Cross-Cultural Leadership

Understanding of how individuals of different cultures interact with one another is quite important. Not totally all individuals can conform to the leadership styles expected in a different culture whether that culture is organizational or national. In a fast-paced business environment, developing a richer understanding and sensitivity to other cultures is really a skill that leaders must possess. Learn to work in a cross-cultural setting.

Why we need Cross-Cultural Leadership?

As workforces become increasingly multicultural and businesses continue to expand overseas, the homogenous workforce has changed into a thing of the past. In such a global economy, cross-cultural leadership skills are critically important. Global markets are increasingly using the strength and economic features of a diverse global workforce. Most of the companies operate on international projects with multi-cultural teams positioned in multiple countries. It is also common to get such projects led by Project Managers who come from numerous countries that add diversity to the teams and creates a dependence on a greater number of collaboration and importance of leadership at multiple levels.

Today’s international organizations require leaders who will adapt to different environments quickly and assist partners and employees of other cultures. As firms move from regional to trans-global enterprise models, leadership must give you the bridge between cultural diversity and business goals achievement. The ability of a leader to motivate diverse teams to manage change effectively is really a critical issue in the international environment. It can’t be assumed a manager who’s successful in one country will be successful in another.

What is Cross-Cultural Leadership?

Cross-cultural psychology attempts to know the way individuals of different cultures talk with each other. Cross-cultural leadership is the way to understand leaders who work in the newly globalized market. Cross-cultural leadership involves the capacity to influence and motivate people’s attitudes and behaviors in the global community to achieve a standard organizational goal.

GLOBE authors describe organizational leadership as “the capability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members” and their definition for culture includes “shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that be a consequence of common experiences of members of collectives and are transmitted across age generations.”

Theories on Cross-Cultural Leadership:

Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT):

This theory asserts that people’s underlying assumptions, stereotypes, beliefs, and schemas influence the extent to that they view someone as a great leader. Since people across cultures tend to keep different implicit beliefs, schemas and stereotypes, it would seem only natural that their underlying beliefs in why is a great leader differ across cultures.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions:

This really is one of the very prominent and influential studies currently regarding leadership in a globalized world. The study reveals similarities as well as differences across cultures and emphasizes the must be open-minded to comprehend the differences in other cultures. According to this theory, there are five dimensions of culture to compare cultures, to greatly help leaders by having an comprehension of how to adjust their leadership styles accordingly; Individualism/Collectivism, Feminine/Masculine, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long Term/ Short Term orientation.

GLOBE – The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Project:

The GLOBE study extended the ILT to add individuals of a standard culture maintaining a somewhat stable common belief about leaders, which varies from culture to culture. They labeled this the Culturally Endorsed Implicit Leadership Theory (CLT). The GLOBE study expanded Hofstede’s dimensions to add Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Collectivism I: Societal Collectivism, Collectivism II: In-Group Collectivism, Gender Egalitarianism, Assertiveness, Future Orientation, Performance Orientation, and Humane Orientation.

Traits for Cross-Cultural Leader:

Given below is a set of traits found to be connected with successful international executive by different researchers:

  • General Intelligence
  • Business Knowledge
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Commitment
  • Courage
  • Ease in working with cross-cultural issues
  • Open Personality
  • Flexibility
  • Drive
  • Language Skills
  • Multicultural Perspective Taking
  • Knowledge and cognition
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Cross-cultural Schema
  • Cognitive Complexity

An effective cross-cultural leader should have a well-rounded skillset and comprehension of the differences that exist among folks from different backgrounds.