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MG/IB 393 - Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice

The field of Global Leadership Studies explores the cultural context as one of the most important dimensions in determining what leadership styles will be most effective to motivate followers, manage conflict, and lead change. This course examines what current models say about effective leadership and what commonalities of effective leadership are recognized across cultures. The course also explores the important ways that desirable leadership styles vary among different cultures.

The course first explores classic theories of leadership, including the characteristics, behaviors, and skills that contribute to effective leadership. We will survey various approached to answering the question: “What is a good leader?” We will examine various definitions and essential concepts from the leadership literature, with opportunities for students to reflect on how these concepts apply in the real world.

The course will, then, explore various frameworks for assessing cultural differences and what effects these differences may have on the definition of a “good leader”. We will seek to understand how leaders should adapt their styles to be effective when leading across cultures.

The course uses experiential techniques to build students’ self-awareness and their leadership and intercultural competencies and to help them understand how they might advance their own potential as leaders. Throughout the course, students are required to maintain self-reflection journals to map their experiences, insights, and progress.

The overarching goals of the course are to develop an understanding of what “effective leadership” is, particularly in an intercultural context, and to provide students with resources to enhance their own leadership abilities.

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International Business

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