ASSESSING LEADERSHIP STYLE IN MULTICULTURAL TEAM

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1 ASSESSING LEADERSHIP STYLE IN MULTICULTURAL TEAM B. B. Biradar 1, Dr. Vishnukant. S. Chatpalli 2 1 Research Scholar, Dept of Business Administration, Rani Channamma University, Belagavi (India) 2 Professor, Dept. of Business Administration, Rani Channamma University, Belagavi,(India) ABSTRACT Multiculturalism is an indisputable fact of life in today s world. However, managing multiculturalism is indeed a challenge both at the, governance as well as managerial levels. Organizations are increasingly realizing vast diversity within the global market and devising strategies to make the most out of it. Managing a multicultural team can be a rewarding experience, giving leaders the opportunity to work closely with employees from diverse backgrounds and offering the chance for personal and professional growth. The need for efficient leadership exists since business activities started. Different types of leadership styles can be adopted by managers in successfully leading a multicultural team. The objective of this research study is to know the leadership styles used in managing multicultural teams by using managerial Grid model given by Robert Blake and Mouton. This paper offers some insights on different leadership styles used in managing multicultural teams effectively namely Team Leader, Country Club Leader, and Middle of the road management, Improvised leader and Authoritarian leader. This study is of descriptive research. The sample of 123 respondents working as project managers from various IT companies is considered for the study. A structure questionnaire is used to collect the primary data for the study. The questionnaire attempts to determine the leadership style based on the degree to which they focus on task and people. The findings of the study reveals that majority of project manager in IT companies have Team leader which happens to be most effective leadership style according to the managerial grid model. Next to the Team leader the major chunk of respondents falls in the category of Country Club Leader as well as Middle of the road management. Very least number of respondents has impoverished leadership style. This states that Project Managers working in IT companies have equal concern for People and Task. Keywords: Country Club Leader, Leadership style, Multicultural, Project Managers, Team Leader. I. INTRODUCTION In the challenging and constantly changing competitive environment, companies have to react flexibly to changing conditions. Managers, therefore, need to know how to effectively manage; they must select the appropriate style of leadership, but particularly make sure the enterprise constantly improves its performance. It is appropriate to look for such a management process that allows linking corporate strategy to operational objectives, and the one that will also help to integrate continuous improvement of daily activities into the strategy. 133 P a g e

2 Nowadays the research of leadership and management focuses on managing in the changing environment, where the economical, political and environmental factors are part of the decision-making process. Modern leader has to have the ability to transform and act rapidly, without forgetting the ethical issues in management. Quality of being flexible but still loyal to the organizations values and mission creates a challenge to every leader and a manager. Often today s leader has been contrasted with having entrepreneurial and technological skills without concentrating too much on the details and devoted to the service. (Sadler, 2003, 153; Strömmer, 1999, 99) Several researchers agree that existing definitions of leadership are inconsistent and unclear. Thus, it is very challenging to provide a unified, all-embracing definition for the term, even though it is one of the most examined phenomena in social science (Williams 2008; Prewitt, Weil & McClure 2011). Recently, leadership has been understood as a more social phenomenon involving leaders and followers in a social influence process (Antonakis et al. 2004; Yun et al. 2006). Thus, leadership, as it is understood today, is not only for the leader; instead, it is daily influencing and collaboration in teams. This is known as process theory of leadership (Antonakis et al. 2004). II. CONCEPTUAL FRAME WORK The world has become smaller through intensified globalization. Due to globalization and increasing mobility of people, labour has become more heterogeneous. (Sippola 2007b; Sippola & Smale 2007; Viitala 2007; Mensi- Klarbach 2012.) According to Levi (2007) and Smith et al. (2008), a team is a particular type of a group in which its members work interdependently in order to accomplish a mutual goal. Multicultural teams, in turn, are those whose members have different cultural backgrounds reflecting both the surface-level, such as language, nationality, and gender, and the deep-level, such as values and attitudes, differentiation (Ayoko & Härtel 2006). Different cultural backgrounds have an influence on team members understanding, thinking, interpreting, behaving, communicating, and a way of responding to various situations (Adler & Graham 1989; Leung et al. 2005; Shokef & Erez 2006; Stahl, Mäkelä, Zander & Maznevski 2010). Managing a multicultural team can be a rewarding experience, giving leaders the opportunity to work closely with employees from diverse backgrounds and offering the chance for personal and professional growth. However, operating a team with genuinely different people also comes with a number of challenges that must be overcome to create a productive work environment. The need for efficient leadership exists since business activities started. According Blake and Mouton (Blake R. M., 1964), efficient leadership is defined by a focus on for production and for the people. Using, Blake and Mouton model this paper offers some insights on different leadership style is used in managing multicultural teams effectively. II. THE MANAGERIAL GRID - THE THEORY Managerial Grid introduced by Blake and Mouton (1964) classifies management practices according to the level of managers concern for people and concern for production. Specifically, the Managerial Grid specifies five major different types of leadership styles based on concern for people and concern for production (task). The grid is divided into following five possible major leadership styles: 134 P a g e

3 Impoverished leader (1,1): This type of leader has neither concern for people or production (task) and neither exercise minimum effort nor no effort is put to get the work done from subordinates. Usually this style of leadership is used to preserve their job, seniority, and safeguard them by avoiding themselves from getting into trouble. Authoritarian leader (9,1) : Leaders in this category believe that employees are simply a means to an end. Employee needs are always secondary to the need for efficient and productive workplaces. This type of leader is very autocratic, has strict work rules, policies, and procedures, and views punishment as the most effective means to motivate employees. Managers using this style find employee needs unimportant; Country Club Leader (1,9): Leaders in this category show high interest in the needs and feelings of employee s affects productivity. With much of the focus on employee comfort, this leader finds it difficult to punish an employee. As a result, the relationship between employee and leader is very casual, like that of friends. Managers using this style pay much attention to the security and comfort of the employees, in hopes that this will increase performance. Middle of the road management (5,5): Leaders using this style try to balance between company goals and workers' needs. This style seems to be a balance of the two competing concerns, and it may at first appear to be an ideal compromise. However, when you compromise, you necessarily give away a bit more of each concern, so that neither production nor people needs are fully met. Team Leader (9,9): According to the Blake & Mouton model, this is the best managerial style and Mc Gregor has also termed this style as the most effective one. The team leader stresses for high production and employees satisfaction equally and believes that those who are satisfied will be committed to high production. High trust levels on the part of both the leader and employees lead to high employee satisfaction and production. III. METHODOLOGY The objective of the study is to know the leadership style used in managing multicultural teams using managerial Grid given by Robert Blake and Mouton. A descriptive study is conducted on employees working as project managers in IT companies of Karnataka. In order to attain the objective the samples are collected by using snowball sampling technique. A sample of 123 respondents from various IT companies is considered for the study. Due to the hectic time of respondents at workplace an online survey is considered as an effective tool to collect the data. The Managerial Grid leadership self assessment questionnaire is used to collect the primary data and books and journals are used as secondary data for the study. The questionnaire attempts to determine the degree to which they prefer to focus on task and people. IV. ANALYSIS The table 1.1 represents the individual scores of 123 respondents on Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid Model. Scores of X represent to People and Y represents to task. 135 P a g e

4 TABLE: 01 Show the individual scores of respondent on Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid Model. for Task (Y) for People (X) for Task (Y) for People (X) for Task (Y) Samples for People (X) Samples Samples P a g e

5 Fig: 01 shown the scores of individual respondent, there to People is plotted on vertical axis in the matrix, while to task is plotted on the horizontal axis in the matrix. The point where these lines intersect speaks about the leadership style that is obtained from each of the individual respondent. Among 123 respondents 08 of the respondents fall in the Middle of the road leadership category i.e., they have moderate concern for the people and task. 98 respondents fall under the Team leader leadership style they are maximum concern towards people and task. 09 respondents use Authoritarian style of leadership and such that they have more concern for task than people. 08 respondents use Country Club Leadership style and are such that they have more concern for people than task. This clearly shows that majority of respondents have team leader leadership style. Fig: 01 show the leadership style used in managing Multicultural teams. 1, 9 From the bellow figure it is evident that 80% of the respondents are using team leadership style in managing multicultural teams, followed by 7% of the respondents are using leadership style which is more concern to task and more concern to people and 6% of the respondents are using middle of the road management style. Fig: 02 Show the leadership style used in managing multicultural teams 137 P a g e

6 V. CONCLUSION With increasing diversity at work place managing multicultural teams is the biggest challenge for today s leaders. A Manager is a better contributor for the long term success of the organization and able to successfully respond to the changing demand of today s competitive global work environment. Based on the Managerial Grid model the project managers working in IT companies have Team Leadership style as a major in terms of managing people as well as achieving organization goals. This study reveals that an individual grid represents the project managers of IT companies are high on task oriented as well as high on people oriented, which motivates their team members to achieve their objectives. REFERENCES [1] Amaram, D. I. (2007). Cultural Diversity: Implications for Workplace Management. Journal of Diversity Management - Fourth Quarter, 2, (4), 1-6. [2] Barrow. J.C. (1977): The Variables of Leadership: A Review and Conceptual Framework Academy of Management Review (April). pp [3] Brett, J., Behfar, K., and Kern, M. C. (2006). Managing multicultural teams. Harvard Business Review, 84(11), [4] Brett, J., Behfar K., & Kern M. (2006) Managing Challenges in Multicultural Teams. National Culture and Groups Research on Managing Groups and Teams, 9: [5] Blake, Robert R. and Jane S. Mouton (1964), The Managerial Grid, Houston: Gulf Publishing Company. [6] Cox, Taylor, Jr.(1991) "The Multicultural Organization." Academy of Management Executive, Vol.5, no. 2. [7] Fiddler. F. E. (1967): A Theory of Leadership Effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill. [8] Halverson, B. Claire & S. Aqeel Tirmizi. (2008) Effective Multicultural Teams: Theory and Practice. New York: Springer. [9] Peter. L. Molloy, (1998) A Review of the Managerial Grid Model of Leadership and its Role as a Model of Leadership Culture, March 30. [10] Syed Afroz Ahmed, (2015) Managerial Grid a Magic Wand for Today s Leadership. International Journal of Business and Administration Research Review, Vol. 1, Issue.12, Oct - Dec, Page 264. Thesis: [11] Thani Buti, Thesis Leadership: Managing a multicultural organization, (2013). [12] Maarit Sulla, Thesis Leadership in multicultural Virtual team environment, (2013), Haaga-Helia, University of Applied Sciences. 138 P a g e

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