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Leaderships research finding practice 7e dubrin chapter 14

Chapter Fourteen
International & Culturally Diverse Aspects of Leadership
Andrew J. DuBrin, 7



Learning Objectives

Explain the potential ethical and competitive advantage from leading and managing diversity.
Describe how cultural factors, including values, influence leadership practice.
Explain the contribution of cultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence to leadership effectiveness.
Explain how global leadership skills contribute to leadership effectiveness.

Pinpoint leadership initiatives to enhance the acceptance of cultural diversity.

Work Force Trends

Work forces are becoming more diverse and cultures of inclusion are becoming more common.

Globalization is compelling businesses to send more workers to other countries.

Leaders are traveling and working abroad in greater numbers.

Workers with international experience and skills are increasingly more sought-after in the


• Human characteristics that make people different from one another.
• Leaders should be the champions for valuing the inclusion of these

Understanding the “Differences”

The sources of our individual variations are complex, but are generally grouped into two

Those over which we have little or no control

Those over which we have some control

Biologically determined – race, sex, age, certain physical attributes, the family and society we are born into

Through our conscious choices and deliberate efforts
Work, background, income, marital status, military experience, political beliefs, geographic location,

Advantages of Managing Diversity

Reduction of turnover and absenteeism costs

Heterogeneity in the work force may offer the company a creativity advantage, as well as improve
its problem-solving and decision-making capability.

Managing diversity well offers a marketing advantage
Companies with a favorable record in managing diversity are at a distinct advantage in recruiting
and retaining talented people.

Diversity and inclusion programs help local economies thereby boosting social responsibility.

Cultural Factors Influencing Leadership Practice

Multicultural leaders have skills and attitudes to relate effectively to and motivate people across
race, gender, age, social attitudes, and lifestyles.

One way to understand how national cultures differ is to examine their values or cultural dimensions.

The values embedded in a culture influence the behavior of leaders and managers as well as the behavior of other

Relationships between people in a society are affected by the values programmed in the minds of these people.

Dimensions of Cultural Values

European Styles of Management

• French managers – who work in a strong culture of class - tend to behave in a
superior, authoritarian, and bureaucratic manner.

• German managers tend to avoid uncertainty, and are dispassionate, assertive,
straightforward, and stern.

Malaysian Managers

• Culture emphasizes collectivism and is human-oriented.
• Culture discourages aggressive, confrontational behavior, preferring harmonious

• Managers show compassion but are more autocratic than participative.
• Managers act logically, decisively, and remain resolute.
• Managers adopt a more formal, diplomatic style to avoid conflict and show
consideration of others.

Northern US vs. Southern US Managers

• Southern managers are low key and people-oriented.
• Northern managers are more brusque, efficient, and task-oriented.
• Culturally-based differences in leadership style are not as important as practices that
work in every culture, for all businesses.

Cultural Sensitivity and Cultural Intelligence

• Cultural Sensitivity is an awareness of and a willingness to investigate the
reasons why people of another culture act as they do.

• Cultural Intelligence is an outsider’s ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar
and ambiguous gestures the way that person’s compatriots would.

Global Leadership Skills

Refer to the ability to exercise effective leadership in a variety of countries.
The essence of global leadership is the ability to influence people who are dissimilar to the leader
and stem from different cultural backgrounds.

Excellent global leaders have a leadership style that generates superior corporate performance in
terms of:

Profitability and productivity
Continuity and efficiency
Commitment and morale
Adaptability and innovation

Leadership Initiatives for Achieving Cultural

Hold managers accountable for achieving diversity
Establish minority recruitment, retention, and mentoring programs
Conduct diversity training
Conduct cross-cultural training
Encourage the development of employee networks
Avoid group characteristics when hiring for person-organization fit
Modify products and services for targeted demographic groups
Attain diversity among organizational leaders


The modern leader must be multicultural.

Differences in cultural values help explain differences among people.

Managing for diversity brings a competitive advantage to the firm.
The leader must be aware of overt and subtle cultural differences to influence, motivate, and inspire
culturally diverse people.
Cultural values influence leadership style as well as the behavior of other workers.
Cultural sensitivity is essential for inspiring people from different countries.
Global leadership skills help improve a company’s reputation and contribute to a sustainable competitive
Top management commitment to valuing diversity is clearest when valuing diversity is embedded in
organizational strategy.

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