Intercultural Leadership

While intercultural competence was once viewed as something only necessary for those engaged in direct international relations, today organizations face a need to equip the majority of their leaders and staff in effective intercultural competence. This paper focuses on providing an overview of intercultural competence, engaging its critical importance for leaders, and providing examples and recommendations for how educational institutions may approach the development of intercultural competence in emerging leaders.

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Keywords: Leadership Education, Globalization, Intercultural Competence, Global Leaders Educating Global Leaders, Page 1 Introduction More than ever before in history, the effects of globalization are being experienced around the world. The interconnectedness and interdependency of cultures is felt within and between the organizations, cultures, and societies of the world. One of the strongest evidences of globalization in this day is the interdependency of global economies.

Even as the author wrote this article in the fall of 2008, an IRS News Feed from MASC. announced on his computer’s desktop, ‘World Stocks Fall on Economic Fear. ” This news feed went on to note that “European stock markets opened sharply lower Wednesday following losses in Asia amid spreading pessimism over corporate earnings around the world. ” As nee such report among many, it is easy to quickly identify the interdependent nature of the world.

In this time of globalization, international businesses and global economies increasingly experience the rise and fall of their value together. Further illustrating the unique point we are in historically, House, Javelin, and Doorman write, ‘With the ongoing globalization of the world’s marketplace, there has been a shift from supplying overseas markets from a domestic base to establishing subsidiaries in numerous countries, acquiring or merging with foreign firms, or establishing international joint ventures” (2001, p. 489).

In fact a recent KEMP study indicates that 41 percent of all mergers and acquisitions in 2000 were cross-boarder, and this compared to 24% in 1996 (Javelin, Stall, Brokered, & Wieldier, 2005). While the fall of 2008 evidenced the challenges of interdependent markets, the beneficial effects of globalization are also astounding, providing opportunities that leaders around the world dare not ignore. With the rise of globalization, so rises the need for leaders with global perspective and intercultural competence to meet these growing challenges and opportunities.

In light of this, this article will be focused on: (a) understanding he effects of globalization, (b) exploring theoretical approaches to the understanding of culture and the development of intercultural competence in global leaders, (c) presenting one school’s approach to educating leaders in intercultural competence, and (d) providing recommendations for leadership educators aiming to meet the urgent need of preparing leaders to serve well in the face of globalization.

Globalization While cross-cultural interactions have been taking place for thousands of years, it is only within recent decades and the past century that the societies of the world have become more accessible. Advances in aviation arguably served as one of the first quantum leaps toward the present state of globalization we now experience. Alongside advances in transportation, however, the quantum advances in technology and communication?driven by the introduction of the World Wide Web to public use?have provided a powerful host for bringing the peoples of the world into close proximity and accessibility.

Such “advances in technology and improvements in telecommunication and transportation have enabled societies to quickly and easily learn about and from others” (House, Javelin, Ranges, & Doorman, 2002, p. ). Pointing to this experience of globalization at a corporate level of analysis, Javelin, Stall, Brokered, and Wieldier (2005) note that cross-border transactions have exploded over the past 20 years along with the rapid globalization of economic activity.

Supporting this, Kumar (2002) notes that worldwide foreign direct investment in 2000 was over $1,270 billion compared with $55 billion early in the sass. Over this same time period, international technology payments rose from $7. 5 Educating Global Leaders, Page 2 billion to over $60 billion (Javelin, Stall, Brokered, & Wieldier), providing further evidence of the explosive influence of globalization on the world of business. In a treatment of negotiation in cross-cultural contexts, Bennie (1983) provides an early look at globalization trends.

In this work, Bennie cautions the international business traveler to not mistake the presence of tourist fares that make people feel at home with a universally homogeneous global culture. As the author of this article has taken in many of these fares? experiences such as Pizza Hut and McDonald’s on multiple continents, or Kentucky Fried Chicken in Shanghai?the author has had to remind himself that while there are an increasing number of global brands, this does not translate into a homogeneous global culture.

The presence of globalization forces people to see and embrace an increase of both similarities and differences in such intercultural interactions. With the addition of such complexities, it becomes even more important that global leaders understand the unique skills needed to lead in a global environment. Javelin (AAA) argues that those working cross-culturally in a global environment have two major responsibilities. First, these individuals need to understand their own cultural lens. Second, and based upon the first, if individuals want to influence cross-culturally, they need to understand the other’s cultural lens.

While these reminders may be fairly basic, when missed, things can go very wrong. Javelin reminds people that cultural lens are like electricity; we really only pay attention to it when we don’t have access to it. Bauhaus and Brisling (1992) argue that, “To be effective in another culture, people must be interested in other cultures, be sensitive enough to notice cultural differences, and then also be willing to modify heir behavior as an indication of respect for the people of other cultures” (p. 416).

Such skills are not always intuitive for leaders engaged in globally oriented work. The need for specialized education? whether formal or informal?focused on developing intercultural competency is vitally needed in this day. Noting that no American corporation is immune from the impact of globalization, Javelin, Doorman, Sully De Lulus, and House (2006) argue for the priority of understanding global leadership as a critical SUccess factor for large multinational corporations. Arguably, these comments are not just for the argue multinational.

Even smaller companies and organizations are increasingly touched by the impact of globalization. Large and small organizations alike are facing the reality that the global perspective of their leaders and managers is not sufficient to meet the demands of globalization. In fact, one report indicates that while the demand for global business understanding continues to grow, nearly 85% of fortune 500 companies have reported a shortage of mangers with the necessary global skills (Greens, Morrison, & Black, 1998).

This same report indicates that having competent global leaders was a highest priority concern or corporations when looking at factors for business success. In fact, the need for competent global leaders was rank higher than even adequate financial resources or technology, showing just how significant this consideration is for prominent corporations working to meet the demands of globalization. Culture and Leadership When looking at the discipline of leadership studies, it is easy to see why a focus on intercultural competence is necessary for successful initiatives in the global context.

Kline (2008) argues that leadership is essentially a relational practice. The relational dimension of leadership is further emphasized by Stone and Patterson (2006) in their overview and history of leadership studies’ movement toward follower-focused orientations. As follower-orientation in Educating Global Leaders, Page 3 leadership becomes more of a dominant leadership paradigm?and this coupled with the widening cultural spectrum of followers and organizational constituencies?the need for intercultural competence grows dramatically.

As a relationally-focused endeavor, leadership and leaders must be able to understand and effectively communicate with individuals of their own and evergreen cultural backgrounds. Lest we quickly dismiss this discussion of intercultural competence as something only needed for organizational leaders who physically travel to foreign sites, we must remind ourselves of the increasing cultural diversification within and around organizations. With the onset of virtual and multinational teams, organizational members need to quickly learn a new set of competencies in how leadership within such teams is effectively carried out.

With this trend, a new set of resources has emerged to help address the unique challenges of working n virtual team environments (Treated & Snyder, 2006; Early & Gibson, 2002; Gibson & Cohen, 2003; Irving, 2005; Marauded & Harvard, 2001 Marauded and Harvard (2001) argue that, “Leaders around the world are now recognizing the critical importance of global teams as the key to future competitiveness and productivity in today’s new networked-style global organization” (p. ). The need for globally minded and intercultural competent leaders is not only a reality in virtual global teams; it is needed in the multicultural context of regional teams and organizations as well. With the cultures of the world around and within even coal expressions of organizations, some authors are beginning to utilize the creative language of “globalization” to emphasize that global influence is now a local reality (Annoying, 2005; Roberts, 2007).

The central question for leaders then is how to best prepare organizational members to meet this unique opportunity? The author will be targeting the remainder of this article on the nature of culture and intercultural competence, arguing that preparing leaders to become intercultural competent is one of the best approaches to meet this challenge of our day. Theoretical Approaches: Hefted Hypotheses (1980, 1997, & 2001) approach to the study of culture is based on the concept of culture as consisting of dimensions that may be predictive of behavior.

In his original study, Hefted (1980) focused on a group of IBM middle managers across 53 countries. In his groundbreaking work, Hefted found four primary cultural dimensions: (a) power distance, (b) individualism-collectivism, (c) uncertainty avoidance, and (d) masculinity-femininity. As Hefted continued to study cultural dimensions, he eventually identified a fifth dimension, which was labeled long-term orientation (Hefted, 1997).

Hypotheses work has been criticized for being an overly simplistic approach only focused on one company, inattentive to in-country cultural differences, and ignoring ongoing cultural changes (Newswomen, 2002). However, even with such criticisms in view, Hypotheses work was groundbreaking and has been a dominant paradigm in the study of culture and leadership up to the time of the GLOBE project. Theoretical Approaches: GLOBE The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) project is the most extensive study of leadership from a global perspective to date.

With 1 60 social scientists and management scholars from over 60 cultures? representing most, if not all, major regions in the world?the GLOBE project worked with over 17,000 middle managers from over 900 corporations in these 60 plus countries. Focused on the food processing, finance, and Educating Global Leaders, Page 4 telecommunication industries, the GLOBE project engaged in a long-term programmatic series of cross-cultural leadership studies.

As such, GLOBE is described as “a multi-phase, multimode project in which investigators spanning the world are examining the interrelationships between societal ultra, organizational culture, and organizational leadership” (House, Javelin, Hangers, & Doorman, 2002, p. 4). The theoretical definition of culture utilized for the GLOBE project is the “shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that result from common experiences of members of collectives and are transmitted across generations” (House & Javelin, 2004, p. 5). Javelin (AAA) emphasizes that without common experiences, there is no common culture. One of the unique components of the GLOBE study is the differentiation of cultural values and cultural practice. In other words, GLOBE desired to evaluate both how things are done in a culture, and in what way that culture describes how they should be done. It is a contrast between the “should be” and the “as is,” and what House and Javelin (2004) refer to as modal values and modal practices.

Built upon Hypotheses study of culture, the GLOBE project utilized nine dimensions of culture: (a) Performance Orientation, (b) Future Orientation, (c) Assertiveness, (d) Power Distance, (e) Humane Orientation, (f) Institutional Collectivism, (g) Len- group Collectivism, (h) Uncertainty Avoidance, and (i) Gender Egalitarianism House, Javelin, Hangers, & Doorman, 2002). In addition to the nine dimensions of culture, the GLOBE project utilized six global leadership dimensions of culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership.

These dimensions are: (a) Charismatic/ Value-Based, (b) Team-Oriented, (c) Participative, (d) Humane-Oriented, (e) Autonomous, and (f) Self-Protective (Javelin, Doorman, Sully De Lulus, & House, 2006). In examining the relationship between cultural and leadership dimensions, substantial evidence has been established indicating that leader behavior, attributes, and influence significantly vary due to the influence of unique cultural dimensions in diverse contexts (House, Wright, & Ditty, 1997).

Theoretical Approaches: Global Mindset Based upon the GLOBE study, Javelin and the Thunderbird School of Global Management have begun work on the construct of Global Mindset. Javelin (ICC) defines global leadership as, “the process of influencing individuals, groups, and organizations inside and outside the boundaries of the global organization, representing diverse cultural/political/ institutional systems to contribute towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. Put more succinctly, global leadership is the process of influencing culturally distinct individuals and groups. Javelin argues that global mindset is an essential key to successful global leadership. Based upon this, he defines global mindset as, “the ability to influence individuals, groups, organizations, and systems that are unlike the leader’s” (Javelin), and further notes that global mindset is essentially a set of individual attributes that enable and facilitate global leadership.

What are the core attributes associated with global mindset? Presenting on the theme of global mindset, Javelin (Bibb & ICC) provided a summary of the three essential core attributes of the construct: (a) Intellectual Capital, (b) Psychological Capital, and (c) Social Capital. While multifaceted, Intellectual Capital is focused largely around industry specific knowledge, cognitive complexity, and general cultural acumen. Psychological Capital includes themes such as passion for diversity, self-efficacy, and quest for adventure.

Also multifaceted, Social Capital includes both structural dimensions such as global connectivity and relational Educating Global Leaders, Page 5 dimensions such as interpersonal competence, which is focused on the priority f building trusting relationships in multiple cultural contexts. Based on this work, the Thunderbird Global Mindset Inventory (GEM) has been developed as a means of self-assessing global mindset. In the field of cultural studies, there is sure to be more attention brought to the work of global mindset and the GEM in coming days.

The study of global mindset is moving in a particularly interesting direction as GEM results are being compared to leader brain maps through neurologically driven studies. Theoretical Approaches: Intercultural Competence A theoretical approach to culture that has gained increasing attention over the sat two decades is Bonnet’s (1986, 1 Bibb) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DIMS). Bonnet’s model is designed to provide an interpretive grid for understanding an individual’s development in their orientation toward cultural difference and is inclusive of three ethnocentric and three administrative categorical orientations.

Hammer, Bennett, and Washman (2003) argue that the DIMS constitutes a progression of an individual’s worldview. The model begins with the ethnocentric categorical orientations of (a) Denial, (b) Defense/Reversal, and (c) Minimization. As one’s worldview shifts to administrative categories, the orientations in the DIMS are (a) Acceptance, (b) Adaptation, and (c) Integration. Figure 1 provides a visual depiction of the DIMS. As a model of intercultural sensitivity focused on the development of intercultural competence, it is important to understand how core terms are utilized.

Intercultural sensitivity may be understood as the ability to discriminate and experience relevant cultural differences. Related to this, intercultural competence may be understood as the ability to think and act in intercultural appropriate ways (Hammer, Bennett, & Washman, 2003). Central to the DIMS s the understanding that increased intercultural sensitivity is associated with increased intercultural competence (Hammer, Bennett, & Washman).

In light of this, those interested in the development of intercultural competence within leaders rightly are to be focused on the development of intercultural sensitivity focused on the leader’s ability to identify and experience relevant cultural differences. While this snapshot of the DIMS is helpful, it is important to understand the basic definitional categories in the model. Hammer, Bennett, and Washman (2003) provide a helpful overview of these categories.

In the DIMS, the ethnocentric category of Denial refers to a state in which one’s own culture is experienced as the only real culture, and thus, cultural difference is not really experienced at all. Beyond Denial, the ethnocentric category of Defense refers to a state in which one’s own culture is experienced as the only viable culture; while a person in this category is able to discriminate cultural difference, the cultural difference is usually interpreted from a perspective that is negative, stereotypical, or popularizing.

A variation on Defense is Reversal?a state in which a person’s adopted culture is experienced as superior to one’s initial cultural experience. The final ethnocentric category of Minimization refers to a state in which one’s own cultural worldview is experienced as universal. In this state, cultural difference is subordinated to global similarities, and thus distinct cultures tend to be either trivialize or romanticizes. Hammer, Bennett, and Washman (2003) go on to describe the administrative categories.

The administrative category of Acceptance refers to a state in which one’s own culture is experienced as just one of a number of equally complex worldviews. Individuals with this Educating Global Leaders, Page 6 worldview are able to experience others as different from themselves, but equally human. Next, the administrative category of Adaptation refers to a state in which the experience of another culture yields perception and behavior appropriate to that culture.

Individuals with this worldview can engage in empathy, and are able to express alternative cultural experiences at the cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels. This state becomes the basis for peculiarity and multiculturalism. The final administrative category of Integration offers to a state in which one’s experience of self is expanded to include the movement in and out of different cultural worldviews. At this category, the themes of encapsulated and constructive marginality are emphasized by Bennett (AAA).

While the university as a whole where the author serves utilizes multiple models for the development of cultural awareness among its students, faculty, and staff, the particular school where the author serves within the university has adopted the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as the primary theoretical basis in working to address the needs of globalization. Beyond the DIMS being a theoretically rich model, it also provides a model that is tied to research instrumentation that may be utilized developmentally with individuals.

This instrument?the Intercultural Development Inventory been developed based on the DIMS in order to provide a reliable and valid measure of the model’s constructs. As such, it takes that which can be a subjective area of study and provides more objective measures for organizational members to consider as they work on their own developmental progress around intercultural competence. Because of this, the DIMS and the DID have played a significant role n the university’s approach to addressing the need for intercultural competence among students, faculty, and staff.

Educating for Global Leadership While most business leaders and leadership educators agree that preparing people for the demands of globalization is vitally important, the question of how this education is best carried out is often not as clear. While the author’s institution is by no means a perfect example of how to approach this need, the school is aiming to take the reality of globalization and the need to develop intercultural competent leaders seriously.

In light of this the author will riffle present some of the features of the school’s approach for the purpose of encouraging other institutions in their journey toward intercultural competence along with the author’s institution. In looking at this one example, the author first wants to emphasize that a need of this magnitude will likely not be addressed through a single method approach. Rather, educating for intercultural competence must take a holistic and multi-dimensional approach that focuses both on the often interpersonal cognitive and affective levels as well as the relational and behavioral levels of interpersonal experience.

In reality, the line teens the intra- and inter-personal realms is often not as clear in practice; ultimately, a holistic approach encourages both personal reflection and relational engagement. Practically, the focus on intercultural competence in the author’s institution takes on complementary, but distinct approaches for faculty and students. The following is an overview of the school’s efforts in this area. Strategic Initiatives: The author’s school has adopted a focus on increasing intercultural competence at the level of its strategic initiatives.

This strategic initiative?one of six current strategic drivers?was proposed by the Provost ND approved by the President and Board of Trustees. We have found that this institutional level of ownership and Educating Global Leaders, Page 7 support has been vital in making a focus on intercultural competence a priority from a systems perspective. Without broad ownership and support, such initiatives will face many challenges institutionally. Intercultural Development Inventory: The DID has been taken by the entire faculty in the author’s division of the university.

Faculty level discussions from DID results have been ongoing, and faculty members have had the opportunity for reflective org on their own intercultural development. This has been very important as the DID has been administered to the school’s students as well. In addition to providing a common language for faculty and students dialog around this vital topic, faculty involvement at this level has emphasized for students the priority of attending to our own development around intercultural competence.

Students and faculty alike have been encouraged to thoughtfully and reflectively process the results of the DID, and most have affirmed the valuable role of the DID in addressing this focus on intercultural development. In Class Emphasis: As a culture is being developed around the use of the DIMS and the DID among faculty, staff, and students, it has become easier to incorporate topics addressing intercultural competence into the classroom experience for students.

While the school has one required class wholly focused on issues surrounding intercultural relations and intercultural competency development, this common focus has also provided faculty with a capacity to include conversations around intercultural competence in courses focused on other subject areas. For instance, in a course focused on developing students’ understanding and capacity for irking in team-based and collaborative environments, concentrated attention is given to the global dynamics surrounding virtual and multinational teams.

Intercultural Experience: While the school’s commitment at the previous levels is significant, these commitments are incomplete without also encouraging intercultural experiences for faculty and students alike. At a faculty level, the school has provided a grant fund to which faculty may apply for funds for the purpose of engaging in agricultural teaching experiences. Through this?in conjunction with global partner institutions?faculty members are provided a means for gaining significant intercultural experience.

This program has been one of the most effective ways of providing faculty with a means for applying their intercultural development studies. More significantly, the experiences that faculty have naturally find their way back to the classroom at the university, thus providing students with the benefit of globally influenced faculty and helping to work toward the aim of developing intercultural competent leaders. In addition to this, students are likewise encouraged to engage in intercultural experiences both locally and internationally.

These experiences come in the form of both formal and informal opportunities. Some students join faculty or travel independently for short-term international experiences, while others select longer term cross-cultural learning experiences. Additionally, students are encouraged to engage in local intercultural opportunities as well, and through some courses students participate in organizational and community oriented site visits in culturally diverse settings.

Through these and other formal and informal intercultural experiences, the school aims to reinforce student learning that has oaken place in the classroom setting through outside intercultural experiences. Educating Global Leaders, Page 8 As one point of empirical support for the school’s use of the DID and a specific course focused on the development of intercultural competence, a comparison group quasi-experimental study was used to measure student growth in intercultural competence.

In this evaluation, researchers found that the data indicated significant student growth in intercultural maturity. While 92% of the students in this study were categorized in ethnocentric categories in the DIMS ring pre-tests, following the course intervention, zero percent of the students were found to be in the DIMS categories of Defense and Denial, and over 50% of the students were found to be at a satisfactory level of intercultural competency, up from 8% prior to the course intervention (Harden & Sandbag, 2008).

Table 1 is provided to show at a categorical level progress in a pre and post administration of the DID with a sampling of students in a course focused on intercultural competency. Bennie (1983) argues that one of the keys to educating for cross-cultural interactions is to take a contrastive approach that both emphasizes cultural preferences, but more importantly through this emphasis, nurtures an underlying curiosity around “the others. ” Bennie encourages educators to “exploit every opportunity to illustrate ‘otherness’ in language and, consequently, concepts” (p. 32), since doing so provides a best practice approach to evoking student engagement around the importance of learning cross-cultural skills necessary for training international leaders. In selecting an initial contrastive approach, it is important to also nurture an appreciation of difference in the academic environment. While knowledge of particular differences is important, more important than this is the need to prepare students with the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral skills and competence to be able to engage differences presently unknown to the student.

This is what intercultural competence is focused on? engaging known differences and, more importantly, aiming to develop individual capacity to handle intercultural differences not yet known or experienced by faculty and students. A Commitment to Building Intercultural Competence House (2004) reminds readers that, “Ample evidence shows that cultures of the world are getting more and more interconnected and that the business world is coming increasingly global” (p. 1). With this reality facing leadership educators, people cannot afford to ignore the need and opportunity before them.

In light of this, the author will provide some recommendations for leadership educators who care about preparing students to serve in the world during this time of increasing globalization. First, and quite basically, doing something for students is better than nothing. It is easy to compare one’s educational institutions to other schools. While this is beneficial for the purpose of gaining new ideas and finding encouragement for addressing the needs of globalization with students, it can also lead to a type of institutional paralysis that makes people feel they cannot compete with larger faculties or larger endowments.