Relevance of Leadership Theories

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Abstract

It’s not only Western enterprises that expand globally, enterprises from emerging countries are doing the same more and more organizations are expanding from a local to a global market space. Especially India is establishing itself as economic center and is rapidly becoming the new global economic superpowers. An understanding of local culture and how it affect Western leadership practices and behavior is key in order to become a successful leader, as Western enterprises continues to establish themselves into these emerging markets. In the very same way as enterprises from emerging markets need to understand the local culture when they establish themselves in Western countries. The aim of this report is to investigate what cultural factors/dimension that affect leadership in the context of multi countries as well as to investigate behavioral styles and practices leaders operating in India and see how Western leadership theories are relevant to these set up.

Introduction
In today’s world we have emerged from the industrial age, into the information age where knowledge is our most valuable assets. The rapid technological development that have enabled this information age is also affecting the pace at which change is happening in the world. The pace of change is rapidly increasing and in order for organizations to be successful they need to keep up with this pace (Schwarz & Brock, 1998). In a recent business leader review with more than 400 senior executives around the world, forty-one percentages believed that new players from emerging markets will be the main development that will have impact on the business over the coming five years (Accenture, 2010). Their conclusion is understandable, as there have been a big change in the economic power ranking during the last 20 years. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries economy has emerged and their economical power will continue to increase pushing down the economic super powers U.S. and Japan further as time goes (World Economic Forum, 2009; Accenture, 2009). The emergence of a world characterized by multiple centers of strong economic power and activity, such as the changes described above is normally referred to as a ‘multi-polar world”. As this goes on change is constant and leaders in the new economy needs to adapt new strategies in order to be successful in this economy (Accenture, 2007).

The ‘Other’ Country
With a significant rise in intercultural business across the world, understanding the ‘other’ culture and learning skills to adapt to the ‘other’ culture becomes essential. In this report the India is the ‘other’ country. As India, which is traditionally an Eastern high-context culture, also becomes integrated with the rest of the world due to this globalization phenomenon, it becomes imperative for the Indian workforce to be equipped with cross-cultural communication skills to work not just within the country, but also overseas in Western low-context cultures such as Australia. This is a skill to be adapted by not only the Indian workforce, but by the workforce in the ‘other’ culture too (such as Australia), as they prepare to work overseas, such as in India. Such cross-cultural adaptation is now a necessity, not a choice, and this places many demands on both the Indian and Australian workforce (Hebbani, 2008).

Culture and Practices in the workplace: Difference between India and Australia As many Indian executives [and employees in the general workforce] lack exposure to “other” cultures, they find it hard to adjust to a multicultural environment (Sachitanand et al., 2006). Hence, it important to understand how people belonging to different cultures, react to a given situation. For instance, differences in customary greetings may cause offence in an intercultural encounter and might be interpreted as being rude behavior (Chaney & Martin, 2004). In addition, it is important to realize that intercultural encounters...
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