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International and

UNIT - 5
culturally diverse
aspects of leadership

Spheres of Activity in the Management of Cultural Diversity





The advantages of managing for
The ethical and social responsibility goals of leaders
and their organizations include providing adequately
for members of the diverse work force.
Ethics is involved because treating people fairly is
considered morally right from the view of ethics.
The approach is based on universal principles such
as honesty, fairness, justice, and respect for persons
and property.
Leaders who ascribe to this view of ethics would
therefore feel compelled to use merit as a basis for
making human resource decisions.
1. Reduction of turnover and absenteeism costs.
As organization become more diverse, the cost of
managing diversity poorly increases.
Turnover and absenteeism decrease when minority groups
perceive themselves as receiving fair treatment.
More effective management of diversity may increase the
job satisfaction of diverse groups, thus decreasing
turnover and absenteeism and their associated costs.
2. Managing diversity well offers a marketing
A representational work force facilitates selling products
and services.
A key factor is that be a multicultural group of decision 4
makers may at an advantage in reaching a multicultural
3. Companies with a favourable record in managing
diversity are at a distinct advantage in recruiting
and retaining talented people.
Those companies with a favourable reputation for welcoming
diversity attract the strongest job candidates among women and
racial and ethnic minorities.
Also, a company does not welcome a diverse work force shrinks
its supply of potentials candidates.
4. Managing diversity well unlocks the potential for
By providing workers from all groups the tools, resources and
opportunities to succeed, the companies that hire culturally
diverse workers are more likely to display their full talents.
5. Heterogeneity in the work force may offer the
company a creativity advantage, plus improved
Cultural factors influencing
leadership practise:

A multicultural leader is a leader with the

skills and attitudes to relate effectively to and
motivate the people across race, gender, age,
social attitudes, and lifestyles.
To influence, motivate, and inspire culturally
diverse people, the leader must be aware of
over and subtle cultural differences.
Key dimensions of differences in
cultural values:
One way to understand how national cultures differ is to
examine their values. Here we examine seven different
values and the ways in which selected nationalities
relate to them.
1. Individualism/collectivism.
At one end of the continuum is individualism, a
mental set in which people see themselves first as
individuals and believe their own interests and
values take priority.
Collectivism, at the other end of the continuum, is a
feeling that the group and society should receive top
2. Power distance.
3. Uncertainty avoidance.
People who accept the unknown and tolerate risk
and unconventional behaviour are said to have low
uncertainty avoidance.
In other words, these people are not afraid to face
the unknown.
4. Materialism/concern for others.
In this context, materialism refers to an emphasis
on assertiveness and the acquisition of money and
material objects, and a de-emphasis on caring for
At the other end of the continuum is concern for
others, which refers to an emphasis on personal8
relationships, caring for others, and a high quality of
5. Long-term orientation/short-term orientation.
Workers from culture with a long-term
orientation maintain a long-range perspective,
and thus are thrifty and do not demand quick
returns on their investments.
A short-term orientation is characterized by a
demand for immediate results and a propensity
not to save.
6. Formality-informality.
A country that values formality attaches
considerable importance to tradition, ceremony,
social rules, and rank.
In contrast, informality refers to a casual
attitude toward tradition, ceremony, social rules,
7. Urgent time orientation/casual time orientation.
Long- and short-term orientations focus mostly on
planning and investment.
Another time- related value dimension is how much
importance a person attaches to time.
People with an urgent time orientation perceive time
as a scarce resource and tend to be impatient.
People with a casual time orientation view time as an
unlimited and unending resource and tend to be
Americans are noted for their urgent time
They frequently impose deadlines and are eager to
get down to business. Asians and middle easterners, 10
in contrast, are patient negotiators.
In fact businesspersons in the Middle East are known
8. Work orientation/leisure orientation.
A major cultural value difference is the numbers of
hours per week people expect to invest in work
verses leisure are other non work activities.
American corporate professionals typically work
about fifty-five hours per week, take forty-five
minute lunch breaks, and go on two weeks of
Japanese workers share similar values with respect
to amount of work per week.
European professionals, in contrast, are more
likely to work forty hours per week, take two-hour
lunch breaks, and go on six-weeks of vacation.
Cultural sensitivity and global leadership skills:
Cultural sensitivity:
Leaders as well as others, attempting to influence a
person from a foreign country must be alert to
possible cultural differences.
Thus, the leader must be willing to acquire
knowledge about local customs and learn to speak the
native language at least passably.
A cross-cultural leader must be patient, adaptable,
flexible, and willing to listen and learn.
All these characteristics are part of cultural
sensitively, an awareness of and willingness to
investigate the reasons why people of another culture12
act as they do.
A person with cultural sensitivity will recognize
Cultural sensitivity is also important
because it helps a person become a
multicultural worker.
Such an individual is convinced that all
cultures are equally good and enjoys learning
about other cultures.
Multicultural workers and leaders are
usually people who have been exposed to
more than one culture in childhood.
According to Gunnar Beeth, a multilingual
salesperson can explain the advantages of a
product in other languages, but it takes a
multicultural salesperson to motivate
Language differences create problems because U.S
workers(most of whom are monolingual)can become
frustrated by co-workers accents and limited English
Non-English speakers may feel that they do not fit
well into them.
Differences in religion are the source of many
In many cultures, differences in religion are the
source of many misunderstandings.
In many cultures, religion dominates life in ways
that Americans find difficult to comprehend.
Work habits vary enough across cultures to create 14
friction and frustration. Employees in some cultures
are unwilling to spend personal time on work.
Leadership initiatives for
achieving cultural diversity

Leadership initiatives for achieving cultural diversity:

1. Hold managers accountable for achieving

2. Establish minority recruitment, and
mentoring programs.
3. Conduct diversity training.
4. Encourage the development of employee
5. Avoid group characteristics when hiring
for person-organization fit. 16
Hold managers accountable for achieving diversity:

A high-impact diversity initiative is for top-

level organizational leaders to hold managers
accountable for diversity results at all levels.
If managers are held accountable for
behaviour and business changes in the diversity
arena, an organizational culture supportive of
diversity will begin to develop.
Accountability for diversity results when
achieving diversity objectives is included
performance appraisals and when compensation 17
is linked in part to achieving diversity results.
Establish minority recruitment
retention, and mentoring programs:

An essential initiative for building a diverse

work force is to recruit and retain members
of the targeted minority group.
Because recruiting talented members of
minority groups and women is competitive,
careful human resources planning is
Conduct diversity training:
Diversity training has become a widely used, though
controversial, method for enhancing diversity within
The purpose of diversity training is to bring about
workplace harmony by teaching people how to get
along better with diverse work associates.
Avoid group characteristics when hiring for person-
organization fit:
An important consideration in employee recruitment
and hiring is to find a good person-organizational fit,
the compatibility of the individual and the
The compatibility often centers on the extent to
which a persons major work related values and
personality traits fit major elements of the organization
Developing the multicultural
The leadership initiatives just reviewed strongly
contribute to valuing diversity.
An even more comprehensive strategy to establish
a multicultural organization.
Such a firm values cultural diversity and is willing
to encourage and even capitalize on such diversity.
Developing a multicultural organization helps
achieve the benefits of valuing diversity described
In addition, the multicultural organization helps
avoid problems stemming from diversity, such as 20
increased turnover, interpersonal conflict, and
communication breakdowns.

Pluralis Leadership

levels of
intergro structura
up l
identificatio Full
n gap based integration
on cultural of informal
identify networks

Absence of
1.Creating pluralism:
In a pluralistic organization, both minority and majority
group members are influential in creating behavioural
norms, values, and policies.
Diversity training is a major technique for achieving
2.Achieving leadership diversity:
To achieve a multicultural organization, firms must also
practice leadership diversity, the presence of a
culturally heterogeneous group of leaders.
Many global firms have already achieved leadership
diversity with respect to ethnicity.
Sex is another key area for leadership diversity, with
many organization today having women in top executive22
3.Creating full structural integration:
The objective of full structural integration is a
zero correlation between culture-group identity
and job status that is, no one should be assigned
to a specific job just because of his or her
ethnicity or gender.
4.Creating full integration of informal networks:
Minorities are often excluded from informal
networks, making it difficult for them to achieve
career advancement.
5.Creating a bias-free organization:
Bias and prejudice create discrimination, so
organizational efforts to reduce bias help prevent
6.Organizational identification:
In a multicultural organization, there
is a zero correlation between the
cultural identity group and levels of
organizational identification.
7.Minimizing intergroup conflict:
To achieve a multicultural
organization, conflict must be at
healthy levels.