Showing posts with label global mindset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global mindset. Show all posts

Friday, June 27, 2014

Developing the Global Mindset from Understanding Cultural Perspectives

The global mindset is important for managing organizations across a wide spectrum of cultures as well as working effectively within particular cultures. A study by Masakowski, et. al. (2013) discusses the concept of the global mindset and how a sample of military veterans was able to improve upon cultural intelligence, metacognitive/cognitive strategies, and their effective/motivational resources for learning. The study helps to highlight some of the factors in developing global managers.

Business education is beginning to incorporate the global mindset into their curriculum in an effort to create stronger global strategic decision-making. This mindset is fostered through multi-cultural interactions within classrooms (Rhinesmith, 1992). It may also be fostered in companies through cross collaborative projects and service oriented learning.

The global mindset can be used in business organizations, military units, or geographical dispersed projects. Global leadership skills are created by enhancing the global mind-set, cultural intelligence, and intercultural competence (Pless, et. al., 2011).  Development typically comes from tacit and implicit knowledge of other cultures that is built into an appropriate mental framework.

One can think of the global mindset as the development of the “software of the mind” (Hoftstead, 1991). It is a way of processing cultural information across boundaries using a method that makes logical sense to the user. It is a broad perspective that synthesizes information into a usable model that understands the impact of decisions across multiple cultures. It is a type of broad and wide strategic analysis.

According to Rhinesmith (1992, pg. 10) the global mindset is a “a predisposition to see the world in a particular way that sets boundaries and provides explanations for why things are the way they are. A mindset is a filter through which we look at the world.” As a unique perspective it offers the opportunity to understand and synthesize information on a global or universal scale.

Let us try and see this in a more concise perspective. Exposure to various cultures offers an opportunity to see different vantage points and ways of living unique to each culture. When multiple cultural perspectives are understood it is possible to take a wider perspective of life and synthesize that into conclusions that apply across cultures. It is something akin to the commonalities of life.

The study focused on veterans and others who seek to be entrepreneurs. The participants engaged in 2-3 weeks of online education followed by an intensive 9-day boot camp. They found that the metacognitive learning that leads to a global mindset is difficult to train and is something that is unintentional and unique to the individual. Global knowledge is concise pieces of information while the global perspective is a broader methodology of viewing the world. There were a number of factors that seem to have some influence:

Metacognitive/cognitive: The cognitive strategies that a person uses to understand other cultures and the strategies enacted to understand specific cultures (learning how to learn).

Affective/Motivational: People must be motivated to learn about other cultures to develop cultural intelligence.

Behavioral: The ability of a person to adjust their behavior to fit within a particular culture.

Hofstede, G. 1991. Cultures and organizations. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mosakowski, E. et. al. (2013). Cultures as learning laboratories: what makes some more effective than others? Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12 (3).

Pless, N. M., Maak, T., & Stahl, G. K. 2011. Developing responsible global leaders through international service-learning programs: The Ulysses experience. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 10: 237–260.

Rhinesmith, S. H. 1992. Global mindsets for global managers. Training & Development, 46(10): 63–69.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Developing Global Competitiveness with Online Education

Online education and geographically dispersed students afford new opportunities to gain greater international business knowledge and support a global business culture. The advent of high speed virtual communications has changed the rate of global integration of business culture and opportunities to conduct economic transactions across thousands of miles. This new mobility of ideas and marketplace transactions requires relevant forms of education that can support students in developing a larger mental framework that foster higher levels of global competitiveness. Research by Erez, et. al. (2013) studied virtually and globally diverse learning teams and how these impact the development of a global mindset.

The global conception often requires at least two different skills that afford a broader perspective of decisions and ideas. Both cultural intelligence and global identity are necessary to construct a better understanding of the world and the issues it faces. The approach to learning allows for constructionist development, or experiential learning, that affords students the ability to develop personal experiences, reflection, readjustment and enabling them to compete on a global scale (Kayes, 2002).

Cultural intelligence entails the ability to effectively function in culturally diverse settings (Ang & Van Dyne, 2008). The ability to understand different cultures requires experience with them and a general understanding of their internal structures and values. Culture is often subtle and takes on different cues and mannerisms. It takes considerable time to interact with different cultures and create a better understanding of them.

Global identity can be defined as a sense of belonging to and identifying with a global culture (Shokef & Erez, 2006). Through understanding different cultures it is possible to understand the similarities that these cultures entail. Many of these similarities revolve around the essential mannerisms of existence each culture uses to support itself and survive in the wider world.  A global identity is based in identifying with the similarities of multiple cultures.

The researchers found that cultural intelligence and global identity increased during the classes. Students were better able to formulate accurate opinions and interactions with those in different geographically dispersed locations. They didn’t lose their local culture or identity but expanded that identity to include a wider framework of knowledge that helped them reason better on a global scale. The essential element of virtual learning teams being the formation of trust among members who sought shared outcomes (i.e. learning). Focusing on similarities among different cultures was more beneficial than focusing on what makes each culture unique. The study was a success for online global management programs that sought to create greater international competitiveness in preparedness.

Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2008). Conceptualization of cultural intelligence: Definition, distinctiveness, and nomological network. In S. Ang & L. Van Dyne (Eds.), Handbook of cultural intelligence: Theory, measurement, and applications: 3–15. New York: M. E. Sharpe.

Erez, M., et. al. (2013). Going Global: Developing Management Students’ Cultural Intelligence and Global Identity in Culturally Diverse Virtual Teams. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12 (3).

Kayes, D. C. (2002). Experiential learning and its critics: Preserving the role of experience in management education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 1: 137–149.

Shokef, E., & Erez, M. (2006). Global work culture and global identity as a platform for a shared understanding in multicultural teams. In B. Mannix, M. Neale and Y. Chen (Eds.) National culture and groups. Research on Managing Groups and Teams, vol. 9: 325–352.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Developing the Global Marketing Mindset

Global marketing is a new business necessity as global integration leaves few localities untouched by outside market influence. Developing global managers and moving them into organizations where they are most useful can help in the development of stronger marketing decisions. Research by Moeller and Harvey (2011) highlight the need to develop the “global mindset” among managers and use that mindset to compete on international markets. 

Before discussing the benefits of globally oriented managers it is first beneficial to understand what the “global mindset” is. According to Rhinesmith, the global mindset is, “the ability to scan the world from a broad perspective always looking for unexpected trends and opportunities that may constitute a threat or an opportunity to achieve personal, professional or organizational objectives” (1993, p. 24). They are able to overview the global environment and understand larger trends and move to specific knowledge adaptation when necessary. 

Those with “global mindsets” do something a little differently than local managers. They use something called the reference point theory. Similar to the process of socialization, acknowledging and understanding reference points, those with the global mindset can use multiple strategic reference points when transitioning into culturally, economically, and politically foreign environments (Fiegenbaum, et. al. 1996). In other words, they have gained enough knowledge in their lives to bounce around different cognitive models to see problems from varying cultural perspectives. 

The ability to scan wide swaths of information, dig deeply into areas of interest, and use multiple perspectives to solve problems obviously has advantages for organizations that must market, distribute, and operate on multiple continents. According to Gupta and Govindarajan (2004), it provides organizations with the benefits to forecast trends in the market, gain sophistication in analysis due to diversity of perspective, integrate best practice knowledge, and coordinate across functional activities and borders. 

The global mindset is developed through experiencing other cultures and gaining of environmental knowledge. This comes from studying concepts, understanding others points of view, being aware of your surroundings, and being creative in problem solving. Some personalities strive for understanding greater breadth of information while others do not. When managers have gained cultural experience and knowledge they can put that to strong use in solving complex global problems in logistics, marketing, human resource management, and many other areas. 

Fiegenbaum, A. et. al. (1996). “Strategic Reference Point Theory,” Strategic Management Journal, 17 (3), 219–35.

Gupta, A. & Govindarajan, V. (1991). Global Marketing Strategy and Organization. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Moeller, M. & Harvey, M. (2011). Inpatriate marketing managers: issues associated with staffing global marketing positions. Journal of International Marketing, 19 (4). 

Rhinesmith, S. (1993).  A Manager’s Guide to Globalization. Alexandria, VA: Richard D. Irwin.