International Organizational BehaviourIntroductionAmerican individualism as well as the manner in which American firms are managed by professionals has been studied by management gurus for years and while their management practices have been criticized, they have also been appreciated by many. American companies such as GE often come up in the list of most admired and respected companies in global terms and their CEOs become management experts and consultants once they have retired successfully. However, it is difficult to disagree with the statement that their management practices may be considered unique since the idea of exporting the American brand of management to other nations does not always meet with success.
This has many implications for global leadership and cross cultural management as well as motivation which can be understood with examples and the opinions given by experts in the field. Global LeadershipThe fundamental reason for the increased importance of global leadership and cross cultural management is the growth in globalisation as well the open systems of business that appear to work without real boundaries. It might have been possible that a hundred years ago a company could take all inputs and produce all outputs for the country it was located in but today the situation is very different (Edwards & Kuruvilla, 2005).
A company may have its central office and sales department located in London, the factory in China, the research centre in the US while the support centre could answer calls from India. This means that the people working for the company will have different locations and they are very likely to have different cultural schemas for management and performance.
Even motivation may be understood differently depending on the cultural viewpoint adopted by the employees. However, leadership and the visions of the company given by the CEO can be set with good policies and effective human resource management practices (Hollinshead and Leat, 1995). In the simplest of terms, the need for effective global leadership which sets the tone for the management of an international company come from the desire of getting the maximum value from the human assets which a company can all on (Ozbilgin, 2005). These employees may be distributed across the world but since they work under a single company, their management practices may be similar regardless of the country where the company is operating.
However, the similarity of management practices do not necessarily mean that they would be effective since the management style and cultural differences between the home office and offices located in other countries led managers to a position where culture clash became inevitable (Faulkner, D. 2002). Even the most well managed companies of the past often ignored cultural differences since they believed that the culture of the parent company as well as the home country would prevail over other locations (Kamoche, 1996).
More recent evaluations of this belief have shown that cultural conflicts need active management control and even though they are considered a hindrance to business, they can be countered and even used to motivate individuals (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1998). This is best seen in the case of GE which tried to export its American brand of management practices to Hungary and found that it was unable to do so.