Primer on International Business
To successfully compete in the international market, business organizations must employ skilled leaders to manage key positions. These leaders should understand the cross-cultural dimensions and processes to succeed (Ahlstrom and Bruton 4). This implies that, for any international firm to emerge as a winning organization, it must have excellent, knowledgeable and competent leadership to properly guide its diverse groups of employees. The global leaders should energize their employees beyond task accomplishment.
Internationally, corporate management faces the current environment that is unpredictable, uncontrollable and uncertain (Ahlstrom and Bruton 4). These kinds of environments necessitate that corporations should have leaders who clearly understand the international environment. Therefore, management leadership becomes essential while addressing the current uncertainties present in the complex international market environment.
Conversely, international business leaders have to overcome their local and national backgrounds to familiarize themselves with the environments in which they undertake their businesses. This helps them to be responsible for their employees as they will provide them with motivation to meet the organization’s goals. However, the international environment is influenced by information access, technology and global financial changes (Ahlstrom and Bruton 26).
Factors influencing international leadership
International leaders are assessed through different perspectives while evaluating their performances. For instance, the superior perspective entails the leader’s actions with respect to the immediate superior expectations. Within the international management milieu, the leaders’ actions in executing organizations’ strategies are assessed based on the domestic hierarchy expectations (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). Moreover, international leadership is influenced by peers’ viewpoints. The peers evaluate international leaders based on their expectations and cultural heritage. International leaders are further influenced by subordinate perspectives. A leader might be influenced by the way the evaluation of the employees’ composition under the leader’s supervision is conducted.
Due to cultural diversity, employees may have varied expectations from the leader. Basing leadership evaluation on such expectations might significantly influence international leadership (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). Assessing the leader’s performance based on the organizational cultural expectations has comparable influences on leadership. The leader’s aggregate expectations may differ from the perspectives of individuals within the organization. Thus, assessing the leader on what is expected of him becomes essential because of international environmental constraints.
From the factors, it is essential to consider various perspectives while assessing the performance of international leadership. In fact, it is indispensable to include the expectations of numerous groups during performance evaluation (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). The variations in the international environments represent the cultural diversity among the groups. Every group is composed of expatriates and nationals of the host country each having different expectations.
Personal values such as affiliation, competitiveness, corporation and achievement including a sense of accomplishment, are essential ingredients of leadership. The leadership issues within the context of international management are extremely vital when personal values of leaders are either consistent or inconsistent with those of the employees under their supervision, superiors and peers (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). In situations where there is cultural heterogeneity within the international workforce, there is an increased probability of having diverse perspectives especially towards the leader’s personal values. This diversity may influence the leader’s effectiveness.
Usually, the personal characteristics of the leader, his cultural heritage and past experience have direct effects on the leader’s capability as regards to leading others. Characters such as task motivation, social and interpersonal skills, motivation to lead, being supportive of group task as well as track record and reputation are essential when examining leaders in innumerable cultures (Moran et al. 31). The composition of individual characteristics essential to lead is supposed to be carefully examined and proven before sending a leader to manage an organization in different cultures
Managing Employees as Individuals
A leader’s capability in intercultural communication is an essential personal skill that international leaders need in their assignment. An effective inter-cultural communicator has the ability of setting the communication objectives. Inter-cultural communications affect the way the leader relates to the employees. This includes the way the leader gives instructions to the employees, the approach used by the leader to motivate employees as well as how the leader makes employees think and conduct business (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). Of great essence is the way employees relate to the whole business and between them (Ahlstrom and Bruton 40). Therefore, it is important for global business managers to understand the communication processes within their organizations.
International leaders should also be in a position to motivate employees under their supervision (Ahlstrom and Bruton 73). The leader should ensure that all those people working under his supervision are directed towards the organization’s goal. This can only be achieved through positive motivations including giving rewards and promotions to hardworking workforces. Moreover, an international leader should ensure that its employees are properly remunerated and such recompenses should be capable of meeting the employee’s needs (Moran et al. 31). An international leaders must always be supportive and take into consideration the concerns of the employees.
Ahlstrom, David and Garry Bruton. International Management: Strategy and Culture in the Emerging World Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
Moran, Robert, Philip Harris and Sarah Moran. Managing Cultural Differences: Global Leadership Strategies for Cross-Cultural Business Success, Elzevir, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2010. Print.