Management and Leadership of Different Cultures


23 Mar 2015 11 Dec 2017

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A well recognized definition of leadership by Warren Bennis is " Leadership is the function of knowing yourself , having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential."

Globalization is defined as the absence of borders and barriers to trade, the 'crystallization of the world as a single place', or the overlapping of the interests of business and society. Globalization is a process whereby world-wide interconnections in virtually very sphere of activity are growing. This rise of these interconnections is the result of shifts that have taken place in technological, political, and economic spheres. The process of globalization means flow of people, flow of technology, flow of capital, growing economic interconnectedness. This process impacts upon regional tourism and hospitality market in many ways.

The tourism and hospitality industry brings together hosts and guests from different cultures with different characteristics, expectation and values. To improve competitive position in the global market, the industry needs to satisfy the expectations and needs of their guest. Therefore, it remains an important issue as to how well prepared the tourism and hospitality industry is to handle this flow of peoples and fusion of cultures. Globalisation has also impacted on the composition of the domestic tourism market as this now include multi-ethnic as well as multicultural migrant groups. Yet another impact of globalisation has been the multicultural workforce in the industry itself.

Globalisation changed today's hospitality industry. Due to globalisation the managers of the hospitality industry are capable to learn about various cultures as they get to mix with people from various aspect of life and therefore, develop knowledge of them. Due to globalisation the guest base has growth strongly. Tourists travel not for holidays, business, health and different other intentions too. Therefore, this has developed the market for the hospitality industry, which acquired its great income from international tourists. Tourists always spend money when they come in - because of that foreign exchange increases. Therefore it is of major value to the economy as globalisation helps to bring in money into the country.

Moreover, due to globalisation the industry requires to operate advance technology. Since one wants to fascinate as many visitors as possible, hospitality organisation frequently need to advance and improve their services. For example: Singapore flyer, using faster and advance technology in hotels, so that the guest is gratified. Companies are frequently thinking of advance and innovative ideas to fascinate more visitors. Due to globalisation, more tourists come into our country and more people are required to serve and cater to their needs. So, with the advent of globalisation, there are plenty of more jobs available for people within the hospitality industry. Due to globalisation, more people move around, to facilitate this, the travel industry requires to develop as well. People who come into our country by air, or ship, or land - use the transport services provided as well. Due to globalisation, there are different types of international services/cuisines. Since there are plenty of different tourists with various cultures, custom, cuisines and languages, the hospitality industry includes recipes and various other services to cater to them. These services are available to the locals too, which makes even better.

Nevertheless, globalisation has negative impacts on the hospitality industry and also, there are some challenges and difficulties for today's leader in hospitality firms. Due to globalisation, the hospitality industry can hire people from various countries as it is usually cheaper - they may sometimes have difficulties in communicating with the guests. Many guests get quite irate as a consequence of this. As there are from various cultures, one needs to be attentive not hurt them. As example, a Hindu will not eat beef - so that serving person should be aware of food which contains beef . (unless specifically asked). What is acceptable by one culture may be frowned upon by another. For the communication, technology has been increased because of international barriers, (through the internet, voice recordings.) This has not keept the human touch.

A leader from the hospitality industry has a multicultural challenge, managing a diverse workforce and trying to keep up with rapidly shifting trends. Cultural intelligence provides a better approach to this leadership challenge. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is the capability to function effectively across national, ethnic and organizational cultures. Leader has to have knowledge of different cultures. CQ is needed to understand diverse guests, manage diverse teams, recruit and develop cross cultural talent, demonstrate respect and adapt leadership style; without these knowledge hotel can faces many problem. If a manager does not understand different culture, how will he understand different guest from different culture, how will he manage his employees from different culture. It can be affect financially on the hotel. Hotels can have financial losses caused by managers not understanding different cultures.

Looking at these challenges and difficulties, it shows that, cross cultural management plays an important role to compete in a global marketplace. The mistakes mention above may results into some consequences. As example- where a strong and forceful personality overcomes the lack of formal delegation or where an inadequate leader is supported by his subordinate who effectively acts as the leader. Failure to delegate successfully to a more knowledgeable subordinate may mean that the subordinate emerges as an informal leader and this could have possible adverse consequences for the manager and organization. Serious mistakes can be made while dealing with people from different cultures. For example- eye contact in western countries is normally associated with confidence, politeness and attentiveness but in some African countries can be seen as rude and disrespectful. Bulgarians nod when they mean 'no' and shake their heads when they mean 'yes' while the Greek nod upwards or raise their eyebrows for 'no' and shake the head side to side or tilt it to say 'yes'. A lack of 'cultural literacy' can lead to incorrect assumptions, poor relationships and a failure to make useful business connections. So to avoid these mistakes a proper training should be given to the staff by his manager because in any company you will find many people from different culture and different cities so as every person have their own different culture, everyone have their own body language and facial expressions which can results into some mistakes so to combine all these people from different culture together to work as a team a proper training should be given by the manager.


Starbucks is a well-known coffee company, started in 1971 in Seattle's pike place market, Washington. It was opened by Jerry Bolvin, Zev Siegi and Gordon Bowker, they started selling coffee, tea and spices. Now it has largely developed in such a way that it is functioning in 40 countries along with 16000 coffee outlets. Howard Schultz joins Starbucks in 1982. Once he went Italy, he visits Milan's popular espresso bars and he was impressed with their popularity and culture and he sees their potency in Seattle. So after having lattes and mochas Seattle immediately becomes crazy for coffee. The thirst for good coffee allows Starbucks to develop their business out of Seattle too, first in the United States, and then further all countries. After becoming the first company to provide stock options to its part-time staff members, Starbucks become in public traded company. Starbucks opened their first shop in 1997, in UK. Starbucks form various products like hot made to order beverages, readymade brewed coffee packets, tazo tea, bottled beverages, frappucino beverages, smoothies and baked goods like sandwiches, pastries & cookies. There are so many organizations which still follow their mission, vision, value or culture like Starbucks use. Starbucks mission line says; to build Starbucks as the premier supplier of the best coffee in the world while managing their uncompromising precept as they develop and in other angle to pep up and nourish the human spirit-one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time. Starbucks vision is to make sky-high gratified guests by giving good service expenses that creates changes in guest's day-to-day life. If the guest is unhappy, second time he might come with two more extra guests so that how it works for Starbucks. The anchor value in the feat of Starbucks is "to make a company with a soul" was that the organization would never give up searching the perfect cup of coffee.

Hospitality management functions must be aware of the changing curves as the industry is confronting an ever increasing number of foreign employees are being used to fill these gaps which shows in increasing the diversity in the work place. The company working towards globalization of plenty food and beverage functions must also be cognizant of the diversity of various countries in which they operate. Diversity management must become aspect of organization policy in order to be effectual and it must be embedded within the culture of the organization from superior management through front line employees. Good diversity management can have many positive effects on performance of business such as good understanding of guest needs, higher staff keeping rate and increased sales. Ineffective diversity management can get added problems to the work place such as demoralization of staff, hostility and high employee turnover. To adopt diversity as an essential element in the way Starbucks works. Starbucks conceive that to work successfully in the global market place diversity needs to be adopted within every facet of the business which includes,

  • The workplace
  • Training
  • Suppliers
  • Communities in which they operate

The workplace- Starbucks loyalty to diversity starts with fascinating and holding a diverse work team. They try to mirror the guest and communities they serve which creates an environment where all the guest and partners feel prosperous and welcome. To attract a diverse representation of certified candidates, Starbucks connect with many local and national community based companies. As instance - in U.S. they make connections with the National Black MBA and the Hispanic MBA and the women in food service firm. Starbucks supervise the demographics of their workforce on quarterly basis to identify whether they reflect the communities in which they work. They also focus on representation within particular positions and judge whether there are tract to higher-level positions. Based on available data, Starbucks US workforce is contained of 53% women and 14% people of colour and in Starbucks executive team vice presidents and above 42% are women and 8% people are of colour.

Training - diversity object is made through Starbucks general training and development module also management training courses. Diversity courses are also provided at Starbucks to address partner's related to business requirements which include diversity learning journey and bias free interviewing workshops which train managers and recruiters for the hiring procedure. Starbucks take the hiring and recruiting process very gravely. They are very deliberate while employing people as it costs 2,300-3,000 pounds to recruit and prepare each staff member. By the period of two weeks of commencing employment all the staff member members will have undergone training and learning about the diversity amongst the employees and also amongst the guest base.

Suppliers- Starbucks have developed a provider diversity first step which assures that each selected provider shares the company's core values to meet main requirements which include quality, service, value, stability and sound business practices. A diverse provider must meet certain criteria. As instance - the company must be 62% owned, operated and managed by women, minorities or socially disadvantaged individuals.

Diversity in communities in which Starbucks operate- Starbucks built a combine venture with Johnson Development Corporation which is owned by Earvin Johnson. They produced urban coffee opportunities, LLC bringing Starbucks shops to diverse communities. By 2003, there were 62 UCO places in the United States. Starbucks UCO shops provide communities an inviting and prosperous place for neighbours to gather. While guests are ensured a coherent Starbucks experience at all the shops they may find the music is tailored to local tastes, elusive differences in the food offerings and wall paintings that is unique to the shops. A UCO shop can be an accelerator for producing jobs and encouraging business development in the communities where the shops are situated. By the end of 2004 the locations employed 961 Starbucks partners. The Starbucks foundation and community and giving programmers provide support to non-profit organization that serves diverse communities. They are also partner with different community organizations to provide employment opportunities to their elements.

Cultural encounter happens when people from various cultures come into contact. Sometimes the encounter begins before anyone has a chance to properly introduce you before you even open your mouth. Cultural encounter can lead to world class fatigue or even depression. Many of the adjustments to life in the cultural fast lane must be made early on preventing a successful overseas experience. If we ask who suffers from cultural encounter the answer must be one who spends much time with people from another culture. People eat different foods, celebrate different holidays and dress differently in countries all around the world but these differences affect the ways in which people work together because people organize, manage and work differently from culture to culture. The behaviour of people in organizations varies across cultures in many ways. Researchers have observed systematic and culturally based differences in manager's values, attitudes and behaviour. Each of us has a set of attitudes and beliefs through which we see management situations the manager's value, attitudes and beliefs can affect cycles of behaviour. Some managers do not trust their subordinates and believe that employees will not do a good job unless closely supervised. These managers establish tight control systems such as time clocks and frequent employee observation to reassure them that employees are working. The employees can be started realizing that management does not trust them so they might start behaving irresponsibly. They arrive on time only when the time clock is in working condition and only work when the manager is around. So it is easy to see how misunderstanding and mistrust can grow between managers from one culture to employees from different culture. In hospitality business you can find many examples of cultural clash as you deal with guests all over the world and you work with different people from different countries with different culture as well. So I just want give to give an example as per my experience in hospitality. Example- I used to work for a hospitality company, park Starbucks Goa resort and spa in India. Once I was in the bar in the afternoon and a Russian guest came to me. Russians hardly speak English. So he came to me and as he didn't know English he was indicating his finger outside towards tree and said 'kakushka, kakushka' he was speaking in Russian and was trying to make me understand his language but as I didn't know Russian language I couldn't make out what he wants exactly so it took a long time to know me what he wants exactly but finally after 10 minutes I finally came to know that he was asking for coconut water and he was indicating his finger towards coconut trees. Then I gave him coconut water and he was very happy. So here we can see a culture clash between an Indian and Russian culture because the Russian hardly speak English so they couldn't communicate properly. So as a suggestion to this problem I would like to suggest that there must be a co-coordinator person in the hospitality company so that if this kind of communication problems due to different culture occurs he or she can handle it.

Few managers are more effectual at leading diverse groups than other managers. The traits and behaviour should equip a person to lead diverse groups. Additionally, cultural sensitivity, cultural intelligence and certain specific global leadership skills are essential for inspiring people from cultures other than the one's own. Although they reinforce each other we can describe cultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence separately. Global leadership encompasses so many behaviours that they receive of their own section. Leaders as well as others who are attempting to influence a person from a foreign country must be alert to possible cultural differences. Thus the leader must be willing to acquire knowledge about local customs and learn to speak the native language at least passably. A cross- cultural leader must be patient, adaptable, flexible and willing to listen and learn. All of these characteristics are part of cultural sensitivity an awareness of and a willingness to investigate the reasons why people belong to other culture act as they do. A person with cultural sensitivity will recognize the certain differences in customs that will help to build better relationships with people in his or her adopted cultures. Another aspect of cultural sensitivity is being tolerant of the subtle differences between cultures. Following is the leadership self assessment quiz which gives an opportunity to reflect our own tolerance for cross-cultural issues.


Tolerance for cultural differences

Instructions- indicate how comfortable you would feel in the following circumstances:

VU- very uncomfortable

U- Uncomfortable

N- Neutral

C- Comfortable

VC- very comfortable


Working on a team with both men and women 1 2 3 4 5

Coaching a team or club when all the members are 1 2 3 4 5

Sex than yours

Having a transsexual person as a boss. 1 2 3 4 5

Having a person of a different race as a boss. 1 2 3 4 5

Having an opposite sex person as a boss. 1 2 3 4 5 answers if a if you are heterosexual or b if you are homosexual

Having a gay or lesbian boss

Having a straight boss

Having dinner with someone who eats what you consider to1 2 3 4 5

be a pet.

Having dinner with someone who eats what you consider to be 1 2 3 4 5

a repulsive animal or insect.

Working alongside a teammate who you know is HIV positive. 1 2 3 4 5

Working alongside a teammate who has served prison time for 1 2 3 4 5

Vehicular homicide.

Total score:

Scoring and interpretation:

40-50: you are highly tolerant and flexible in terms of working with a broad spectrum of people. These attitudes can help you to be an effective multicultural leader.

21-39: your tolerance for working with people different from yourself is within the average range. It you learn to become a more tolerant of differences, you are more likely to become an effective multicultural leader.

10-20: you may be experiencing difficulties in working with people quite different from yourself. As a consequence your effectiveness as a multicultural leader might be hampered. If you seek out more diverse cross-cultural experiences you are likely to become more tolerant of differences.

Cultural sensitivity helps a person to become a multicultural worker that why cultural sensitivity is very important. Such an individual is convinced that all cultures are equally good and enjoys learning about other cultures. Multicultural workers and leaders are the people who usually have been exposed to more than one culture in childhood. Being multicultural helps one to be accepted by a person from another culture. It has been said that a multilingual salesperson can explain the advantages of a product in other languages but it takes a multicultural person to motivate foreigners to buy.

Cultural intelligence is a four dimensional framework rooted in many years of research on intelligence and cross cultural interaction. After going through the above practices implemented in order to improve leader's cross culture intelligence I suggest the effective approaches in improving CQ are as follows.

CQ drive

CQ knowledge

CQ strategy

CQ action

All these four dimensions are usually refer to develop CQ.

CQ drive- the motivational dimension of CQ is the leader's level of interest, drive and energy to adapt cross culturally. You should have the confidence and drive to work through the challenges and conflicts that inevitably accompany cross cultural work. The ability to be personally engaged and preserve through cross cultural challenges is one of the most novel and important aspects of cultural intelligence. We cannot simply assume people who are interested and motivated to adjust to cultural differences. Employees often approach diversity training apathetically and do it just because it is required. Personnel headed to international assignments are often more concerned about moving and adjusting their families overseas than they are about developing cultural understanding. Without ample motivation, there is little point in spending time and money on cross cultural training. CQ drive includes three sub dimensions:

Intrinsic motivation- the degree to which you derive enjoyment from culturally diverse situations

Extrinsic motivation- the tangible benefits you gain from culturally diverse experiences and

Self efficacy- the confidence that you will be effective in a cross cultural encounter.

All three of these motivational dynamics play an important role in hoe leaders approach cross cultural situations.

CQ knowledge- the cognitive dimension of the CQ research refers to the leader's knowledge about culture and its role in following how business is done. You should understand the way culture shapes thinking and behaviour. It also includes your overall understanding of how cultures vary from one another. CQ knowledge includes two sub dimensions i.e. cultural systems and cultural norms and values. Cultural systems are the way societies organize themselves to meet the basic needs of their members. For example, every nation has cultural systems for how its members distribute products and services or for how they raise their children. Understanding how a family system works might seem unnecessary but it become critically relevant when you are trying to develop human resource policies for employees who are expected to care for the senior members of their extended family. The other sub dimension of CQ knowledge i.e. cultural norms and values refers to the varying ways cultures approach issues such as time, authority and relationships. The value a culture places on time and relationship becomes highly closely connected when an American is trying to get a signed contract from a potential affiliate in china or Saudi Arabia where different norms shape leader's expectations. CQ knowledge is the dimension most often emphasized in many approaches to intercultural competency. For example, a large and growing training and consulting industry focuses on teaching leaders this kind of cultural knowledge. Although valuable however the knowledge coming from CQ knowledge has to be combined with the other three dimensions of CQ or its relevance to the real demands of leadership is questionable and potentially harmful.

CQ strategy- is the metacognitive dimension of the CQ. It is the leader's ability to strategize when crossing cultures. Can we slow down the RPMs long enough to carefully observe what is going on inside the mind of others and ourselves? It is the ability to draw upon our cultural understanding to solve culturally complex problems. CQ strategy helps a leader to use cultural knowledge to plan an appropriate strategy accurately interpret what is going on and check to see if expectations are accurate or need revision. The three sub dimensions of CQ strategy are awareness, planning and checking. Awareness means being informed of what is going on in ourselves and others. Planning is taking time to prepare for a cross cultural encounter in anticipating how to approach the people, topic and situation. Checking is monitoring our interaction to see if our plans and expectations were appropriate. It is also comparing what we expected with our actual experience. CQ strategy emphasizes strategy and is the keystone between understanding cultural issues and actually being able to use our understanding to be more effective.

CQ action- the behavioural dimension of CQ is the leader's ability to act appropriately in the range of cross cultural situations. We can effectively accomplish our performance goals in different cultural situations. One of the most important aspects of CQ action is knowing when to adapt to another culture and when not to do so. A person with high CQ learns which actions will and will not enhance effectiveness and acts on that understanding. Thus CQ action involves flexible actions tailored to specific cultural contexts. The sub dimensions of CQ action are verbal actions, nonverbal actions and speech acts. The exact words and phrases we use when we communicate specific types of messages. These are the three kinds of behaviours where there is the greatest need to adapt to cultural norms. Although the demands of today are intercultural settings make it impossible to master all the dos and don'ts of various cultures. There are certain behaviours that should be modified when we interact with different cultures. For example, westerners need to learn the importance of carefully studying business cards presented by those from most Asian contexts. Also some basic verbal and nonverbal behaviour enhance the extent to which we are seen as being effective by others. As an example, the verbal tone(e.g. loud versus soft) in which words are spoken can convey different meaning across cultures. Almost every approach to cross cultural work has insisted on the importance of flexibility. With CQ action we now have a way of exploring how to enhance our flexibility.

Research, examples and best practices will be offered to move toward gaining the capabilities represented by these four dimensions. The CQS (cultural intelligence scale) measures competency in each of the four dimensions. Through a series of questions you receive four scores one for each dimension of cultural intelligence. By averaging these four scores together, you can estimate your overall CQ. Two different CQ assessments are available both of which have relevance for improving leadership effectiveness. One is a self report assessment and the other is a peer report assessment. The self assessment provides a profile of how you view yourself in the four dimensions of cultural intelligence. The peer assessment asks you to identify three to five peers who can answer a few questions on your behalf. In return you receive a composite of how your peers view you in the four dimensions of cultural intelligence the two kinds of assessment are most valuable when used together so you can compare your self assessment with how others perceive your cultural intelligence. There is variety of ways to apply the four dimensions of cultural intelligence to leadership. They can be used as four areas to assess individuals you are considering for a cross cultural assignment. They can also serve as four categories for diversity training or for a leader's personal development plan and the four dimensions can be used as a four step cycle for developing cultural intelligence in the case by case situations. This four step cycle is the primary application used. CQ is more strongly related to an individual's overall performance cross culturally than things like academic achievement or an exceptional IQ. In particular CQ drive, CQ strategy and CQ action are found to have a positive relationship on an individual's success in accomplishing a task.


In the above research it shows that the management is confronting number of challenges & problems as an increasing number of foreign employees are being used which results in the diversity in the work place. So the Company must be cognizant of the diversity of various countries in which they work. In order to keep up this diversity management must become a part of organization policy because an effectual diversity management can have many positive consequences on performance of business. So in order to defeat this Starbucks consider that to work successfully in the global market place diversity requires to be adopted within every angle of the business which includes the work place, training , suppliers and the communities in which they operate. Starbucks loyalty to diversity starts with fascinating and holding a diverse work team. They try to mirror the guest and communities they serve which make an environment where all the guests and partners feel prosperous and welcome. Diversity content is constructs through Starbuck's general training development modules also management training courses. Starbucks have developed a provider diversity first step which assures that each selected provider shares the company's anchor values to meet main requirements which include quality, service, value, stability and sound business practices. Starbucks has also built a combined venture with Johnson Development Corporation and they have produced urban coffee opportunities, LLC bringing Starbucks shops to diverse communities. Although Starbucks try to control diversity problem at workplace, cultural encounter still happens when people from various cultures come into contact. A person who spends much time with people from different culture suffers the most. The behaviour of people in company varies across cultures in many ways. Some managers are good at leading diverse groups than other. The traits and behaviour should fit a person to lead diverse groups. Cultural sensitivity, cultural intelligence and certain specific global leadership skills are essential for motivating people from various cultures. The leadership self assessment quiz can be very helpful in avoiding cross cultural issues in an organization. Cultural sensitivity is also important as it helps a person to become a multicultural worker and cultural intelligence is a four dimensional framework rooted on intelligence and cross cultural interaction. So in order to improve leaders cross culture intelligence, the effective approaches in improving CQ should be CQ drive, CQ knowledge, CQ strategy and CQ action. From the above research it is been clear that CQ drive, CQ knowledge, CQ strategy and CQ action are found to have a positive relationship on an individual's success in accomplishing a task.

The CQ is a set of individual capabilities that allows leaders to learn from their experiences. Thus CQ facilitates the transformation of experience into experimental training. A mere exposure to cultural diversity and international assignments does not necessarily enhance learning. Instead leaders must balance the creative tension of all four stages in the experimental process which are concrete experiences, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. I would like to recommend that organizations should shift their focus from providing experience to ensuring that effective experimental learning occurs for leaders. Part of this shift requires the recognition that individuals have different capabilities to learn from their experiences. Those who are culturally intelligent individuals who possess the cognitive, metacognitive, motivational as well as behavioural capabilities for dealing with cross cultural interactions will gain more from international assignments and exposure to culturally diverse settings.

I have learned from my research that it is very important to be cognizant of the current curves and diversity of countries in which they operate because in an organization you will find many people from different countries so everyone will have their own culture, own cuisine and different languages so all these people may think differently as they belongs to different places so cultural encounter can occur due to this so care should be taken to avoid cultural encounter like as what Starbucks did. To operate successfully Starbucks adopted within every facet of the business which includes work place, training, suppliers and communities in which they operate. In other way Leadership Self Assessment Quiz can give a good opportunity to avoid cross cultural issues. This self assessment quiz can help leaders to become multicultural and being multicultural helps to be accepted by a person from another culture. So it is very important to improve leaders cross culture intelligence and CQ drive, CQ strategy and CQ action are found to be the effective and positive approaches on an individual's success in accomplishing a task.


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