Title: An exploration of two perspectives on leadership in globalised contexts

Authors: Rune Rønning; Bjarne Espedal; Atle Jordahl

Addresses: NHH - The Norwegian School of Economics, Breviksveien 40, 5041 Bergen, Norway ' NHH - The Norwegian School of Economics, Breviksveien 40, 5041 Bergen, Norway ' NHH - The Norwegian School of Economics, Breviksveien 40, 5041 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: This paper explores two models of leadership in the globalised context, one rooted in instrumentality and the other in appropriateness. While the logic of instrumentality assumes that leadership practices are universal across national and institutional borders, the logic of appropriateness is sensitive to cross-national cultural and institutional differences. These two standpoints and their relation to multinational enterprises (MNEs) are traced in organisational global leadership theory. Ultimately, the consequences of implementing either of these two thought processes while designing leadership development programs are identified. We argue that applying the logic of instrumentality uncritically to leadership in the globalised context of multinational enterprises is fraught with great risk because this logic tends to ignore the diversity and complexity of MNEs and their environments. It is suggested that the logic of appropriateness in leadership constitutes a viable, suitable and complementary alternative.

Keywords: leadership development; global leadership; globalisation; institutional theory; international management; appropriateness; cross-national differences; cultural differences; institutional differences; multinational enterprises; MNEs.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2013.056474

European Journal of International Management, 2013 Vol.7 No.5, pp.501 - 516

Available online: 20 Sep 2013 *

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