Globalization has increased the demand for leaders capable of operating effectively in a multicultural environment | Researcher: Joana Story
A group of researchers including Nova SBE’s Professor Joana Story have published the results of a research which studies the antecedents of global mindset.
Results show that global leaders who speak multiple languages, have lived abroad, have a complex global role, and a high psychological capital profile have a higher global mindset.
The full force of globalization has led to organic growth of organizations with accompanying demand for leaders capable of operating effectively in a multicultural environment. These challenges for leadership development are daunting as traditional assumptions and approaches are no longer sufficient. Global mindset has emerged to help fill this demand. However, little research has been conducted on the topic. In this study, the authors test global mindset by looking at two indicators: global business orientation and cultural intelligence.
Development of Global Mindset
Given the complexity of the construct, it was important to test various characteristics to see if they contribute to global mindset development. The researchers tested whether multinational organizational leaders’ personal (education, languages, low, mid, and top level management, international business trips, and international business assignments), psychological (comprised of the positive psychological resources of hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism), and role complexity characteristics are related to global mindset.
The researchers tested their hypothesis with a group of global leaders of a Fortune 100 organization and found that several characteristics lead to global mindset development. Of the most relevant, they highlight:
• The number of languages a leader spoke was one of the few personal characteristics relevant for the development of a global mindset. Leaders who spoke more languages had a more complex global role, which in turn lead to a global mindset.
• Experience abroad was related to global mindset. The research found that if leaders live abroad, they are moderately likely to increase their global mindset, which does not happen by merely taking international business trips.
• Leaders who have more challenging and complex assignments were found to have a stronger relationship with global mindset. These rich experiences seem important to global mindset development.
• Leaders who are more hopeful, confident, resilient, and optimistic (psychological capital) also have a higher level of global mindset.
• These antecedents of global mindset are varied and complex, but offer promise of helping International HRM effectively meet the challenges that lie ahead.
This article is based on the paper "Meeting the Challenges of Effective International HRM: Analysis of the Antecedents of Global Mindset." authored by Joana Story, John Barbuto, Fred Luthans and James A. Bovaird, which was published in 2014 in Human Resource Management.