Social Capital in Global Citizenship

mathias-sager-social-capital-mobiity

Content:

  • Matching national and organizational cultures
  • Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal levels
  • The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’
  • Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Matching national and organizational culture

According to Nahapiet & Ghoshal (1998), social capital is “the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and derived from relationships” (as cited in [1]). However, it is not enough to design global leadership development programs with the goal to share knowledge according to national cultures in multinational enterprises (MNEs) without carefully making sure that the program also matches the organizational cultures involved (Espedal, Gooderham, & Stensaker, 2013).

Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal level

How the built social capital is prized depends on context. For example, Singaporean bureaucratic and political elite prizes social and cultural capital from the US, UK, and Western Europe highly as a result of Singapore’s unique history [3]. In academia, it is known that the apt use of researchers’ social capital in the form of international research networks helps significantly in achieving excellence [4]. On the other hand, global mobility experiences that come with a personal value such as new perspectives and knowledge about different cultures and systems can be not valuated as social or cultural capital by the home environment and therefore doesn’t get utilized by the respective institutions and organization [5]. There can be even biases on individual, organizational, and societal level because of strong interpersonal and intergroup processes preventing non-discriminatory perceptions of the intercultural aspects they are confronted with [6].

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’ describes the behavior of individuals who aspire to grow their professional global connectivity but remain emotionally relatively uninvolved locally [3]. In the case of expatriates, they can be conflicted between resistance and acceptance of the new culture as part of incorporation its possibilities within themselves [7]. For people from collectivist cultures, the loss of their societal embeddedness might not be felt as compensated [7] by the newly gained increase of social capital from a global perspective. Money can replace social capital in the sense that knowledge transactions can be bought anywhere (e.g., banking, legal, and medical services, etc.), independent of location [8].

Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Social capital networks reinforce themselves [9] and education, financial means, and access to information and communication technology determine to what level talent can be optimized [10] . To get access to global social capital, globalized forms of education to foster global citizenship is recommended by the UN [11]. Often international assignments don’t necessarily lead to returns home and can result in onward mobility and international careers within a community, which shares a culture of global nomadism [12] that is of horizontal multi-cultural nature [13]. The alignment of an individual’s lifetime stages and an organization’s strategic direction can be helped through a mentoring, mutual help in storying and career/goal alignment that is managed by a well-integrated Talent and HR Management practice [14].

References

[1] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[2] Espedal, B., Gooderham, P. N., & Stensaker, I. G. (2013). Developing Organizational Social Capital or Prima Donnas in MNEs? The Role of Global Leadership Development Programs. Human Resource Management, 52(4), 607-625. doi:10.1002/hrm.21544

[3] Sidhu, R., Yeoh, B., & Chang, S. (2015). A Situated Analysis of Global Knowledge Networks: Capital Accumulation Strategies of Transnationally Mobile Scientists in Singapore. Higher Education: The International Journal Of Higher Education And Educational Planning, 69(1), 79-101.

[4] Jacob, M., & Meek, V. L. (2013). Scientific Mobility and International Research Networks: Trends and Policy Tools for Promoting Research Excellence and Capacity Building. Studies In Higher Education, 38(3), 331-344.

[5] Complex Professional Learning: Physicians Working for Aid Organisations. (2018). Professions & Professionalism, (1), doi:10.7577/pp.2002

[6] Carr, S. C. (2010). The psychology of global mobility (pp. 259-278). New York: Springer.

[7] Soong, H., Stahl, G., & Shan, H. (2018). Transnational Mobility through Education: A Bourdieusian Insight on Life as Middle Transnationals in Australia and Canada. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 16(2), 241-253.

[8] Minina, A. (2015). Home is Where the Money is: Financial Consumption in Global Mobility. Advances In Consumer Research, 43393-398.

[9] Young, J. (2017). All the World’s a School. Management In Education, 31(1), 21-26.

[10] Yaffe, D., & Educational Testing, S. (2011). “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”–A Salzburg Global Seminar. Policy Notes. Volume 19, Number 2, Spring 2011.

[11] Gardner-McTaggart, A. (2016). International Elite, or Global Citizens? Equity, Distinction and Power: The International Baccalaureate and the Rise of the South. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 14(1), 1-29.

[12] Findlay, A., Prazeres, L., McCollum, D., & Packwood, H. (2017). ‘It was always the plan’: international study as ‘learning to migrate’. Area, 49(2), 192-199.

[13] Colomer, L. (2017). Heritage on the move. Cross-cultural heritage as a response to globalisation, mobilities and multiple migrations. International Journal Of Heritage Studies, 23(10), 913-927. doi:10.1080/13527258.2017.1347890

[14] Kirk, S. (2016). Career capital in global Kaleidoscope Careers: The role of HRM. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 27(6), 681-697. doi:10.1080/09585192.2015.1042896

 

About mathias sager

Independent researcher, artist, social entrepreneur, and leadership and strategy advisor I was born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. Currently, I’m living in Tokyo. I love open-minded people everywhere and the passion to working relentlessly for developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work. I have extensive experience in leadership and management, organizational psychology research, and learning & development practice. I have worked as a teacher, a leadership trainer, as well as a senior manager responsible for client relationships, counseling, and virtual teams around the world. Also, I’m a social entrepreneur and serving as a strategy and leadership advisor in different ways. My goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for the people’s individual well-being and common good alike. Continuously learning himself and keen to help, I appreciate any questions or feedback you may have at any time. Please connect here on any social media, as well as per direct email goodthings@mathias-sager.com.
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3 Responses to Social Capital in Global Citizenship

  1. Patty says:

    Just the other day I heard an example of someone who got a job here in Germany. He was fully excited: new challenges, work at higher level, higher income, etc. After two months he quit his job and return home to Switzerland, because the taxes here where much higher in comparison to what he had to pay in Switzerland.
    Now, there is also an importunity for improvement 😉

    • mathias sager says:

      Great case, Patty! Thanks for sharing. Often when asking people about reasons for their choices, it is useful to pay attention to the third item mentioned as it is often not the third priority but the real reason after the alibi list items number one and two are exhausted. In your story’s case, higher income is mentioned third. Obviously, this was, in fact, the primary decision factor. Global talent management needs to manage clear expectations and communicate so that inefficient exercises like your reported 2-month assignment can be avoided.

      • Patty says:

        Thanks Mathias and yes, I agree. However, like privacy (as you in previous post mentioned) we also have our own responsibility. If that person had research the tax regulations before the transfer, he would have decided not to accept the function in the first place. We can’t lay all responsibility by governments and multinationals. But knowing you better (and better 🙂 ) I am sure you agree.

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