Leadership Modes Success Strategies for Multicultural Teams Essay

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Scandinavian Journal of Management (2010) 26, 258—267 a v a i l a b l e a t w w w. s c i e n c e d i r e c t . c o m j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : h t t p : / / w w w. e l s e v i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / s c a m a n Leadership modes: Success strategies for multicultural teams Lena Zander a,*, Christina L. Butler b a b Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, 750 20 Uppsala, Sweden Faculty of Business and Law, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB, UK KEYWORDS Multicultural teams; Team leadership; Leadership mode; Rotated leadership; Paired leadership; Shared leadership; Team composition; Faultlines; Status cues; Power paradox Summary Organizing work in multicultural teams has gone from rhetoric to reality, leaving international organizations with challenging tasks and little strategic guidance. A wealth of multicultural team research reaches the conclusion that management matters, but less is known about team leadership. Drawing on recent leadership research, we focus on leadership modes and multicultural team composition. Two identified dimensions — ‘focused versus distributed leadership’ and ‘vertical versus horizontal leadership’ — are utilized to develop four leadership modes (‘single’, ‘paired’, ‘rotated‘, and ‘shared’). Multicultural team composition is examined in terms of ‘faultlines’ and ‘status cues’. We formulate propositions predicting which team leadership mode will enhance team outcomes given different multicultural team composition and we argue that leadership modes should be an informed strategic choice. # 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Introduction In organizations — whether private, public or humanitarian, national or international, virtual or co-located — working in teams is no longer ‘the management fad of the month’ but has become the contemporary ‘modus operandi’.

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