Global leadership: An Analysis of three Leadership Competency Models in Multinational Corporations
McCarthy, Christine (2010) Global leadership: An Analysis of three Leadership Competency Models in Multinational Corporations. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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At a time of rapid business globalisation when leaders are required to operate in diverse international environments, it is essential for multinational corporations to appreciate the complexities leaders face and support individuals in developing the requisite competencies. How then can leaders move from one-dimensional to cross-cultural models of global leadership to encourage more fluid and contextualised international business operations?
This thesis examines extant leadership competency models (LCMs) in three multinational companies - selected from across Europe and the US – and attempts to understand how effectively these models translate across different regions and cultures. Such examination is based on semi-structured, in-depth qualitative interviews with 38 middle management and HR leaders who work across various cultural contexts in the three corporations. The underlying thesis of the study – that national culture impacts on the implementation and interpretation of LCMs – is built into analysis that highlights the ethnocentric nature of these models. For LCMs to effectively enhance leadership in global businesses, it is argued that cultural literacy and a global mindset are fundamental to LCM development.
This study fills a gap in existing research that has rarely given systematic attention to the enactment of universal LCMs in multinational organisations. It will be the purpose of this work to judge the effectiveness of leadership competencies in a cross-cultural context, and to set the ground rules for the development of multinational LCMs in the future
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