Global leadership in a culturally diverse world

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Robinson, D. A., & Harvey, M. (2008). Global leadership in a culturally diverse world. Management decision, 46(3), 466-480.

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2008 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 1503

© Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2008


Purpose – The acceleration of globalization has created a chaotic state of change as businesses struggle to adapt to new paradigms of leadership. The established tried and tested approaches may no longer be effective in a global context. Globalization demands new approaches and the challenge is to find the appropriate leadership imperatives in response to the changing problems of existence. The purpose of this paper is to address the research question: What new skills should be adopted by business leaders to empower them to deal with these new multicultural challenges occurring during globalization? The relationship between follower and leader is critical during these transitional phases.

Design/methodology/approach – A model is introduced that integrates psycho-social elements of leadership and organizational effectiveness, such as conditioning, power, duty, dependence, and ethics.

Findings – The model then provides a basis for developing appropriate leadership practices that support and enhance corporate culture. The development of values within the organization, that is to say its culture, can be plotted, as it progresses through the identifiable value stations, governed by an essential stepwise progression. Leadership effectiveness demands the pre-emption of subsequent steps and facilitation of followers' ability to adapt. These imperatives have given rise to the formulation of a values-based leadership algorithm (VBLA).

Originality/value – A systematic means for assessing the environment and the appropriate leadership style are developed, to be used as an aid in developing global leaders.

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This document has been peer reviewed.