Chapter 12

Chapter 12
Human values, integrity, and innovation
drive us. . . . I win when my team wins;
my team wins when Wipro wins; Wipro
wins when its customers and
stakeholders win.
-- Azim H. Premji
CEO, Wipro Technologies, India
(p. 242)
Getting Americans and Japanese to
work together is like mixing hamburger
with sushi.
-- Atsushi Kagayama
Vice president, Panasonic Corporation, Japan
President, American Kotobuki, USA
(p. 242)
Opening question:
What advice follows from these two different
observations that can help you personally
become a more effective leader in
multicultural environments?
Consider: Carlos Ghosn
1. Carlos Ghosn has become widely recognized
as the quintessential global executive. Why?
What did he accomplish?
2. Are there lessons here for other global
leaders? If so, what?
(p. 243)
Topic for today:
Leadership and global teams
What is leadership, east and west?
GLOBE leadership study
Culture and leadership: A model
Global teams
Working with global teams
Leadership is like beauty; it’s hard to
define, but you know it when you see it.
-- Warren Bennis
Leadership expert
Consider: Do you agree or disagree with
this statement?
(p. 242)
What is leadership?
• In Mexico, everything is a personal matter. To get
anything done here, the leader must be more of an
instructor, teacher, and father figure than a boss.
• Malaysians expect their leaders to behave in a manner
that is humble, modest, and dignified.
• Peruvian employees look for decisiveness and authority
in their leaders, even to the point of easily resisting
attempts to introduce employee participation programs.
• Egyptians threat their leaders as heroes and worship
them so long as they remain in power.
(p. 247)
What is leadership?/2
• Chinese leaders are expected to establish and nurture
personal relationships, practice benevolence towards
subordinates, be dignified and aloof but sympathetic,
and treat the interests of employees like their own.
• Nigerians expect leaders to replicate within their
organizations the same social patterns that are found in
local villages and tribes.
• The French expect their leaders to be cultivated—highly
educated in the arts and mathematics.
What is leadership?/3
• Japanese leaders are expected to focus on developing a
healthy relationship with their employees where
employees and managers share the same fate. Top
managers must have an ability to manage people by
leading them. In addition, symbolic leadership is also
frequently seen in Japan, where an executive or manager
will take public responsibility for the failures or
inadequacies of the group or company (as when a CEO
resigns over a corporate scandal).
What is leadership?/4
• Americans are generally schizophrenic in their choice of
leaders; some like leaders who empower and encourage
their subordinates, while others prefer leaders who are
bold, forceful, confidant, and risk-oriented.
• The Dutch stress egalitarianism and are skeptical about
the value and status of leaders. Terms like ‘leader’ and
‘manager’ can carry a stigma to the point that Dutch
children will sometimes refuse to tell their schoolmates if
their father or mother works as a manager.
Origins of leadership, east and west
• Ancient Greeks saw leadership as a process of bridging a gap
between an ideal state and reality. Good leaders coordinate
members’ efforts towards the achievement of organizational
• Ancient Chinese saw leadership as a balancing process
between opposing and complementary forces (yin and yang).
Rather than establish a set of objectives, good leaders help
position the group within the flow of reality in a passive way to
catch opportunities.
• Current management thought as taught in most business
schools takes a decidedly Greek approach to leadership and, as
a result, misses some basic premises of leadership in the
(p. 249)
remainder of the world.
Sun Tzu on leadership
Great leaders must:
• Have moral influence over their followers,
influencing their hearts, not just their bodies;
• Be well rounded and not just technical experts; and
• Understand that everyone—both colleagues and
strangers—has strengths and weaknesses.
(p. 251)
Logic of leadership: East meets west
• While Western views on leadership begin by delineating
an action plan based on a set of agreed upon objectives
(logic of application), Chinese tradition views leaders as
assessing the favorable and unfavorable elements in the
surrounding situation so that the favorable elements can
be appropriated as the situation evolves (logic of
• While Western leaders often follow a logic of means and
ends hierarchically arranged through an action plan,
Chinese leaders tend to follow a logic of process where
the evolution of the situation leads naturally to the desired
end state, practically without a need for action.
(p. 251)
West meets west
Finally, even within the West, monolithic
leadership patterns are difficult to find (e.g.,
Consider: Once again, what is a leader?
(p. 252)
GLOBE Leadership Study
(p. 256)
Richard Branson and Konosuke Matsushita
1. What are the differences in leadership styles of
Richard Branson and Konosuke Matsushita?
2. What is the relationship between culture and
leadership style in these two examples?
3. How might the GLOBE leadership model help
highlight or explain these differences?
(pp. 256-257)
Cultural influences on leadership: a model
Culture 1: Manager’s
normative beliefs about power
distribution and social control
(e.g., belief in relationship-based,
egalitarian organizations)
Culturally compatible
leadership style
(e.g., preference for teamoriented or participative
leadership style
(e.g., use of participative
methods; encourage
employees to become
involved and accept
responsibility for results)
Other influences on leadership style
(e.g., previous experiences with each other; contractual limitations;
managerial and employee preparedness for leadership responsibilities; mutual
trust between parties, personal and situational differences)
Culture 2: Employees’
normative beliefs about power
distribution and social control
(e.g., belief in rule-based,
hierarchical organizations)
Culturally compatible
leadership style
(e.g., preference for strong
autocratic leadership
Employee response
(e.g., resist involvement
or responsibility; loss of
respect of leader; footdragging and social
(p. 258)
Consider: Sony’s Howard Stringer
“Look, in America, I was told to cut costs, but
in Japan, I was told not to cut costs. Two
different worlds. In this country (Japan), you
can’t lay people off very easily. In America,
you can.”
(p. 260)
Global teams
A group of employees selected from two or
more cultural contexts and sometimes two
of more companies who work together to
coordinate, develop, or manage some
aspect of a firm’s global operations.
(p. 262)
Global Teams:
Functions, advantages, and drawbacks
(p. 263)
Challenges to global team effectiveness:
Managing tasks
Mission and goal setting
Task structuring
Roles and responsibilities
Decision Making
(pp. 263-264)
Challenges to global team effectiveness:
Managing group processes
Team building
Communication patterns
Conflict resolution
Performance evaluation
(pp. 263-264)
Types of teams
(p. 265)
Characteristics of
co-located and virtual teams/1
(p. 266)
Characteristics of
co-located and virtual teams/2
Special challenges working
with virtual global teams
• Lack of mutual knowledge among members.
• Lack of common contextual information.
• Over-dependence on technology as a substitute
for lack of a common native language.
• Loss of details due to possible brevity of
• Lack of shared understanding or
oversimplification of messages.
(pp. 265-270)
Leadership and logic
1. Leadership often means different things to different
people. The trick for global managers is to understand
this and look for the underlying meaning of leadership in
various locations. Investigate, don’t evaluate.
2. Similarly, there is often a different logic underling
leadership practices tied to geographic regions (e.g., logic
of application vs. logic of exploitation). Once again,
observe and learn before acting.
Leadership and
individual differences
Don’t forget individual and group differences.
Leadership styles can differ within a single
country or region.
What is “acceptable” leadership?
An acceptable leadership style in one culture may be
unacceptable in another.
Acceptable leadership styles are often influenced by
a local society’s normative beliefs about the bases of
power distribution and social control.
Substitutes for leadership
When two societies differ in their beliefs about what
constitutes acceptable leadership, managers are
presented with a challenge that requires far more than an
official title.
It also requires a knowledge of how to negotiate mutual
arrangements between disparate groups to accomplish
basic tasks, plus an ability to find alternative means—
substitutes for leadership—to achieve organizational
goals that bypass interpersonal or intergroup conflicts
over leadership style.
Leading global teams
1.Provide clear, engaging group goals.
2.Provide specific and measurable performance goals.
3.To the extent possible, recruit team members that
complement, but support, one another.
4.Focus on result-driven processes.
5.Stress continual learning and continual improvement.
(p. 273)
Leading virtual global teams/1
1. People
Selection of members with right skills, abilities, and motivation.
Provide training on technology use, virtual communication, and
cultural sensitivity.
Align reward systems with nature of distributed work.
Set clear expectations and measurable goals for performance
appraisal purposes.
2. Tasks
Select tasks that are appropriate for virtual work.
Use richer media for complex problems.
(p. 276)
Leading virtual global teams/2
3. Processes
Disseminate information among team members.
Arrange periodic face-to-face meetings when possible.
Allow time for information sharing in video and teleconferences.
Make communication norms explicit.
Provide intercultural communication training.
Develop team building interventions.
Make sure individuals do not feel isolated.
Communicate frequently with all members.
Two leaders
1. As a group, identify two leaders from two different
cultures or countries, and list the qualities and
characteristics, as well as situational characteristics,
that make each of them successful.
2. Next, consider how effective each of these leaders
might be if they exchanged places (and cultures).
3. Based on this comparison, what leadership traits, if
any, can you identify that you believe to be universal
across cultures?
Think about it:
Your leadership skills
Suppose you have been assigned to lead a new
multicultural team of regional managers who are
collectively responsible for developing a long-term
business strategy for your firm.
1. What might be your biggest anxieties about
accepting this leadership assignment?
2. How would you deal with these anxieties?
3. How would you know if your leadership efforts were