The measurement of the Important of the five global leadership skills in leading MNCs in time of recession

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The measurement of the Important of the

five global leadership skills in leading MNCs in time of recession

 

Abstract:

Purpose- to investigate the change of the five global leadership skills in the leading MNCs in term of recession through quantitative measurement and surveys

Design/methodology/approach- descriptive and casual approaches of research are utilized to facilitate the study

Findings- quantitative results shows the change of focus in different leadership skills

Research limitations/implications- possible lack of cover of all the CEO and senior management because of the accessibility to them

Originality/value- observation about the shift of focus of the five global leadership skills due to the economic crisis

Keywords- leadership skills in recession, global leadership, leadership skills, five global leadership skills, core leadership skills, leading MNC CEOs

Paper type- research type

 

List of charts and figures

 

Chart 1.0 Major roles and core functions of leadership……………………………….7

 

Figure 1.0 Dr. Adalat Khan’s five core global leadership skills……………………….8

 

 

 

Content page

Abstract:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

List of charts and figures………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

1.     Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

1.1      Background of research…………………………………………………………………….. 4

1.2      Research problems……………………………………………………………………………. 4

1.3      Research objectives………………………………………………………………………….. 5

1.4      Significant of the research…………………………………………………………………. 5

2.     Literature review……………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

2.1      Review of the leadership theories………………………………………………………. 6

2.2      Global leadership skills……………………………………………………………………… 7

3.     Research methodology……………………………………………………………………………….. 9

3.1      Research design……………………………………………………………………………….. 9

3.2      Data collection method…………………………………………………………………… 10

3.3      Sampling……………………………………………………………………………………….. 10

3.4      Measurement and calculation…………………………………………………………… 10

3.5      Data analysis technique…………………………………………………………………… 11

4.     Limitations to this research……………………………………………………………………….. 11

5.     Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………… 12

List of reference:……………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

Appendix 1.0 Questionnaire- general information………………………………………………. 14

Appendix 2.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills before recession……………. 15

Appendix 3.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills during recession……………. 16

Appendix 4.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills after recession………………. 17

1.        Introduction

 

1.1    Background of research

 

With the global recession that is going to influence the whole world in any possible way, it is easy to understand that the business sector is the area that is suffering the most no matter directly or indirectly. And how can a global leader react to this current global recession? Even though leadership skills are not a fresh topic in the area of the study of leadership, but there are not too many studies done directly to find out the change of the necessary skills of the global leaders in the time of bad economic situations. And find out the trend of the change of the leadership skills will be helpful the provide suggestions to the leaders to improve their performance in time of crisis. The change may be like this according to our commence sense: leaders are put more effort into profitability of the business in term of lay off rather than care for the employees, energy and resource will be put more on the business that is on the brink of falling rather than innovation. Even though such changes seems to be logical but these assumptions need to be supported by evidence which is what this study is trying to achieve.

 

1.2    Research problems

 

Four dimensions that will be investigated help to explain to the problems arise from these four areas in global leadership skills: recession cause difference, industry influence, management level, country origin. The problems are in many forms linked with these four areas. For example, could the preference of the leadership skills be unchanged during the term of recession? And if there are changes to the leadership skills, would these changes be similar happening to the general management level and the senior management level? Or in the same industry, would the reaction to the economic crisis in term of change of leadership skills be the same and it is similar or different to those of other industries? And whether the companies from the same country origin will demonstrate similar leadership skills focus?

 

1.3    Research objectives

 

The research objectives are in correlation with the research problems mentioned above. The research objectives of this study are shown as follows:

 

The first target is to tell the differences of the leadership skills between the senior management and the general management.

The second target is to tell the differences of the leadership skills between different industries

The third objective is to tell the differences of the leadership skills before, within and after the economic crisis

The fourth objective is to tell the differences of the leadership skills between multinational companies that are with difference country origins

 

1.4    Significant of the research

 

This research is of great significant in term of theory research and practical usage in the business sector. In the area of theory research, this research through the direct analysis to generate quantitative information about the leadership skills from the management of the multinational companies in time of crisis, it is worth study the leadership skills in such a particular situation, and such study could help and provide proof to improve the development of the leadership theory. What’s more, this study would offer substantial research result that could be studied later by any other researcher who are interested in such areas And in term of the practical usage, this study provide sufficient evidence to generate a guidance of what a leader should do in time of economic crisis or any other crisis as well as the situations would be similar. And help the leaders remain effective in term of recession which reappear from time to time and should be pay attention to and well prepare.

 

2.        Literature review

 

2.1    Review of the leadership theories

 

Below I will try to briefly introduce four major influential leadership theories that playing important roles in the development of leadership in the history and some of them still widely accepted today. The first leadership theory is the trait theory which is originated from the great man theory that first introduced by Thomas Carlyle (1840) in his famous book: On heroes, hero-worship and the heroic in history. The most basic presumption of the trait theory is that leadership qualities are inherited inside the leaders who are usually from the higher class of the society (Pierce & Newstorom 2006, p.69). Such qualities are also known as traits, and according to the traits theory, these traits are born with the leaders. Even though this theory cannot dominant the leadership theory as it did in the late 19th century, but it still worth study as it still makes sense in some perspective. The second leadership style is the behavioral leadership. This kind of leadership explains that leaders are leaders because of the bundle of things that they do not because of who they are. Under these rational leaders could be cultivated to do the right things which will make them good leaders. The third kind of leadership that is now very popular is the functional leadership. In this theory, leaders are those who contribute to the improvement of the efficiency of the company. The model says that leadership function should meet the demand in three areas: task, team and individuals. The fourth kind of leadership that I like to introduce is the situational leadership styles which hold the viewpoint that leadership should not be static and should be adaptable according to different situations. One representative model of the situational leadership is Fieldler’s contingency theory (Fieldler 1967). In Fieldler’s view both task-oriented and relationship-oriented leaders can be effective if their leadership orientation well fit the situations.

 

2.2    Global leadership skills

 

In the book Leadership Skills, John Adair (1997) list eight core functions of leadership as described in the chart below that that he believe could fulfill the three major roles of a leader: achieving the task, building and maintaining the team and developing the individuals. And in his theory, John Adair holds that leadership skills are to perform these eight functions of an ideal leader. Brian Phelps (2000) listed 11 skills which are getting and giving information, understanding group needs and characteristics, knowing and understanding group resources, controlling the group and so on.

 

Chart 1.0 Major roles and core functions of leadership

 

While these skills are applicable to the general leadership, there are questions about whether these skills are still working well to demonstrate the ability that a global leader need to have to perform well as a excellent global leader, Dr. Adalat Khan (2007) condemned these 11 skills to five skills according to the global business environment in which a global leader performs. The five global leadership skills shown as follows:

 

Cultural sensitivity Diversity management Adaptability and innovation Profitability and productivity management Continuity

Figure 1.0 Dr. Adalat Khan’s five core global leadership skills

 

As commented by Dr. Adalat Khan, these five core leadership skills are required to be an effective global leader. Below these five important skills which are the major concern and topic in this research will be elaborated for the purpose of clarification to the basic concepts to provide better explanation of the academic background of research.

 

Cultural sensitivity is probably the most important leadership skill for a leader that leads people in another cultural system. The ability of cultural sensitivity enable a global leader to step out of the culture system in which he or she is familiar and step into the different foreign cultural system in which the firm is operating. For instance, Chinese cultural is a typical eastern culture that has major differences with the western culture. Communication way in the Chinese is indirect (Bian 1997), people need to spend a lot of effort and time to think about the implications that others may express. When many leading multinational companies are from the western countries such as United States of American, then leaders need to have the cultural sensitivity to understand and further perform the leadership functions under foreign cultural systems.

 

Diversity management is defined as the process that designed to create and maintain a positive work environment where the similarities and differences of individuals are valued (U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs 2010). When a multinational company usually operate in a foreign environment, it is very important to adopt measures to ensure that the minority of the company feel that they are respected.

 

Adaptability and innovation as a characteristic is not only critical to a global leader, but it is also critical to the company which is why there are so many companies that keep the innovation as a long lasing strategy of the companies because innovation will keep the companies in leading positions among the hyper competitions.

 

The significance of profitability and productivity management are of self evident as these skills are actually meaning the same thing which is to keep the company running well and generate money for the shareholders which is the basic function and target of the existence of the for profit company rather than non for profit organizations which seek to fulfill social target other than making money.

 

The last skill, continuity is important to keep the leadership in continuity after a leader leave the company. This is important because it will incurred lost if the succession of the leadership is interrupted because of the leave of a particular leader because the company need to continues after the change of any leaders.

 

3.        Research methodology

 

The research methodology will be stated as below in five sectors:

 

3.1    Research design

 

Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, will be the best and ideal research measure that will be used to calculate the quantitative result about the importance of each of the five leadership skills under the recession business and economy environment. What is more, casual research could not so be use together with the descriptive research to better measure the importance of the five global leadership skills in different ways.

 

3.2    Data collection method

 

Self report close ended questionnaires will be chosen as major ways to collect the information about the importance of the five global leadership skills which had been mentioned above. The sample of the questionnaires is shown in appendix 2 at the end of this research report.

 

3.3    Sampling

 

With an expectation of the difficulties to access a large number of multinational companies which is further restricted by the human power that could be used in the survey, rather than focus on the number of the sampling, this survey adopts another way of focus to focus on the research depth of each sample. This means that we will put our effort to those available and accessible multinationals, and invite their senior managers, CEOs, presidents and those who have experiences to deal with the business in many different countries. Still our survey will have 20 samples of the large multinational companies that we could visit in Malaysia. And there is no limitation on the industries of selection even though we avoid research to many companies that are in the same industry for the sake of coverage the more industries the better.

 

3.4    Measurement and calculation

 

The measurement and the calculation work in a single sample in a company will be done in two categories: Senior management and general management. The result of a company could be summarized by combining these two categories. And in this way, every industry and every country origin companies could be analysis with other industries and companies with different country origins. These could be achieved by filling the general information in the appendix 1 which will group the people that attend the questionnaire. What is more, totally score of each leadership skills could also be reached through calculation of all the questionnaires.

 

3.5    Data analysis technique

 

When the survey and calculation is finished, then we will have the list of scores which the leaders attach to the five global leadership skills according to their management experience. As mentioned above, comparison within the company (scores by the general management and those by senior management), within the industry, within the same country origin could be made within this study. The most valuable and useful way of utilize and analyze these data is through comparison between the score between the company that are making sound profit and those that are suffering loss due to the economic crisis. What’s more, if possible comparison could also be made between the data that exist before the economic crisis and that we have in this research in time of recession.

 

4.        Limitations to this research

 

As mentioned above, the target of the survey will be locked to the management of the multinational companies that could be accessed in Malaysia. The limitations to this research are also to some extent apparent. Due to the restriction of the resource available such as human power and lack of good relationship with the targeted multinational companies, only some of these multinational companies may accept our survey which will take some time of their management, there is limited cover of the many multinational companies. What is more, on the other hand, when we try to extent this survey to the management of the companies, we may not pass our questionnaire straight to the CEO. And probably it is hard to access to them, then compromises will be made under such circumstances. Instead some of the managers and senior will answer the questionnaire for their CEOs which are truly the ones that this survey is targeting at.

 

5.        Conclusion

 

Despite that there are obvious limitations that could not be easily handled, but with effort to put the questionnaire under control according to the plan and schedule, this survey if carefully executive accordingly, there will be satisfactory results in my expectation. And such results provide a particular perspective on the leadership skills in the global environment in time of recession. And it will of use in the study of global leadership in the future and make up the field of the research of the leadership skills when the economy is slowing down. And it also implies what the leaders should do and focus in the recession or economy crisis.

 

 

List of reference:

 

Bian, Y. 1997 Bringing Strong Ties Back in: Indirect Ties, Network Bridges, and Job Searches in China, American Sociological Review, Vol. 62, No. 3 (Jun., 1997), pp. 366-385

 

Carlyle, T. 1840, On heroes, hero-worship and the heroic in history, Frederick A. Stokes & Brother, New York

 

Fieldler, F.E., 1967, A theory of leadership effectiveness. McGraw-Hill: Harper and Row Publishers Inc, New York

 

Khan, A 2007, Global Leadership Skills, published on 23rd May 2007, accessed on 21rd May, 2010 [online] accessed from: http://www.greatmanagement.org/articles/40/1/Global-Leadership-Skills/Page1.html

 

Pierce J. L. & Newstorom J. W. 2006, Leaders & The Leadership Process: Readings, Self- Assessments & Applications, 4th edn, Mc Graw Hill, New York, p.69

 

Phelps, B. 2000, Resources for Leadership. 5th Edition. Interaction Associates, San Francisco

U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 2010, Diversity management. Accessed on 21st May 2010, [online] accessed from http://www.diversity.hr.va.gov/glossary.htm

 

 

Appendix 1.0 Questionnaire- general information

 

Name:  
Gender: Male / Female
Age:  
Position in the company:  
Nationality:  
Education level: High school, Degree, Post graduates,
Industry type:  
No of employee:  
Origin of the company  

 

 

Appendix 2.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills before recession

 

Before the current economic recession, how much score will you attach to the five leadership skills to mark the importance of them to your leadership according to your management experience as a global leader, please score:

 

 

Global leadership skills Score (100 is full mark): 0-100
Cultural sensitivity  
Diversity management  
Adaptability and innovation  
Profitability and productivity management  
Continuity (to keep the consistence after you step down)  

 

 

Appendix 3.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills during recession

 

During the current economic recession, how much score will you attach to the five leadership skills to mark the importance of them to your leadership according to your management experience as a global leader Please score:

 

Global leadership skills Score (100 is full mark): 0-100
Cultural sensitivity  
Diversity management  
Adaptability and innovation  
Profitability and productivity management  
Continuity (to keep the consistence after you step down)  

 

 

Appendix 4.0 Questionnaire- five global leadership skills after recession

 

In the future after the current economic recession, how much score do you think you would attach to the five leadership skills to mark the importance of them to your leadership according to your management experience as a global leader Please score:

 

Global leadership skills Score (100 is full mark): 0-100
Cultural sensitivity  
Diversity management  
Adaptability and innovation  
Profitability and productivity management  
Continuity (to keep the consistence after you step down)