Leadership is an essential aspect of management. In every organization, leaders are important to ensure that employees drive towards the right direction. The purpose of this research report is to demonstrate the understanding and critical evaluation of leadership theories. It will take into account different cross culture factors in power relations within organizations. The study takes into consideration, Fulwood Motors PLC. which is a UK based company. The management is deciding to enter into the Chinese and Japanese markets. For that purpose they are identifying the factors which are to be considered in the appointment of managers for the new sites.
Different types of factors will have to be taken into account by the Fulwood PLC, while appointing a local manager or relocating an existing manager. The situations for appointing a local individual will be different from relocating an existing individual.
Factors to be considered for local manager
Experience – A person appointed as the manager for the new site must have the required experience in the automobile industry. He must be well familiar with the business conditions under which Fulwood Motors is operating (Deng and Gibson, 2009). However, the local manager will not be facing many difficulties because it is expected that he would be well familiar with the local market. If he has the required experience, then he will be able to deliver good performance within the business. Having good experience will contribute towards gaining profitability and productivity in the new market (Emrich, Denmark and Den Hartog, 2004).
Communication skills – Presence of good communication skills are very important for a manager. Good communication helps in making the clients of the business happy and satisfied. Through effective communication, manager can motivate the employees to make hard efforts towards achieving the goals and objectives of the business. Sound communication also results in effective decision making (Grisham and Walker, 2008).
Creative & innovative – Further the new local manager is required to be creative and innovative in his approaches. These skills are essential to check whether he remains upgraded with the latest knowledge or not (Deng and Gibson, 2008). He must be updated with all trends and developments in the automobile industry. Apart from that whenever business demands, he is required to demonstrate creativity and innovation in different activities.
Presence of leadership skills – While appointing the new local manager, the Plc must have to check whether the candidate has the required leadership skills or not. He must be competent enough to handle a team of several people (Gupta, MacMillan and Surie, 2004). He should know how to get the things done for others. He is required to be a source of motivation and inspiration for the employees. Hence this will bring profitability and productivity for the business.
Factors to be considered in relocation
Differences in culture – It is not easy for a person to relocate from the existing place to an unknown place. Fulwood Plc. will have to be very careful while relocating their existing manager for the purpose of taking the leadership of a new site (Goble and Horm, 2010). It is evident that there are differences in culture, thoughts and beliefs of the people of UK, Japan and China. Every country has its own culture, beliefs and traditions. This difference in culture may create issues for the relocated manager as he may not be able to cope up with the conditions of the new market. This is because culture speaks the mindset of the people and the people speak what they believe (Management: Developing Self Management Skills. 2007).
Language barrier – Another big limitation is the language barriers or we can say the communication constraints. The new manager may face language issues as he will be relocating to new countries like Japan and China (Gomez, 2011). He may face difficulties in making communication with the customers. This may result in lack of communication and even lead to conflicts. It will also affect the decision making.
Economic conditions – Another factor to be considered by Fulwood Plc is the economic conditions of the new market. It is expected that economic conditions of Japan and China may influence the newly appointed manager (Finkelestein and et. al., 2009). Factors such as income level, living standard, purchasing power, GDP, demographic conditions, etc. will affect the living of manager in the new market.
Factors to be considered while deciding the type of individual
Interpersonal skills – Company should consider that appointed managers must have required interpersonal skills needed for working at the new sites. Interpersonal skills include skills related to communication, personality, attitude, behaviour, dedication, discipline etc. (Fugate, 2012). First of all, taking entry into the new market is not at all easy because there are issues related with communication and language. The managers must have good communication skills for the purpose of interacting with new people and clients. Hard work and dedication are needed to survive in the Chinese and Japanese market conditions (Throop and Castellucci, 2010). Further good managerial skills are also required from them. They are required to handle each and every situation by showing good managerial skills.
Leadership skills – One of the major requirements from the side of the company is presently of effective leadership skills within managers. They have to come up with a different leadership style for taking an entry into new markets. They must be competent enough to handle a team of subordinates (Gannon and Newman, (Eds.)., 2002). For this purpose they will also have to show good delegation skills. He must be able to properly delegate all the duties and responsibilities keeping in mind the skills of every employee. A suitable style of leadership is to be adopted by them (Penley and Ao, 2006). As leaders it is expected from them that they would contribute greatly towards the success of Fulwood Plc.
Competency – It is another major factor which is to be considered while selecting managers for locations of China and Japan. High level of competency is needed from the new managers as the company is taking entry into the new market (Snaebjornsson and et.al., 2015). They must be competent enough to deal with the complex market conditions of both the nations. Competency is required to be shown in all activities which they will perform in the new markets.
Ability to handle the pressure – As discussed earlier, it is not easy to take entry into the new market. The new managers will have to deal with a great amount of pressure and anxiety (Thomas, 2002). It may not be possible for them to cope with new market conditions. Japanese and Chinese are very large size market and are surrounded with many complexities. That complex business environment may create many business hurdles for the new managers. Hence, managers must know how to handle such kind of pressure because they are required to deal at the global level (Bird and Fang 2009). At the global level the market conditions are different from the UK market conditions.
Flexibility – The appointed manager must have the flexibility to adopt the new market conditions. He should have the skills to tackle the external market conditions. Flexibility ensures that individuals can work in any business environment, whether it is favourable or not (Christensen, 2002). This will contribute towards achieving the goals and objectives of the company. It has been discussed in the case that there are issues of pollution in the Asian countries. These issues will act as a sign of concern for the company. It can be a big hindrance to the business of the Fulwood Plc; hence, there will be a need of managers who can show great adaptability skills towards the new business environment (Kirkman and et.al., 2009).
Experience – The appointed manages must have the required experience in the automobile industry. It is essential to understand the business conditions of new markets under which company is making efforts to get an entry (Moran, Harris and Moran, 2011). Working at the global is not that easy, it requires huge concentration and focus. High amount of experience will result in improved profitability and productivity. Experienced managers will be able to perform in a better manner as compared to non-experienced. High experience always brings better business results for the company (Pellegrini, Scandura. and Jayaraman, 2010).
Technical skills – Presence of these kills is also very important so that managers can effectively understand the use of new technologies. It is evident that technology is changing in a rapid manner (Deng and Gibson, 2009). The automobile industry is also very dynamic and vibrant in nature and technology changes rapidly in this industry also. The appointed managers must have the required technical skills in order to meet with the changing conditions. It will also provide help to other employees and they will also contribute positively towards the business (Emrich, Denmark and Den Hartog, 2004).
Decision making - These skills are very essential for the survival of an individual. The managers must have the ability to make decisions in a sound manner. Under business, sometimes it is important to make complex decisions and that requires efficient decision making skills (Management: Developing Self Management Skills. 2007). Before employing the managers, the company must check their decision making skills.
Critically evaluate the cultural issues
Different types of cultural issues are to be considered by the organization while identifying the style of leadership for the new managers:
Roles and responsibilities – It is essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of people while adopting a suitable style of leadership (Finkelestein and et. al., 2009). The delegation of roles and responsibilities is to be done in a good manner. The responsibilities are to be delegated through taking into consideration the talent and potential of the employees. Giving responsibilities beyond their limit will be ineffective and can produce bad results. The responsibility should be given to those only who know how to handle it (Throop and Castellucci, 2010).
Difference in culture – It is evident that in the UK, Japan and China, there is a great difference in the culture. The new managers may face issues because people in Japan and China belong to different culture and there is a lot of difference in their thoughts and beliefs (Penley and Ao, 2006). These differences may create lots of complexities for the managers. Culture speaks the mindset of the people and the people speak what they believe. Due to these differences, there are chances of conflicts and troubles within the company. The leadership style is to be adapted taking all these into consideration (Bird and Fang 2009).
Different personalities – Every individual carries his own identity. The person is identified by his or her attitude. A company may find employees in the new market who may be different in many ways. Some of them would be soft nature, cool nature and some may be of an aggressive nature (Kirkman and et.al., 2009). This type of distinctiveness will definitely affect the functioning of the expansion project. Hence this factor is to be taken into account seriously and situations of differences must be avoided. This will work for the betterment of the project.
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Consistency in the leadership – Leaders must appoint a style which is of consistent nature. Inconsistency may lead to dissatisfaction among the employees (Pellegrini, Scandura. and Jayaraman, 2010). It may also create confusion and disturbances in the minds of people. They will not be able to understand what is happening around them. Consistency helps in creating performance standards for the employees. It sets a level where employees make efforts to reach it.
Lack of communication – Another culture issue faced by the company is lack of communication. Working at the global level is not easy and it comes with certain drawbacks. Lack of communication may arise due to difference in cross culture and language (Deng and Gibson, 2009). It is possible that managers may not be able to understand properly what is required from the Chinese employees or Japanese employees. Working at the global level requires effective communication in all the activities. The interaction between managers and employees will get weaker if they are not able to integrate in a proper manner (Emrich, Denmark and Den Hartog, 2004).
Leadership style – Company must ensure that their appointed managers must adopt an appropriate leadership style in order to deal with the global business conditions. It is expected that all employees must listen to them carefully and follow their footsteps. The communication is required to be strong between the employees and leaders (Management: Developing Self Management Skills. 2007). Managing people at the global level may be extremely difficult because of the many differences. This may lead to different kinds of disputes which may be difficult to solve by the managers. Further lack of leadership can also result in failure of the project. Hence an appropriate leadership style is to be adopted keeping in mind the nature of the team. They must know how to get the things done for others (Snaebjornsson and et.al., 2015).
Differences in skills and competencies – The team appointed for the expansion projects may consist of team members who may belong to different countries. Again, there may be lots of difference in their skills and efficiencies. It is expected that every individual must be experts of his own area (Moran, Harris and Moran, 2011). When they all will work together, differences may arise on several aspects. It is possible that they may raise doubts on each other talent and skills. Heated arguments may take place as everyone will try to prove each other’s point of view. Hence in such cases, managers must make efforts to make optimum utilization of skills of employees. It will also have an impact on the quality of the project (Pellegrini, Scandura. and Jayaraman, 2010).
Motivation – Offering motivation to employees at the global level is also very difficult. It is essential for the company to make efforts for providing motivation in order to gain effective performance for the workers (Deng and Gibson, 2009). In the present context, due to globalization and complex business scenarios, it is really difficult for the organization to offer motivation. In the absence of it, employees get frustrated and disappointed. This dissatisfaction results in poor performance and low commitment towards their job. It is to be noted that motivation is an essential part of the business and it cannot be ignored by the company (Emrich, Denmark and Den Hartog, 2004). Hence it can be given in the form of rewards, incentives, appreciation, training & development, more opportunities. The managers must give a chance to every employee to display his talent and this will motivate them.
Relevant and feasible recommendations
Several types of relevant and feasible recommendations can be made to the managing director regarding improvements. These recommendations are as follows:
It is to be recommended that managers must appoint an appropriate leadership style to handle the global business conditions in Japan and China. For that purpose, it will be beneficial to use a combination of autocratic & democratic leadership styles. Autocratic style of leadership will help the managers in maintaining a controlled and disciplined environment in the business (Goble and Horm, 2010). It can be adopted in the conditions, when there is a requirement of taking some disciplinary actions. While on the other side, democratic style of leadership can be applied when there is a need of participation of employees in the process. In complex situations, views and opinions of the employees can be demanded so that they can help in solving the issues (Snaebjornsson and et.al., 2015).
Managers will encounter with different cultural issues while working at the global level. Hence, these cultural issues can be solved by measuring the performance of the business at every level (Management: Developing Self Management Skills. 2007). It means, by keeping complete control and monitoring over all the aspects, these issues can be accomplished. It will also help in identifying loopholes and errors at immediate point and correction actions can also be taken at that moment only.
Further, there is a requirement of good communication and delegation skills in the managers. There are many problems which may arise due to lack of communication. If communication is strong, chances of errors and mistakes will get reduced (Throop and Castellucci, 2010). Good communication also results in sound decision making. Managers must have to interact and integrate in the best manner with the employees. He should try to listen them carefully avoiding any kind of confusion. Further, it is also important to delegate the duties and responsibilities of the employees in effective manner, taking into consideration their talent and potential (Bird and Fang 2009). The duties are to be delegated within their limit but not beyond their approaches.
From the above study it can be concluded that cross cultural leadership is a difficult process. At the global level, the company has to face many difficulties and complexities. This is because the conditions at global level are different from the local market. It is essential for the company to appoint leaders who are capable of handling highly diversified team. There is a need to adopt a suitable style of leadership which matches with the business conditions. Selection is made according to the demand of the situation. The responsibilities are to be delegated through taking into consideration the talent and potential of the employees. Presence of interpersonal skills in manager is very important for the business of the organization.
Christensen, J., 2002. Cultural diversity: The lesson of Toronto’s hotels. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 33(2). pp.78-87
Deng, L., and Gibson, P., 2009. Mapping and modeling the capacities that underlie effective cross-cultural leadership: An interpretive study with practical outcomes. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal. 16(4), pp.347-366.
Deng, L., and Gibson, P., 2008. A qualitative evaluation on the role of cultural intelligence in cross-cultural leadership effectiveness. International journal of leadership studies, 3(2), pp.181-197.
Emrich, C. G., Denmark, F. L., and Den Hartog, D. N., 2004. Cross-cultural differences in gender egalitarianism: Implications for societies, organizations, and leaders. Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of, 6(2), pp.343-394.
Finkelestein, S., and et. al., 2009. Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards. Oxford University Press.
Fugate, M., 2012. The Impact of Leadership, Management, and HRM on Employee Reactions to Organizational Change. 31st ed. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Gannon, M. J. and Newman, K. (Eds.)., 2002. The Blackwell handbook of cross-cultural management (Vol. 6). Blackwell Publishing.
Goble, B. C. and Horm, M. D., 2010. Take Charge of Your Personal and Professional Development. [Pdf]. Available through: < http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201011/GobleOnline1110.pdf>. [Accessed on 4th July 2015].
Gomez, B. M., 2011. Global Leadership, Change, Organizations, and Development. iUniverse.
Grisham, T., and Walker, D. H., 2008. Cross-cultural leadership. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. 1(3), pp.439-445.
Gupta, V., MacMillan, I. C., and Surie, G., 2004. Entrepreneurial leadership: developing and measuring a cross-cultural construct. Journal of Business Venturing. 19(2), pp.241-260.
Kirkman, B. L. and et.al., 2009. Individual power distance orientation and follower reactions to transformational leaders: A cross-level, cross-cultural examination.Academy of Management Journal.52(4). Pp.744-764.
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