Culture In Business: Global Leadership

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Question :

HI3042 Cross-Cultural Management and Communication

Literature Review: The individual assignment for this subject consists of an in-depth literature review of a specific topic given by the lecturer in Week 2 which largely fall into the areas of "Culture and Business", "Culture and MNCs", "Culture and Communication".

Literature Topic Selection 

Students will be required to read and provide a formal literature review/critique of the following Journal article on “Culture and Business”:

Bird, A. and Mendenhall, M.E., 2016. From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and adaptation. Journal of World Business, 51(1), pp. 115-126.

IMPORTANT: Please note that a “Literature Review” DOES NOT mean simply reading and summarising the article.

Instead students must show:

 That they have identified and understood the article’s main thesis statement or hypothesis. 

 Identify evidence that the author has provided in the article to justify their argument (both for and against).

 Perform additional external academic research to find other references and sources that support or detract from the overall hypothesis in the article.

 In your conclusion whether you agree or disagree with the author’s point of view and provide a summary of the reasons or justification to support your case. 

 Provide a list of at least 5 good quality academic research articles and references that you have used in your analysis

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Answer :

Culture and Business


Nowadays, the globalisation has moved to a new phase. Previously, the multinational companies can develop by reaching and exploiting new marketplaces and overseas labour forces. However, with the help of improved information technology and transportation the major business organisations and the influential individuals can easily set up their business in many places, and a significant shift in power from western world to the eastern world has been observed (Bird and Mendenhall 2016). International Management needs necessary skills and knowledge above and beyond the normal or regular expertise that is necessary for any domestic business operations. The essential skills required for International management includes an understanding of the regional customs and loss and the ability to contract transaction that can involve multiple currencies and not only that cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence are two integral aspects of a successful International manager (Bird and Mendenhall 2016). On the other hand, a cross-cultural communication can be looked at as a field of study that determines how individuals from different culture technique and lingual backgrounds can communicate Inna similar or different ways among themselves. For this particular literature review, the chapters can be divided into four phases, and those are expatriation intercultural communication competitive leadership and global management which are four integral aspects of the Global leadership or culture in business. 


In the 60s era of the 20th century, the rise of an international leadership was observed. At that time, the cross-cultural management was looked at as a study of organisational behaviour and the systems of the management with an approach of countries other than the United States as having cultural and organisational systems which can be looked at as foreign.  It is because after the Second World War, numerous American companies tried to expand their businesses overseas to exploit the new markets and the cheap labours and that is how the concept of international business management emerged and eventually got spread across the world. On the other hand, after the 80s the term organisational culture became popular among the Scholars, and numerous research works well conducted to get to know how and corporate culture can have an impact on the productivity profitability and the reputation of the organisation (Bird and Mendenhall 2016). By this time the business sector has had a clear transition not only in the leadership period but in also the cross-cultural management and all the other subfields which are necessary for managing international businesses. With the advent of 21st century, the leaders are finding themselves leading globalised workforces. Global projects and various Global operations are expatriate individuals. These things have become very common in the 21st century as during this time. The world has become a globalised village, and with the advancements of International management cross-cultural management and latest leadership theories, the business sector is receiving a major of expansion strategically (Gagnon and Collinson 2014).

Uni-cultural studies are dependent on sociological and anthropological paradigmatic lenses where examples can be drawn from various literature (Bird and Mendenhall 2016). This article has shown the difference amongst uni-cultural, intercultural, comparative and global management research where the global study is the most relevant one in the contemporary business scenario. This article puts much emphasis on exploring leadership within the international context where the leaders may face several disagreements however they have to work towards enhancing the overall productivity of the firm. While drawing instances from expatriation procedure, the article points out that adjustment is the key to get success in such global situations. This article argues that expatriate effectiveness come with adjustment and transformation of the manager within the new environment. It will help the manager to learn more about the culture and make effective intercultural communication. 

In this article, the term ‘intercultural management’ emphasises on how individuals who differ culturally from other individuals can successfully bridge the cultural differences linked with the management of the organisation as well as the leadership practices of a particular business organisation by acquiring knowledge and cultural intelligence (Mendenhall et al. 2017). In this regard, some literature argues that international management is profoundly influenced by intercultural communication cross-cultural psychology and numerous social psychologies. Caligiuri and Dragoni (2014) have indicated that apart from that the leaders who are managing people in the overseas market they tend to have a good hold on intercultural management as it is most likely that an expatriate has to lead of workforce which is diverse culturally and by the ethnicities or lingual background. 

In the international management practices, one of the most anticipated aspects is comparative management. It can be said that the utilisation of cultural models to conduct research in and multinational context should tend to focus on the cultural as an explanatory framework to the exclusion of other variables which of course contextual on the cross-cultural management of the business organisations that are being operated in the overseas market. It is worthwhile to mention that comparative research works have already generated a tremendous amount of journal publications since the eighties era of the 20th century that has become a positive catalyst for the International Management sectors ongoing progression and the growth rate (Bird and Mendenhall 2016). Concerning the term leadership, it can be said that when the Scholars of the business sectors walk from a similar focus, it is more likely to generate a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding the multiplicity of the differences that may prevail between the cultural and national leadership systems. 

In the last decade of the 20th century, the business leaders found themselves crossing the border across all the possible dimensions of the business sector as well as the governmental sectors dynamo constant and rapid manner then it was done in the previous years. During this time it has been seen that the global supply chains became the norm and the global markets also became the norm along with that the real-time global communication with all the possible stakeholders of the business organisations became very easy with the advancements of the information technology (Caligiuri and Dragoni 2014). Within the ten years from 1980 to 1990 am significant change was noticed in the business sector due to the immense globalisation and as are the result of the advancement of Technologies as well as the increasing knowledge of this particular sector. By this time it was seen that the business leaders and the consultants realised that the business organisations needed more than a specific country or an area to work on, but the business organisations should expand to different markets to taste the profitability and the saleability in the global market.

As discussed in the previous sections of the article, there are various demands in the international construct of leadership. The multifaceted global research into the literature regarding global leadership is significant as it involves significant contributions from multiple streams namely expatriation, comparative leadership, intercultural communication and research in global management. 

Within this era of globalisation, the organisations operate in different nations across boundaries; therefore the intercultural communication has gained much significance within the recent scenario. Having a cultural competence is necessary while communicating globally with employees from a different background as it helps the leader to develop the capability of executing appropriate behaviour within a diverse environment. According to Henson (2016), the intercultural communication is considered to be both nonverbal and verbal interaction amongst people who are coming from culturally diverse backgrounds. Therefore, it is worthwhile to point out that this is not confined within mere language proficiency; instead, it includes understanding each others’ rituals, attitudes along with communicating in a common language. As indicated by Coccia (2015) various skills are required to communicate in diverse situations such as tolerating ambiguity, open-minded thinking cognitive flexibility, cross-cultural understanding etc. Being open to new ideas and information is necessary for this purpose along with paying adequate attention towards the cultural background and emotions. One also has to be flexible and adaptive towards others that eventually turns inappropriate behaviour in different environments. This article also sheds light on a four-dimensional structure of intercultural communication involving valuing others’ diversity, coping with the changes, dealing with unknown situations and handling different perspectives. These skills and abilities give rise to the cross-cultural understanding and intercultural competence. 

The comparative study of leadership literature involves the idea that culture has a significant impact on interacting with a group. Therefore it influences the behaviour of leaders to some extent. As indicated in Hofstede’s research, the comparative leadership studies call upon value dimensions and value orientations in different cultures. The comparative leadership study, as mentioned in the article, has recognised that there are a variety of differences in the behaviours of a follower and a leader considering various cultures across nations. Hofstede’s cultural dimension is supposed to be a significant approach in the comparative studies as it shows the difference between various cultural dimensions. Bird and Mendenhall (2016) have also indicated that different kinds of leadership qualities act differently in diverse cultural backgrounds such as participative leadership seems to be much less effective in the cultures with high power distance, on the other hand, charismatic and transformational leadership appears to be globally acceptable with its specific features. Therefore, it can be indicated that the few globally accepted traits of leadership are not only helpful for the leaders to manage cross-cultural teams, but these are also valuable for the recruiters at the time of selecting potential candidates for their organisation.  

The idea of global management entails being responsible across borders. Therefore it also involves dealing with different dimensions across various units of the same organisation. Therefore Norris (2017) has indicated that the expatriate managers require more qualities that the managers are operating domestically. Osland et al. (2017) have stated the fundamental roles of expatriate managers such as monitoring others, being well-spoken, decision-making abilities, negotiating etc. It has also been indicated that the managers operating globally should be more emotionally stable culturally adaptive and capable of considering and different perspectives than any domestic manager as the global managers need to Intel large components of coping with stress making decisions innovations and negotiating both internally and externally. The global management studies have attempted in recognising the way of developing management skills in managers operating globally. The literature on expectation sheds light on the development of work social and emotional skills that are essential for walking effectively across boundaries. However, this article fails to suggest on components of intercultural training. However, it points out that the organisations need to provide specialised training to the expatriate managers depending on their specific assignments.  

With the emergence of globalisation, an interest in working within the global environment has developed in the leaders. Therefore, it can be indicated that the leaders themselves were interested in expanding their capabilities and qualities to operate more effectively. There have been empirical investigations adopting both the qualitative and quantitative approaches in global leadership that mostly focused on identifying specific attributes Street skills and competencies that are related with effective International leadership. Many Scholars have attempted to study the competencies of global leaders that boost their productivity. As indicated by Bird and Mendenhall (2016) there are some independent and dependent variables which influence the effectiveness directly, and it can be broadly categorised in dimensions such as cross-cultural skills, cognitive orientation, business expertise, international Organising savvy, values and traits. After careful investigation Scholars have identified more than hundred competencies that can be introduced within the global context by minimising the semantic variation and removing the conceptual overlaps. As indicated by scholars the leadership performance within the international context can be considered as a cognitive activity which may result in useful behaviours and a better understanding effectively working in global context with strategic and cognitive thinking motivating others and fulfilling the organisational objectives. The Scholars have developed the various models and theories for leadership development which includes integrating effective development of global competency principle, and it indicates that this should be applied in the curriculum in business schools so that the students get accustomed with these attributes.


There have been continued debates regarding the domain and scope of the literature on global leadership. However, it puts much emphasis on the necessary traits and attributes of leaders for operating within the global context. This particular article focuses on various approaches, theoretical perspectives and models that are helpful for leaders however it requires more research on this phenomenon. Drawing reference to the existing approaches to global leadership, this article has studied global leadership in different contexts. This study has suggested developing a global leadership typology for the recruitment process of managers so that the recruiters can turn their attention to the contextual degrees while selecting, developing and employing global firms for their managers. Therefore it can be said that the article has been able to document the development of concepts associated with global leadership, at the same time, it has also successfully suggested ways to adopt the changes and explore more within the global context.