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MGMT5602 Cross Cultural Management

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MGMT5602 Cross Cultural Management

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MGMT5602 Cross Cultural Management

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Course Code: MGMT5602
University: University Of New South Wales is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Critically review recent literature relating to leadership and management styles for your own nation or culture and other nations represented in your team. Relate this literature to your own experience of leading and managing the team and being led and managed by other team members. Include in your discussion any cross-cultural issues which arose and how they were dealt with.


The success or failure of an organisation depends upon the culture, values, norms, and beliefs of the people within the organisation. The culture of a nation plays a key role in the whole organisation that determines the way of progress and growth of the whole organisation. I am fortunate to have three team members who belong to China, France, and Nigeria having the different culture and thinking style, but it does not affect the teamwork. The main objective of this report is to find out what are the cultural implications on leadership style. In addition, how cultural diversity affects the team performance. I will first try to understand the cultures of all the three countries, which helps in analyse the culture and its effect on the leadership style. As per study, I found that the cultural diversity do not necessarily affect the team performance. In my study, I found that that people from China are more collectivistic in approach, while people from France are aggressive in nature and people from Nigeria are cool in nature, hence I decided to combine the nature of all these three people on a single platform. It is not easy to lead the different people having different nature and culture. People from different culture having different thinking and. However, Mr A, who belong to China having some similarity in culture and thinking with Pakistani culture. Mr A is more focused towards the assignment, while Mr B who belongs to France is aggressive in nature and Mr C who belongs to Nigeria is a cool person. For me it is difficult to manage these people to complete the task. However, I manage and motivate them according to their culture to complete the group task and find out some cultural similarity and difference during leading and motivating these peoples.  
In my experience, I found that cultural difference does not necessarily have a negative impact on team performance. The different culture does not create any conflicts rather it creates because of organisational context and individual team member’s responses towards the cultural norms. Many studies shown that a homogenous team can do better than the heterogeneous team. Some studies shown that homogeneous team avoid mistakes caused by miscommunication and the subsequent conflict of more diverse team. However, in my study, I found that diversity does not have predictable negative effects on team performance.  
Review of Literature
The review of literature includes the different styles of leadership practices in Pakistan, China, France, and Nigeria. The current review of literature also helps in to understand the relationship among these countries and the characteristics of leaders among these countries. This review of the literature shows the different culture, leadership skills, and ethics practised by Pakistani leaders.
Leadership and Culture
Daft (2014) describes in his book ‘The Leadership Experience’, culture and leadership are the main aspects of any organisation. Culture determines the behaviour of a leader. The national culture of a country sets the way of management practices and determines the behaviour of a leader with his/her subordinates. The culture, beliefs, value, norms, ideology, and ethics of an organisation guide the leaders, how to influence and manage people in the organisation. Culture can be defined as a belief or value system of a people that influence what people believed to be acceptable or not acceptable (Anderson, 2013). Normally, people from the same culture share common culture, values, ethics, and approach of managing people. People from the same culture also interpret and analyse the things in the same way while people from different cultures usually think differently and analyse the things in their own way which closely related to their culture.
According to Ashman and Lawler (2008), leadership style generally focuses on “what leaders do” rather than a leader’s own identity, which considered “who leaders are.” The different leadership style has their own importance in the different environmental and global business conditions (Lynch, 2013). These leadership styles are autocratic leadership style and liaises-fair style which describes how a leader behave and influence his/her subordinates in the organisation and it also shows the approach the leader bears with dealing with the employees (Christina, John and Warren, 2012). An effective leader is a person who influences and motivated their followers, thus they can achieve the desired result in an effective and efficient way. The leader can motivate his/her followers and pursue them about the desired target of the organisation.
In the words of Bourke (2010), leadership is a social and cultural influence process that inspire and motivate others for actively participating in the work, thus the objective of the organisation can easily achieve in a pre-determined manner without losing the efficiency of people. In Pakistan, managers practised a collective approach to leadership in which the manager involves their subordinates and employee in his major decision-making. The Pakistani leaders are not following the individualistic approach of leadership. Normally, the Asian countries like India, China, and Pakistan believe in others and practice the collectivistic approach of leadership approach (Jeevan and Sumeet, 2015).
Leadership style in Pakistan
The Pakistani leaders having the habit of thinking more tactfully and strategically comparing to the Chinese leaders are good to follow the rules and regulations more strictly (Bock, Opsahl and Gann, 2011). Pakistan is a developing country where a study of leadership needs the study of culture and language of a country, which all business organisations follow. In Pakistan, a prime concerned how the leadership is created, educated, and entrenched within the national corporate context of organising. The Pakistani leaders are well educated and follow the culture, norms, and values of the country and so rigid about their cultural norms. Today’s business environment is so competitive and advanced because of technological advancement that demands effective leaders who understand the complexities of the rapidly changing environment and focuses on maintaining a good relationship with their colleagues and their subordinate.
Gates (2016) defines about the leadership styles in his article ‘6 leadership styles around the world to build effective multinational teams’, the two popular leadership styles in the world are the transactional leadership style or transformational leadership style. Apart from this, the leaders across the world follow either the individualistic approach of leadership or collectivistic style of leadership, which depends on the organisational management style. The transformational leadership theory focuses on to understand the needs and motives of the followers and initiate, develop, and bring changes in the organisation (Friesel, Sackmann, and Kremser, 2011). The transactional leadership theory based on exchange relationship of leaders and followers, where leader promotes the relationship according to give and take approach. In the transactional leadership, approach leader’s reward their employees in turn of their good work performance and ensure compliance and stability in the organisation through better planning and strategy. Apart from this, the individualistic approach of leadership more focuses and prioritize on “I” concept and the collectivistic leadership style give more emphasis on “we” concept, where organisational interest has been prioritizing rather than individual interest (Stephan and Pathak, 2016).
Nardon and Stters (2018) describe in his article ‘The Culture Jungle: Divergence and convergence in models of national culture’, as the culture, values, norms and belief has substantial impacts on the projects, the creative organisation culture includes creative and innovative role to perform. China is a big economy in comparison to Pakistan and spread its business in the country that also helps to spread Chinese culture in Pakistan. The Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE more focusing on HR practices in Pakistan while they spread their business in South Asian countries. At one side, China has a high context culture and they followed the collectivist approach of leadership while Pakistani leaders more focusing on their culture and ethical values in their leadership approach. Although both are Asian neighbour countries, they follow the same collectivist approach to leadership. The decision-making style of a leader normally influenced by his/her national culture, values, norms, and ethics (Walls and Triandis, 2014). Since the modern business environment is so dynamic and unpredictable, a leader has to make complex decisions regarding keep in mind of long-term effect and consequences, and it is understandable that the complex decisions are beyond all other, consequences of social values that apply on every people of the organisation (Northouse, 2013). Therefore, the cultural and social values determine the style of decision-making of a leader in the organisation. Decision style approach is a useful approach to understanding managers and their way of decision-making. The decision-making style of a leader is also a subsystem within leadership styles. In general, researchers and management practitioners have been different approach and opinion on decision-making styles. In Pakistan, there is the huge gap between the upper and lower level of employee in any organisation in terms of education level. Thus, the top managers avoid the opinions or feedback of lower level employees and the result is absent of a participatory approach in the organisation.
Leadership style in China
Li, Leung, and Luo (2012) describes in his article “Indigenous research on Chinese management: what and how” about the Chinese culture is that the Confucianism, familiarized by Kong Zi (551-479BC), presented the basic root of Chinese culture. Then it was promoted and developed by Meng Zi and highly publicised by the dynasties. A great importance is given by the Chinese people on Confucianism but other ancient schools of thoughts like Buddhism (introduced from India) and traditional Taoism absolutely ignored in that era. Confucianism continuously influences Chinese society and individuals up to the present time. The Chinese leaders follow the culture and making their decision by considering the Confucianism theory. Although the Chinese people also followed the Buddhism, which was introduced from India, there is a significant impact of Confucianism in the decision-making roles of a leader in their business organisation. The Chinese people believe in bringing people together thus, they can give their best to the organisation. Both the Pakistani and Chinese leaders believe in their culture therefore, they make their rules and regulations keeping the culture in their mind.
Leadership style in France
In the words of Raziq (2018), in comparison to the Chinese leadership and Pakistani leadership style, French leadership style is more autocratic in nature. In France, the manager or leader seems to have a more roving role in compare to Chinese and Indian leadership style. The French people often focus to involve their subordinates and consult with middle-level managers, technical staffs and with the lower level workers but normally decisions taken by the top leaders of the organisation. The French history shows the leadership style of the French people that how Nepolian and Petain knew for their heroics rather than failure. The Ultimate success is less important than the thrill of the chase and ability to quicken the national pulse. The approach of French leaders is more individualistic and autocratic in compare to Pakistani and Chinese leaders.
Leadership Style in Nigeria
Although Nigeria follows the democratic leadership style which, is different from Pakistani leadership approach. It means the leaders are more open and friendly, pragmatic and participatory with their subordinates and make their plan and making decisions in considering the opinion and suggestions of the lower level management (Warburton, 2016). The French leaders are normally fear to accept new changes, but innovations and new ideas are welcome by the leaders and they motivate and inspire their subordinates for the same. In France, missed deadlines are the sign of incompetency and leaders take it so seriously against their subordinates, as agendas are highly scheduled and planned out. The French leaders give more emphasis on teamwork by appointing a team leader by giving the power to monitor and guide all. This is the same as the Pakistani and Chinese leaders do in the business organisation.
According to Stout-Rostron (2014), understanding the culture is an essential factor to understand the leadership style of any country. A good knowledge of culture helps a leader to better adjust in the diversified teams and groups and helps a manager to complete the project successfully. The cultural understanding of a manager helps to motivate and unite their team members that help to achieve the objective of the organisation. Although there is a similarity in leadership style and approach, the Pakistani and Chinese cultural diversity has no significant impact on the organisational success (Warner, 2014). The Chinese culture is highly complex in nature while Pakistani culture is collectivistic nature that determines the leadership approach of a leader in the country. However, the low-cost strategy of Chinese organisation to export product on the cheap rate and the leadership style of Chinese leaders is more effective than Pakistani leaders (Tsai, 2011). The Pakistani leaders are self-confident same as the Chinese and French leaders and they believed in their followers and motivate them to achieve the organisational objective in given deadline with efficient and effective manner. The Pakistani leadership approach same as the Indian leadership approach of managing people because of the cultural similarity and their language. Pakistan, China, and India all following the collectivistic approach of leadership style because the organisational objective is their primary area of interest rather than the individualistic approach of leadership.
My Own Experience in Managing and leading Team
The area of trust, positive feedback, efficacy, cohesion, and commitment are considered as essential factors in any team performance. These factors are the key foundation for collaboration and cooperation in within a team. In my opinion, increasing trust among team members and motivate them by positive feedback is a great key of success through diverse cultural team members. In my experience of managing the team, I found that the diversity does not necessarily have any impact on the team performance.
For increasing the effectiveness of the team and its productivity, it is essential that every team member feel satisfied and motivated in what they are doing. In my study, I found that Learning and satisfaction might contribute to strengthening the teamwork and create a positive environment among the people relationships. Furthermore, the satisfaction of team member results in positive feedback for others that also boost the effectiveness of multicultural teams.
The only factor that creates problem and challenge to manage a multicultural and diverse team is the ‘communication style’. I faced challenge when I lead these groups in form of direct and indirect communication, accent and fluency, and attitude towards the hierarchy and authority. The person having different norms regarding their decision-making causes problems for the team performance. In fact, apart from these challenges, I feel that managing a diverse team is very easy if you have knowledge about their culture and norms. The cultural awareness about these people helps me to make a strong coordination among the team members.  
Culture plays a crucial role in leadership style and approach of a leader and his decision-making. The Pakistani leaders are more focuses on their culture and practices collective approach to leadership in the organisation same as the Chinese leaders. The Pakistani leaders more concentrate on organisational development rather than individual interests. In compare to Pakistani leaders, the French leaders are more individualistic in nature and they look for self-interests and are more confident in their decision-making. The Nigerian people are soft and cool in nature and following the democratic style of leadership, where they give more importance to their subordinates and making their decision by considering the decisions of their subordinates. The Pakistani leaders are less risk-taker in compare to French leaders. However, the Chinese and Pakistani leaders almost follow the same culture and leadership style where they both focus on the collectivistic approach to leadership where the focus is on the success of the organisation. The Pakistani and Chines people are more culture oriented and good neighbour of each other. Thus, we can say that two Asian giants Pakistan and China considering the value of their subordinates and giving more emphasis on the collectivistic approach of leadership and there is no difference in the leadership style and approach of these two Asian countries. While the French and Nigerian people are different in their leadership style and approach because of their culture dissimilarity from Pakistan and China.
Anderson, J. (2013) Principle-Based Leadership: Driving Your Success as a Leader. 2nd ed.  Bloomington: iUniverse.
Ashman, I. and Lawler, J. (2008) Existential Communication and Leadership. Leadership, 4(3), pp. 253-269.
Bock, AJ., Opsahl, G., and Gann, D. (2011) The effects of Culture and structure on strategic flexibility during business model innovation. Journal of Management Studies, 49(1), p. 44.  
Bourke, J. (2010) Chinese and Western Leadership Models: A literature review. Journal of Management Research, 6(2), pp. 1-21.
Christina, K., John, C., and Warren, P. (2012) The impact of cross-cultural dynamics on change management. Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal, 19(1), pp. 166-195.
Daft, R. L. (2014) The Leadership Experience. 4thed. Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Friesel, M., Sackmann, SA., and Kremser, S. (2011) Knowledge sharing in new organisational entries: The impact of hierarchy, organizational context, micro-politics and suspicion. Cross-Cultural Management: A International Journal, 18(1), pp. 71-86.
Gates, M. (2016) 6 leadership styles around the world to build effective multinational teams [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 22/07/2018].
Jeevan, J. and Sumeet, K. (2015) Assessing the cultural intelligence and task performance equation: the Mediating role of cultural adjustment. Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal, 22(1), pp. 236-258.
Li, PP., Leung, K., and Luo, JD (2012) Indigenous research on Chinese management: what and how. Management and Organisational Review, 8(1), pp. 1-5.
Lynch, C. M. (2013) One Leadership Style Does Not Fit All. Virtual Mentor, 15(6), p. 544.
Nardon, L. and  Stters, MR. (2018) The Culture Jungle: Divergence and convergence in models of national culture [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 22/07/2018].
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice. 6th ed. Los Angeles, USA: SAGE Publications.
Raziq, MM. (2018) Leadership styles, goal clarity, and project success: Evidence from project-based organizations in Pakistan. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 39(2), pp. 309-323.
Stephan, U. and Pathak, S. (2016) Beyond cultural values? Cultural leadership ideas and entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(5), pp. 505-523.  
Stout-Rostron, S. (2014) Leadership Coaching for Results: Cutting-edge practices for coach and client. 4th ed.  Randburg: Knowledge Resources Publishing.
Tsai, Y. (2011) Relationship between organizational culture, leadership behaviour and job satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1), p. 98.
Walls, JL. and Triandis, HC. (2014) Universal truths: Can universally held cultural values inform the modern corporation. Cross-Cultural Management, 21(1), pp. 345- 356.
Warburton, K. (2016) Business Culture in Nigeria [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 22/07/2018].
Warner, M. (2014) Culture and Management in Asia. 1st ed. New York, USA: Routledge.

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