Developing behavioural complexity among global leaders: an international, cross-continental study
Conway, Edel and Monks, Kathy and Buckley, Finian and Bagram, Jeff and Barrister, Brendan (2006) Developing behavioural complexity among global leaders: an international, cross-continental study. LInK Working Paper Series. (Paper No. 02-06). The Learning, Innovation and Knowledge Research Centre, Dublin City University, Ireland.
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Research evidence exists which indicates that the degree to which managers can develop behavioural complexity is linked to more effective leadership and higher firm performance. Behavioural complexity relates to the capacity for managers or leaders to engage in a wide repertoire of behaviours which will enable them to both maintain continuity and lead change. This paper sets out to explore differences in behavioural complexity among managers across different international contexts and across genders. It examines managers’ perceptions of how they relate to people, manage
processes, lead change and produce results (i.e. their behavioural complexity). The research forms part of a wider investigation into the impact of management education
on individual and organisational outcomes. It draws on a survey of managers from three countries and a variety of organisational settings (N= 286). The findings show
that there are differences in behavioural complexity both across genders and across international contexts. Specifically, it finds evidence to suggest that female managers adopt a stronger internal focus (i.e. on managing processes), compared to males who adopt a stronger external focus (e.g. on producing results). In addition, the findings
indicate that scores along the ‘relating to people’ dimension are significantly lower among managers in the US, compared to the other managers in the sample.
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