MANAGING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
- An assessment of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the skills you will need to develop personally as an effective International Business Manager.
Select TWO skills from the following:
- Leadership style
- Management style
- The role of an International Manager (Expert/Influencer/ Facilitator/Support
- Managing a Multicultural Team
- Resolution of Conflict
- Giving Feedback
- Managing Stress.
- For each of your chosen skill, critically evaluate its implication for day-to-day management
- Relate it to your own personal experience – either from your own work related experience or otherwise personal experiences from any other activity
- Underpin by relevant literature i.e. use definitions from literature and quotes from authors to support your points
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses/learning requirements in relation to the skill…………
- Use Harvard referencing.
- Only include references that you have used/quoted in your report.
- Must contain some valid literature references. You will lose marks if they are all just internet references. Wikipedia is not a literary source.
In the face of rapid globalization, the role of management techniques and leadership skills has been elevated as far as success in the international business arena is concerned. Indeed, the capacity of a leader to exercise control to the effect of leading other organizational members in pursuing contextual objectives cannot be underestimated; an organization’s success or failure depends greatly on its leadership. Importantly, an effective manager ought to be able to generate a kind of atmosphere that favors development and inspires innovation among subordinates, thus increasing overall productivity and performance. This paper details an assessment of my strengths and weaknesses in relation to the leadership style and the management of a multicultural team, skills that I will need to develop personally as an effective international business manager.
According to Alabi (2013: p. 264), leadership plays a significant role in the improvement, advancement, and productivity of organizations and their employees. Organizational success largely depends on the resolutions and decisions that managers make during day-to-day running of the organization. To be an effective manager, one ought to remain ready, proactive, and flexible when choosing a suitable leadership style, for a good style complements the organizational climate as well as employees’ motivation. As Cheng et al. (2016: p. 603) assert, an organization, irrespective of industry and size, has to realize particular milestones and comprehend that the satisfaction of employees and their zeal to work in pursuance of organizational objectives greatly depends on leaders. Thus, realization of organizational goals calls for effective leaders who can not only motivate followers but also influence best values, norms, and practices more so in the international business stage (Caldwell, 2015: p. 56). To this end, the transactional leadership style is thought to be crucial in today’s globalized business environment. This is one skill that I will need to personally develop even as I yearn to become an effective international manager.
True as it were, transactional leaders are more concerned with the security and physical needs of their followers. They develop a kind of relationship with followers that is mainly pegged upon bargaining exchange, in other words a system of rewards. Elaborating more on this leadership style, Bass (1997: p.7) (one of the most respected leadership theorists) states that transactional leadership is instrumental to the attainment of goals by followers and it uses carrots or sticks. It encompasses three main elements: active management, passive management, and contingent reward(s). As regards active management, managers/leaders monitor the performance of subordinates and, where necessary, take corrective measures to ensure that set goals are pursued accordingly and achieved. On the other hand, passive management involves the failure to act so that problems eventually get more serious, even out of hand. Last yet important is the element of contingent rewards in which the performance of followers is linked to contingent rewards and the leader-follower relationship, therefore built on a system of exchanges.
Based on the aforementioned three elements, the implications of this leadership style for day-to-day management are clear. First, employees who excel or perform excellently are likely to received certain rewards such as salary increment, promotions, and more allowances as opposed to those who get nothing if they do not excel. In the same vein, there can be cases of demotion or dismissal when performance is wanting or extremely poor. The chances of problems getting out of hand when nothing is done are also high, which is a direct implication of the element of passive management in transactional leadership. Indeed, from my own personal experience, I have to admit that transactional leadership is my preferred style. I have had to apply it in running a family business, although I was not always sure when to take corrective action and when to ignore and wait for things to fall in place by themselves. Apparently, this is an area I need to do more on even as I yearn to become an effective international business manager. Nevertheless, workers at the family-owned company understand that I am a transactional leader and the kind of relationship we have established is based on rewards; so that those who do well are appreciated through promotions and salary increments while those who perform poorly risk dismissal and fines. Some of my strengths in the context of the implied relationships (hence the current leadership) include the fact that I am a listening leader who is also considerate so that I do not always rush to act without considering various situational factors. My transactional leadership is also directive in such a manner that I am able to provide followers with good guidance more especially on how to go about pursuing organizational objectives and what is generally expected of them.
Managing a Multicultural Team
Managing a multicultural team is another skill that I will need to personally develop to become an effective international business leader. According to Edewa and Aluko (2007: p. 190), “a combination of workforce demographic trends and increasing globalization of businesses has placed the management of cultural differences on the agenda of most corporate leaders”. The skill of managing culturally diverse teams is thus elevated.
Being able to manage a multicultural team has an implication for the day-to-day management of the organization in that it makes it possible to tap the potential of culturally diverse members while minimizing conflicts that are likely to arise due to multiculturalism. Indeed, this skill makes it possible to create an organizational atmosphere where members of diverse cultural backgrounds can realize their potential, thus contributing more to the realization of organizational objectives. Additionally, the ability to manage a multicultural team makes it possible to integrate minorities and those who might feel odd (because of their culture) in different structural levels within the organization, a development that would potentially get rid of the discrimination and prejudice that may be experienced by such minority groups (Edewa & Aluko, 2007: p. 190). Overall, this skill would help increase productivity and improve performance.
Reflecting upon my own personal experience, this skill has come in handy from time to time, especially some time back when I had to work on a project with members from diverse cultural backgrounds. One strength that helped me in the same regard is my good communication skills that enabled me to, as Luthra and Dahiya (2015: p. 43) put it, “motivate and inspire teammates to work hard and achieve team targets and organizational goals as well”. I also possess cultural competency which in essence means I consider cultural differences as entailing potentially different behaviors, expectations, assumptions, and values as well as experiences that members bring to the organization. Cultural differences are not weaknesses. However, a weakness that I possess in this regard (as informed by own experience) is the failure to masterfully balance between pursuing organizational objectives and recognizing, respecting, and retaining followers’ individual cultures. It is a delicate balancing act that I need to master.
In conclusion, the transactional leadership style and the ability to manage a multicultural team are skills that I need to develop personally as I yearn to become an effective international business manager. While I cannot say that I am badly off thus far I must admit there is still more that I need to do.
Alabi, G., 2012. “Understanding the relationship among leadership effectiveness, leader-member interactions and organizational citizenship behaviour in higher institutions of learning in Ghana.” Journal of International Education Research 8(3): 263–278.
Bass B.M., 1997. “Transformational leadership: Industry, military, and educational impact.” Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Caldwell, J., 2015. “Leading globally, thinking interculturally: Developing global characteristics.” Journal of Business Diversity, 15(1): 55–59.
Cheong, M., Spain, S.M., Yammarino, F.J., & Yun, S., 2016. “Two faces of empowering leadership: Enabling and burdening.” The Leadership Quarterly, 27(4), 602–616.
Edewor, P.A., & Aluko, Y.A., 2007. “Diversity management, challenges and opportunities in multicultural organizations.” International Journal of the Diversity, 6(6): 189-195.
Luthra, A., & Dahiya, R., 2015. “Effective leadership is all about communicating effectively: Connecting leadership and communication.” International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 5(3): 43-48.