The paper 'International Workplace Relations ' is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. To well define leadership in an international context, it is important to recognize the role globalization has had on international leadership. Globalization has opened up geographic boundaries, and businesses have opened up operations in every nation. Globalization has created one huge market for companies to exploit. This has been achieved through technological changes that continue to prevail in the planet. This has led to the emergence of multinational companies, where a parent company invests in production activity in a variety of nations outside the mother country.
These countries have different market structures, customer tastes and preferences, and cultures. Therefore, multinational companies have the challenge of identifying leaders who have the skills to perform global tasks, and also, influence and motivate people at an international level. Leaders who can respond to different cultures that exist in the multinational’ s global operations and induce positive changes though trust in cross-cultural interactions (Mendenhall 2011, pp. 113-136). Leadership in an international context not only involves influencing the organization across the geographic borders but also influencing the culture of the people across the world (Kabaskal & Dastmalchian 2001, pp.
470-488). International leadership involves having certain competencies over and above traditional leadership. These competencies enable a global leader to bridge and satisfy the different cultural prospects that exist globally. They enable a global leader to influence the attitudes and behavior at the diverse cultures, to develop an organizational culture that allows every cultural group to be accommodated within the organization, and also, the organization recognizing the diversity. There exist many definitions that relate to international leadership, but the scope of the definitions above relate to multinational companies that have continued to promote global leadership in their operations. Theories about the traits/characteristics of effective global leadership Global leaders need to have universal qualities, which enable them to carry out their responsibilities outside their geographic boundaries.
Many researchers have tried to identify competencies that a global leader should have in context to a global environment. On the advent of globalization, the focus was on cross-cultural interaction and a global leader had to have traits such as respect for others, openness, tolerance, and communication that was two-sided (Harris & Moran 2004, pp.
226-227). These were traits that played a pivotal role in having effective global leaders as back then the emphasis was on expatriate employment. Other literature went ahead to identify other competencies, which were expected to address challenges the organizations faced in a global environment as globalization was taking foot. They involved eight global mindset components (Srinivas 1995, pp. 26-49). The leaders were required to be curious about the environment, understand the complexities of a global organization, and being sensitive to the diverse cultures from where they operate.
The competencies also focused on a leader having a system thing approach as they had confidence in organizational processes. Another author identified six characteristics that lead to global competencies that leaders should have. They included being able to manage competitiveness, managing complexities, having trust in interconnected processes, focusing on managing multicultural teams, managing uncertainty, and managing to learn (Rhinesmith 1996, pp. 56-74). The ability of a leader to manage all these were viewed as traits for effective global leadership.
List of References
Black, JS, Mendenhall, M & Stewart, J 2011. “Effectiveness : Cross-Cultural Training - A Review for Framework Theoretical Future. Management, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 113-136.
Brake, T 1997, The Global Leader. Critical Factors for Creating the World Class Organization, Irwin Profesional Publishing, Chicago, IL.
Harris, PR, Moran, RT & Moran, SV 2004, Managing cultural differences-global leadership strategies for the 21st century (6th ed.), Butterworth, Oxford.
Kabaskal, H & Dastmalchian, A 2001, “Introduction to the special issue on leadership and culture in the Middle East”, Applied Psychology An International Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, p. 479-488.
McCall, MW Jr. & Hollenbeck, GP 2002, Developing global executives: The lessons of international experience, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Perlmutter, HV 1969. “A drama in three acts…The tortuous evolution of the multinational corporation”, Columbia Journal of World Business, No. Jan-Feb, pp. 9-18.
Rhinesmith, SH 1996, A Manager’s guide to globalization: Six Skills for Success in a changing World, 2nd ed., The McGraw-Hill Companies, New York, NY.
Robinson, DA & Harvey, M 2008, “Global Leadership in a Culturally Diverse World”, Management Decision, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 466-480.
Rosen, RH 2000, “What makes a globally literate leader?” Chief Executive, April, pp. 46-48.
Srinivas, KM 1995, Globalization of business and the Third World: Challenge of expanding the mindsets, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 26-49.
Srinivas, KM 1995, “Globalization of business and the Third World: Challenge of expanding the mindsets”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 14, No. 3, p. 26-49.
Suutari, V 2002, “Global leader development: An emerging research agenda”, Career Development International, Vol. 7, (4), pp.218-233.
Thaler-Certer, RE 2000, “whither global leaders?” HRM Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 5, pp. 82-86.
Uzzi, B 1997, “Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: the paradox of embeddedness”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 35-67.
Wills, S & Barham, K 1994, “Being an international manager”, European Management Journal, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp .49-58.