Best Leadership Theory for the Rapidly Changing World and Diverse Global Culture Essay

  • Length: 7 pages
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  • Subject: Leadership
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #78175704

Excerpt from Essay :

Leadership Theory for the Rapidly Changing World and Diverse Global Culture

With the increased competitiveness in the international business world it has become very important for the businesses to be accommodating enough so that they could operate in a successful manner in places with different norms, ethics, attitudes and culture. Today it is very important for the business managers to have an accommodating attitude towards the various local cultures and try to take part in the events of the local community that their business is working in, in order to increase the successfulness of the business (Gannon, 2004).

An important thing in running and managing business on an international level requires the management of multi-cultural workforce in a successful manner, along with this it also requires for the managers to bring variety to the services being provided by them according to the needs and wants of the people of that area and not just market what is being told to them from the outside. An example here can be the way that a phone is used in various cultures. An American turns on his/her answering machine the moment that they walk in the door whereas, the first thing an Italian will do is call his mother. The American would need an add-on device to go with the phone so that he could get his messages saved on it whereas; the Italian would need some package supporting favored number discounts or single number dialing. Although these differences might not appear to be of great importance however they are driven merely by the culture (Gannon, 2004).

There is a need for organization to have room for diversity that the managers can bring into the products and services being provided by them if they want their companies to be successful transnational business organizations. There might be the presence of a "national" cultural diversity among the nations, ethnic groups or race (such as in joint venture involving companies from two-nations), or there can be cultural diversity within the organization where the managers will have to transact with transnational companies that are owned by foreigners in their own country (such as telecom manager who is British and who is dealing in UK with a Korean manufacturer) (Yukl, 2008). Although all these factors have long been identified and talked about and there is a huge amount of literature present on them but this matter of cultural diversity is a lot more complex than just dealing with various attitudes or minding the manner. These are minor issues that are indicative of much stronger mental structure differences (Javidan et al., 2006).

An appropriate example here would be the negotiating alliances conducted in diverse cultural environments. Today when it is very important for the international businesses to have cross-cultural alliances and joint ventures there are a lot of problems related to ethics and trust in general. International businesses should be able to figure out a way through which they can incorporate flexibility between the need to adjust to the local conditions and the strong corporate ethics as; this will promote more trust among the organizations. There is a need for answers to the questions like how to prepare the managers who are going to negotiate deals for the various situations that they might face? How to develop a trust relationship that would last with the people belonging to various cultures? It is not just important to have the answers to all these questions just to set bargaining ranges, following rules that have been established previously or toning the confrontational styles down. (Javidan et al., 2006).

These above mentioned questions can help in finalizing deals but they can't help in developing relations of long-term nature. In order to develop long-lasting relations it is important to understand the religious, ethnic, social and ethical values and norms of other cultures that influence the thinking and behavior of the people belonging to them. This will help the managers in not only understanding these people in a better manner but it will also enable them to be prepared for how these people will react in various situations and how those situations should be handled (Javidan et al., 2006).

Leadership at Workplace: The Old School

The organizations in the earlier days had leaders who were only used to giving orders. These leaders used to take independent decisions, would assign responsibilities to the subordinates themselves. There was a defined work pattern that would offer only limited growth to the subordinates. There wasn't any sort of emotional attachment that the employees had with their workplace as it was just considered a workplace and nothing more. Innovativeness was hardly ever appreciated and expected (House and Javidan, 2004).

The organization was like a well oiled machine in which everyone had their own set of responsibilities that they would do in exactly the same manner every single day and get the same output like in the assembly-line output. An individual functioned according to a set of orders that were pre-determined for him/her and that individual and his work's impact on the whole company was never actually paid a lot of importance and neither was it actually a focus. It was expected by the individual that he would only be concerned with his own role (House and Javidan, 2004).

Modern School: Leadership and culture

It has been observed through the researches that the beliefs regarding leadership differ across cultures. Expectations are formed about the leadership behaviors that are considered acceptable and unacceptable with regards to contextual factors like cultural values and norms. These type of expectations put constraints on the leaders, their behaviors and the way that the followers follow them too (Korver, 2008).

Until the recent past, it was only in Europe and North America that the leadership studies were conducted in. Executives working in these regions were mainly the focus of these studies and researches belonging to this area wrote them. The major reason behind our conducting this research was that we wanted to see if the studies that have been conducted in these areas are actually of any relevance to places other than those in Europe and North America (Gannon, 2004)? What are the factors that make a leader successful in different regions all over the world? Are the things that are being taught in Canada and U.S. about being a successful leader effective and appropriate in other parts of the world as well (Sarah et al., 2009)?

It is important for the manager and a leader to have a very participating and open attitude towards other's ideas. This makes him/her a unifier rather than an autocrat. It is important for a manger to ask about the culture of other person if he wants to deal with them in an effective manner. He should try to know about the history of others cultures and understand it. This is important because getting to know the history of one's culture enables you to understand the way they behave and this would make it easier for the manager to not only deal with the behaviors that he previously thought were weird but it will also enable him to know how they will react in various situations (Korver, 2008).

It is the responsibility of the leader to tell the members of his team about his/her culture. Tell them about the culture of the place that they are living in, how the member should react and what is expected of them in various situations, they should try to find things that are common in their and others cultures and try to build communication with the others. Studies that have been conducted globally on the various cultures in the world show that there are a lot of common values found in them. There are a lot of similar things that aspire the humans. Lastly, patience is one essential quality that is found in the cross cultural environments. Patience here means not forming ideas about someone immediately and to wait, observe and try to understand others before forming opinions about them (Korver, 2008).

Managers should also pay a lot of importance to ethics. They should try to instill them in their employees by following them too as, ethical leadership results in ethical behavior which helps in stopping the unethical practices from taking place (Yukl, 2010). It has been noted that the team member listen to those leaders more who behave in ethical manner and have strong moral values. Therefore, it is important that the leaders behave in exactly the same way as they want their employees to behave, in this case moral and ethical leaders will create moral and ethical employees (Korver, 2008).

Transformational Leadership as a model for dealing with 21ST century challenges

Transformational leaders are considered to be the ones who have the capability to motivate their followers to do more than their assigned duties and to actually put the interests of the team or organization before their own. One of the important characteristics of the transformational leader is to have…

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