Leadership and Culture-Current Leadership Issues

Hello Respected Researchers and HR managers, In this section we will discuss about “Leadership and Culture-Current Leadership Issues“. It is very much important for a Researcher as well as HR Concern person/ manager to know the Leadership and Culture-Current Leadership Issues. If researcher or HR Manager could follow the Points accordingly,it would easier to reach the goal. Let’s have a look…


Leadership and Culture:

In a cross-cultural context, leadership means many different things. In fact, the term leader is not even used in many cultures. The term used in Japanese, Chinese and Korean, for example, would mean coach. Another cross-cultural distinction is the multiplicity of definitions and meanings for leaders. In the United States leadership roles and responsibilities are distinguished by titles such as vice-president, executive vice-president, senior vice-president, etc. These titles are not recognised across all cultures.

⇒ Labour relations differ throughout the world. In European countries for example, labour relations are political and based on social class distinctions between workers and management or ownership. In Japan, labour relations are also distinct, in that most firms organise and control a union. Japanese unions tend to be very responsible in negotiations, and strikes are very rare in Japan.

⇒ In cross-cultural contexts, effective leadership becomes a challenge: leaders have a choice of either imposing their own styles on subordinates, or adapting leadership style to the expectations of that culture. Sometimes this is a difficult decision. It is important to remember that most leadership theories were developed in the United States, and used American subjects. Therefore follower responsibilities are highlighted as are democratic values. In addition, the theories stress rationality rather than spirituality, religion or superstition. It is encumbent on you as managers to be aware of probable distinctions in leadership style and effectiveness across cultures

Current Leadership Issues:

The work environment is now characterised by cross-function teams, the influence of globalisation, telecommuting, home-offices and multiculturalism, and other emergent changes. How do these issues affect leadership? A number of areas merit attention:

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: Leaders must have enough knowledge and basic intelligence to perform their duties. Emotional Intelligence is made up of capability, non-cognitive skills, and competencies that determine one’s ability to manage environmental demands and pressures. There are five primary dimensions to emotional intelligence:

  1. Awareness: this is exhibited by self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humour.
  2. Management: the ability to manage one’s emotions and impulses. This is exhibited by trustworthiness and integrity, a tolerance for ambiguity and willingness to change.
  3. Self-motivation: the ability to persist through setbacks and barriers. It is exhibited by a strong ambition, optimism and high organisational commitment.
  4. Empathy: the ability to sense how others are feeling. This is exhibited by expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity and service to clients and customers.
  5. Social skills: the ability to handle the emotions of others. This is exhibited by persuasiveness and expertise in building and leading groups and teams.

♦ Leading from a Distance:

Globalisation, virtual organisations, mergers, telecommuting and other changes have necessitated long-distance leading; personal interaction under some circumstances is not possible. It has been argued that physical distance often impairs high quality relationships between managers and employees.

It appears that effective long distance leaders display many of the dimensions that characterise transformational or charismatic leadership: they articulate a compelling vision and communicate the vision in a way that resonates with followers. There are indications that this communication does not need to be done in person, as long as it is done effectively.


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