The Impact of Culture on Cross-Cultural Leadership

Social IssuesCulture

  • Author Nathaline Poquie
  • Published March 13, 2023
  • Word count 1,494


As organizations become more culturally diverse, it is more crucial than ever to be able to bring disparate followers together (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Organizational operations and recruiting are becoming more globally distributed, and communication technology has made cross-cultural engagement commonplace (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). Although cultural diversity may broaden employees' perspectives, it is more frequently seen as a challenge (Lingenfelter, 2008). Organizations need to encourage cooperation among varied individuals, and leadership may provide a solution since it entails a range of interpersonal behaviors that enable leaders to bring followers together in the pursuit of a common objective by balancing individual and group interests (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Evidence demonstrates that followers value leaders that display transformational leadership traits around the globe and that transformational leadership may enhance team outcomes for teams with diverse cultural backgrounds (Gill, 2012). There needs to be more knowledgeable regarding cross-cultural transformational leadership behavior (Robbins, 1996). No research has examined the degree of universality of transformational leadership, and many cultural studies have methodological flaws that restrict their dependability and generalizability (Caligiuri, 2012). The best leaders are those whose followers hardly even know they exist but who accomplish tasks and achieve goals without mentioning to others in the organization that they did so on their own (Lingenfelter, 2008). To make a vision a reality, a leader must inspire his team to work toward it. If a leader's behaviors encourage others to strive harder, give more, and dream bigger while demonstrating their leadership abilities (Yates, & Oliveira, 2016).


Team leaders' important role is fostering a welcoming environment for all members. Be respectful, affirm their worth, and invite them to make use of their skills; be humble, courteous, and receptive to new information and perspectives; there is always something to gain from working across cultural boundaries (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Staff members are more likely to feel secure in their work environment and to respect you as a leader if they know you value cultural diversity. Being genuinely curious about other cultures that are substantially different from one's own is one of the most crucial attributes of cross-cultural leadership (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). For instance, leaders should be open to the idea that people from different cultures would each bring their work style and communication challenges to the table (Caligiuri, 2012). Leadership in a multicultural setting offers opportunities for personal and professional development. Leaders and managers confront their own set of obstacles (Gill, 2012). However, they can still do what it takes to keep their teams highly motivated, inspired, and encouraged so that they can help the business achieve its objectives and improve its bottom line. After all, these are the qualities that define an effective leader (Robbins, 1996).

Further, a strong sense of tenacity, curiosity, and willingness to study new perspectives are required to create cross-cultural leadership qualities that embrace the various ethnicities, faiths, races, and civilizations (Gill, 2012). It's about recognizing and understanding the role that one's own biases play in the workplace and appreciating the effort that has gone into altering our perspective on those with different backgrounds (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). By keeping an open mind and providing a welcoming environment for all team members to succeed, it is possible to foster a genuine feeling of community inside the group (Lingenfelter, 2008).

Despite the importance of cultural exchange and the broad acknowledgment of the importance of cultural capital or cultural intelligence for the success of enterprises, only some studies have examined the effects of cultural exchange on the building industry (Lingenfelter, 2008). Due to the potentially detrimental effects of a lack of understanding of cross-cultural challenges on projects, this topic needs to be addressed (Caligiuri, 2012). Researchers, for instance, have argued that the global market is a dangerous place to engage with people of different cultural backgrounds (Robbins, 1996). Mutual trust, negotiation, decision-making, dispute resolution, and other working practices are to be considerably mediated by cultural distances among project participants (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). Therefore, some academics argue that such great lengths should be seen as fraught with cultural risk and that managerial effort and resources should be devoted to lessen or eliminate it (Fedler, 2006).

However, the essence of cross-cultural leadership is the ability to accept individuals as they are, to accept their culture, to be open-minded and flexible when making decisions, and to be a leader across cultures (Caligiuri, 2012). Developing cultural agility and other forms of cross-cultural leadership is a process, not a one-time thing (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). As a leader in a cross-cultural context, you must be able to guide your team forward while still respecting their unique backgrounds and values (Gill, 2012). The leader's cultural background affects their ability to see things from the perspective of their followers, make sound decisions, establish effective lines of communication, and negotiate differences in cultural power (Fedler, 2006). Cross-cultural training, identifying and using experience growth opportunities, and deliberate participation in international assignments are ways leaders can hone their cultural competence (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). Leaders should institute policies that actively seek out and hire people from a wide range of backgrounds, and they should also encourage teams to engage with one another in ways that reflect this diversity (Lingenfelter, 2008). Leaders need to be able to delegate authority and trust their subordinates (Fedler, 2006). Culture can be the make-or-break factor in a leader and an organization's success, so every leader needs to keep in mind that developing cultural adaptability is essential in cross-cultural leadership(Robbins, 1996).


Finally, the topic of cross-cultural competence remains widely explored in the literature. Numerous scholars have provided multiple descriptions of cross-cultural competencies as a set of actions, the body of information, or abilities (Fedler, 2006). As a result of the federal government's efforts to control the public health and education of minorities, there has been a resurgence of interest in cross-cultural competency in the workplace (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). According to academics, exploring intercultural communication difficulties naturally leads to exploring cross-cultural competence (Caligiuri, 2012). The importance of developing employees' cross-cultural competence is being discussed not only in the realm of education but also in the realm of international business. Doing business with people of different cultural backgrounds has long been regarded as requiring high levels of cross-cultural competency. Although it is not required for success, cultural competency is essential for any company that seeks to be inclusive and engage in foreign and domestic collaborations (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). Cultural intelligence is closely linked to cross-cultural competency. The capacity to adjust one's behavior in response to interactions with people from different cultural backgrounds is a measure of cultural intelligence (Robbins, 1996). Working well on multicultural teams requires the four facets of cultural intelligence: metacognition, cognition, motivation, and conduct. Researchers that subscribe to the concept that one is culturally intelligent agree with Early's interpretation of the term (Caligiuri, 2012). Leaders are culturally intelligent if they are receptive to new ideas and perspectives. As another illustration, their receptivity to the local culture has influenced them to adopt a more empathetic attitude and good mannerisms when engaging with natives (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010). Cultural intelligence has been defined as the extent to which a group of people can effectively communicate with one another and handle challenging situations across cultural boundaries (Caligiuri, 2012). The ability to acquire new behavioral repertoires is essential to cultural intelligence (Lingenfelter, 2008). Rather than focusing on how to use this knowledge in real life, the behavioral aspect of cultural intelligence emphasizes learning and practicing the right actions (Yates, & Oliveira, 2016). Rather than assuming that an individual will learn and become independently conversant with different cultures' norms, beliefs, and practices, cultural intelligence assists and directs individuals toward developing their overall perspective within a multicultural setting (Gill, 2012). One's IQ can be broken down into multiple sub-scores, one devoted to gauging one's cultural intelligence. An individual's cultural intelligence can measure emotional sensitivity, also called emotional intelligence (Robbins, 1996). Cultural intelligence isn't concerned with how students feel but with how they can best serve the group (Yates, & Oliveira, 2016).


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I am Nathaline Poquie, a doctorate student. this is my first time submitting a written article online, and pray that my readers will enjoy reading my article.

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