In 1998 the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) embarked on a research study designed to understand the capacities of individuals who are effective in global roles. It was created to examine the relationship between measures of effectiveness and the individual’s background, personality, learning skills, knowledge of the job, and the enactment of role behaviors. Seen from a larger perspective, the study worked within the scope of more than a decade of reports, books, articles, and other work devoted to answering the questions of what individuals need to be effective managing and leading global organizations. CCL has been part of that work (see, for example, London & Sessa, 1999; Sessa, Hansen, Prestridge, & Kossler, 1999; Wilson & Dalton, 1998).

Despite all of this activity, CCL believed that there had not been a well-designed empirical study that tested the theories and investigated whether the skills and capacities that are critical to effectiveness in the global role differ from those skills and capacities critical to managerial effectiveness in a domestic role. Furthermore, if global and domestic leadership and management skills do differ, CCL wanted to determine if there were ways to develop those different skill sets in aspiring international executives. CCL took that approach partly to assist human resource professionals in multinational organizations who have been scrambling to work out staffing strategies (policies, programs, and procedures) to recruit, develop, select, and reward individuals capable of assuming responsibility for business functions across multiple country and cultural borders.

Those goals shaped the design, development, and implementation of this study, and they provide a backdrop for this documentary report.

Additional Contributing Authors:

Maxine Dalton is the former group director of CCL’s Leading in the Context of Difference practice area, in which she managed research and development projects related to understanding how people become effective leading others who are different from them on some major social dimension. She has written extensively about global issues and other subjects, and holds a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of South Florida.

Chris Ernst is a former associate at CCL and focused on the changing role of leadership in a globally connected world. He is the coauthor of several articles and a frequent presenter on the subject of global issues. His Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology is from North Carolina State University.

Published: April 2002
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