Effective Training for International Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Leadership

Effective Training for International Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Leadership

Yvette Durazo (National University San Diego, USA), Margaret Manning (California State University – Dominguez Hills, USA) and Giuseppina Wright (California State University – Dominguez Hills, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8376-1.ch005


The purpose of this chapter is to share effective training methods designed to prepare business leaders for global cross-cultural collaboration and for the preparation to be utilized by practitioners, theorists and researchers from fields as diverse as humanities, sociology, psychology, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and business. The chapter analyzes existing literature with real-life case studies, such as integration policy in Sweden, the teaching of International Peacebuilding, training for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Mexico and first-hand observations of Morocco. Chapter findings suggest that experiential learning or learning-by-doing works best to effectively instill cross-cultural collaboration to shape global leaders. The authors propose further research be conducted to measure qualitative and quantitative results of cross-cultural training and implementation.
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Complexity of International Collaboration

Collaboration is difficult and complex, particularly “…in reality of the international field” (Marsick & Cederholm, 1988, p. 11). Pedersen’s research determines that cultural identity issues such as language, culture and religion can be more complicated than socio-political differences (2006). Therefore, training leaders on the basis of the common ground of recognition and dignity can foster collaboration and prosperous business and organizational development (2006). Western business practices typically promote scientific models with linear cause and effect, promoting what Kimmel refers to as “scientific knowledge” (2006, p. 644) that seeks to simplify complex issues. For example, Requejo and Graham (2008) observed American business models approach complex tasks sequentially and settle issues one at a time. In contrast, non-Western cultures discuss issues using a holistic approach in which “nothing is settled until the end” (Requejo & Graham, 2008, p. 29). The complexity theory of multiculturalism assumes that reality is more complex than simple theories and is described by Pedersen as “…chaotic, complex, non-linear dynamic” (2006, p.657). International collaboration frequently adds another dimension of uncertainty. For example, the giant British supermarket chain, Tesco’s Fresh & Easy markets failed in California within five years, even though Tesco “dispatched executives to live with American families, peek into their refrigerators and trail them on trips to the grocery store” (Li, 2013, para. 1).

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