Conflict and Management Style
The management style that managers must use in order to be
successful will vary from culture to culture. Otherwise conflict situations
Intercultural managers can avoid conflict situations if they have
flexibility in their styles. Colback and Maconochie (1989) profiled what they described as
the 'Euromanager'. A suitably expanded version could be used to describe a
global manager. 'He, and presumably she, will be a graduate with a second degree
in European studies, and will speak fluently
at least one European language as well as English, and possibly Japanese.
Experienced in working for multinationals, they will understand senior
management operations in American, Japanese and European settings... Needs to be
cosmopolitan in the truest sense of the word, at ease socially, linguistically
and culturally in all countries.' Devine (1988) provided her version of the 'Euromanager':
'They understand the languages, the customs and the business and political
systems of the countries where their countries operate.' The skills of such
Euromanagers could be fostered, according to Devine, by creating multinational
boards of directors.
Global managers should not spread themselves thin by learning the
languages and mores of more than four countries. A key requirement is comfort
with constant adaptation. This should be coupled with the ability to diagnose
the context and ascertain what management style is appropriate. Additionally,
global managers should be able to learn quickly aspects of management style that
are locally appropriate. As they assumed senior positions, the ability to
motivate managers in all cultures will stand them in good stead.
and von Glinow (1990) argue that transnational corporations require
'cognitively complex self-monitoring managers who have global perspectives and
boundary spanning capabilities, with a geocentric and not an ethnocentric
orientation'. They also recommend that intercultural managers have contextual
competence to complement their technical competence. Contextual competence
refers to the following: capacity to understand the value orientations of
different cultures, linguistic skills, capacity to recognize the importance of
local customs, religion, history, climate, politics, and social norms, capacity
to introduce change in a manner and at a pace suitable for local conditions,
capacity to focus on the global performance of the corporation and not on local
results, capacity to balance the need for control with the need for autonomy,
and finally, capacity to act as a 'boundary-spanning interpreter' connecting
home and host country decision makers. Finney and von Glinow also identified a
set of attributes for inclusion in a global executive's management style. These
are cognitive complexity, self-monitoring ability, boundary-spanning ability,
global orientation and geocentricism. The technical term they devised to
describe these attributes is 'superordinate value orientation'. They defined
these superordinate value orientations as follows:
Cognitive complexity is the ability to use 'multiple
solution models', rather than 'one best way' approaches as a management
Self-monitoring managers possess the ability to perceive the
behaviour and thinking patterns associated with differing value orientations,
and match their behaviour to the demands of that orientation.
The boundary-spanning role is one of acting as interpreter
between home and host countries about technical and sociocultural issues.
Global community is the ability to gauge the role of home
and host countries in the global economy.
The geocentric manager is one who internalizes multiple
worldviews and value orientations.
All these attributes enable a global manager to tackle
conflict situations. They also enable a global manager to formulate conflict
resolution strategies that lead to win-win situations.