Various studies prove that cultural differences translate into different
work-related attitudes (Nel, Werner, Haasbroek, Poisat, Sono & Schultz,
2008:176). It is imperative that inter-cultural understanding is understood in
these diverse workplaces.
cross-cultural literature has generally stressed a strong connection between
culture and leadership styles. There has been a plethora of country-specific
and cross- cultural comparative studies to examine the relationship between
culture and management styles, including leader-
Wright, & Aditya, 1997).
Leading across cultural
divides around the
globe requires the
leader and the organisation possess
specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that include technical and organisational
knowledge and particular interpersonal skills (Manning, 2003).
According to Manning, the most important skill that leaders need in a
global leadership environment is that skill termed relationship competence.
This skill of relationship competence is one where the best in people are
brought out and where trust is build through connections (Manning).
Developing relationships is not an easy task. The leader must be
approachable and sometimes, the leader must listen more than anything else. It is
through listening that
the leader is
able to discover
much about an individual
and establish a relationship with that individual. Leadership is about relationships and
cultivating those relationships.
By utilizing attachment theory, the organisation is able to utilise
previously gained experiences to analyse the business environment with an
optimism that allows the organisation to grow (Manning, 2003). It also suggests
that an organisation would be able to ascertain which organisational leaders
are secure, thus finding leaders that are able to be more relationship-oriented
instead of the typical task-oriented leader (Manning).
Manning holds that organisations are too attached to sending leaders into
a global environment that are technical and organisational experts instead of
people that are experts in interpersonal relationships. By utilizing numerous
assessments and tools, organisations can evaluate the cultural sensitivity of
leaders before they are sent on international assignments, thus the organisation
is able to provide these leaders the needed training, development, and educational
opportunities so the individual
can operate in and be sensitive to the local culture of the community and the employees