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LCA Business School Assignment Submission Form

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ARU Student Number1360832/1
LCA student Number (please state both) 309779/412079
Module Title Cross Cultural Leadership
Assessment:

Final

LecturerProf. Andrew Johnson


Due Date: 13/05/2015.
Statement of Authenticity
I hereby confirm that this assignment is an original piece of my own work
which makes full use of appropriate style Harvard Referencing to
acknowledge all sources of information used in its compilation.
I also confirm it has not been submitted to another Institution for
academic purposes.
I understand that assignments will not be accepted for marking without
a completed form.
Signature Amna Farooq
Name:
Date:

Amna Farooq
13/05/2015
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Executive Summary
This report gives a comprehensive idea about the management and leadership of the
culturally diverse and geographically dispersed team of Glug plc. Major components of this
report cover the important factors those must have to be paid attention to while managing
this team. A summary of skills and competencies of the project manager of this team is also
discussed in detail. This report also stresses upon the various possible leadership styles and
approaches that can be used in this case and which specific leadership approach can lead
this project to a success. In the light of the whole discussion and analysis important
recommendations are also made in this work.

1. Introduction
World never was as globalized as it is today. Hiring the best talent from around the world is a
common practice now among almost all the multination organizations. Concept of virtual,
multicultural and diverse teams is now a common concept. Unfortunately there has not been
as much discussion about the management and leadership of this kind of teams as it was
required. In the current case scenario of Glug plc based in UK is working on a very crucial
project for the progress expansion and success of the company. So a very deep insight
about the understanding the nature of task, team and its management and leadership of the
team is required to achieve the best possible results.
This report presents the important factors that should be taken in to consideration to manage
the diverse nature of this team. Out of all these factors culture as a whole is the most
pertinent factor while dealing with any member of the team. Language and religion are other
factors. Further this report prioritizes the factors for skills of managers. Most important of
these skills are Leadership, communication and technical skills. Last part of this report
discusses about the different styles and approaches of leaderships that can be adapted for
the success of this project. In this part Situational, Contingency and Path goal theories of
leadership are discussed in detail. Recommendations and conclusion is given at the end of
this report.

2. Factors to be considered when managing diversity in team:


It is highly imperative for a project manager to ponder about effectively managing such a
geographically dispersed and culturally diverse team. Analysis of different cultural
dimensions is central for the long term success of this project. Studies on national and
organisational culture provide guidance on how to manage teams with diversity.
Work habits, styles and norms will widely vary in such a team. Schiens (1984) identified three
levels of organisational culture. His first level of organisational culture refers to artifacts,
rituals, language and ceremonials. Though every member of this virtual team knows English
but that would not be everyones first language hence different interpretations could have
been made for an email. The meaning of not too bad will be taken positive by a member
who is UK native but the meaning of same phrase could have been understood negatively by
an Asian member. Second level refers to espoused values and beliefs which are
organizational moral values derived from third levels basic assumptions. Differences in
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working hours, vacations time and period, sickness and other leaves will be different across
the team which if remain undecided and unagreed would create a conflict between the
members. Eid holidays for a Muslim and Christmas holidays for a Christian member are
highly significant. Third level constitutes basic assumptions underlying values and beliefs that
people possess about societies and are based on human behaviour. These underlying
assumptions relate to the Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) five basic elements of national
culture. A member from Arab culture in the team will consider everything to be the Gods will
whereas in contrast an American believes that environmental restraints can be overcome.
While communicating a message within this team Halls (1976) high and low context cultures
should be addressed. High context culture points to the societies which are bind in a long
term relationship with each other through interaction hence know what to think and how to
behave with each other. Oppositely, low context means where people connect with one
another for shorter duration hence cultural norms and beliefs are expressed explicitly. Team
members from high context cultures usually from Asian countries will relate communication to
the background and surrounding circumstances and as a result many things can be left
unsaid and will be obscure for members belonging to low context cultures i.e. from Britain,
USA, Germany, Sweden and Canada etc. Message clarity while communicating through
emails is very important here.
Hofstede (1980) defined five cultural aspects based on his analysis of 40 countries such as
power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism and long term orientation.
Hofstede work suggests power distance in cultural differences same as Laurents (1986)
research. Power distance refers to distribution of power in a society. In team, the perception
of authority of team members regarding team manager may affect the working of team.
France is the country where subordinates view managers as more powerful and are reluctant
to present their views in contrast to Sweden and Britain. Uncertainty avoidance is the degree
to which people are reluctant to undertake risks. Creativity and calculated risk taking reward
as is highly required in this team but the attitude towards risk taking varies among this team
such as a French member is used to be a low risk taker whereas one from Nordic countries,
Britain and India etc would be highly adaptable towards working systems. Merger of Daimler
Chrysler was discontinued in 2007 because Daimler was more bureaucratic whereas
Chrysler tends to be creative which is a sign of American flexibility. In the virtual team, some
members will be from individualistic societies like USA where concern is shown only for
immediate families and interpersonal connections lack highly. In contrary to it, members from

collectivistic cultures possess strong sense of group commitment such as Malaysian and
Arab culture. In this team to be successful collectivism needs to be built. Masculinity means
the perceived difference in the role of man and women in societies. Male and female
members in the team may encounter cultural issues based on gender. Members from Japan
and USA value macho culture contrary to Scandinavian members which are feminine
societies. This perception if unbalanced may cause the failure of team. Long term vs short
orientation means difference in the standing of results in members must also be looked as
member from Japan will high value on future concerns rather than considering short term
goals. However a member from western economies will keep both past and present at front.
Religious beliefs must also be considered while managing diverse teams. Muslims got angry
and protested when Heinkeen beer bottles in 1994 soccers World cup exhibited Saudis flag
having Quranic verse on it as alcohol is strictly prohibited in Islam. According to Bloomberg
Business Week 2006, Wal-Mart has to suffer a lot in Germany when they adopted the US
way of bagging food as Germans do not prefer handling by strangers.

3. Prioritisation of factors when deciding the type of managers in terms of


skills, competencies and experiences:
Selection of a right individual for planning, execution, closing of this project and managing
such a complex team is highly challenging. According to the factors identified above, skills
and competencies of the project manager can be decided. Katz (1955) recommended three
basic skills for the effective managers. These skills are referred as technical, human and
conceptual skills. As project manager is a middle level manager so these technical skills
should be required at a balanced level. For this team, technical and conceptual skills are
required at a middle level but due to diversity human skills are required at middle to higher
level.
Technical skills are skills related to the expertise and knowledge of a particular work. In this
scenario, for the manager it is necessary to have a solid grasp on project management
issues and software. Mumford, et al. (2000) has also proposed knowledge as a competency
of leader.
Human skills are skills associated with managing people. Teamwork and collectivism is
highly required for making this project a successful one hence it is necessary that project
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manager should have leadership skills to manage such a culturally diverse team. According
to the case study of Chen and Partington (2004) on how project management is viewed in
China and UK, they found that Chinese managers idealize team as a family and themselves
as the father of that family whereas UK managers are more concerned with the team for work
and show less concern towards people. Manager should possess good communication
skills because of the factor that team is having diverse backgrounds and speak different
languages as well as members are from high and low context cultures. It is good if he or she
is multilingual.
The skills model proposed by the Mumford, et al. (2000) is based on five constituents naming
individual

attributes,

competencies,

leadership

outcomes,

career

experiences

and

environmental influences. This model relates leaders knowledge and expertise with
performance. Individual attributes further includes general cognitive ability, crystalized
cognitive ability, motivation and personality. General cognitive ability refers to leaders owned
intellectual intelligence. In this project this skill is required as leaders need to possess
reasoning, logical and information processing skills leading a diverse team some members
from lower and some from high context cultures. Crystalized cognitive ability is cognitive
ability which polishes over time. Hence we can say that manager appointed should be a good
learner to lead the team effectively over a period of time. He should maintain a low power
distance to encourage team. Third attribute is motivational factor which the manager should
be exercised by manager to assemble the team for one goal aligning the goals of employees
with the goals of organization inculcating espoused values in them. Fourth attribute is
personality and according to the cultural diversity found in the team managers personality
should be strong enough that it can lead such a complex team. Competencies comprise
problem solving, social judgment skills and knowledge. Problem solving skills enables the
manager to deal with any unusual situation by finding a solution to it. By an effective problem
solver manager can deal with the issues of masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and
individualism in the team. The problem solving skills to be possessed by the manager is
essential. Social judgment skills point towards those skills of the manager which are
concerned with managing people and their underlying social systems. For a manager of this
team this skill is necessary as people hold different underlying assumptions in their societies.
Social judgment skills are further divided into perspective taking, social perceptiveness,
behavioral flexibility and social performance. Manager must be perspective taking so he
better understands the attitudes and opinions of other towards different problems and

solutions as members of the team go for short term results while others look for long term
orientation. Social perceptiveness meaning attitudes of people at work must also be taken
into account by the manager.

Zacarro, et al. (1988) further contributed that it means

manager should be capable to judge how members of team will react towards any change
and to inculcate change behavioral flexibility of the manager would be required simply
demanding a flexible manager. Social performance means manager should be able to
convey his ideas to team and should be a good persuader. These individual attributes and
competencies make manager a good leader bringing leadership outcomes. Environmental
influences and career experiences affect the first three components of skills.
Conceptual skills
Finally manager should have conceptual skills to transform ideas creatively into reality. If
manager has these skills he would be in a better situation to encourage his team for creative
and innovative tasks.

4. Comparing and contrasting the different approaches and styles of leadership


that would be most effective in the current case:
There are several different leadership styles that may be used to manage and lead this kind
of diverse team. I would discuss some of the very important leadership approaches that can
play a very important role in the successful delivery of this project.
The kind of team that we are dealing with in the current scenario comprises of two aspects,
this is multicultural and virtual at the same time as described by Steers, Sanchez-Runde and
Nardon (2010). Hill and Bartol (2015) show that in case of virtual and dispersed team
members can have a significantly positive impact on their performances if more
empowerment is given to the team leadership. Further in their research they find that if team
is more dispersed the effect of team leader empowerment would be even higher positively.
According to the Joshi et al. (2009) dispersed teams perceive more positively about
inspirational leadership. Another perspective about globally diverse teams is that shared
leadership style could be more effective as argued by Muethel and Hoegl (2010).
In a relatively recent research Zander and Butler (2010) present two different dimensions (i.e.
authority and activities) of leadership on the basis of four approaches of a leader to lead
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including shared style, single, paired or rotated style of leadership. According to them
multicultural level and composition of team should the basis to decide about the style of
leadership to apply. They further argued that a style of leadership chosen on the basis of
deep insight about the team lessens the chances of destruction in the team and increases
the possibilities of success of that team.
4.1. Situational Theory:
Situational

Approach

of

Leadership

explains

the

leadership
combination
behaviour

style
of
and

as

the

directive
supportive

behaviour. There may be four


different combinations of these
two types of behaviours. Leader
can pursue a directing style (S1)
that is high directive and low
supportive behaviour. This style
of leadership is applied when the
subordinates

are

not

very

competent and talented and they


require lot of support and praise. Second style (S2) under this leadership approach may be
coaching style where leader demonstrate a high directive and high supporting behaviour. The
subordinates with good competency but lower commitment level should be lead with style.
Third possibility can be with high supporting and low directive behaviour style of leadership
(S3). The teams which are extremely competent but lack a bit of motivation and confidence
can perform good under this style of leadershipAnd finally fourth style under this approach of
leadership could be with low directive and low supporting behaviour which may be termed as
delegating approach. This style of leadership may produce good results when teams are
highly competent and have ability to work own their own with less supervision.
In the case under discussion the S2 style of leadership may produce some good results as
clarity of tasks will come through directive nature of the leadership while supportive
behaviour will help in motivating the team members.

4.2. Contingency Theory


Fieldler and Chemers (1974) defined contigency theory as leader-match theory. Contingency
theory of leadership bases upon three different elements. First is the relations between
leader and member, secondly factor is the structure of tasks to be achieved and third factor is
position power. When it talks about the relationship between leader and member it covers the
group atmosphere, level of trust and inspiration from leader. If there is trust and positive
atmosphere then this relationship can be regarded as good.

Source: Adapted from A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness, by F. E. Fieldler1967, New York:


McGraw-Hill.

For the second element of this approach to be considered as high the task instructions
should be very clear because the better the task is structured the more control the leader can
have over it. If a leader uses its authority strongly to recompense or penalise its followers that
means he put himself in strong position power and vice versa. Combination of all these
elements of contingency theory helps in determining the favorability of the task for the
organization.
There cannot be one specific approach under this theory of leadership. It depends on the
nature of the team member if they are task oriented (Low Least Productive Coworkers Scale)
they will perform well under both favorable and unfavorable conditions while team members
with a high LPC score will only perform well under a moderate situation. In the current case
scenario a moderate approach should have to be followed to ensure the successful delivery
of this task.

4.3. Path-Goal Theory:


This theory focuses on the employee motivation to boost the performance of employee and
his satisfaction (House and Mitchel, 1974). Unlike the situational theory this approach of
leadership emphasizes on the link between the leadership style and the nature of the
subordinates at the work place. Path-goal theory relies on the assumption of expectancy
theory of motivation. According to which employees will be feeling motivated if they have the
confidence that they can do something and they will be rewarded for that if this is not the
case then they will stop putting their full efforts to the task. As Indvik (1986) explains the
capacity of employees to attain a goal can be increased by the leader by providing the
information and reward at the work place.

Leadership plays a very important role in motivating the employees by providing more
rewards (House & Mitchell, 1974). The clarity of situation and task is another important factor
that leads to the motivation of subordinates. Directive leadership is the same as described in
situational leadership. Ohio state studies explain this as initiating structure style (Halpin &
Winer, 1957). Supportive leadership style refers to being friendly and understanding the
human needs of subordinates. Participative style of leadership encourage subordinates to
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get involved in the decision making process. Employees are challenged by the leader to put
their best efforts to perform a task under the approach of achievement-oriented leadership.
House and Mitchel (1974) argues and put up a suggestion that there is a possibility that the
leader opt for different leadership styles with different subordinates according to the nature of
task and characteristics of employees. There is also a possibility of a situation where a leader
has to exhibit more than one different leadership approaches at a time.

5. Recommendations
1. To achieve the maximum benefit of diversity Glug should have a clear understanding
of the benefits that it is taking from applying the diversity in the team and its
measurable outcome.
2. The current scenario must have to be clearly understood by the management of the
company and all the possible dimensions of the situation must be analyzed.
3. Leading this team is the biggest factor that only this could play a major rule in the
failure or success of this task. An extensive exercise and understanding have to be
made while making the decision about the leadership of diversity.
4. To achieve a success in managing diversity among team a top to bottom approach
has to be employed. There should be a strong support from the top management for
this team.
5. A strong focus should always be kept on the cultural changes instead of just
operational changes in the project.
6. Incentives and rewards should be offered to enhance the team commitment and
motivation towards the goal of the team.
7. Employee involvement in decision making has to be achieved to keep them on board.

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6. Conclusion
World never was as globalized as it is today. Concept of virtual, multicultural and diverse
teams is now a common concept. It is a very crucial project for the progress expansion and
success of the company. So a very deep insight about the understanding the nature of task,
team and its management and leadership of the team is required to achieve the best possible
results.
Important factors like cultural diversity, language barriers, and religious beliefs have to be
taken into serious consideration so that management understands that what approach to
follow while dealing with different nature of employees from different cultures. Interpersonal
skills are very important in the selection of the project manager of this team. There are
different styles and approaches of leaderships that can be adapted for the success of this
project. There is not one perfect approach that can be used to guarantee the success of this
project. Leader has to be ready to use the leadership approach according to the nature of
task and characteristics of the subordinates.

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7. References
Chen, P. and Partington, D., 2004. An interpretive comparison of Chinese and Western
conceptions of relationships in construction project management work. International Journal
for Project Management, 22(5). pp.397-406.
Hall, E.T., 1976. Beyond Culture, New York: Doubleday
Halpin, A. W. and Winer, B. J., 1957. A factorial study of the Leader Behavior Descriptions.
The Ohio State University, Bureau of Business Research, Monograph No. 88.
Hill, S. N., and Kathryn, B. M., 2015. Empowering Leadership and Effective Collaboration in
Geographically Dispersed Teams, Personnel Psychology. 2015.
Hofstede, G., 1980. Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related
Values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
House, R.J. and Mitchell, T. R., 1974. Path-goal theory of leadership. Contemporary
Business, 3, Fall, pp.81-98.
Joshi, A., Lazarova, M. B., and Liao, H., 2009. Getting everyone on board: The role of
inspirational leadership in geographically dispersed teams. Organization Science, 20,
pp.240-252.
Katz, R. L., 1955. Skills of an effective administrator, Harvard Business Review, 33(1),
pp.33-42.
Kluckhohn, F. R. and Strodtbeck, F. L., 1961. Variations in value orientations. Evanston, IL:
Row, Peterson.
Mumford, M. D., Zaccaro, S. J., Connelly, M. S., and Marks, M. A., 2000. Leadership skills:
Conclusions and future directions, Leadership Quarterly, 11(1). pp.155-170.
Muethel, M., and Hoegl, M., 2010. Cultural and societal influences on shared leadership in
globally dispersed teams. Journal of International Management, 16. pp.234-246.
Schein, E. H., 2010. Organizational Culture and Leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
Steers, R. M., Sanchez-Runde, C. J., and Nardon, L., 2010. Management across cultures:
Challenges and strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Zaccaro, S. J., and McCoy, M. C., 1988. The effects of task and interpersonal cohesiveness
on performance of a disjunctive group task. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 18.
Pp.837851.
Zander, L., and Butler, C. L., 2010. Leadership modes: Success strategies for multicultural
teams, Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(3), pp.258-267.
Zander, L., Mockaitis, A. I. and Butler, C. L., 2012. Leading global teams. Journal of World
Business, 47(2012), pp.592-603.

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