Leaders and Leadership
Most of what is written about leadership has been written by western scholars and practitioners – mostly from the United States. Thus, what we have studied in this module so far reflects western assumptions and values about how to improve leadership performance.
But leadership quality, we know, is mostly about perception. If the followers perceive that a person is a leader, that person will be treated with respect and the followers will grant him the power and authority to guide their actions. These perceptions can vary across cultures, and successful global leaders know that leadership is viewed differently in different cultures and modify their behaviors to align with culturally diverse expectations. This is what is called Cultural Intelligence.
(If this is a topic that particularly interests you and you would like to increase your capacity for cultural intelligence, you are encouraged to enroll in LED520: Cross-Cultural Communication and Leadership. This course can serve as an elective in several degree programs.)
The following reading discusses the importance of cultural awareness in increasing organizational effectiveness:
O’Reilly, C. (2013). Why is cultural intelligence important? Retrieved from http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/topic/soft-skills/why-cultuiral-intelligence-important/181942
Click on this link to Kwintessential Language and Culture Specialists. The site may take a moment to load, so be patient. You will find a selection of 20 or so cultural awareness quizzes. Choose one or two that look interesting to you. (Hint: You will learn the most if you choose a general quiz, or one that concerns a country with which you are not familiar, and then choose a quiz that tests your knowledge of a culture with which you think you are highly familiar.) After completing the quiz(zes), address the following questions in a 2- to 3-page essay:
Which quiz(s) did you take?
Were you surprised at your score?
What strengths do you think you have in the area of inter-cultural awareness?
What weaknesses are you able to identify?
Create a plan of specific steps you can take to build on your strengths and improve areas of weakness.
Why is it important for managers to increase their levels of cultural awareness?
Keys to the Assignment
The key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper include:
Complete the assessment according to the guidelines and interpret the results.
Include the actual results.
Discuss BOTH strengths and weaknesses. If there were gaps between your assessment results and your own thoughts about your level of cultural awareness, why they do these gaps exist?
Discuss concrete actions you can take to improve your cultural awareness.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Your paper will be evaluated using the following five (5) criteria:
Assignment-Driven Criteria (Precision and Breadth): Does the paper fully address all Keys to the Assignment? Are the concepts behind the Keys to the Assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking and Depth): Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
Business Writing (Clarity and Organization): Is the paper well written (clear, developed logically, and well organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the Keys to the Assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
Use of Information (Information Literacy and References): Does the paper demonstrate that the student has read, understood and can apply the background materials for the module? If required, has the student demonstrated effective research, as evidenced by student’s use of relevant and quality (library?) sources? Do additional sources used in paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?
Tips and Suggestions
Please note the following tips and suggestions:
Include a cover page and reference page, in addition to the 2-3 pages of analysis described above.
Include headings for all papers longer than two pages (basically all papers), but do not use headings as “space fillers.”
Cite AND reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you do not quote but paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than five words, and citations for information that you have paraphrased from other sources.
Follow TUI Guidelines for well-written papers. (If you are unsure of what those guidelines are, see The Student Guide to Writing a High Quality Academic Paper).
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