טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentLisak Alon
SubjectGlobal Leadership Behaviors and Followers' Openness to
Cultural Diversity as Antecedents of Multi-
Cultural Team Identity and Effectiveness
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Miriam Erez
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

As part of the globalization process, a growing number of employees in Multi-National Organizations (MNOs) face the new reality of working in Multi-Cultural Teams (MCTs). Although a plethora of articles concerning MCTs have been published in the last decade, most of these studies didn't consider the role of leaders and followers in the MCTs as part of their research models.

In this research we suggest a model, which emphasizes both global leadership behaviors and followers' openness to cultural diversity as antecedents for desirable MCT outcomes. Based on Self-Concept Based Leadership Theories (Lord et al., 1999; Shamir et al., 1993) and on global work values typologies (Erez & Shokef, 2008), we assert that global leadership behaviors, which convey a collective sense of global identity, interdependence and openness to cultural diversity, are related to MCT identity. This relation is positively moderated by followers' openness to cultural diversity. Additionally, MCT identity leads to MCT effectiveness. Hence, global leadership behaviors are related to MCT effectiveness through team identity and this relation is moderated by the level of followers' openness to cultural diversity.

This work includes two studies. Study 1 consisted of 282 MBA students from 42 nationalities, working in 73 virtual, short term project MCTs .The results of study 1 supported the suggested model. Study 2 consisted of 274 employees working in 55 on-going MCTs in 9 MNOs. In this study, the research model was expanded by adding team trust as a mediator of the interaction relation between global leadership behaviors and followers' openness to cultural diversity on team identity. The results partially supported this model. Global leadership behaviors were positively related to team trust. However, the strength of this relationship decreased as the level of followers' openness to cultural diversity increased. Furthermore, there was no significant total effect of the interaction on team identity, although there was a conditional indirect effect of global leadership behaviors on team identity through team trust, conditioned by the followers' openness to cultural diversity. Additionally, there was a positive relation between global leadership behaviors and team identity, which was partially mediated by team trust. Finally, as in study 1, there was a positive relation between MCT identity and MCT effectiveness and a conditional indirect effect between global leadership behaviors and team effectiveness through team trust and then team identity, moderated by followers' openness to cultural diversity. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.