Leadership in a Multicultural Organization

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Last updated: April 23, 2019

Leadership in a Multicultural Organization Introduction With the passage of time traveling industry has emerged as one of the most profitable and lucrative industries globally. This can further be demonstrated from the fact that traveling industries today are just not localized to providing their customers with tourism related facilities but along with this they also ensure that their customers make use of all possible facilities and leisure resources through which their clients can enjoy the most memorable trip ever.In addition to this it is also important to mention that the recent economic slump developed serious repercussions upon the development of the travel industry. It was estimated that in the year 2008 international travel flights and tours dropped by 2% all over the world. Nevertheless from 2010 the industry has started to exhibit signs which comprehensibly manifest its rejuvenation.

This can further be understood from the fact that in the year 2010 there were over 940 million tourist arrivals which were 6. % greater when compared to tourism statistics of 2009. It is also important to mention here that the projected forecasts of the global traveling industry also show signs of immense development and the subsequent reemergence from the adverse ramifications of financial depression. Globalization of the world has triggered travel and tourism from industrialized countries. This enhanced number of tourists from all over the world compelled hotel and tourism industry to develop themselves according to the needs of present global world.This wave of tourism also brings itself many benefits, as tourism and hotel industry became one of the major sources of revenue generation for many countries. As competition in the market of tourism continuously increases, so there is a chance of much more diversification and customization of tourism market. These internal changes of the business require three things: * Management Commitment * Universal Approval * Appropriate measures and Rewards Research Methodology This study tries to investigate the role of a leader in a multi-cultural travel company.

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The study will be a qualitative analysis of sources to include major studies and researches on the issues, which determine the role of leaders and managers in multicultural organizations. This study will not conduct any survey of its own but use different books and research studies conducted by different scholars to determine what are the factors, and qualities of a leader, which can influence the corporate culture and work climate of an organization. The information and data used in this report is collected through the researches of different renowned scholars and authors and can be checked from their sources.But the data used in this report has some limitations. For example, in almost all the cases, leadership has been discussed in hospitality organization’s perspective, and the leadership of organization in other industries has not given much consideration. Leadership and culture Cross-cultural leadership research has found that beliefs about leadership vary systematically across cultures. Contextual factors such as cultural norms and values createexpectations of acceptable or unacceptable leaderbehavior in a given situation, which placesconstraints on the types of leader behaviors andcharacteristics that are endorsed by followers.The GLOBE study revealed adivergence in the perceptions of effective organizationalleadership among middle managers in theUnited States compared with middle managersin the former West and East Germany in respectof the strength of endorsement of Charismatic, Humane, and Autonomous Leadership.

On the basis of these findings, we can say that beliefs about leadership will also be shaped by thediffering dominant cultural values held by US and German citizens. Until recently, leadership studies were mainly conducted in North America and Europe. They were based on work with executives in these regions and were written by researchers in these areas.Issues that triggered our research were very simple: to what extent these studies are they relevant elsewhere in North America and Europe? What makes an effective leader in the various regions of the world? Is what is taught in the United States and Canada on how to be an effective leader is useful or inappropriate in other regions of the world? These are the questions that led Professor Robert House, the Wharton Business School to launch the project GLOBE. Everybody at the managerial position must know what the relationship between national culture and leadership.

What is the impact of national culture and what makes an exceptional leader in the various regions of the world? To answer these questions, the first major product of your research is Culture, Leadership, and Organizations. A leader and manager tends to be participatory, to be open to others’ ideas. Therefore, it is seen more as a unifier than as an autocrat. To be a successful manager one must first, ask about the other culture.

Understand another culture; understand the history of the other. Once the leader understands the culture and history, he also begins to understand the confusing and apparently contradictory behaviors.It is the duty of a good leader to tell the members about one’s own culture, discuss with them how to behave and engage a conversation and find similarities between people of different culture and background. Global studies teach us that the world’s cultures have many common values. Human beings have very similar aspirations. Finally; one of the most important qualities in cross cultural environments is patience.

Patience, that means not jumping to conclusions about what motivates someone to act a certain way, be patient, this means to wait to judge. Additionally, Ethics should be reflected from the behavior of the managers.Ethical behavior is of critical importance to supervisors and managers of the organizations. Ethics reflect both human resources and economic issues. A manager with good ethics and good behavior with the people working under him is always appreciated by the employees. The managers whose good morals are reflected with their behavior are in a position to convince the team members to accept the decision of the manager easily. “If leaders want their people to do the right thing most of the time, they have to role model the right thing all the time.

” (Clinton, 2008) Multicultural OrganizationsThe company, having a diverse workforce, is bound to have its impact on the effectiveness of the organization as well as on the career growth of an individual. One of the most important advantages of having a multicultural or diverse workforce is to attract the best available talent towards the organization. Such organization, which does not show any prejudice in recruiting, retaining and promoting the employees from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds easily gain competitive advantage and become able to sustain highest caliber of human resources (Adler, 1991).Different studies have proved that organizations having diverse workforce and multicultural environment usually display better problem solving ability (Adler, 1991).

Due to their multicultural workforce such organizations are more capable to understand the problem with different perspectives, meanings and interpretations and hence have more capability to solve problems. Organizations need continuity, which can be achieved only through some change of adaptability and self-renewal.Multicultural organizations are designed specifically to find, accept, and use new ideas and so they are more able to adapt change and show more organizational flexibility. Different studies depicted that women possess higher tolerance for ambiguity than men (Rotter & O’Connell, 1982), similarly bilingual people possess more cognitive flexibility than monolingual (Lambert, 1977). Thus diverse workforce is an asset for the organizations while adapting change. It can easily be summed up that having a diverse workforce and its proper management provides a number of advantages to the organizations.

Manage diversity well are more likely to gain competitive advantages, attain increased productivity from available human resources, and reduce the inter-group conflict cost” (Triandis, Kurowski, and Gelfand, 1994, p. 775). But at the same time, too much diversity in the workforce may also cause ambiguity and confusion. Multicultural organizations sometimes find it difficult to reach to a single, unanimous decision because of the diversity in its workforce (Gannon, 2004). Due to the presence of people from different cultural backgrounds, there is a chance of cultural clashes between the people of different cultures.There is also a chance that majority group members may create obstacles for minority group member to take full participation. If such clashes cannot be handled and managed by the leaders then the organization may suffer ineffectiveness, less productivity and absenteeism of the employees (Adler, 1991).

If there is communication gap between a culturally diverse team then there is a chance that a homogenous group may outperform this culturally diverse group. Multicultural organizations require extensive trainings to overcome the communication barrier otherwise it will not perform up to their potential (House and Javidan, 2004).Leadership in Diverse environment Managing Corporate Culture is not simple. It requires constant assessments and monitoring by examining the external and internal environment. Such examination would reveal the nature of changes that are anticipated or are taking place in these environments. These changes may force the organization to adapt or modify their corporate culture according to the demands of the environment. A relaxed attitude on the part of the managers who believe they have a strong culture built over the years to enable them to cope with any kind of situation is risky.

Uttal asserts that a static culture means a continuation of old, inefficient ways (Uttal, 1982). Globalization is the process of expanding global preferences in cultural, environmental, political, social and economical issues. The key economic characteristic of globalization is the free movement of goods throughout the world (Schaeffer, 2003). Diversity and Globalization in the new economy and the present business situation has produced a work force made up of people all around the world.They have different life experiences, perspectives, preferences, values and style. This diversity of work force is reshaping and rewriting the way of doing business.

According to the Statistics the people filling jobs in the 2000s had a different racial and gender makeup than past employees. Native white males made up 47% of employees in 1989 but will constitute only 15% of new entrants. In the year 2000 Hispanic accounted for almost 28 percent of labor force growth and blacks about 17 percent. White women provided about 42 percent of labor force growth.It has also been estimated that by the year 2008 women and immigrants will make almost 70 percent of the new entrants in the workforce.

Statistics have further depicted that by the year 2012 almost one-fifth of the total US workforce will be of 55 years or older (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1998). Hamilton has said that, “The great challenge facing the nation is to prepare a changing population to do new kinds of work. Failure imperils economic health, social progress, and democracy itself. (Hamilton, 1990, p. 1). This trend of workforce diversity compelled leaders of multi-cultural rganizations in general, and five star hotels in particular, to adapt the changes with special recruiting programs targeted towards these groups and organizational changes to accommodate their needs.

Day-care centers, special benefit packages and language training have all become the part of the inducements to employees. Hospitality industry in general and the tourism industry in particular, are considered as the industries, which have to face all the challenges and problems of diversity. In this industry, the producers and consumers both came from different cultures and they have to meet face to face.In the present decade, the environment for hotel business has changed radically (Olsen & JinLin, 1997). In the past, hotel leaders usually emphasized on the internal affairs of the hotel management but the changing environment requires them to emphasize more on externally oriented affairs. Many scholars are of the opinion that diversity in hotels is a source of strength if used properly otherwise it creates ethnic and cultural differences, conflicts etc.

(Christensen & Hughes, 1992). There are various key factors involved while developing international leadership skills, such as: Culture awareness. In every culture in the world such phenomena as authority, bureaucracy, creativity, good relationship, verification and accountability are experienced in different ways” (Peters, 2002, p. 3). In an organization, where the employees are from different backgrounds; hence, a leader cannot manage people from one standard point of view.

“Leadership is at the heart of effective management in today’s marketplace regardless of one’s place within the organizational hierarchy. Whether international or not, the actions and attitudes of those in positions of authority affect the actions and attitudes of employees” (Block, 2003; pg. 25). A study was conducted on transformational leadership in hotel management, which depicted that leaders in hotel business, who have a clear objective, strong sense of values and cultural differences and shown deep inclination towards high standards of ethics, are considered as models for others to follow (Tracy & Hinkin, 1994). The following are some of the important points; a five-star hotel leader has to consider while working in present global environment: * Changing Occupational Profile: at present major hotel chains try to provide more services to customers for the guaranteed customer’s satisfaction.This requires more knowledgeable and social counter staff. Major hotel chains also introduce some new posts like quality manager, yield manager, computer and technical service manager, management accounting expert and budget analyst to provide the wide range of services to the customers * Developing Language Skills: in order to provide best services to culturally diverse clientele, major hotel chains provide different languages and culture training to their staff * Increased staff responsibility and job satisfaction: it is hard to get and retain a good and trained employee in present business scenario.Major hotel chains impose more responsibilities to their good employees in order to enhance their job satisfaction * Proper Motivation: In order to retain good employees it is necessary to motivate them.

Motivation is either Financial or non-financial 1. Financial: wages, salaries, fringe benefits etc. are financial incentives. Many believe that these incentives help to attract the more desirable and qualified type of employee, decrease turnover, and maintain morale and performance. 2.Non-financial: these are known as personal incentives because they offer an opportunity to develop personal initiative and achievement.

A number of research studies have proved the impact of these incentives on performance. Opportunity for advancement, challenge, the type of work, responsibility, good supervision, good working conditions, and recreational programs are some examples of non-financial incentives Industry of hospitality does have its own environment where the guests feel comfortable and humanly attended.This is where emotions come in; although the persons attached with this industry are used to of these phenomena but still they are human beings and they can be emotionally involved with the quest. Keeping this latter element in mind, it would be very difficult to reflect one’s own emotional process and identify at least three of these elements: one’s own desires and the action undertaken to fulfill them; the others’ response to those needs and their actions; the one’s response to the others’.These aspects are directly inspired by the CCRT (Core Conflictual Relationship Theme) (Levenson & Strupp, 1997; Luborsky, 1984; Luborsky & Crits-Christoph, 1998). In this regard, it is likely to say that emotional involvement may result in the failures of relationships and if one is deeply involved in the relationship it could also result as the psychotic disorder. Responsibilities of a Leader in multicultural hospitality Industry Some of the basic responsibilities of a leader in a multicultural organization are as follows: * Decision Making: Decision-making is every leader’s primary responsibility.It is also a process affected by the organization’s needs and characteristics.

The leader’s decisions are determined by his personal skills and abilities, and also by the resources and constraints that organizations provide; * Training: Training is the organized procedure by which people acquire knowledge and / or skills for a definite purpose. For a new employee training is a means of transition and adaptation from a theoretical to a practical situation. During this transition, the individual learns skills and more knowledge necessary to meet the requirements of the job.For an experienced worker, training is a process of re-orientation to meet the additional job requirements.

The purpose of training is to increase productivity and job performance; * Motivation: Motivation is one of the most essential skills of a good and result-oriented leader. It is the quality of a good leader that he equipped his followers and team members with the burning desire to achieve their desired goal. Although achievement of a goal depends upon the vision of the leader and the team member but a burning desire to achieve a goal is equally necessary.A good leader is a self-motivated person who set his own goals for himself and trained his team in such a manner that they too share the same desire to achieve the goal.

Motivation is the skill and ability to influence people and a leader with motivation skill can easily increases the ambition in his or her followers; * Communication: The key to healthy work relation among the organization is based on managing communication within the firm. Communication takes some pressure off the leader because problems can be worked out among peers without consulting their supervisors.It has been believed by the scholars that much goes on in this type of communication before the vertical process are called upon to mediate a conflict or bring about action and decision (Landsberger, 1961) * Conflict Management: Conflict is inevitable. The challenge for leader is to reap the benefits and reduce the risks of conflicts. A good conflict resolution strategy helps to create a more cohesive organization and a more ethical working climate * Planning: Effective planning requires top management direction and support.It also needs an appropriate organizational climate in which planning is made meaningful at all levels. Using persuasive and educational tactics rather than pressure or force helps to implement plans. Criteria Testing The criteria that we used in this research paper were secondary.

It proved pretty helpful in achieving the objectives of our research. The criteria is correct because it is extremely easy to use. In previous times, researcher had to explore libraries and heaps of data for finding relative literature but now the Internet has made the life of researcher much easier.The researcher is now able to access the relevant data with much ease and convenience. It is less time consuming.

With the help of this criteria, research can be completed in just two to three weeks because there is lot of data available on almost every topic. This criteria is also feasible because it is much more economical as compared to the primary research. The researcher, with the help of secondary research method, can get access to the required data at no or very little cost.

Thus, for student’s level research it is the most preferable method because it is not possible for students to perform expensive research.This criteria does not provide much opportunities to develop new theories or test the criteria further; however, the criteria has some limitations. The most important limitation is the quality of research. As the primary research is usually self-governed it is important that it should be analyzed properly before using in secondary research. It is a matter of serious concern that the researcher must evaluate the validity and reliability of information used as a secondary research. In some cases, if the topic is too unique, researcher may find it difficult to find proper material on the topic.In such cases the researcher has to rely on secondary data which is according to his need. Sometimes it is difficult for the researcher to find the complete research free of cost because some researcher only provide the portions of their research for free and ask payment for the complete study.

It also happens frequently that researcher can find his relevant information in a research which is too old. Research for rapidly changing industries and topics require that the research must be up to date. ConclusionLeadership can be defined as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Definitions all-encompassing of nature of leadership have also appeared. Leadership and management are synonymous with each other. However, there are differences between the two. At the same time, they are necessarily intertwined and complement each other.

Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Much has been writing about the differences.The manager’s job encompasses planning, organization, coordination, and implementation of ideas while leaders play a pivotal role in inspiring and motivating the employees. The purpose of managerial leadership is to integrate the interests of the individual and the organization. This integration can take the form of translating organizational requirements into how they will affect the individual and the nature of the work to be done; setting overall goals and directions important both to the unit and to the individual are also important elements in managerial leadership.Vital too, is the most humanistic side, the personal relationship between leader and follower. Naturally, what the managerial leader does is important to organizational member’s satisfaction and commitment to mission related issues and objectives.

The managerial leadership role is also important; one’s supervisor serves as a representative to higher levels of management in soliciting information, rewards, rewards and resources. Finally, the formal leader functions as a buffer that absorbs shocks from either directions, as well as serving as a formal link to the other specialization and levels of authority within the organization.In all these roles, the managerial leader’s interest in, and commitment to, the well being of his or her followers is essential. The role of leadership may be associated with those of mentors, coaches, advocates and role models. The amalgam of management and leadership can guarantee the growth and development of different professions in general and nursing in particular. A leader always lays emphasis on interpersonal relationships necessary to create an amicable, competitive and result-oriented environment in a workplace setting.

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