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Multicultural Leadership: Keeping multiplicity alive and well
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2020 (English)In: Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a difference / [ed] Lena Zander, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, I explore the ever-present nature and importance of cultural multiplicity and its implications for global leaders. Multiplicity is understood as pluralism and continued co-existence of meanings, cognitions or other capabilities stemming from a heterogeneous composition of the workforce, based on a view of culture as inherently interpretive and culture-cognitive. It is characterized by the parallelism, complexity, ambiguity and mutability of different cultural perspectives. Specifically global leaders should consciously engage, leverage and mobilize cultural multiplicity. I argue that this involves integrative and generative leadership processes that shape interactive team dynamics between individuals and groups at the intersections of different cultures. Integrative leadership involves incorporating, sharing and even unifying processes in order to face multicultural challenges and breaks of communication and coordination. Generative leadership refers to emergent team processes of utilizing variations in cultural meanings to spot problem areas, find new solutions, engage in exploration and exploitation of novel opportunities and adapt flexibly to changing environments. This advances a more differentiated thinking about cultural multiplicity and its implications for leadership and shifts particular attention to emergent, innovative potential of multicultural teams in addition to addressing demanding challenges of such teams such as communication and coordination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020.
Keywords [en]
multiculturalism, multicultural leadership, cultural multiplicity, interpretive, cultural cognition
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396485DiVA, id: diva2:1367971
Available from: 2019-11-05 Created: 2019-11-05 Last updated: 2019-11-05

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