Global leadership has been identified as a critical success factor for large multinational corporations. While there is much writing on the topic, most seems to be either general advice (i.e., being open minded and respectful of other cultures) or very specific information about a particular country based on a limited case study (do not show the soles of your shoes when seated as a guest in an Arab country). Both kinds of information are certainly useful, but limited from both theoretical and practical viewpoints on how to lead in a foreign country. In this paper, findings from the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research program are used to provide a sound basis for conceptualizing worldwide leadership differences. We use a hypothetical case of an American executive in charge of four similar teams in Brazil, France, Egypt, and China to discuss cultural implications for the American executive. Using the hypothetical case involving five different countries allows us to provide in-depth action oriented and context specific advice, congruent with GLOBE findings, for effectively interacting with employees from different cultures. We end the paper with a discussion of the challenges facing global executives and how corporations can develop useful global leadership capabilities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management