Developing Leaders’ Strategic Thinking through Global Work Experience: The Moderating Role of Cultural Distance
Journal of Applied Psychology, Forthcoming
50 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2013
To respond to the challenge of how organizations can develop leaders who can think strategically, we investigate the relation of leaders’ global work experiences — that is, those experiences that require the role incumbent to transcend national boundaries — to their competency in strategic thinking. We further examine how leaders’ exposure to a country whose culture is quite distinct from the culture of their own country (i.e., one that is culturally distant) may moderate these relationships. Our analyses of 231 upper-level leaders reveals that the time they have spent in global work experiences positively relates to their strategic thinking competency, particularly for leaders who have had exposure to a more culturally distant country. We discuss these findings in light of the research on international work experiences and leader development.
Keywords: leader development, international work experiences
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