The business world of today is very different from the business world of years past. It is ever changing and we need to know what changes are going to take place and how to keep up with this evolution process. Researchers have completed studies on leadership and leadership theories to find the trends that are happening in leadership roles. “Most of the research on leadership during the past half century was conducted in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. However, during the past decade interest in studying leadership in non-Western cultures has increased rapidly” (Yukl, pg 436).
With a peaked interest in new leadership theories, we need to ask ourselves why the sudden interest? What is the benefit of studying other cultures? Why do we need to understand the problems that may come up in regards to gender differences? What is the importance of being a diverse organization? The answers to these questions will help us to improve our organizations. There are other looming issues other than the previous questions. One major issue is “the extent to which leadership theories developed and tested in one culture can be generalized to different cultures” (Yukl, pg 436). Each culture is very different from the next, so how can we rely on theories that have been developed and tested on one specific culture to apply to everyone? The answer is we cannot! Many organizations have grown and expanded overseas. The globalization of these growing organizations has called for a need to understand other cultures. It is important for companies to have an understanding of cross-cultural leadership. It is vital to having a business relationship in other parts of the world. We need to understand how cultural values can influence leader behavior and what are other cultures beliefs about effective leadership. Another hurdle we must leap onto is the issue of gender. The businesswomen of today are much stronger than one might think. Women have been fighting for equality for a long time. In fact August 26 of each year is designated in the United States as Women’s Equality Day. The date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920 (cite). Even though the United States may have begun to see women as equal, there are many other countries with very different cultural views that do not see women as equals. In order to have a working relationship with these countries, we need to understand their gender egalitarian values. After piecing together all the issues, we now have to do more than just muddle through the diversity. Organizations need to learn how to manage diversity. “Diversity can take many forms, including differences in race, ethnic identity, age, gender, education, socioeconomic level, and sexual orientation (Yukl, pg 453). Finding the differences and similarities in people can have a dramatic positive impact on an organization. Having a diverse work group can “increase the amount of available talent” (Yukl, pg 453). Workgroups will be able to pull ideas from all the different views. “However, diversity can also result in more distrust and conflict, lower satisfaction, and higher turnover” (Yukl, pg 453). Being able to manage a diverse organization is crucial to a successful business. We will go a little further in depth in the explanation of gender issues, diversity and cross-cultural leadership and what we need to do to in order to have a successful organization by tying all these components together. Cross Cultural Communication
Communication . . . what is it really? Defined in dictionary.com, communication is 1) the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated, and 2) the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. Can we, however, really understand all the subtle differences or distinctions in expressions, meaning, and responses that encompass communication? To conduct business...
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