Title: Developing global leaders through building cultural self-awareness

Authors: Tara Wernsing; Rachel Clapp-Smith

Addresses: IE Business School, 28006 Madrid, Spain ' School of Management, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN 46323-2094, USA

Abstract: A growing body of literature on global leadership acknowledges the importance of intercultural competencies, but has yet to address the fundamental role of implicitly learned cultural beliefs on global leader development. This article introduces cultural self-awareness as a mechanism that applies an explicit mode of learning based in social cognitive theory to the implicitly learned aspects of culture. Cultural self-awareness is the ability to identify personal beliefs and values that are sourced from one's cultural upbringing and to recognise the influence of this cultural conditioning on behaviour. Building cultural self-awareness can facilitate the development of intercultural competencies in global leaders through a process of examining the source of personal cultural beliefs and values, identifying the tendency to use personal beliefs as a reference for evaluating others, and recognising how specific cultural beliefs shape leadership behavioural responses.

Keywords: global leadership development; cultural self-awareness; intercultural competencies; social cognitive theory; self-reference criterion; unconscious processes; implicit learning; international management; globalisation; culture; cultural conditioning; behaviour; personal values; personal beliefs.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2013.056476

European Journal of International Management, 2013 Vol.7 No.5, pp.535 - 549

Available online: 20 Sep 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article