The Rise of Multicultural Managers | INSEAD Knowledge

A good overview by INSEAD academics of some of the advantages for larger companies of multicultural managers and leaders, and some of the advantages:

  • “Making creative associations and drawing analogies between geographical markets, allowing L’Oreal to develop global products and build global brands while remaining sensitive to local market differences.
  • Interpreting complex knowledge – i.e. tacit, collective and culture-dependent, hence impossible to simply “explain” across cultures and contexts, an essential skill when marketing products like cosmetics, where much of understanding is tacit and culture-dependent.
  •  Anticipating cross-cultural conflicts, and addressing them, something critical to the effectiveness of global teams.
  •  Integrating new team members from different cultures into teams that quickly develop their own norms of interaction and a strong “in or out” identity, making joining the team once it has been in existence for a while particularly difficult.
  • Mediating the relationship between global teams, with a high level of cultural diversity among their members, and the senior executives they report to, or their interaction with local subsidiary staff they collaborate with, who are usually monocultural.”

The Rise of Multicultural Managers | INSEAD Knowledge.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to The Rise of Multicultural Managers | INSEAD Knowledge

  1. Victoria says:

    This made my morning. This is what I used to do when I ran worldwide IT systems for French multi-nationals. It was incredibly rewarding. To be able to get people from all over the world working together on a common project or goal isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

    What still amazes me though is how management often didn’t see that part as being key to the success of the projects. They say it as a “nice to have” but not essential. Multi-cultural experience didn’t necessarily translate into tangible rewards either. This meant that some valuable team members, the ones who came back profoundly changed with new talents that might have been useful to HQ, left for other companies that did see their value.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks for your comment. All too true.

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