The globalization phenomenon is affecting virtually all types of organizations in the world. Firms are leaving their home countries and establishing operations in foreign destinations across the globe. This strategy is mainly pursued to enable the organization to have advantages that are found in these foreign locations. The advantages may not be available in the companies’ home countries. Such advantages may include cheap labor and low market competition, among many other benefits. However, organizations also encounter the challenge of managing their global workforces. This paper seeks to discuss the global issues that managers of such companies encounter, particularly in the area of personnel management.
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Role of Inclusive Leadership in Strengthening Organizational Culture in Global Workgroups
Traits of inclusive leadership skills
Inclusive leadership skills should involve an aspect of cultural due diligence. Such an attribute would enable a global leader to adequately assess the probable effects that culture could bear on relationships (Precey, 2011). The assertiveness level, for instance, is higher in Greece at 4.58 than in Iran at 4.04. A leader with cultural due diligence will, thus, realize how more confrontational and aggressive workers from Greece are likely to act in their relationship within the organization compared to those from Iran.
Style-switching is a characteristic to use both broad, as well as a flexible range of behavior to achieve the set goals (Precey, 2011). Different countries, such as Germany and Singapore, have varying scores in different cultural areas. In terms of future orientation, Germany scores 4.27, while Singapore scores 5.07. Style-switching would, therefore, enable an inclusive leader to consider Singaporean workers as having higher future orientation compared to German workers and, thus, apply different styles when dealing with the two sets of workers.
An inclusive leader must be able to achieve cultural dialogue. In other words, he must possess the ability to clarify the foundation of behavior, as well as that of performance. This will enable him to create cultural synergy by way of conservation, thereby closing any existing cultural gaps (Lee, 2009). Workers from Iran with a lower gender egalitarianism score of 2.99 will have higher discriminative tendencies based on gender compared to workers from Singapore, which scores 3.70 on the same aspect. Cultural dialogue would enable a leader to make an Iranian worker to consider other workers as equals without concentrating a lot on their gender.
An inclusive leader must practice cultural mentoring. This involves the ability to advise and coach individuals to realize the effects of their culture on how they behave, to understand what culture and behavior mean for their true inclusion, as well as support change by way of practices, inclusive behaviors, and approaches. Human orientation, for instance, is high in Iran with an index of 4.23 compared to Germany, which scores 3.18. This means Iranian workers will tend to be fairer, altruistic, or even generous to enhance their chances of being rewarded. German workers, however, have a lesser disposition to consider values like altruism or to be friendly. Cultural mentoring would, thus, enable a leader to bring workers from these nations at par as far as achieving a common orientation is concerned.
Key Leadership Skills Required in Creating an Inclusive Organizational Culture
Inclusive leadership skills involve having positive intent, which is necessary for building an all-inclusive environment. Workers from countries such as Greece and Singapore will have varying individualism and collectivism scores of 3.25 and 4.90, respectively. It is, thus, important that the leader of such workers creates an environment that would make them feel comfortable in, considering their backgrounds in the aspect of individualism and collectivism.
An inclusive organizational culture would require a leader with the ability to check his assumptions and biases. A leader needs to enhance an attitude that is non-judgmental in as far as differences are concerned. Performance orientation varies in different countries, such as 3.20 in Greece and 4.90 in Singapore. Thus, workers from these two countries will have a different view in terms of performance improvement and the rewards that come with it. The leader must, therefore, not treat the workers with bias basing on this aspect.
The leader must motivate others by way of engaging them to enhance knowledge about differences, as well as experiences in a non-judgmental way. For instance, a leader needs to enable his subordinates to understand that differences exist in their cultures because different people have varying power distance measures. While a Singaporean will have a lower score of power distance at 4.99, Iranian scores highly on the same aspect with a score of 5.43. The leader of these workers must aim at ensuring they understand and appreciate the differences in their dispositions so that they may create an inclusive organization.
Most Influential Leadership Characteristics in Creating the Group’s Organizational Culture
Leadership must be characterized by authenticity to enable the creation of organizational culture. This refers to the leader adapting a genuine life that can be regarded as true by the followers (Precey, 2011). The leaders, in other words, must truly allow their existence to be copied by the society that they are in charge of. A workforce team with membership from multiple countries like Germany, Greece, Iran, and Singapore, definitely has varied cultural characteristics in the numerous dimensions established by the GLOBE framework. To such workers, their future orientations, assertiveness, humane orientation, as well as power distance among all the other dimensions vary from each other. However, an assertive leader will be able to harmonize such variations from the mixed workforce. For instance, in terms of uncertainty avoidance, workers from Greece have a generally lower score of 3.39 compared to their counterparts from other countries. An assertive leader who is viewed in the same angle by his follower will manage to implore upon his Iranian follower to scale up his degree of the dimension without making the individual feel as though it is a mistake to have such a lower measure of the cultural dimension.
A leader’s effort on this front will be regarded as genuine from the followers because instilling high levels of uncertainty avoidance among individuals are positive for any organization. On the other hand, a Singaporean worker who has a higher score of 5.31 on this dimension should also consider efforts by his leader to lower the index to the requisite figure as genuine. This can only be true if the leader is characteristically authentic.
Having multiple outlooks of the perspectives is equally essential for the leader. In essence, the leader has to have a broader range of varying disciplines, including alternative cultural worldviews, as well as varying forms of intelligence (Lee, 2009). A diverse workgroup often faces numerous challenges that derive from the cultural differences that form each of the individual’s background.
Analyzing this from the gender egalitarianism perspective, an individual from Greece, for instance, will vary with his counterpart from Iran, both of whom have a score of 3.48 and 2.99, respectively. Thus, a worker from Iran is more likely to feel uncomfortable working in an environment of mixed gender, more than would be the case for a worker from Greece. However, for a leader in a mixed-gender organization to win the confidence and complete approval of his Iranian follower, having multiple perspectives would be essential. It would bring the leader’s attention and realization to the fact that societies differ, and individuals are likely to have different views. This is a vantage point for the leader because it would enable him to transform the worker’s position eventually by offering him roles that may not necessarily put him in collusion with members of his opposite gender. Multiple perspective views would equally help all the workers from Germany, Singapore, and Greece to raise their indices on this dimension for what the actual figures should reflect.
Development and Implementation of a Common Cultural Mindset
Integrating varied perspectives in dynamic environments
The integration of varied perspectives that exist within a dynamic environment requires a foundation of knowledge to enhance its realization. A leader of a global organization must be well informed about globalization as a phenomenon to achieve a global mindset amongst his global workforce (International Management Conference Paper Abstracts, 2005). Knowledge concerning the phenomenon should involve realizing what it is, how it is occurring, why it is happening, as well as a realization of its effects. Knowledge of globalization places a leader into the right perspective of being able to handle the challenges that result from the knowledge.
Cultural competency skills are important in helping to achieve the integration of multiple perspectives within a dynamic environment (Precey, 2011). Such skills include being able to communicate effectively to the different individuals hailing from varying communities. The individuals must be able to understand what their leader says, with a feedback mechanism that evaluates the extent of the communication. The leader must be able to motivate his subordinates to achieve the desired results. An important aspect of cultural competency skills involves observing timelines in the actions of the leader. This is particularly important as it emphasizes on planning. Finally, cultural competency skills require the ability to make decisions that mind. Globalization aspects are highly transformational and, thus, a leader aiming to achieve integration must be capable of making adequate and timely decisions.
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A leader must be in a position to understand the varying styles, as well as preferences that involve numerous cultural groups. The world is varied and, thus, different societies have different ways through which they consider their actions and decisions. Understanding the various preferences enables a leader to know how to handle the societies without making bias judgment. Such an adaptation would not only endear the leader to his followers but would also enable them to appreciate his efforts in attempting to achieve a global mindset. The benefits include understanding how to speak to the followers, how to conduct meetings concerning the business, as well as understanding various other business etiquettes.
Appropriate negotiation strategies for an inclusive leader in adopting to achieve a common cultural mindset
Understanding communication styles is critical in enhancing the appropriate negotiation strategies for inclusive leaders. This plays an important role in creating a cultural mindset with a common base. Such communication styles include adopting either a direct or an indirect strategy of communication. Different workers from different locations have a preference for particular styles of communication because of the diversity in global societies. For instance, Asian communities prefer the use of verbal, as well as nonverbal messages such as facial expressions, body language, and tone in their communication. To a majority of the Asian societies, therefore, the use of direct communication could be interpreted as implying insensitivity and harshness. To the western cultures, however, direct communication is often the preferred mode of communication, and attempting to use indirect communication may as well be interpreted erroneously. This knowledge is critical for a leader of a global firm, particularly where there is a need to influence success among varying geographic teams (Lee, 2009).
Leaders must adapt shared decision making as a perfect negotiation strategy to achieve a common cultural mindset. This will consequently result in higher regard for engagement on the part of the followers. Engaging others in the process of decision-making, particularly professionals, enhance the quality of information as well as promotes good thinking. This, in turn, improves the implementation and the effectiveness of the decisions. A leader has to view power in as far as shared relationships are concerned to sustain effective decision-making. What is important for the leader to realize is the fact that involvement or work does not pass as a decision-making option. Instead, it should be considered as a mechanism through which effective decision-making is done, which requires excellent process and good skills. As a strategy to achieve a common cultural mindset, a leader must seek to achieve no-parental behaviors, as well as achieve a leadership model that is anchored on hierarchical frameworks together with parental reference frames.
Negotiations must also include individuals with more accountability for specific activities. An examination by a leader of his attachments to particular behaviors against their personal beliefs will help in evaluating collaborative relationships, as well as preclude equality at the workplace. For the leaders, the realization of the fact that it is their role and not a position that differentiates them is an important consideration. High-quality outcomes that are associated with a common cultural mind can only be achieved if the workers are fully involved in all decisions that concern them.
Communication Methods Appropriate for Culturally Diverse Recipients
The appropriate way through which a culturally diverse organization can communicate to its recipients is by way of addressing global needs. The outreach of the organization goes beyond international boundaries and, therefore, the best strategy for communication should capture this. The organization’s mission and vision statements are best placed to capture this because they are representative of the organization in all places and areas (Nadkarni, Herrmann & Perez, 2011). People from across the globe must be able to capture the same message from these statements. In instances where the organization seeks to form mergers or enter into joint ventures, such mission and vision statements will be of critical help to ascertain whether the structures and operations of the firms can be harmonized.
Corporate brands and identity help in achieving a common cultural mindset in a global workgroup. Brands reach a wider market and help in passing information concerning the manufacturing organization. A well-identified organization manages to bind its workforce together by spelling out the basic ideas, which workers identify with. Associations to the company can easily go through its identity and brand to determine their expectations well in advance. For the workers, brands, and identity help them to assume ownership of the companies. It enables them to view their colleagues as members of their own cultures.
Choosing an official language or several languages of communication enhances the communication process in a culturally diverse workgroup. Different regions, continents, and countries in the world use varying languages as their official media for communication. Quite a considerable number of people in the world speak languages such as English, French, Spanish, and German. Adopting these languages to be the company’s official medium through which it converses with the external world could be quite significant in achieving a common cultural mindset. Members will feel as though they belong to one community, which is bound by the language they use for their communication (Arora et al., 2004).
Global societies have varying cultural scores in the different cultural dimensions that scholars have identified over time. The GLOBE project identifies its main cultural dimensions to include assertiveness, future orientation, humane orientation, power distance, and performance orientation. Other dimensions of culture identified include uncertainty avoidance, gender egalitarianism, as well as individualism and collectivism. Global organizational leaders must achieve inclusive leadership to manage these organizations effectively. It is upon the leader to strike a balance that would eventually achieve a common cultural mind amongst the workers because countries have their unique indices on each of the cultural dimensions.
Arora, A., Jaju, A., Kefalas, A. G., & Perenich, T. (2004). An exploratory analysis of global managerial mindsets: a case of U.S. textile and apparel industry. Journal of International Management, 10(3), 393-411
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Lee, K. (2009). Culturally competent capacity builders. OD Practitioner, 41(2), 37-41
Nadkarni, S., Herrmann, P., & Perez, P. (2011). Domestic mindsets and early international performance: The moderating effect of global industry conditions. Strategic Management Journal, 32(5), 510-531.
Precey, R. (2011). Inclusive leadership for inclusive education – the Utopia worth working towards. Contemporary Management Quarterly, 235-44