrave Macmillan. Sanchez-Runde, C., Nardon, L. & Steers, R. M. 2011. Looking beyond Western leadership models: Implications for global managers. Organizational Dynamics, 40(3): 207–13. Shore, B. 1996. Culture in mind: Cognition, culture, and the problem of meaning: Oxford University Press. Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Ehrhart, K. H. & Singh, G. 2010. Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management: 0149206310385943. Smircich, L. & Morgan, G. 1982. Leadership: The management of meaning. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18(3): 257–73. Somers, M. & Gibson, G. D. 1994. Reclaiming the epistemological “other”: Narrative and the social construction of identity. In C. Calhoun (Ed.), Social Theory and the Politics of Identity: 37–99: Blackwell. Steers, R. M., Sanchez-Runde, C. & Nardon, L. 2012. Leadership in a global context: New directions in research and theory development. Journal of World Business, 47(4): 479–82. Strauss, C. & Quinn, N. 1997. A cognitive theory of cultural meaning: Cambridge University Press. Suedfeld, P. & Bluck, S. 1993. Changes in integrative complexity accompanying significant life events: Historical evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(1): 124–30. Tadmor, C. T., Hong, Y.-y., Chiu, C.-Y. & No, S. 2010. What I know in my mind and where my heart belongs: Multicultural identity negotiation and its cognitive consequences. In R. J. Crisp (Ed.), The psychology of social and cultural diversity: 115–44: Wiley-Blackwell. Tadmor, C. T. & Tetlock, P. E. 2006. Biculturalism: A model of the effects of second-culture exposure on acculturation and integrative complexity. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37(2): 173–90. Thomas, D. C. 2010. Cultural intelligence and all that jazz: A cognitive revolution in international management research? Advances in International Management, 23: 169–87. Thomas, D. C. & Inkson, K. C. 2003. Cultural intelligence: Living and working globally: Berrett-Koehler. Weick, K. E. 1995. Sensemaking in organizations: SAGE. Weick, K. E. 2012. Organized sensemaking: A commentary on processes of interpretive work. Human Relations, 65(1): 141–53. Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M. & Obstfeld, D. 2005. Organizing and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16(4): 409–21. Williams, K. Y. & O’Reilly, C. A. 1998. Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research. Research in Organizational Behavior, 20: 77–140. Zander, L., Mockaitis, A. I. & Butler, C. L. 2012. Leading global teams. Journal of World Business, 47(4): 592–603. Zander, L., Zettinig, P. & Mäkelä, K. 2013. Leading global virtual teams to success. Organizational Dynamics, 42(3): 228–37. Zilber, T. B. 2006. The work of the symbolic in institutional processes: Translations of rational myths in Israeli high tech. Academy of Management Journal, 49(2): 281–303.
3. Global leadership: sustaining classic managerialism Stefan Sveningsson and Mats Alvesson
INTRODUCTION Many contemporary organizations are becoming increasingly international in terms of various businesses, activities, relations and interactions. It is often said that beyond the traditional concerns of unpredictable markets, turbulent economic conditions and technological development, so-called global organizations face a set of new and significant issues including global ethics, sustainable environment, climate change, economic and social inequalities as well as increased geographical, ethnic and gender diversity. It is argued that this creates a variety of novel challenges and demands such as increased interactional dynamics, intensified relational complexity and amplified cultural diversity (Jokinen, 2005). This puts additional demands on organizations in terms of coordination and subsequently leadership. In this respect leadership, typically labeled global leadership, has often been singled out as the most important element in trying to meet many challenges following international commitment and efforts. It is for example common to talk of the significance of global leaders that have the ability and competence to articulate visions and formulate strategies that drive change and provide overall guidance in increasingly global organizations. As in leadership in general global leadership is often approached from a variety of different angles – transformational, directive, traits, competence-based, distributed, self-directed – and seemingly includes all aspects of human work organization. Although being vague and sweeping global leadership (as leadership in general) strongly relies on the assumption that organizing and coordinating work is intimately tied to the individual leader. A key element here is that global leaders and leadership are seen as critical for success and constitute the most reliable solution to the global challenges facing contemporary organizations and society. Much of this has an intuitive appeal, typically common in many idealistic and more ideologically flavored claims and characterizations of the mechanisms of organizations and society. We see this idealism as central to the problems associated with a more critical understanding of the meaning and significance of global leadership. Based on this we critically investigate how efforts of advancing ideas of global leadership as the solution to global challenges can be seen as an ideological project aimed at maintaining faith in leaders and leadership as such. From this, global leadership could be seen as yet another concept stretch that echoes and reinforces classic managerialism. Such an orientation runs the risk of preserving the marginalization of other important contextual conditions that affect the workings and success of organizations and society. We argue that, although it is often suggested that global leadership is the solution to many challenges facing modern organizations, the mobilization of “global” in this particular context reproduces many of the problems – leader centrism, power asymmetries, ambiguities covered by the seemingly clear label 39
40 Research handbook of global leadership leadership and naïve romanticism – that characterize most classic approaches to leadership. In fact, adding “global” amplifies these problems.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP: CONCEPTUAL AND EMPIRICAL BACKGROUND Global leadership has been advanced as a key solution to the challenges – increased cultural and geographical heterogeneity and increased complexity – that follow from organizations becoming more international. It is frequently argued that geographical heterogeneity and cultural diversity challenges traditional forms of organizing (Caligiuri & Tarique, 2009). For example, Harris and Moran (1987: 225) argue that: “Employees need to learn about culture and cross-cultural communication if they are to work effectively with minorities within their own society or with foreigners encountered at home or abroad”. Caligiuri and Tarique (2009: 336) state, “Todays global environment has created a more complex and dynamic environment in which most firms must learn to compete effectively to achieve sustainable growth”. As in many other facets of modern society leadership has been advanced and established itself as a popular solution to many of the problems that employees face in dealing with a global world: “Leaders who can effectively manage through this complex, changing, and often ambiguous global environment are critical for firms’ future effectiveness” (Caligiuri & Tarique, 2009: 336). Subsequently there are widespread writings on what is commonly referred to as global leadership and global leaders in terms of accomplishing strategic change (see Sveningsson & Sörgärde, forthcoming for a broad review of managing change). As most ideas on global leadership to a large extent draw on existing views of leadership in general there are a variety of various approaches and perspectives of how it should be understood. Most of these views take a typical leader-centric trait or behavioral approach by emphasizing the mindset of the presumed leader and/or the occasionally overlapping dimension of leader competencies required to perform global leadership (Brake, 1997; Jokinen, 2005; Osland, Reiche, Szkudlarek & Mendenhall, forthcoming; Robinson & Harvey, 2008). For example, Srinivas (1995) identifies eight elements of the global leadership mindset: curiosity and concern for context, acceptance of complexity and its contradictions, diversity consciousness and sensitivity, seeking opportunity in surprises and uncertainties, faith in organizational processes, focus on continual improvement, extended time perspective and systems thinking. These are all traits expected to contribute to the base for competencies that are necessary in global environments – but perhaps in local ones, as well. In a similar line of reasoning Rhinesmith (1996) points at six traits of the global mindset that also create appropriate competencies: seeing the broader picture, balancing contradictory needs and demands, trust in networked processes, rather than hierarchical structures, valuing multicultural teamwork and diversity, flow with change and expanding knowledge and skills by being open to surprises. Brake (1997) talks about relationship management, personal effectiveness, business acumen and the transformational self as the global leadership triad. These traits are assumed to facilitate appropriate competencies such as relational abilities, cultural sensitivity, linguistic abilities and capacity to manage stress (Jokinen, 2005, see also Connor, 2000). Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding and Jacobs (2000) define different leadership skills such as social judgment skills, social skills and creative problem solving as well as having various forms of knowledge:
Global leadership 41 task-related, business, organization and people. Competencies, skills and behaviors are thus seen as resulting from the right personal stuff. A related take on this is a more explicit focus on what kind of competencies are needed in order to exercise global leadership. For example, Goldsmith and Walt (1999) argue that five competencies are central: thinking globally, appreciating cultural diversity, demonstrating technological savvy, building partnerships and sharing leadership. Several writers suggest that emotional competence is particularly significant for global leaders (Kets de Vries & Florent-Treacy, 2000). Boyatzis, Goleman and Rhee (1999) suggest that: “Emotional intelligence is observed when a person demonstrates the competencies that constitute self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills at appropriate times and ways in sufficient frequency to be effective in the situation”. Many of these lists of traits, styles, behaviors and competencies overlap substantially and are similar in trying to identify more or less universal elements that characterize what people see as a global leader and a global leadership. This search for universal leadership traits and styles characterizing presumed leaders builds on the classic psychology tradition within leadership writings in general and generally assumes that leadership is something intimately related to the psychology and/or behavior of the leader. This comes through in a review of global leadership by Jokinen (2005) who formulates a three-sided integrative and overlapping framework mainly based on the conventional and general leadership literature. The first side consists of what is labeled “the core of global leadership competencies” and involves self-awareness, engagement in personal transformation and inquisitiveness. The second side targets what is seen as desired mental characteristics of global leaders. These characteristics are described in terms of optimism, social judgment skills, empathy, motivation to work in an international environment, cognitive skills and acceptance of complexity and its contradictions. The third side of the review discusses the behavioral level of global leadership competencies and involves social and networking skills as well as knowledge and experience. Although the issue of global – cultural and linguistic diversity, geographically dispersed teams, etc. – commonly referred to in the literature as a form of situational feature – the discussion of leadership remains intimately tied to the traditional conceptions of leadership in terms of its general reasoning and its assumptions about the significance of leadership. Subsequently, it is difficult to see how the global leadership qualities – social skills, judgment skills, optimism, creativity, etc. – differ from discussions of mainstream leadership in general, or for that matter, how these qualities differ from what is seen as being a good organizational employee or just a human being in general. It is of course sometimes mentioned that cultural skills and acceptance of diversity and global thinking is part of the competence set-up but this is hardly making global leadership more precise. It appears more like “normal” leadership plus some cross-cultural consideration, with “global” making it more grandiose. The lists are broad and include seemingly everything related to work in organizations, activities that are normally considered to be good in a very conventional sense. Platitudes and banalities may sound good if one avoids critically investigating them more in detail. In terms of leadership competencies it is suggested for example that “self-insight enables one to listen to others and assess the value of what they have to offer” (Jokinen, 2005: 205). But since most people on a daily basis seemingly listen to others and also try to asses what is said (to some extent this can be assumed) most people can be said to have self-insight. The question here is what kind of self-insight is referred to and to what extent a particular self-insight facilitates a certain kind of listening and skills to assess and how this is related to
42 Research handbook of global leadership leadership in some reasonable sense of the word. Under “engagement in personal transformation”, Jokinen (2005) suggests that it is important to be flexible in terms of openness to change and be prepared to change personal attitudes and perceptions. This contrasts, however, with the suggested traits under self-regulation that inform that one should exhibit stability in terms of perseverance, resilience and a “hardy” – rather than flexible – personality and retain style in unfamiliar situations (rather than adapt). The review emphasizes a variety of different and contradictory traits that point in all kinds of directions without any qualified discussion as to the context in terms of work situations, organizations, industry or wider social and cultural domains. From this literature it is generally assumed that a variety of things that intuitively sound good also imply global leadership in some form – motivation and influence interactions between people in international relations – although the latter is not elaborated upon in detail. In contrast, global leadership is sweepingly assumed to be expressed in a variety of implicitly good traits and activities rather than critically discussed or investigated in detail. Also empirical studies on the subject that acknowledge some situational specifics are very broad and sweeping in terms of leadership. This can be seen in for example studies addressing global leadership in teamwork (Caligiuri & Tarique, 2009; Robinson & Harvey, 2008). The latter represent an increasingly common way of structuring work tasks in internationally and geographically dispersed organizations and it is common today to talk about global virtual or multicultural teamwork. Global virtual and multicultural teams are said to be particularly challenging in terms of coordination as they represent a globally dispersed work environment and heterogeneity on a variety of dimensions such as culture, identity and language. As in the conceptual writings above it is typically assumed in these studies that leaders (mostly managers) matter in terms of their traits, competence, styles and behavior. From this it is often argued that boundary spanning is significant (Zander, Mockaitis & Butler, 2012) as a competence in global leadership. In one study (Joshi & Lazarova, 2005) it is suggested that these competencies effectively included direction and goal setting, communication, facilitating teamwork and were motivating and inspiring. In another study (Kayworth & Leidner, 2001–2002) it is argued that effective group team leaders should be communicative, act as mentors, be able to manage different roles, be empathetic and both task- and relationship-oriented. Transformational leadership is a popular style of global leadership in many studies and is usually seen as effective (Robinson & Harvey, 2008). Studies of virtual global teams and multicultural teams suggest that transformational leadership as inspirational can act as a bridge between team members by linking them with vision and identity (Joshi, Lazarova & Liao, 2009). Yet another study suggests that in order to accomplish highly committed global virtual teams it is necessary to provide clear direction and also individualized goals for team members, something that is said to produce team process improvement and customer satisfaction (Kirkman, Rosen, Tesluk & Gibson, 2004). Bell and Kozlowski (2004) also suggest that leaders are proactive and establish routines in projects in order to produce results. Although this is not directly in contradiction to ideals of transformational leadership these recipes indicate other priorities than using charisma, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration to make people love their leader and be driven by identification and commitment more than instructions, goals and routines. In a review of empirical research on leading global teams, Zander et al. (2012) formulate three broad emerging research themes around global leadership, the first around leaders as boundary spanning, bridge making and blending, the second focusing on people-oriented
Global leadership 43 leadership in teams and the third around leveraging global team diversity. Boundary spanning is said to be most significant, requiring leaders to identify with different groups in order to coordinate them for what is called “synergistic results”. The latter builds upon legitimate and trustful relations between leaders (managers) and team members (see Wiesenfeld & Hewlin, 2003). Bridge making refers to intra-team communication and interaction and resolution of conflicts by bridging cultural and linguistic boundaries between team members. It is said that in order to create synergies between team members it is important for everyone in a team to have a deep understanding of each other’s cultural backgrounds and world views, something that can be facilitated by a team leader or what Chevrier (2003) calls a “cultural mediator”. Blending refers to the possibility of creating cohesion within a group in terms of identity or culture by blending different subgroups in order to avoid conflict and splits between groups. This is accomplished by creating a uniting culture or identity for inclusion and in parallel recognizing the group’s uniqueness. Blending strategies include, for example, both overall identity and subgroup identity formations (Hornsey & Hogg, 2000) and culture creations also recognizing the significance for leaders to create high-quality relationships to all team members (Pittinsky, 2010). The second aspect of coordination in teams revolves around the appropriate leadership style in virtual and multicultural teams being relationship-oriented, transformative and inspirational. This aligns well with ideas of contemporary leadership where ideas of inspiration, vision and charisma – transformational leadership – often are suggested as superior to old-style transactional forms of leadership. When it comes to the role of the leader and the possibility of leveraging team diversity – the third aspect – research is more uncertain. It is often said that strong team culture and shared expectations in terms of purpose and goals improves the effectiveness of a team and that diversity may increase conflict and lead to lower social integration (Stahl, Maznevskij, Voigt & Jonsen, 2010). On the other hand, diversity can lead to increased creativity, deeper interaction and richer communication. In terms of leadership, Zander et al. (2012: 600) suggest that: “Leaders, who demonstrate biculturalism together with those, who posses cultural intelligence or a global mindset, can move comfortably between different cultures, and demonstrate intercultural empathy and personal liking, may be most suited to the task of leading global teams”. Although based on empirical research, they acknowledge that there is still insufficient empirical data to be certain about the characteristics of the leader and leadership qualities in teamwork. Although specifying a particular organizational situation – teamwork – the empirical studies above draw on existing general leader studies – transformational, distributed, self-leadership, etc. – and assume that leadership is necessary and significant in teamwork rather than more openly investigating its relevance, meaning and practice in groups dispersed by a variety of different factors, possibly connected to international operations. Similarly to many studies of leadership in general, much of these writings disregard complexities of cultural and social context as well as the specific meaning attached to the concepts used and reinforce the notion of the significance and centrality of the individual leader. The question is not whether leadership is needed or not, or what leadership is really about and how important it may be (e.g. in relation to teamwork or management), but rather which kind of leadership is most effective. Next we elaborate more in detail on this.
44 Research handbook of global leadership
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AS AN ALL-EMBRACING AND COLONIZING LABEL One typical definition (Osland et al., 2006: 197–223) of global leadership says that: “Global leadership … a process of influencing the thinking, attitudes, and behaviors of a global community to work synergistically toward a common vision and common goals”. There are many problems here. One is the assumption and claim that this “process” is neatly packaged as the formulation indicates. The global community indicates a homogenous group. The “common” is indicated to dominate, not so much diversities in terms of visions, goals, thinking, etc. Perhaps a more important issue is, acknowledging Osland et al.’s definition, how much research has studied this empirically. The complexities involved are significant. The dominating survey-based research can hardly be said to study global leadership according to this definition. It is debatable if interview studies can possibly study processes – activities, interactions, relations – and situations. If global leadership should involve change as is common to suggest in many definitions, it is even more obvious that the number of leadership studies is limited. If we add reasonable criteria like leadership being executed in a real organization some additional studies will be excluded. Accordingly, there is a lack of in-depth and close-up studies of global leadership acknowledging the social and cultural organizational complexities, more than just stating and quantifying simple variables of cultural diversity. The latter needs to be acknowledged in terms of its significance and meaning for leadership processes rather than reduced to a measurable and decontextualized frequency. Based on this one can say that there are very few studies taking global leadership as defined by Osland et al (2006) into account. Global leadership researchers thus often come up with types and styles of leadership – portraying managers/leaders as having an explicit competence or coherent style – which may be an oversimplification to say the least. In leadership, arguably, it is not the mechanics of managerial behavior that matters so much as how subordinates interpret it and relate to it. A culturally diverse group is likely to interpret and relate to managerial actions quite differently, making the idea of their being an objective style rather misleading. Many managers are also varying behavior and adapting to circumstances, and they are often uncertain about what they are doing in ambiguous contexts (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2003a). A perhaps worse problem in global leadership studies is the taken-for-grantedness of the heavy and problematic inclination to rely on leadership ideologies, overlapping with the commitment and naïveties of leadership writings in general. By typically relying on many conventional leadership concepts and approaches most writings in global leadership share the former’s ideological assumptions. Rather than empirically investigating global leadership in terms of its processes of motivation and influence, relations and interactions, in terms of the definition above global leadership is approached in the same terms as leadership in general. This means that leadership is assumed to be everywhere and connected to most activities and interactions in organizations, rather than investigated in detail as a distinct process of influence in real organizational settings and thus having some understanding of what really goes on – and whether “global leadership” exists, i.e. is a reasonable way to capture phenomena. This assumption about “global leadership” being the central source behind a lot of outcomes like thinking and behavior subordinates creates some significant problems. First and looking at the more conceptual writings, there is hardly any problem that cannot be solved by increased leadership in some way. All kinds of coordination efforts – competition
Global leadership 45 problems, turbulence, cross-sectional coordination, global teamworking, etc. – can be solved by global leadership in some way. Advancing global leadership as a solution to all kinds of international coordination problems creates elusive, vague and sweeping conceptualizations. It refers to traits, styles, competencies and a variety of different behaviors, all labeled as leadership and just assumed to almost magically solve all the problems stated. In terms of competencies Jokinen (2005: 201) for example suggests that: “Global leadership competencies are seen as those universal qualities that enable individuals to perform their job outside their own national as well as organizational culture”. Among these competencies Jokinen (2005) elaborates upon different things such as curiosity, self-knowledge, humor, hardiness, optimism, empathy, integrity, social and cognitive skills and a proactive approach to learning, to mention just a few. These are personal competencies that may be very good to have in many ways but to what extent they are specific or particular for “global leadership” in terms of influencing processes in international interactions is more difficult to say. Studies on global leadership present a variety of personal traits and competencies assumed to be specific leadership qualities, but how these actually work in organizations remains vague and sweeping unless we assume the existence of some superhumans that embody and practice all these competencies. Of course, this is just romantically naïve and unrealistic. The same all-inclusive problem can be seen in the empirical studies. The typical ambition is to find the universal trait, competencies and behaviors which subsequently lead to broad and sweeping conceptualizations of global leadership, often relying on conventional leadership concepts, although framed in an international context, the latter commonly understood as different in terms of the degree of complexity, interconnectedness and challenges rather than being qualitatively different (Osland et al., 2006). Leadership as a popular and timely idea and label is assumed to have some specific characteristics when applied to global coordination efforts and subsequently drawn upon in order to explain what makes these more effective and successful. Again it is assumed that leadership is necessary and significant for all aspects of coordinating work organization – all aspects of organizational life seem to pass as leadership – and its outcomes rather than explored in detail. The relevance and significance of leadership in for example international teamwork demands more close-up studies focusing on the specific kind of work done, its requirements in terms of guidance and control, partly on the basis of those involved in the work. Rather than assuming the need for transformational leadership an idea would be to be more open towards instances of self-organizing processes and professional norms and identities that often govern such forms of work (Sveningsson, Kärreman & Alvesson, 2009). Given a high degree of complexity, perhaps one could expect that the manager (leader) is less omnipotent and other forms of organizing processes than leadership are central, e.g. mutual adjustment, professionalism and self-governance. In at least some situations, subordinates express a limited need for leadership compared to relying on other sources of support and guidance (Blom & Alvesson, 2014). Consequently, what seems to be most significant in many of these studies is the idea of or perhaps just the label leadership, almost independent of whether it refers to anything distinct and/or concrete or not or whether it actually refers to influencing processes as suggested by Osland et al. (2006) above. It is the ideological appeal that leadership has in contemporary society that makes it useful as a label to include everything. In most writings global leadership is also defined positively, as involving or leading to something “good”. This means that global leadership becomes irresistible – “broad and good” facilitates all kinds of use without any particular demand to be more specific or clear about its presumed necessity or significance.
46 Research handbook of global leadership More and better global leadership is the formula for effectiveness and success in facing global challenges. The expansion of leadership discourse to all kinds of global diversity challenges and framing global leadership as involving almost everything good means that the concept of loose precision and its scope and all-inclusiveness discourage the thinking of alternatives to leadership. Why is it that, for example, “mentoring” or “taking a personal interest in team members” in teamwork (Zander et al., 2012) should be seen as global leadership, or why is it necessary to enforce transformational leadership on teamwork that often benefits from other forms of coordinating mechanisms such as mutual adjustment around specific tasks or autonomy based on professional norms and standards? The expansionism of the rather lofty and perhaps sometimes “empty” concept of global leadership into (use in order to claim representing) more and more of organizational life means that complex, dynamic and ambiguous organizational processes are transformed in terms of simplification and universalization. Put differently, the radical expansion of the use of global leadership language can be seen as a way of potentially colonizing an increasing amount of aspects of organizing work and influence (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000). We see this as a process that may discourage a more nuanced, critical and alternative understanding of organizational activities and processes. The all-embracing idea of leadership may thus prevent a more differentiated and informed take on coordination problems in international operations, with the risk of actually intensifying – rather than solving – problems of coordination of organizational activities.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AS THE AMPLIFICATION OF THE HEROIC LEADER Most writings on global leadership also emphasize the central position and significance of leaders. In many of the definitions of the global leader a variety of different elements – traits, competencies, behavior, context – are mobilized but all are seen to be somehow related to the leader’s character and personality (Park, Jeong, Jang, Yoon, & Lim, 2018). Some studies emphasize processes and relations to followers but this still represents a marginal share of all the research and even in that the traits and style of the leader is made a key element in leadership (Zander et al., 2012). Consequently, global leadership studies at large reinforce the significance of the individual leader who is viewed as a stable and coherent essence and whose qualities directly and strongly influence followers. Drawing on the attribution theory of leadership (Meindl, 1995) – the tendency of many leadership observers to romanticize the importance of leaders for organizational outcomes – we can note that leaders are assumed to be superior and others as inferior or less important. This means marginalizing the possibility that people in managerial positions may not always be that much smarter, charismatic, experienced or important for organizational outcomes than most other people. Even ordinary, non-global, “local” leaders are often portrayed in heroic terms – these are the central drivers of followers and organizational performances – but with “global” their significance and reach are even more underscored. As in much general leadership literature global leadership studies also reflect implicit theories and attributions of leadership (Bresnen, 1996; Meindl, 1995). Much of this goes back to the central assumption in most writings that leaders (usually managers) constitute the most reliable solution to the problems facing international and global
Global leadership 47 organizations. Drawing on conventional approaches, often a transformational leadership (there are some notable exceptions to this such as Zander et al., 2012), we can see strong undertones of heroism suggesting the maintenance of transformational and heroic approaches (Jokinen, 2005). As such, the mobilization of the psychology of the individual leader can be seen as an ideological project aimed at restoring faith in a proposed new version of leadership adapted to a global world. Taking up traditional managerialist leadership theories and reframing them as a new leader formula suggests that identifying “global leaders” will solve all problems. Similar to the problems of colonization, a key problem with the leader centrism is the way in which it maintains a marginalization of other important contextual conditions that affect working life. In this way, the mobilization of the global leader provides an ideologically anchored – as well as misleading and conceptually naïve – characterization of the complex processes of global organizations. The latter can hardly be reduced to the traits and competencies of sole individuals, even when they seemingly work with matters of international/ cross-cultural significance. An additional important problem for those who take the notion of global leadership seriously is that the centralization of leaders reinforces hierarchical relations and power dependencies. Leaders portrayed as global hubs based on sweeping ideas of traits and competencies reinforce their status as a natural force around which everything else in the organization revolves. Ordinary people are best positioned to listen, accommodate and imitate those more enlightened managers that reside on this higher global level. With an emphasis on leaders, there is a de-emphasis on the significance of others, seen very much as outcomes of leadership. An exaggerated view of the leader is likely to add to this and further reinforce employee dependencies, submissions and asymmetrical relations traditionally found in organizations.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP: A DISCURSIVE VIEW Internationalization may mean a more turbulent and unstable world in terms of competitiveness and change and by creating concepts of global leaders and leadership we hope to be able to manage global confusions. Consequently, global leadership could be regarded as a type of leadership discourse – a way of reasoning and expression of leadership that delivers its own truth claims and effects. This take on global leadership offers the possibility of focusing on the way that it is constitutive for how people come to talk about themselves as leaders. Viewing global leadership from a discursive perspective means focusing on the language (in a broad sense) used in organizations and the way in which language is constitutive of organizational reality, i.e. language does not only mirror organizational reality but also constructs it (Hardy, Lawrence & Grant, 2005). Accordingly, language is sometimes said to be performative rather than just one-sidedly reflecting reality (Hardy & Phillips, 2004). Discourse here is understood as verbal (talk, speech acts) and textual (written documents, images, symbols) ways of reason about things in organizations – such as global leadership – that also may be constitutive for those things (Alvesson & Kärreman, 2000). A discursive approach investigates how local organizational members reproduce, draw on and modify global leadership discourses when communicating and position themselves as global leaders or as exercising global leadership in organizations. In doing that they also produce realities in that they convey, create and reinforce ideas that may come to constitute organizational reality (Ospina & Sorenson, 2006). As
48 Research handbook of global leadership a discursive practice, therefore, writings on global leadership bring the phenomenon into being (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2012). Rather than searching for global leadership as an abstract representation in the psychology or competence of people, from a discursive view the researcher would identify patterns in the use of language (labels, words, etc.) to achieve or perform something. The language of global leadership is very attractive and popular, potentially providing managers with a language by which they can portray themselves as global and good in terms of for example cultural diversity. Not many would say no to the idea of having a “global mind” (Rhinesmith, 1996). Managers may thus portray themselves as being open and global and good rather than power-hungry, political, self-interested or other negative characterizations. The normative language and confident tone have an element of assurance or perhaps promise – global leadership must by nature and sheer necessity be good and have a positive impact on people. Perhaps the tone itself attempts to convince the reader of the significance and urgency of this construct. One can observe the hint of hope for a brave new world where global leaders make a difference, inherent in the writings. But universal definitions and thin decontextualized abstractions mean that the understanding of the practice of leadership and its meaning for those supposedly involved in leadership processes are disregarded. Questionnaires or interview statements about what people do may not be very well aligned to what they actually do. Leadership seen as a discourse – a more or less popular way of expression – has been shown to be rather misaligned to what people actually do in the managerial work and more related to how they want to be perceived by significant others (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2003a, 2003b). Even if, as we sometimes hear, discourse has constitutive effects, these may drown in the real, material world, where leadership is less easy to spot when doing in-depth work in specific organizational settings. Where do these critical remarks about global leadership leave us in terms of understanding leadership? We turn to this next.
LEADERSHIP: SITUATIONS, INTERACTIONS AND RELATIONS The critical remarks above do not rule out the possibility of using the term leadership in order to make sense of situations, relations or people under certain preconditions. Drawing somewhat on the definition above it makes sense to talk about leadership as an intentional influence process on more significant organizational issues, even if this is not immediately salient or evident to (or acknowledged by) those involved in these processes. Leadership should not be referred to as any form of influence – such as in more or less trivial matters or of an ad-hoc kind or unintended – but more specific intentional efforts and outcomes, like overall issues of an organization or department or influence over how individuals think, feel and act in relation to overall organizational objectives. In the specific case of global leadership this could refer to broader international or cultural issues such as diversity in different respects. It also makes more sense to see leadership as a matter of at least a modest coherence between intentions, behavior and outcomes (Alvesson, Blom & Sveningsson, 2016). Based on this it is questionable whether many empirical studies can be characterized as leadership and whether we can say that leadership exists as a coherent process of influence. Leadership should thus be seen as a genuine social phenomenon. Exercising leadership in splendid isolation is meaningless. Leadership is by necessity exercised between people. Based on this leadership is an expression for a relation – and for something mutual. The
Global leadership 49 central importance of mutuality for leadership may be regarded as obvious but if one takes it seriously the consequences for the understanding will be significant (Alvesson & Ydén, 2000). A position as leader doesn’t unambiguously emerge from the formal structures of positions such as suggested by many writers of global leadership (see Caligiuri & Tarique, 2009, for example). (If so manager is the better word, but managerial position and work can’t be equated with leadership.) Understanding the actors involved from a division in leaders and followers is often superficial and deceptive. The participants are co-makers of the leadership relations that evolve (Shamir, 2007) and sometimes they minimize or avoid followership positions (Blom & Alvesson, 2014). Those involved are connecting and defining each other, mutually and relationally. A person becomes viewed as a leader when one or several persons find what he or she says is of great importance and is influenced by it. The salience and scope of a particular followership is contingent upon the characteristics of the interaction between the leader and the led. At one end of the spectrum we find people that are more self-governing and with less need for leadership and at the other end of the spectrum we find those that require or demand stronger leader involvement. The relation can thus be initiated and co-constructed by the follower to the extent that some form of overall guidance and/or inspiration is demanded and required (Blom & Alvesson, 2014). It is a broadly shared view that leadership involves influencing people’s thinking and feelings. Zaleznik (1977: 67–78) talks about leaders’ influence as a “change atmosphere [that] evokes images and expectations and determines certain aspirations and objectives … the net result of this influence is changing how people think about what is desirable, possible and necessary”. Based on this leaders can have an influence that goes beyond that which is related to the formal position as a manager. Formal managerial influence involves trying to accomplish things through traditional activities such as structural arrangements, planning and control (without worrying too much about what people think and feel). In contrast, leadership involves trying to accomplish (significant) things through influencing people’s thinking, affections and feelings. If we regard leadership as a process where someone exercises significant influence over others and, thereby, contributes to the shared definitions of reality within a group, it is possible to say that the position as leader may shift dependent on the dynamics in the interpersonal interaction. The person that is the driving force behind a specific definition of reality can be regarded as the one who then exercises leadership, even if this person is formally a subordinate. Based on this leadership consists of actions in specific and concrete situations, perhaps often not even acknowledged as leadership.
CONCLUSIONS Global leadership relies, as is the case with a majority of writings on leadership, on rather fragile assumptions of the centrality of individual leaders and leadership for organizational processes and outcomes. There is an overemphasis on the leader and the impact of his/her traits, style and/or behavior on the response of followers. The division between leader and follower is taken for granted and the former is expected to be the key agent while the latter is seen as a more or less passive receiver of influence. There is limited recognition that social relations may look quite different than captured by the idea that leaders lead followers. A so-called global leader may neither be the key driver of social relations nor the single most obvious
50 Research handbook of global leadership solution to many contemporary challenges facing organizations and societies. Organizational processes and outcomes still very much involve relations and interactions and the broader set of institutional, ideological and cultural ideas and arrangements regulating what people in managerial and authority positions do and how interactions take place. Leadership as an area of research and talk is often characterized by grandiosity – improving the status and remarkable nature of managerial positions and work and thus making the people holding these positions and researchers studying them look more impressive (Alvesson, 2013). Through adding “global” this quality is reinforced. The risk of “global leadership” being more about recipes for identity and status boosting and presenting a seemingly fantastic organizational world, badly representing the realities of the latter, need to be taken seriously. Leadership as trying to make a real difference demands a more detailed attention to what it means to accomplish intentional and significant influence of how people make sense of their work and organizational objectives. Exercising leadership thus means influencing people’s constructions of reality, interpretations and understanding. Leadership means a change in atmosphere, evoking images and determining desires and aspirations. The result is to change how people think about what is desirable, possible and necessary to accomplish.
BOX 3.1 IDEAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH Studies on leadership should try to unpack the leadership process in its different parts by investigating and problematizing in close detail leaders’ intentions and acts, interactions with subordinates/followers and the characteristics of those relations as well as the outcomes of those interactions as parts of the process. This demands, however, that the view on leadership recognizes that it is a genuinely social phenomenon exercised in social relations. • Leadership should be acknowledged as a genuinely social – rather than primarily psychological – phenomenon. • The phenomenon of leadership needs to be studied in depth and subsequently unpacked by its constituting social elements such as intentions, actions, relations, interactions and receptions. • The significance of followership is vital in understanding the emergence of leadership. • Studying leadership as a social phenomenon means acknowledging the relevance of qualitative in-depth studies. • Studying leadership also means assuming less about its inherent existence and presumed goodness, the latter being empirical – rather than principle – questions. • Studying leadership means recognizing its socially constructive character in terms of attributions of those involved in presumed leadership processes.
BOX 3.2 RELEVANCE FOR EDUCATORS Most significant is to demystify leadership by employing a fairly neutral view of leadership that unpacks it in terms of being one of several – although occasionally very powerful – means of achieving coordination in organizations. Important here is to recognize that leadership targets ideas, emotions, interests, identities rather than people’s behavior primarily
Global leadership 51 (the latter being management). Significant, however, is not only what an individual does but how others relate to that. It is also important to resist the temptation to portray leadership in ideological and grand terms. One can easily make students happy through describing their imagined future careers in flattering terms, but this means bad preparations for a realistic understanding of the imperfections of the world. • Leadership connects to culture – how people understand and relate to work, relations, the world and themselves. • Leadership involves one cognitive and one emotional dimension; how to understand the world and how to relate to the world in terms of what is important and valuable. • Symbolic actions and the forming of agendas, allocation of time and energy to certain issues and questions. • Followers are co-creators of leadership. • Leadership as a process does not include everything – an all-embracing view – but focuses on a distinct and often subtle form of leadership as part of everyday relations.
BOX 3.3 INTEREST TO PRACTITIONERS The discourse of global leadership – sustained by academia, media and leadership consultants – is an expanding and increasingly popular industry that is easy to become attracted by because of a variety of appealing conceptual offers such as being labeled a global leader. It is decidedly seductive (see Sveningsson & Alvesson, 2016). It is wise, however, to remain somewhat skeptical towards many concepts that offer universal solutions to problems facing contemporary global organizations. Global leadership in terms of the big issues around strategies and visions are quite uncertain as a basis for influence and impact in social relations and processes and may create more frustration and uncertainty than actual leadership. More important is to focus on daily and less spectacular interactions among people, consisting of influence upon how people look upon and interpret things and what is necessary and important to accomplish. Since leadership involves relations between people interactions become paramount. Leadership is a question about exercising influence and accomplishing results through motivating others where these others are more significant than is usually acknowledged. Leadership is very much a question of awareness about these others and how one tries to interpret and understand others’ responses to specific acts. The most important thing may not always be what the manager (potential leader) does but how the subordinates (potential followers) interpret and relate to this.
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4. Action intent: getting closer to leadership behavior in 22 countries Lena Zander, Audra I. Mockaitis and Anne-Wil Harzing, with Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Srabani Roy Choudhury, Anabella Davila, Joyce De Leon, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Ferreira, Axèle Giroud, Kathrin Köster, Yung-Kuei Liang, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Joseph O.T. Odusanya, Sharon L. O’Sullivan, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Ayse Saka-Helmhout, Sununta Siengthai, Ayda Uzunçarşılı Soydaş and Linda Viswat
INTRODUCTION Your attitude towards what the Japanese refer to as “forest bathing”1 is possibly that it is important for your health. If your attitude is closely tied to some of the values and beliefs in your cultural vicinity, then you would probably place a high value on such an outdoor experience. But will this necessarily make you walk in the forest, breathe the fresh air and make your heart pump happily in a healthy body? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The question of whether attitudes and values can explain behavior and help us understand not only what is going on, but possibly even predict what will happen, has long engaged scholars across many disciplines. But (as yet) there are no simple answers. If we turn to the area of leadership, it is well established that leadership attitudes vary across countries. But attitudes about leadership are so-called “far-from-action” approaches, which stress general subconscious needs and values, while so-called “close-to-action” approaches include specific goals and intentions (Locke & Latham, 1990; Szabo, Reber, Weibler, Brodbeck & Wunderer, 2001). This is an important dichotomous distinction because the specific close-to-action approaches “have been far more successful in explaining action than the general, far-from-action concepts” (Locke & Latham, 1990: 6). The larger predictive power could be due to that situational and contextual aspects are taken into consideration for the close-to-action concepts, but not for the far-to-action ones. In order to increase our knowledge about leadership behavior we would thus need to explore more “close-to-action” leadership concepts (Szabo et al., 2001). Drawing on Locke (1991: 293), who argues that intentions are “among the most direct and motivational determinants of performance”, Szabo et al. (2001) suggest that “behavioral intent” could serve as such a “close-to-action” leadership measure. Despite the intuitive appeal of using behavioral intent, psychology research has not univocally supported its place as an effective link between attitudes and behavior. In this chapter, we will instead propose a related, yet distinctly different concept, “action intent” as our close-to-action 54
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 55 concept. We differentiate action intent from behavioral intent in that action intent is detailed with situational and contextual specifics, serving as cues to the transformation of intent into action. This leads us to our first research question: What can we learn by using action intent as a close-to-action concept when examining leadership across countries? Large-scale cross-national research examining leadership has however been a relative rarity (Tsui, Nifadkar & Ou, 2007). The importance of conducting this type of multi-country studies lies in Smith, Peterson and Schwartz’s (2002: 189) assertion that in order to yield convincing results, “culture-level studies must include an adequately representative range of currently existing nations”. Variation in leadership attitudes, ideals, perceptions and preferences identified in large-scale multi-country studies has been reliably associated with national culture (see e.g., House, Hanges, Javidan, Dofrman & Gupta, 2004; Smith, Dugan, Peterson & Leung, 1998; Smith et al., 2002; Zander, 1997). We are in this chapter especially interested in the situational and contextual cues offered by national culture. Early research on leadership, aimed at explaining across-country variation with national culture differences, relied mainly on the work of Hofstede (1984). With the emergence of additional cultural frameworks (e.g., House et al., 2004; Maznevski, Gomez, DiStefano, Noorderhaven & Wu, 2002; Schwartz, 1994; Trompenaars, 1993) scholars have broadened our knowledge about the interplay between national cultural values and leadership. Cementing a significant relationship between culture and leadership, we may thus speak with confidence about culture-endorsed leadership. House et al. (2004: 15) define culture as “shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that result from common experiences of members of collectives that are transmitted across generations”. Members of the same culture share a common frame of reference, which we can think of as implicit leadership beliefs. These beliefs have a strong impact on our expectations and perceptions of leadership, forming our leadership ideals, and framing our leadership perceptions. In their attempt to seek evidence for implicit theory, Eden and Leviatan (1975) examined ratings of perceived leadership behavior and found that the variance could not be attributed to respondents’ experience (or any instructions they had been given at the onset of the survey). Therefore, they argued, such variation must be due to implicit patterning of leadership behaviors as preconceptions of leadership in the minds of the respondents, and reflective of the culture at large (Eden & Leviatan, 1975). This line of inquiry is still flourishing 40 years later, but as theorizing about implicit leadership (and followership) becomes more complex there is a dire need for more empirical research (Foti, Hansbrough, Epitropaki & Coyle, 2017). Our second research question is therefore: Do managers tap into nationally held perceptions of what constitutes ideal leadership prototypes when deciding how to act in specific situations? Our ambition in this chapter is thus to contribute to a more fine-grained understanding of leadership globally by introducing action intent as a close-to-action measure. We will first briefly discuss large-scale studies of leadership around the world before moving to how we came to action intent as an appropriate close-to-action leadership measure. Subsequently, we will present and discuss an empirical illustration where 1,868 leaders in 22 countries have made action choices for handling six specific leadership scenarios. This is followed by an analysis of whether the respondents tapped into their culturally endorsed leadership ideals when making their choices of the action alternatives. The chapter wraps up with implications for global leadership and making a difference as a global leader.
56 Research handbook of global leadership
LEADERSHIP AROUND THE WORLD In the cross-cultural, large-scale leadership literature the focus has mainly been on measuring leadership around the world in the form of attitudes and ideals, preferences and perceptions (including leadership evaluations). These empirical advancements have resulted in accumulated leadership knowledge, which cannot be seen as lacking in relevance. On the contrary. The cross-cultural leadership research to date has provided us with a firm foundation for research on the intercultural interpersonal aspects of global leadership and with it an increased cultural awareness. It is however time to expand our understanding of leadership specifics across cultural contexts by moving closer to the action. The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project (GLOBE), headed by the late Professor Bob House, pulled together 170 scholars worldwide to participate in identifying, measuring and finally developing six leadership dimensions based on managers’ perceptions of leadership attributes and attitudes that enhance or impede outstanding leadership (House et al., 2004). Drawing on implicit leadership theory, House et al. (2004: 710) developed and measured so-called ideal leadership prototypes, which can provide guidance to global leaders but also more broadly inform “meaningful prescriptions for cross-cultural strategy and policy formulation, organizational improvement interventions, human resource management practices, the design of organizational structures and incentive and control systems, and a multitude of business and management issues”. The project examined ideal leadership in 62 countries and found that most of the studied leadership prototypes were related to cultural values and beliefs (House et al., 2004). Several studies have focused on the GLOBE dimensions and their relationship to leadership perceptions (see e.g., Brodbeck et al., 2000; Den Hartog, House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla & Dorfman, 1999; Gupta, MacMillan & Surie, 2004; House et al., 2004; Resick, Hanges, Dickson & Mitchelson, 2006). Den Hartog et al. (1999) found that some aspects of charismatic/transformation leadership were universally endorsed, although most of the studied leadership aspects varied across countries. Brodbeck et al. (2000) demonstrated how perceptions about leader attributes and ideals differed significantly within a single region in the European subset of GLOBE. Other groups of co-investigators in the GLOBE project have similarly discussed leadership ideals in different cultural regions of the world in more detail. Gupta et al. (2004) tested a construct of entrepreneurial leadership using the full GLOBE data (62 countries) and found that it correlated negatively with Hofstede’s power distance and uncertainty avoidance dimensions and positively with individualism. Resick et al. (2006) used the data collected in the GLOBE project to identify four aspects of ethical leadership – character/integrity, altruism, collective motivation and encouragement – important to effective leadership across cultures. These four were also culturally endorsed by GLOBE’s cultural dimensions. All of these, and other studies, have provided ample evidence of cultural endorsement, reliability and relevance of using attitudes and ideals to study leadership. Alas, drawing on ideal leader prototypes involves using leadership dimensions that fall into the group of far-to-action leadership concepts, which are less able to predict leadership behavior (Locke & Latham, 1990; Szabo et al., 2001). There are, however, leadership studies engaging in less “far-from-action” concepts. In these studies, subordinate respondents are typically asked about their perceptions of managers’ leadership behaviors or have assessed their managers’ behaviors. A few large-scale studies have thus focused on perceptions and evaluations of leadership behavior (e.g., Bochner & Hesketh, 1994; Offermann & Hellmann, 1997; Zander, 2002). For
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 57 example, Bochner and Hesketh (1994) tested the influence of Hofstede’s individualism and power distance dimensions on superior–subordinate relationships, decision-making styles, work ethic, task orientation, psychological contracts and individual and group achievement on a sample of employees in 28 countries. The authors did find that broadly based cultural values, such as those derived by Hofstede, “spill over into the workplace”. Offermann and Hellmann (1997) found that subordinates’ assessments of managers’ leadership practices in 39 diverse national cultures were related to several of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Uncertainty avoidance was significantly positively associated with more leader control and less delegation and approachability, whereas power distance proved to be significantly and negatively associated with leader communication, delegation, approachability and team building. Drawing on data collected in 12 European countries, Zander (2002) compared the extent to which subordinates evaluated that their immediate manager empowered them with the extent to which subordinates wanted to be empowered. The empowering preferences were drawn from Zander (1997), which included data from more than 17,000 employees in 18 countries. Theoretically derived, developed and measured interpersonal leadership dimensions (empowering, coaching, directing, communicating and interacting) were shown to be significantly associated with cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 1984; Laurent, 1983; Maznevski et al., 2002; Schwartz, 1994; Trompenaars, 1993). In Zander (2002) the degree of congruence between subordinates’ perceptions of their immediate manager’s empowering, and subordinates’ preferences of empowering was found to be significantly related to subordinates’ satisfaction with their work duties. However, despite encouraging findings of culturally endorsed leadership perceptions and evaluations, these measures lack the contextual and situational specificity that characterizes a closer-to-action concept (Locke & Latham, 1990; Szabo et al., 2001). A few large-scale, multi-country projects have focused on concepts that are closer to action compared to those reviewed earlier in this section. By surveying how specific situations and events are handled by leaders, a few researchers have come somewhat closer to examining actual leadership behavior (Fu et al., 2004; Smith et al., 1998, 2002). Smith et al. (1998) asked managers and supervisors in various organizations in 23 countries about the extent to which disagreements take place at work and how they are handled, relating them to Hofstede’s (1984) power distance and individualism dimensions. In another project, Smith et al. (2002) studied the sources of guidance that managers use in 47 countries when handling a specific set of events. They tested the ability of Hofstede’s (2001), Smith, Dugan and Trompenaars’ (1996), and Schwartz’s (1994) cultural dimensions to predict sources of guidance self-reported by managers, and found that these could be successfully made for vertical relationships in organizations but less so for lateral relationships. The authors conclude that there is a need for a greater cultural sensitivity and more contextualized aspects of managerial experience to understand leadership behavior across countries. Fu et al. (2004) are among the few to use scenarios in their study. The authors attempted to predict the perceived effectiveness of influence strategies employed by managers when handling specific situations at work. In their study, they tested and found support for a link between GLOBE-based cultural dimensions (ingroup collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and future orientation) as well as social beliefs (e.g., religiosity and cynicism) and how managers in 12 countries had indicated the effectiveness of various tactics in solving a situation involving the need to influence another co-worker. In sum, cross-cultural leadership studies have mainly focused on attitudes and ideals, perceptions and evaluations. Despite attempts at getting closer to leadership behavior by surveying how managers handle conflict, draw on sources of guidance and evaluate the
58 Research handbook of global leadership
Far-from-action to close-to-action concepts
effectiveness of influence tactics (Fu et al., 2004; Smith et al., 1998, 2002), we do not capture close to action leadership. Only limited detail is provided in the surveys used by Smith and colleagues (1998, 2002), and even if Fu et al. (2004) provided more context in their scenarios the purpose was to rate influence tactic effectiveness and not to measure action intent. For an illustration of far-from-action to close-to-action concepts see Figure 4.1. The empirically established relationships with cultural dimensions are indicated with a continuous line, including the association between culture and leadership action intent that will be demonstrated in this chapter. However, the assumed link between culture and leadership behaviour is indicated with a dotted line. The leadership study by Szabo et al. (2004) is not a multi-country study as such, but it is important in that the authors raise the need to work with “close-to-action” approaches in order to come closer to leadership behavior. It is evident that empirical studies that are based on close-to-action concepts are quite rare. Even though the ability to predict leadership behaviors as such is shaky for the more far-from-action measures, they can provide very different sets of information, which increases our understanding of how people think about leadership across countries and cultures. In this chapter, we are looking to get closer to the action by measuring action intent, a concept we will develop and discuss in the next section.
ACTION INTENT AS A CLOSE-TO-ACTION LEADERSHIP CONCEPT We usually expect the behavior of a person to be consistent with the attitudes that they hold, reflecting the idea that people are rational and follow through with their intentions. To return to our introductory example this would mean to engage in forest bathing after talking about doing so, rather than just continuing to talk about it. Wicker had demonstrated in 1969 that behavior was only weakly predicted by general attitudes (Webb & Sheeran, 2006) leading to
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 59 more than four decades of psychology research of whether behavioral intent could predict or have a moderating (or mediating) effect on behavior. Drawing on a review by Sheeran (2002), Armitage and Conner (2004: 128) define behavioral intentions as “people’s decisions to perform particular behaviors and represent a summary of people’s motivation to act: the more an individual intends to do something, the more likely that behavior is performed”. Empirical evidence had firmly placed “intent” as a contributing link in the attitude-intention-behavior sequence (Armitage & Conner, 2004; Webb & Sheeran, 2006; Zigarmi, Nimon, Houson, Witt & Diehl, 2012) but concerns were voiced as findings were primarily based on an associative relationship between intent and behavior. Correlations, even if substantial and significant, cannot support claims of causality, which led Webb and Sheeran (2006) to turn to experimental psychology research. They carried out a meta-analytical study and found support in favor of causality claims, but the significant influence of intent on behavior was less pronounced than earlier studies had identified. As Webb and Sheeran (2006) formulated it: a medium-to-large change in intention only led to a small-to-medium change in behavior. Intention can refer to both what you intend to do (e.g., take a forest bath) and what you do not intend to do (e.g., not take a forest bath). But we humans are much more predictable when it comes to what we intend not to do, compared to what we intend to do. Numbers as high as 80 percent correct outcome predictions were found for intentions not to do something, whereas only 43 percent of the predictions were correct for intentions to do something (Orbell, 2004). These were disappointing results as to the use of intent to predict behavior, which led scholars to investigate whether intent could possibly be moderated by other variables. One of these was the stability of intentions, that is if you intend to do something, e.g., take a forest bath and your intention remains the same for some weeks or more your intent is seen as stable, and non-surprisingly is a better predictor of behavior than if you change your mind over time (Armitage & Conner, 2004). However, if your attitude towards forest bathing is ambivalent (or unstable in that you are not sure about the promised health effects), but you let us know that you intend to try this Japanese health trend, we cannot predict whether you will, or not, try it out (Armitage & Conner, 2004). Ambivalent attitudes can predict, but also not predict, behavior, when intent is included in the model. Given these conflicting results scholars instead turned their focus to self-regulation, or specifically to how individuals transform action into reality (Orbell, 2004). For example, to specify what is intended to happen, when and how, is a powerful self-regulatory strategy, according to Orbell (2004), who draws on Gollwitzer’s (1999) concept of “implementation intention”. Such an implementation plan could in our forest bathing example involve joining a group of enthusiastic forest bathers, and when they suggest that you come and try it out at 2 pm on the coming Saturday, you agree to the kind invitation. The details and specificity of your plan will increase the likelihood of turning intent into action and, as empirical evidence has shown, action will also happen sooner when a specific intention plan has been formulated (Orbell, 2004). Gollwitzer (1999: 495) posits that “[b]y forming implementation intentions, people can strategically switch from conscious and effortful control of their goal-directed behaviors … to being automatically controlled by selected situational cues”. Thus, taking on an almost “mechanistic guise” similar to forming habits where intended behavior is to be activated by cues such as “I am now in this situation, and when in this situation this is what I have decided to do”. We would argue that for implementation intention plans to work, and to be able to
60 Research handbook of global leadership explain and predict behavior, these need to be action-oriented and saved in contextual memory repositories. In a later article, Gollwitzer and Sheeran (2006) stress that if forming “if-then” plans involves a selection of effective detailed behavior, then the correspondence between intended and actual behavior towards goal attainment dramatically increases. For example, it is Saturday morning and you are really tired from an exhausting week, it is rainy and cold outside, and staying indoors seems particularly appealing. But you remember that you had decided to try out forest bathing, that you had planned to wear clothes comfortable for walking, to take the subway to the meeting point, to bring along something (hot) to drink, and moreover that the people who had invited you seemed friendly. Our predictive power of you engaging in this outdoor activity on this particular Saturday has increased dramatically compared to if you had vaguely responded that you would “come along and try it someday”. Notably the level of detail is vital, as specific behaviors are better predicted by specific intentions (Orbell, 2004). Moreover, predictive power increases when situational and contextual factors are considered (Locke & Latham, 1990; Smith et al., 2002; Szabo et al., 2001). Our use of action intent should, thus, increase the explanatory (and probably also the predictive) power when it comes to leadership behavior. Szabo et al. (2001) return to Lewin’s 1926 classical work on intent, volition and need (“Vorsatz, Wille, und Bedürfnis”) observing that to Lewin intent is not necessarily followed by action, although many contemporary scholars assume it is. Instead volition is described as a translation of intent into action. Notably, volition means “an act of making a choice or decision”2 often with the addition that this is done by free will. We in conclusion consider “action intent” to qualify as a “close-to-action” concept in three ways. First, as a measure of intent, action intent builds on the assumption that the stronger, and more stable, the intent, the higher probability that what was intended will happen. Second, action intent builds on the idea of volition, i.e., making a choice (a decision) of how to translate intent into action. Third, action intent moves beyond implementation intent, in forming an intent with detail and specificity in a context, while retaining flexibility and free will to act consciously. One way of measuring action intent is by the use of leadership scenarios. Scenarios allow for a high level of specificity (Choi & Mail-Dalton, 1999), inclusion of contextual factors, and can precisely describe a situation or context, thus minimizing the risk of interpretative differences. Moreover, scenarios are high on the level of mundane realism (Rus, van Knippenberg & Wisse, 2010). In cross-cultural samples, this is especially relevant. Other data-collection alternatives such as large-scale direct observation of leader behaviors across different countries, intriguing as it may be, are both costly and difficult. Moreover, leaders may not necessarily be enthusiastic about having a researcher shadowing them. Thus, to take the next steps in cross-cultural leadership research in this chapter we use a scenario approach to study and distinguish leadership that is closer to action.
AN EMPIRICAL ILLUSTRATION We have surveyed action intent via the use of six scenarios related to goal-setting, decisionmaking, conflict-resolving, rewarding, face-saving and empathizing. We start with examining the findings across the 22 countries in our study to address our first research question of what we can learn from using action intent as a close-to-action concept. Subsequently, we will turn
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 61 to our second research question of whether the respondents draw on culturally endorsed leadership beliefs when selecting their action alternatives for each scenario. In doing so we present and discuss the results of the analysis of the relationship between respondents’ action intent and six culturally endorsed leadership dimensions (charismatic/value-based, team-oriented, participative, humane-oriented, autonomous and self-protective leadership). What Can We Learn about Leadership from Action Intent? The data for this study were collected in 2005 and 2006 in 22 countries as part of a larger project on language and culture.3 For more information about the data-collection process see Zander et al. (2011). A total of 1,868 responses were used in the analysis that was carried out for this chapter.4 The respondents participated in graduate and executive programs, majoring in business, at major universities in the following countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The average age in the sample was 34 years, with a participant average of ten years of work experience. The questionnaire contained six scenarios, theoretically derived and translated by bilingual native speakers in each language, after which the translation was discussed and fine-tuned in a focus-group setting with the translator and several native speakers present, before being used in the data collection. For each scenario, respondents were asked to envision themselves in a leadership position (e.g., product division manager, chief executive officer (CEO), top manager, department manager) in their home country. Each scenario pertained to a different aspect of leadership: (1) main priorities as a top manager (goal-setting), (2) how one would make an important decision as CEO of a company (decision-making), (3) dealing with interdepartmental conflict as department manager (conflict-resolving), (4) the manager’s preference with regard to rewarding high-performing employees who are part of a team (rewarding), (5) as a manager confronting their own superior who has made a mistake (face-wwsaving) and (6) reactions to personal difficulties encountered by a direct subordinate (empathizing). A choice of six to eight alternative reactions was provided for each scenario (see Table 4.1). The respondents were asked to report their first, second and third rankings for how they would act in the situation described by a scenario. We refer to all options as “action alternatives” even though a few of them literally did not involve any action, e.g., one of the alternative actions in the conflict-resolving scenario is phrased as “Ignore the conflict. The issue will resolve itself”. For our analysis and discussion, we focus on the first-ranked action alternatives that were preferred by the largest group of respondents in at least one of the countries in the study. Take for example the goal-setting scenario, if the action alternative “build and retain personal relationships within and outside the company” had been selected by the largest percentage of respondents in any one country, then we would have included it in our analysis, but as this was not the case, it was omitted from further analysis. On the other hand, if an action alternative was selected by the largest group of respondents in at least one country it was included in the analysis. One example is the action alternative “exercising power” for the goal-setting scenario, which was only selected by the largest percentage of respondents in two of the 22 countries.
62 Research handbook of global leadership Table 4.1
Scenarios and response alternatives: measures of action intent
You are a top manager in a company.
You are a company CEO and need to make
You are manager of a manufacturing
What would be your most important
a major decision that will have an impact
division. It is important for the sales
on all employees. What would be the best
department and research and development
way to make this decision?
department to work together, but there are frequent work conflicts between them. What would be the best way to resolve these conflicts?
1. Personal networks
1. Decide individually and announce
1. Clarify responsibilities and establish
2. Balance stakeholder demands
2. Decide individually and explain decision
2. Refer to your superior
3. Managing within external constraints
3. Discuss, decide and announce
3. Encourage heads to resolve conflict
4. Exercise power
4. Discuss, decide and explain
4. Establish cross-functional work team
5. Maximizing profit
5. Consult with employees
5. Involve external mediator
6. Coaching objectives
6. Invite employee consensus
6. Ignore conflict
7. Coaching employees
7. Accept majority viewpoint
8. Personal goals Rewarding
You are a manager of a product
You are a manager of a company that
You are a manager in a local company.
division with several workplace teams.
produces a high-technology product. You
John, a direct subordinate who has been
What would be the best way to reward
and your superior are attending a meeting
with the company for a long time, is
high-performing employees in this
with potential clients. During the meeting,
having a difficult time because his wife
your superior makes a mistake in describing
suffers from a serious illness. How would
the product. What would you do?
you behave towards him?
1. Individual rewards
1. Politely correct your superior in meeting
1. Don’t talk about it; it’s a private matter
2. Group-based reward
2. Take responsibility for mistake yourself
2. Express sympathy and allow absence
3. Employee profit-sharing scheme
3. Mention correct features in meeting not
to take care of wife 3. Secretary send a gift
referring to mistake 4. Non-financial individual incentives
4. Say nothing in meeting, talk to your
4. Ask colleagues to support him
superior afterwards 5. Individual recognition
5. Say nothing in meeting, inform client
5. Visit John’s family
afterwards 6. Team recognition
6. Do nothing. It is not your responsibility
7. Promoting individuals
7. Do nothing to cause superior to lose face
6. Arrange for the company to pay some costs
Note: This is the abbreviated version. For more details on the scenario alternatives in use in this chapter, see Table 4.4. For the full version of all response alternatives, see Zander et al. (2011).
Carrying out the same procedure of ascertaining which action alternative had the largest frequency of respondents in each country led to 17 action alternatives for the six scenarios being retained. For goal-setting and face-saving, the different first-ranked choices across the countries in our study resulted in four action alternatives being retained in the analysis as they were chosen by the largest group of respondents in one or more of the 22 countries. For conflict-resolving three action alternatives were retained, and for decision-making and rewarding two action alternatives were retained for each scenario. For empathizing only one action alternative was retained. See Table 4.2(a) and (b) for the action alternatives by scenario that will be further analyzed and discussed in this chapter.
Action intent by country (a)
Decision-making (%) Discuss, decide,
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 63
Action intent by country (b)
Talk to superior
Face-saving (%) Politely correct in
64 Research handbook of global leadership
Leadership action intent across 22 countries 65 The selection of first-ranked action alternatives was not random. A random selection of the action alternatives in each scenario would result in 16.6 percent of the respondents choosing one of the alternatives in the conflict-resolving scenario, 14.2 percent choosing one of the alternatives in the decision-making, the face-saving and the empathizing scenarios, and 12.5 percent choosing one alternative in the goal-setting scenario. The first-ranked selection results clearly exceed random selection percentages for each of the 17 retained action alternatives for the six scenarios (see Table 4.2(a) and (b)). Examining the first-ranked choices of our respondents, we made the following two observations: First, there is intra-country variation as to first-ranked action choices in some of the countries, for some of the scenarios. For example, the face-saving scenario had more than one action alternative per scenario selected as a first-ranked alternative across the respondents in 18 out of 22 countries. In Germany, three alternatives were selected by 37.7, 31.1 and 27.9 percent of the respondents, respectively, but in Taiwan one alternative was endorsed by 52.8 percent of the respondents. The action alternative preferred by most in Taiwan was “mention the correct features in the meeting without referring to your superior’s earlier description”. The percentage range for this particular alternative as a first-ranked choice varies across countries from 10.3 to 52.8 percent of the respondents. This means that in the country with the lowest percentage you could expect that about one in ten leaders would endorse this action compared to in Taiwan where about every other leader can be expected to do so in a situation with their immediate superior. If we add those who selected the same action alternative as a second-ranked choice then the range is from 30 to 82.3 percent. Such findings provide us with several pieces of information. Apart from which action alternative the largest percentage of respondents chose in any particular country, we will also know whether to expect a rather evenly distributed selection of action alternatives, or whether there are just one or two alternatives that constitute the preferred choice for a particular scenario in a specific country. Moreover, the action alternatives that were not chosen by a large group of respondents provide us with information of what leadership action to not expect in a particular country. For the respondent percentage by scenario for each country in our study see Table 4.2(a) and (b). Second, we observe inter-country variation as to first-ranked action choices. Notably even the action alternative of expressing sympathy and allowing absence (for the empathizing scenario), which was chosen as a first-ranked alternative by the largest percentage of respondents in all the countries, varies across countries in percentage size from 41.5 to 87.5 percent (see Table 4.2(b)). Another example is the decision-making scenario, where the frequency of choosing the action alternative “to decide after discussion with top management team, explain the reason fully to your employees and clarify any queries” varied from 26.3 to 74.5 percent of the respondents across the 22 countries (see Table 4.2(a)). In the country with the lowest respondent percentage about one in five leaders would select this action option, whereas in the country with the highest respondent percentage three out of four leaders would choose this action alternative. Also, the range of variation in action choice frequency across the countries in the study varies. If we examine the action alternative for using a group-based incentive in the rewarding scenario we find that the range is from 4.8 to 43.2 percent. If we instead look at the action alternative “clarify the responsibilities of the two department heads and establish clearer procedures” for the conflict-resolving scenario the frequency ranges from 2.1 to 72.2 percent (and adding the second-ranked alternatives brings the range to 32.8–90.7 percent). For the range of variation in action choice frequency by scenario and by country, see Table 4.2(a) and (b).
66 Research handbook of global leadership In sum, the context of the described scenarios and the specificity of each action alternative allowed the respondents to place themselves in the described scenario and consider which action alternative to choose. The action alternatives were not randomly selected, the number of action alternatives selected for some of the scenarios varies more within some countries than others, and more for some scenarios than others. The selected action alternatives vary in percentage endorsement across the countries in the study. These results demonstrate how studying action intent, a close-to-action measure, can generate a more detailed type of information than far-from-action measures, not only in the form of what to expect but also what not to expect from leaders in different countries. Additionally, the knowledge that certain situations (scenarios), in certain countries, render a wider host of intended action alternatives than others would open up to leadership flexibility and the possibility of other variables than culture being relevant in leaders’ action intent. As to the percentage endorsement of action intent varying across countries, these may be indicative of implicit leadership beliefs influencing leaders’ action intent. In order to ascertain whether the respondents’ choices of action alternatives are associated to implicit leadership ideals, we will in the next section explore whether there are any meaningful relationships between the selected action alternatives and culturally endorsed leadership dimensions. Culturally Endorsed Leadership Dimensions For our second question of whether managers tap into nationally held perceptions of what constitutes ideal leadership prototypes when deciding how they should act in a specific situation, we decided to use the six culturally endorsed leadership prototype dimensions developed and measured by House et al. (2004): (1) charismatic leadership, (2) team-oriented leadership, (3) participative leadership, (4) humane-oriented leadership, (5) autonomous leadership and (6) self-protective leadership. For definitions of the culturally endorsed leadership dimensions and keywords (Dorfman, Javidan, Hanges, Dastmalchian & House, 2012), see Table 4.3. The statistical relationship between action intent (measured by the percentage of respondents who selected a specific scenario action alternative as their first choice) and the GLOBE measures of culturally endorsed leadership dimensions (House et al., 2004) were analyzed using Spearman rank correlations. The analysis was done at the country level to control for differences in sample sizes. There are GLOBE measures for 19 of the countries included in our study. The results from the Spearman’s rank correlation analysis at the country level yielded 15 significant correlations (see Table 4.4). Three of the goal-setting scenario action alternatives correlate significantly with culturally endorsed leadership dimensions (see Table 4.4). In countries with self-protective leadership ideals, which entails self-centeredness, status enhancement, saving face and keeping the status quo, the significant negative correlation with the action alternative “balancing shareholders and stakeholders’ demands” (ρ= -.42, p