Tag Archives: Human Capital

Strategic and Systems Thinking & Global Talent Management Strategies

  1. Strategic thinking involves SYSTEM THINKING, reframing (e.g., positive thinking), and reflection (e.g., evaluating one’s reasoning). Strategic thinking is best enabled in unforceful leadership communities and has positive effects on information seeking behavior (Pisapia, J., 2006)
  2. A system thinker (as compared to a linear thinker) is able to improve the performance of a whole by not only improving its parts but by enhancing the RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE KEY PARTS systemwide.
  3. Often, solution approaches are rather reactive and focus on addressing symptoms rather than the underlying problems. CHANGES COMES AT THE LEVEL OF CULTURE, mindset, by regenerating MENTAL MODELS based on (self-) awareness.
  4. Be aware of the heuristics (“rules of thumbs”) in DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES. For important decision, mental shortcuts may rely too heavily on limited (personally available) and representative (personal image) information.
  5. Although GLOBAL MOBILITY SURVEYS (BGRS, 2016) report the strategic importance of global mobility function for the competitive advantages of large organization, only 10% of the respondents answered that their company’s global mobility strategy is aligned with the broader talent agenda.
  6. Immersion into international assignments/expatriation may foster more deep LEARNING ABOUT THE ‘HOW’ AND ‘WHY’ of how foreign cultures on the otherwise invisible level work. This can be beneficial for individual career capital and talent retention.
  7. Different career trajectories (e.g., dual careers) require a more strategic ALIGNMENT OF LIFETIME STAGES AND CAREER STAGES that are integrated into the organization’s strategic direction.
  8. Cultural tightness (independent of nationality, culture, and legislation for gender equality), in some organizations in some countries, hinders ADVOCATING WOMEN LEADERSHIP (Toh, Leonardelli, 2013)
  9. REVERSE/BACKWARD MENTORING can help to bring together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience, while providing both a possibility to engage and develop (Claire, 2011).
  10. More PROFESSIONAL FREEDOM, MEANINGFUL WORK, and WORK-LIFE BALANCE tend to constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures. The question remains how far these can be achieved in environments of fierce competition and profit requirements.
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Global Mindset, Intercultural Sensitivity, and Global Communication Competency

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Mobility, Cultural Agility, & Cultural Humility

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Human Capital & Success in Learning

Human capital

Human capital refers to the production factors, coming from human beings, that are used to create goods and services. These include knowledge, skills, habits, and social and personality attributes (marketbusinessnews.com).

Neuroplasticity

Changes to neurological pathways in the brain take place with practice. This would suggest that innate talent has no/little role to play (C. Ackerman, 2018)

Metacognition

Metacognition as the study of mental processes is about “thinking about thinking” and “learning how to learn” (Flawell, 1979).

Expert learners

Expert learners are more aware of/able to monitor systematic cognitive processes and therefore have more knowledge and better problem solving capabilities (Laureate education).

Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy comes from own believes and attitudes that are stronger than social discouragement (Adapted from Bandura, 1997).

Efficacy judgments

Self-efficacy is influenced by four factors: Verbal persuasion (encouragement), vicarious experiences (role models), performance outcomes (motivational lifts), and physiological feedback (arousal) (Bandura, 1977; Redmond, 2010).

Motivation success

Motivation success will increase if the individual attributes his/her successes & failures to internal, unstable factors over which he/she has control (e.g., effort) (Weiner, 1974).

Just World Hypothesis

To make meaning of the world, people tend to have a need for believing that the world is fair. However, people often are less generous about other people than about themselves (M.J. Lerner, 1980).

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Inspirational Leadership: Allowing the Soul to be Free

1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.

2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.

3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.

4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.

5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.

6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.

7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.

Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.

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Personality and Leadership Styles

 

Slides from our event, December 5th, 2018:

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The leader-follower relationship: Theories and related strategies

1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.

2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.

3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.

4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.

5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.

6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.

7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.

8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.

9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.

10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.

11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.

12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.

 

Slides:

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Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.

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For the Love of Learning

For the love of learning!:-)
October 10th, 19:00 at J-Global, B2 Yaesuguchi Kaikan, 1-7-20 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 〒103-0028
https://www.facebook.com/events/296127901169930/

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“We shouldn’t teach great lessons, we should teach a love of learning.” [- Inspired by B.F. Skinner]

The Meaning of Work (and Cultural Considerations at the Example of Japan)

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Introduction

Definition of meaning

Although ‘meaning’ isn’t reducible to a state-like single factor [1], the meaning of a concept (i.e., work) is related to how an individual does experience the significance of a situation that causes related inferential intentions to behave in a certain way [2]. While for many people the primary meaning of work lies in the earning of money for making a living, work provides also for values such as achievement, honor, and social relationships that determine how central the purpose of work is as compared to other life aspects like leisure, family, and community [3].

Economist and psychologist approach to work

The economist approach to work assumes a transactional exchange of time and effort for money. Non-financial job values have gotten limited attention by economists when examining work motivation and productivity. However, like for example, academics who have highest job security without the need to outperform, and who study beyond working hours without monetary incentives, are motivated by pure contribution to a subject, intellectual stimulation, and the satisfaction from a deliberate exchange of knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of autonomous decision-making regardless of ‘pain’ put into it in the form of time and effort. Top talents have been found to prefer to work for social organizations rather than just for the best paying one [4].

Albeit the financialized political economy [5] ignores many aspects of work, such as its creative and interpersonal (social) value [6], the examples show that through psychological satisfaction, work can be a source of meaning beyond merely earning an income [4].

 

Cultural features of work meaning

Work creates culture, culture creates work

Culture as a guiding set of material, mental, and spiritual values that are based on a group’s experiences over time, creates meaning on how to behave and work [7] and, at the same time, its meaning itself is produced by work. Consequently, work should be considered a meaning-making construct of and within culture respectively as the producer and product of people’s mindset simultaneously [8]. A culture, therefore, can be only as rich and meaningful as the work that produces it is itself. 

“Adulthood” identity

In most Western cultures, there is today a less clear boundary between school and work life. In Japanese society though, there exists still a distinct point in time (usually beginning of April every year) that is marking the end of one’s student identity through entering the working world on full-time basis, which means to becoming a ‘shakaijin,’ i.e., a person of society/workforce [9]. Companies use recruitment practices and regular personal assessment throughout an adult’s work life to socialize [10]. Age-based reward and promotion systems also support this ongoing socialization process [15]. More recently, the traditional path to adulthood and ‘companyism’ has become more diverse, and the increasing number of part-time workers and contractors is shaping a changing understanding of the transition to adulthood and work life, one that takes place rather through action than through the acquisition of the ‘shakaijin’ status [10].

Masculine breadwinner identity

Company respectively work-led socialization reinforces gender roles. The breadwinning role is a priority in masculine identity. After the earthquake in 2011, men’s concern in Fukushima was less related to health than to the loss of their economic situation [11]. As in Japanese patriarchal culture, the father role is still primarily related to company job-related work, childcare duties are culturally assigned to solely to the female role (i.e., mother or grandmother), which provides a widespread potential for work-family conflicts. Shared family and work-related commitments, however, begin to be seen as essential to improve self-worthiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life [12]. Men who don’t exhibit a regular full-time job are more likely to marry late. Also, males with non-standard jobs have the lowest chance of getting children, an effect that is prevalent in Japan, but not in the US, for example [13].

Given the importance of work as a provider of status, identity, and meaning, it is understandable that Japanese commit with a lot of grit to it [14]. Over time, Japan’s values align more closely with global trends insofar as there is a great emphasis on the economic function of work as well [15]. Will that be enough meaning to engage the next generations of employees as well? Research is showing that lack of meaning at work is reducing work volition and work-related well-being significantly [16].

Economy of dignity and respect

A further question is how much a collectivist society may be able to reduce the dependency on others and society overall because over-dependency on the meaning of work risks to hamper dignity. The individual capacity to understand and position oneself as a fully recognized societal participant is vital to the notion of dignity as sourced from within. It is to hope that companies and society, not only in Japan, help to create dignity by de-stigmatizing of traditional personhood markers such as employment type and gender roles [17]. It’s maybe such a shift from status-focus to an action-focus orientation that also explains the changing meaning of ‘sonkei’ (Japanese for respect). Formal respect (e.g., towards age-based status) is increasingly recognized as a moral duty rather than an emotion built on genuine love and admiration [18].

Benefits from meaningful work

Psychological well-being

The benefit of employees perceiving their work as meaningful come as experiences of greater happiness, job satisfaction, team spirit, and commitment ([19]; [20]), thus reducing turnover rates and long-term sickness absences. This is because of the positive emotional bondage to the workplace that is an end in itself; a characteristic also called intrinsic motivation [21]. A greater sense of meaning in one’s work can be protective of burnout [22]. Eudaimonia is a term describing the sort of well-being that comes from living an engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling life [23]. Such a spirit at the workplace can be fostered by letting employees feel they contribute to something more significant in connection to a common connection and purpose [24].

Performance and physical health

Work meaning is also closely linked to better outcomes, such as increased income, quality of work, and job satisfaction [25]. Finally, a sense of purpose and sense of socially embedded growth in and from work (i.e., eudaimonic, meaning-based well-being versus hedonic, pleasure-based job-satisfaction [26]) was found to be associated with positive health outcomes, for example, by the means of supporting one’s physical resistance against adversities like inflammation or viral infection [27]. The Japanese type of stress-death, the so-called ‘karoushi’ (death from overwork) cannot be seen as a physiological phenomenon only. Rather death is caused by a vicious cycle of depressive feelings, and states of helplessness and unescapable despair combined with overwork [28].

Fostering meaning at work

A culture of mentorship and nostalgia

For a long time, job satisfaction research has been focused on an organizational perspective without sufficiently considering the role of the job on family, the standard of living, personal development, and on a worker’s larger worldview [26]. It is crucial to understand better situational contexts in which meaning ensues. Researchers found that the highest levels of meaning arise during spiritual practices and work hours, especially when performing social job components such as talking to people. As a general pattern, meaning occurs most during states of increased awareness [29]. An organizational listening climate may facilitate such an awareness [30], and acting as a self-reflective mentor might be a useful avenue of experiencing meaning at work [31]. Indeed, studies among nursing practices from different countries (e.g., Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, and Korea) confirm that leaders and a culture of mentorship are important for fostering meaning of work for both mentors and the mentees [32]. Also, the induction of nostalgia (i.e., remembering sentimental events from the past) can be used to meet employees longing for wistful affection to the past and may increase an employee’s perception of the meaningfulness of his/her organizational life and therefore the attachment to it [19].

The need for humanizing the economy

The hope that unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and even health and life-threatening mental stress at work will improve may be overshadowed by the continuing centrality of profit margins and efficiency in corporations. Neo-liberal development in Japan has shaken the traditions of secure long-term employment and a state responsible for citizens welfare. While the need for meaning at the workplace implies rather a humanization of the economy and society, capitalist marketization of everything is continuing. Corporate managers continue to exploit deregulated labor and capital and maintain insecurity and growing competition among workers. [33]. While rhetoric is sometimes trying to convince otherwise, understandably in the light of how grim the reality reveals, capitalism’s ultimate sense is about capital rather than humanity. In case of conflict, business goals come before anything else. Regardless of how meaningful employees perceive their job, no CEO is considered unsuccessful when driving profits within legal constraints and without caring especially about humanistically meaningful jobs. It’s, therefore, as an example, a non-surprising and common observation that such managers only after their retirement turn to a more dedicated anthropological role of contributing to society.

Meaning determines moral and ethical intentions and behavior

It seems that people need to find answers from within because the treadmill of the pursuit of consumption, pleasure, and economic success from work won’t fulfill the potential of greater meaning at work in many cases, regardless of how comfortable or tough the circumstances. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to fill the void of meaning through their sacred awareness, philosophy, and artful approach to put it into practice. And it is critical that we help others to do so too. The meaning of work should be considered simultaneously from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective, considering its psychological function for everyone. Meaning is the basis on which intentions ensue and according actions follow [2]. Consequently, claiming peaceful fulfillment in one’s work is an essential part of and prerequisite for moral and ethical behavior towards oneself and others alike.

 

References

[1] Leontiev, D. A. (2013). Personal meaning: A challenge for psychology. Journal Of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 459-470. doi:10.1080/17439760.2013.830767

[2] Liberman, S., & López Olmedo, R. (2017). Psychological Meaning of ‘Coauthorship’ among Scientists Using the Natural Semantic Networks Technique. Social Epistemology: A Journal Of Knowledge, Culture, And Policy, 31(2), 152-164.

[3] THE MEANING OF WORKING: JAPAN VS USA. (2011). Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the Academy for Studies in International Business (ASIB), 11(1), 7-11.

[4] Cassar, L., & Meier, S. (2018). Nonmonetary Incentives and the Implications of Work as a Source of Meaning. Journal Of Economic Perspectives, 32(3), 215-238. doi:http://dx.doi.org.liverpool.idm.oclc.org/10.1257/jep.32.3.215

[5] Lapping, C., & Glynos, J. (2018). Psychical Contexts of Subjectivity and Performative Practices of Remuneration: Teaching Assistants’ Narratives of Work. Journal Of Education Policy, 33(1), 23-42.

[6] Gill, F. (2000). The meaning of work: Lessons from sociology, psychology, and political theory. JOURNAL OF SOCIOECONOMICS, (6). 725.

[7] Francis, V. F. (2018). Infusing Dispute Resolution Teaching and Training with Culture and Diversity. Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution, (Issue 2), 171.

[8] Bendassolli, P. F. (2016). Work and culture: Approaching cultural and work psychology. Culture & Psychology, 23(3), 372-390.

[9] Cook, H. M., & Shibamoto-Smith, J. S. (n.d). Japanese at work : politeness, power, and personae in Japanese workplace discourse. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan, [2018].

[10] Cook, E. E. (2016). Adulthood as Action Changing Meanings of Adulthood for Male Part-Time Workers in Contemporary Japan. Asian Journal Of Social Science, 44(3), 317-337.

[11] Morioka, R. (2014). Gender difference in the health risk perception of radiation from Fukushima in Japan: The role of hegemonic masculinity. Social Science & Medicine, 107105-112. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.02.014

[12] Hamada, l. (2017). Men’s unpaid domestic work: A critique of (re)doing gender in contemporary Japan. In M. Tsai, W. Chen, M. Tsai, W. Chen (Eds.) , Family, work and wellbeing in Asia (pp. 177-191). New York, NY, US: Springer Science + Business Media. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-4313-0_9

[13] Piotrowski, M., Wolford, R., Kalleberg, A., & Bond, E. (2018). Non-standard work and fertility: a comparison of the US and Japan. Asian Population Studies, 14(2), 116-136.

[14] Suzuki, Y., Tamesue, D., Asahi, K., & Ishikawa, Y. (2015). Grit and Work Engagement: A Cross-Sectional Study. Plos ONE, 10(9), 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137501

[15] Karyn A., L., & Arne L., K. (1988). Age and the Meaning of Work in the United States and Japan. Social Forces, (2), 337. doi:10.2307/2579185

[16] Duffy, R. D., Autin, K. L., & Bott, E. M. (2015). Work Volition and Job Satisfaction: Examining the Role of Work Meaning and Person-Environment Fit. Career Development Quarterly, 63(2), 126-140.

[17] Pugh, A. J. (2012). The Social Meanings of Dignity at Work. Hedgehog Review, 14(3), 30-38.

[18] Muto, S. (2016). [The hierarchical semantic structure of respect-related emotions in modern Japanese people]. Shinrigaku Kenkyu: The Japanese Journal Of Psychology, 87(1), 95-101.

[19] Leunissen, J. M., Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., & Cohen, T. R. (2018). Organizational Nostalgia Lowers Turnover Intentions by Increasing Work Meaning: The Moderating Role of Burnout. Journal of occupational health psychology, (1). 44.

[20] Fourie, M., & Deacon, E. (2015). Meaning in work of secondary school teachers: A qualitative study. South African Journal Of Education, 35(3), 1-8.

[21] Clausen, T., Burr, H., & Borg, V. (2014). Does Affective Organizational Commitment and Experience of Meaning at Work Predict Long-Term Sickness Absence?. Journal Of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 56(2), 129-135. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000078

[22] Tei, S., Becker, C., Sugihara, G., Kawada, R., Fujino, J., Sozu, T., & … Takahashi, H. (2015). Sense of meaning in work and risk of burnout among medical professionals. Psychiatry And Clinical Neurosciences, 69(2), 123-124. doi:10.1111/pcn.12217

[23] Cake, M. A., Bell, M. A., & Bickley, N. (2015). The Life of Meaning: A Model of the Positive Contributions to Well-Being from Veterinary Work. Journal Of Veterinary Medical Education, 42(3), 184-193.

[24] Kinjerski, V., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2008). Four Paths to Spirit at Work: Journeys of Personal Meaning, Fulfillment, Well-Being, and Transcendence through Work. Career Development Quarterly, 56(4), 319-329.

[25] THE PATTERNING OF WORK MEANINGS WHICH ARE COTERMINOUS WITH WORK OUTCOME LEVELS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN JAPAN, GERMANY AND THE USA. (n.d). APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY-AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW-PSYCHOLOGIE APPLIQUEE-REVUE INTERNATIONALE, 39(1), 29-45.

[26] Rothausen, T. J., & Henderson, K. E. (2018). Meaning-based job-related well-being: Exploring a meaningful work conceptualization of job satisfaction. Journal Of Business And Psychology, doi:10.1007/s10869-018-9545-x

[27] Kitayama, S., Akutsu, S., Uchida, Y., & Cole, S. W. (2016). Work, meaning, and gene regulation: Findings from a Japanese information technology firm. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 72175-181. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.07.004

[28] Walter, T. (1993). Karoushi: Stress-Death and the Meaning of Work. Journal Of Business Ethics, (11), 869.

[29] Kucinskas, J., Wright, B. E., & Riepl, S. (2018). The Interplay Between Meaning and Sacred Awareness in Everyday Life: Evidence From a Daily Smartphone Study. International Journal For The Psychology Of Religion, 28(2), 71-88.

[30] Reed, K., Goolsby, J. R., & Johnston, M. K. (2016). Extracting Meaning and Relevance from Work: The Potential Connection Between the Listening Environment and Employee’s Organizational Identification and Commitment. International Journal Of Business Communication, 53(3), 326-342. doi:10.1177/2329488414525465

[31] Kennett, P., & Lomas, T. (2015). Making meaning through mentoring: Mentors finding fulfilment at work through self-determination and self-reflection. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching And Mentoring, (2), 29.

[32] Malloy, D. C., Fahey-McCarthy, E., Murakami, M., Lee, Y., Choi, E., Hirose, E., & Hadjistavropoulos, T. (2015). Finding Meaning in the Work of Nursing: An International Study. Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing, 20(3), 7.

[33] Gagne, N. O. (2018). “Correcting Capitalism”: Changing Metrics and Meanings of Work among Japanese Employees. Journal Of Contemporary Asia, 48(1), 67-87. doi:10.1080/00472336.2017.1381984

‘Developing Leadership Skills’ online course: Drop me a message for free access.

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Hello All,

As you know from past years, I have been researching, advising, and working with many successful global leaders. I have also read several hundred research papers and books on leadership from a managerial and psychological perspective.

I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!

My course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’

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My course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’

Hello Everyone!

As you know from my blogging activities, I’m doing a lot of research, writing and projects related to leadership and personal development.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on my first online course and today it’s officially live on Udemy, the platform for high-quality on-demand online courses!

You can find a description of my course ‘Developing Leadership Skills: Leadership Personality, Motivation, and Creativity’ below as well as in this introductory/promotional video: https://youtu.be/TQQWZCn3R_A 

I am very happy to announce that finally, I have converted key learnings into 1.5 hours online course on Udemy. I am glad to give this course for free for an additional 3 days to my social media connected friends. Those who are interested, please drop me a message and I am happy to share 150 USD course for free. Hope you like this little gift!

If you know of anyone else that’d be interested to learn developing leadership skills, I’d appreciate if you’d share this information with them too.

Thanks so much, and all the best!

Mathias


Course description

The course ‘Developing Leadership Skills’ is a compelling summary of latest research and good practices that may well become your passport to explore new ways of effective leadership styles, increased levels of motivation, and untapped creativity.

Whether you are an HR practitioner, an aspiring or current leader, an executive coach, or a student, this logically structured course will help you in becoming personally and professionally more effective and efficient. You are offered practical tools for insight and understanding of your possible

  • roles in team situations,
  • conflict management style,
  • successful negotiation strategies,
  • stress management,
  • motivation,
  • better decision-making, as well as
  • unlocking of your innovation capacity.

The goal of this course is to make sure you will find answers to the questions that are relevant for personal growth and a thriving career. Compact, straightforward, and with numerous references to further information, the interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural knowledge and perspectives presented in the twelve short lectures will benefit your well-being and success as a dynamic leader and the common good alike.

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Global Talent Gender Gap

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Content

  • The case for gender egalitarianism
  • Prestige economies and cultural tightness
  • Functional literacy and inclusiveness
  • Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles
  • Humanitarian principles and global egalitarian mindset

 


The case for gender equality

Although women represent half of the population in education and global workforce at career start and mid-level management, men outnumber women in all sectors’ leadership positions. The role of female talents in future leadership is a critical challenge [1] for the growth of economies [2]. A study among a big sample across 26 countries found that work-life balance, commitment, and turnover thoughts are related to perceived job autonomy that is, for women, mediated by present gender egalitarianism [3].

Prestige economies and cultural tightness

Prestige governs economies, causing countries with high expenditure in research and development to have comparatively fewer female members (e.g., Japan with 11.6% female researchers, and only 9.7% professors), while low-expenditure nations (e.g., the Philippines and Thailand employ female researchers beyond 45%) [4]. To stay with the example of Japan, nations with similar challenges related to vocational stereotypes, job availability constraints, traditional bias and a collective mindset, even when not having as much government promotion of female employment as Japan, tend to have fewer women in corporate executive positions. Roibu and Roibu (2017) ascribe this to the strictness of how social and work rules are enforced [2]. Indeed, cultural tightness, i.e., the fierceness of norms, contributes to explaining why some organizations in some countries are less successful in advocating women leadership than others [5]. However, the finding of male domination in higher leadership positions seems to be more generally a phenomenon somewhat independent of nationality, culture, and even legislation for gender equality [4].

Functional literacy and inclusiveness

Fast technological change can negatively pronounce skill deterioration during work interruption, such as caused by maternity leave [6]. Also, education needs to be carefully analyzed regarding whether it is suited to improve social inclusion or whether, in contrast, aggravates competitive exclusivity [7]. For example, functional literacy programs shouldn’t be designed as a reading and writing capability only, but as emancipatory enablers that integrate reading, writing, and socio-economic and political understanding for democratic participation and the self-efficient creation of social networks and wealth [8].

Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles

Some woman may be more sold on power-promising, rewarding, and recognizing careers [4] and learn how to play the neo-liberal corporate game. Many, on the other hand, do also keep a philanthropic attitude that might not be come to success in an economy that rewards competition [9]. Leadership styles are evolving though, and the value of emotional intelligence is bringing female leaders, albeit slowly, into pole positions [10]. Strength-based approaches to talent development can help also preserving gender-specific genuineness throughout personal careers [11].

Humanitarian principles and global “female” mindset

The human species can change its mindset, and a female leadership style based on humanitarian principles might be precisely the fit for an increasingly globalized and cooperating world [12]. Millennial women are expected to have a high interest to play a global role [13]. Already existing transnational women’s movements [10] may additionally help to boost self-esteem to create more egalitarian local and global environments.

 

References

[1] Andrews, S. (2017). Leadership, EQ, and Gender: Global Strategies for Talent Development. TD: Talent Development, 71(2), 7.

[2] Roibu, I., & Roibu, P. A. (. (2017). The Differences between Women Executives in Japan and Romania. Oradea Journal Of Business And Economics, Vol 2, Iss 1, Pp 81-90 (2017), (1), 81.

[3] Halliday, C. S., Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., Ordonez, Z., Rogelberg, S. G., & Zhang, H. (2017). Autonomy as a key resource for women in low gender egalitarian countries: A cross-cultural examination. Human Resource Management, 57(2), 601-615.

[4] Morley, L. (2014). Lost Leaders: Women in the Global Academy. Higher Education Research And Development, 33(1), 114-128.

[5] Toh, S. M., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2013). Cultural constraints on the emergence of women leaders: How global leaders can promote women in different cultures. Organizational Dynamics, 42(3), 191-197. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.06.004

[6] Jung, J. H., & Choi, K. (2009). Technological Change and Returns to Education: The Implications for the S&E Labor Market. Global Economic Review, 38(2), 161-184. doi:10.1080/12265080902891461

[7] Appleby, Y., & Bathmaker, A. M. (2006). The new skills agenda: increased lifelong learning or new sites of inequality?. British Educational Research Journal, 32(5), 703-717.

[8] Kagitcibasi, C., Goksen, F., & Gulgoz, S. (2005). Functional adult literacy and empowerment of women: Impact of a functional literacy program in Turkey. Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(6), 472-489.

[9] Morley, L. (2016). Troubling intra-actions: gender, neo-liberalism and research in the global academy. Journal Of Education Policy, 31(1), 28-45.

[10] David, E. (2010). Aspiring to leadership …… a woman’s world? An example of developments in France. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (4), 347. doi:10.1108/13527601011086577

[11] Garcea, N., Linley, A., Mazurkiewicz, K., & Bailey, T. (2012). Future female talent development. Strategic HR Review, (4), 199. doi:10.1108/14754391211234913

[12] Werhane, P. H. (2007). Women Leaders in a Globalized World. Journal Of Business Ethics, (4), 425. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9516-z

[13] Stefanco, C. J. (2017). Beyond Boundaries: Millennial Women and the Opportunities for Global Leadership. Journal Of Leadership Studies, 10(4), 57-62. doi:10.1002/jls.21505

Reverse Mentoring and its Benefits

mathias-sager-reverse-mentoring copy

Traditional mentoring

Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable [1]. In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship [2]. Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program [3]. Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field [4], a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning [5].

Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success

Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” ([6], p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE [7]. It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions ([8]; [9]). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues [10]. Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success [6].

Benefits for the employees

Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills [11]. Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built [9]. Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds [12]. Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas [13], which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations [14]. Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is [7].

HR supported implementation for improved employee retention

In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% [2]. In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees [15]. While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors [16], more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them [17]. It is essential that older leaders get the courage [13] to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships [18]. Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce [19] through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too [20].

References

[1] Bollig, J. (2016). What Company Do You Keep?. Superintendent, 32.

[2] Disch, J. (2018). Rethinking Mentoring. Critical Care Medicine, 46(3), 437-441. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000002914

[3] Bergelson, M. (2014). Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Innovative Approaches to Mentorship. People & Strategy, 37(2), 18-22.

[4] Ellis, R. (2013). Reverse mentoring: Letting millennials lead the way. T And D, 67(9), 13.

[5] Morris, L. V. (2017). Reverse Mentoring: Untapped Resource in the Academy?. INNOVATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION -NEW YORK-, (4). 285.

[6] Marcinkus, Murphy W. (2012). Reverse mentoring at work: Fostering cross-generational learning and developing millennial leaders. Human Resource Management, 51(4), 549-573. doi:10.1002/hrm.21489

[7] Lane, G. (2018). REVERSE MENTORING. Professional Manager, 7-8.

[8] Stephenson, G. (2014). Breaking traditions with reciprocal mentoring. Nursing Management, 45(6), 10-12. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000449766.91747.77

[9] Meister, J. C. (2017). 4 Ways Companies Are Developing Millennials for the New World Of Work. Communication World, 1-3.

[10] Harvey, M., McIntyre, N., Thompson,  H. J., & Moeller, M. (2009). Mentoring global female managers in the global marketplace: traditional, reverse, and reciprocal mentoring. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 20(6), 1344-1361. doi:10.1080/09585190902909863

[11] Breck, B., Dennis, C., & Leedahl, S. (2018). Implementing reverse mentoring to address social isolation among older adults. Journal Of Gerontological Social Work, 1-13. doi:10.1080/01634372.2018.1448030

[12] Walton, C. (2018). Lifting the lid on creativity. Training Journal, 24-26.

[13] Gardiner, B. (2015). RBA embraces competition and reverse mentoring to drive innovation. Cio (13284045), 1.

[14] Barrett, B. (2013). Creating Virtual Mentoring Programs for Developing Intellectual Capital. Proceedings Of The International Conference On Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning, 47-53.

[15] Catrin, H. (2017). Affective Commitment to Organizations: A Comparison Study of Reverse Mentoring Versus Traditional Mentoring Among Millennials. Binus Business Review, Vol 8, Iss 2, Pp 157-165 (2017), (2), 157. doi:10.21512/bbr.v8i2.3666

[16] Pieters, B. (2011). Reverse Mentoring: Fresh Perspectives from Future Leaders. Profiles In Diversity Journal, 13(6), 68.

[17] Jane, B. (2014). Reverse mentoring becomes a two-way street: case study of a mentoring project for IT competence. Development And Learning In Organizations: An International Journal, (3), 13. doi:10.1108/DLO-01-2014-0001

[18] Thoman, R. (2009). Reverse mentoring: How young leaders can transform the church and why we should let them. Christian Education Journal, 6(2), 432-436.

[19] Holden, L., Rumala, B., Carson, P., & Siegel, E. (2014). Promoting careers in health care for urban youth: What students, parents and educators can teach us. Information Services & Use, 34(3/4), 355-366. doi:10.3233/ISU-140761

[20] Chen, Y. (2013). Effect of Reverse Mentoring on Traditional Mentoring Functions. Leadership & Management In Engineering, 13(3), 199-208. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000227

What do younger talents want?

mathias-sager-youth-young-talent-china-employee

Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented. 


Work ethics and quality of life values

Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities [1]. Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness [2]. Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures [3]. Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle [4].

Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring

Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context [2], including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees [5]. A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents [6]. Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped [7]. Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach [2].

Short and long-term view for win-win situations

Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career [8]. Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start [9].

Empowering the youth

For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability [10]. For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether [3].

References

[1] Roongrerngsuke, S., & Liefooghe, A. (2013). Attracting Gold-Collar Workers: Comparing Organizational Attractiveness and Work-Related Values across Generations in China, India and Thailand. Asia Pacific Business Review, 19(3), 337-355.

[2] Claire, M. (2011). Lessons from the East: next generation HR in Asia. Strategic HR Review, (4), 11. doi:10.1108/14754391111140954

[3] Walk, M., Handy, F., & Schinnenburg, H. (2013). What do talents want? Work expectations in India, China, and Germany. Zeitschrift Fur Personalforschung, 27(3), 251-278.

[4] Froese, F. J. (2013). Work values of the next generation of business leaders in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Asia Pacific Journal Of Management, 30(1), 297-315. doi:10.1007/s10490-011-9271-7

[5] Lynton, N., & Beechler, S. (2012). Using Chinese Managerial Values to Win the War for Talent. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 567-585.

[6] Jackson, K. (2017). Demographic shift: implications for employment policy development in the Asia-Pacific. Asia Pacific Business Review, 23(5), 738-742. doi:10.1080/13602381.2017.1295558

[7] Ratanjee, V. (2014). Bridging the Leadership Gap in Asia. Gallup Business Journal, 4.

[8] Groden, C. (2016). Five Things You Can Do to Attract Millennial Talent. Fortune International (Asia), 173(4), 182.

[9] Rose, P. (2013). Internships: Tapping into China’s next generation of talent. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Cooperative Education, 14(2), 89-98.

[10] Middleton, J. (2012). secrets to tapping the talent in young Pacific people. Human Resources Magazine, 17(1), 34-35.

Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

China global talent management

Summary. Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in China are looking for talents who can balance domestic and international challenges, the evolving education and Global Talent Management (GTM) systems struggle with the timely identification, development, and retention of a workforce that is matching the required demand of new and future skills. Respect for the Chinese culture and access to so-called guanxi business networks shaped by collectivist cultural values are needed to access business opportunities. On the other hand, the opening up of secretive circles and empowering students and employees for more self-determined and problem-based learning could provide avenues to close the gap between theory and practice as well as more equality in talent development, hopefully resulting in increased entrepreneurship and innovation.

Continue reading Global Talent Management (GTM) in China: Between Globalization and Tradition

Global Mindset in Japan: A Critical Evaluation

mathias-sager-global-mindset-japan

Summary. This article critically sheds light on current socio-economic challenges for Japan and the need for developing a global mindset for companies in a globalizing world. With little chance for getting a management position before the age of 40 and confronted with dominating domestic demand for a monolingual male workforce, Japan’s youth gets blamed for being ‘insular’ and individually responsible for the lack of global mindsets. To improve global success, Japanese HR practices’ global talent management programs have to address the need for highly skilled and globally minded talents in Japan and their expatriates. Japan-specific, step-by-step, and creative alternative solutions may be required to make it happen.


 

Japan’s current unclear development of its role in global economy comes from various challenges such as two decades lasting economic stagnation [1] and increased competition from China and India [2]. Salary men sweat devotedly for the big companies and government agencies for the return of stable careers, while their wives take care of raising the next generation guaranteeing the continuation of the system that has become antithetical to fast-paced global changes [2]. A global mindset is needed for many Japanese organization, and there are calls for a related shift in education ([3]; [4]). However, most Japanese companies favor domestic monolingual male workforce [5], which informs higher education in the way that fewer and fewer students in Japan envision to study abroad [6]. The collectivist Japanese culture might emphasize that trend as the unity of family raises expectations for children not to stay away from their family and take care of their parents [7].

Japanese see the development of a global mindset as an individual rather than an organizational burden. Due to seniority-based promotion systems, only 9% of Japanese managers are below the age of 40, compared to 62% in India and 76% in China [1]. Ironically, the lack of talents with global mindsets has not been associated with strict hiring practices, bigoted immigration policies, or with conservative firm cultures but instead the ‘insular’ young people, the so-called ‘uchimuki,’ are blamed for keeping the island inwardly retreated [8].

Japanese HRM practices’ global talent management initiatives have been reported to not being suitable to attract sufficient talent with a global mindset for multinational enterprises [9]. English in Japan is still treated as belonging to the US or UK rather than being a global language [8]. HR brokers until today have mostly focused on low-skilled short-term immigration [10]. Therefore, not surprisingly, Japan ranks last behind all major industrialized nations regarding the percentage of foreign academics and engineers employed [11].

A trend of an increasing number of Japanese self-initiated expatriate entrepreneurs to developing countries in Asia indicates the presence of not only entrepreneurial but also global mindsets as related to social and sustainability missions [12]. Japanese multinationals, however, comparatively have difficulties to go international with their often highly successful local businesses in which the home-country expatriates obviously need to re-assess their globalization abilities [13]. For example, Japanese business men are used to relationship-based marketing [14] and would need to adapt to a more need-based style when selling abroad [7]. Maybe hybrid forms of globalization activities, developed through Japan-based HR training can advance the integration of cultural differences to promote global success [1]. Anti-globalization sentiments after the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima in 2011 and perceptions of unfairly exploitative global businesses may require an alternative kind of globalization as happening in the arts that, e.g., builds on alternative smaller destinations [15]. Step-by-step quick wins could increase confidence in more long-term investment into global mindsets to improve results from globalization [16].

References

[1] Ananthram, S., Pick, D., & Issa, T. (2012). Antecedents of a Global Mindset: A Mixed Method Analysis of Indian, Chinese and Japanese Managers. Contemporary Management Research, 8(4), 305-329.

[2] Ananthram, S., Grainger, R., & Tominaga, H. (2014). Constituents of a global mindset: an empirical study with Japanese managers. Japan Studies Review, 91-114.

[3] Li, S. (2014). The Conversion of Homogeneous State to Global Society: The Changes in Japan from a Higher Education Perspective. Procedia Social And Behavioral Sciences, 140(1), 553.

[4] Danielewicz-Betz, A., & Kawaguchi, T. (2014). Preparing Engineering Students for Global Workplace Communication: Changing the Japanese Mindsets. International Journal Of Engineering Pedagogy, 4(1), 55-68. doi:10.3991/ijep.v4i1.3297

[5] Kobayashi, Y. (2013). Global English Capital and the Domestic Economy: The Case of Japan from the 1970s to early 2012. Journal Of Multilingual And Multicultural Development, 34(1), 1-13.

[6] Normile, D. (2015). Japan looks to instill global mindset in grads. Science, 347(6225), 937.

[7] Michaeli, M., Lazo, A., Thao Phung, N., Moussavi, M., & Steinberg, H. (2017). Global Cultural and Accounting Difference between Japan and the USA. Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Accounting & Financial Studies (AAFS), 22(1), 22.

[8] Burgess, C. (2015). To Globalise or Not to Globalise? “Inward-Looking Youth” as Scapegoats for Japan’s Failure to Secure and Cultivate “Global Human Resources”. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 13(4), 487-507.

[9] Furusawa, M., & Brewster, C. (2015). The bi-cultural option for global talent management: the Japanese / Brazilian Nikkeijin example. Journal Of World Business, 50(1), 133-143. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2014.02.005

[10] Conrad, H., & Meyer-Ohle, H. (2018). Brokers and the Organization of Recruitment of ‘Global Talent’ by Japanese Firms–A Migration Perspective. Social Science Japan Journal, 21(1), 67. doi:10.1093/ssjj/jyx032

[11] Oishi, N. (2013). Migration and competitiveness in science and engineering in Japan. Migration Letters, 10(2), 228-244.

[12] Yokoyama, K., & Birchley, S. L. (2018). Mindset and Social Entrepreneurship: Japanese Self-initiated Expatriate Entrepreneurs in Cambodia. Journal Of Entrepreneurship And Innovation In Emerging Economies, 4(1), 68.

[13] Black, J. S., & Morrison, A. J. (2012). The Japanese Global Leadership Challenge: What It Means for the Rest of the World. Asia Pacific Business Review, 18(4), 551-566.

[14] Yang, L., & Peter R.J., T. (2008). The link between cultural value systems and strategic marketing : Unlocking the mindset of Japanese and South Korean managers. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (1), 62. doi:10.1108/13527600810848836

[15] Mōri, Y. (2015). New collectivism, participation and politics after the East Japan Great Earthquake. World Art, 5(1), 167.

[16] Yamada, K. (2016). Financing Sustainable Development with Enhanced Domestic Resource Mobilization: Transitional Role of International Cooperation. Asia-Pacific Development Journal, 23(2), 61-80.

How culture shapes different types of empathy

mathias-sager-culture-empathy

It is useful to differentiate between sympathy and empathy as the basis to also understand better how culture itself (amongst other factors) shapes cultural empathy. This is important also to define and assess more subtle aspects of empathy as it becomes increasingly imperative in education and disciplines such as global talent management.


Empathy (like sympathy and compassion) is related to human emotions as a reaction to other individuals’ plights [1]. Empathy is considered crucial in motivating pro-social attitudes and actions as well as moral development and involves research from various interdependent fields such as biology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy (Mason & Bartal, 2010). Science is differentiating affective empathy, i.e., the experience of others’ emotional state, and cognitive empathy, i.e., the apprehension of others’ emotions [3].

Empathy as a concept conflates with similar ideas like ‘sympathy’ [4]. A casual comparison describes sympathy as “to feel with,” while empathy involves “to feel for” others. More specifically, there is no need for a person experiencing sympathy to simulate the other’s state of mind as would be required for practicing empathy [5]. Batson (1991) defined empathy as a category of responses to another “that are more other-focused than self-focused, including feelings of sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and the like” ([6] p. 86).

Because the emotion of empathy determines, besides reasoning, how ethical decisions are made, it is vital to acknowledge its key role in human development and professions, such as, for example, journalism, which strongly influences how people related to empathy [7]. Despite increased globalization and the ubiquitous of information about others’ plight, a tendency of ‘sympathy-without-empathy’ represents the reality of globalized individualism [8]. Also, how the ability of empathy is individually employed should be assessed as well, as empathy can be for the good or the bad, e.g., not only for help, but for manipulation, bullying, and the exertion of cruelty where it harms others most [9].

Culture shapes how empathy is experienced and communicated as it is true for any emotions, which always are impacted by a culture’s particular social intricacies. Hence, the expression of sympathy and empathy require a language that is sensitive to support the maintenance of both the sender’s own and the receiver’s identity respectfully [10]. For example, it is essential to understand how cultural background moderates empathy. For example, people in East Asian collectivist societies that emphasize interpersonal harmony, tend to show increased empathic accuracy (while the level of empathic concern tends to be lower though) compared to more individualist cultures such as the UK [11]. The communication of distress, as well as sympathy responses, are both stronger when involving narratives of somatic experiences (e.g., fatigue) as compared to cognitive symptoms (e.g., negative thoughts), but only among Korean and not US study participants [12]. In another study, American individuals were found to focus less on negative aspects respectively avoid more negative affect compared to Germans when forming sympathy for other’s negative experience and suffering [13]. Russian people have, as a consequence of how the culture frames empathy, a more apparent preference for experiencing empathy more exclusively for people whom they know personally [1].

Education on cross-cultural empathy for global talent management is essential. However, even within any one nation socio-cultural differences might suggest a need for cosmopolitan education to develop empathy between all co-citizens [14]. The same might, of course, be true for between the employees in a single country too.

References

[1] Gladkova, A. (2010). Sympathy, compassion, and empathy in English and Russian: A linguistic and cultural analysis. Culture And Psychology, 16(2), 267-285. doi:10.1177/1354067X10361396

[2] Mason, P., & Bartal, I. B. (2010). How the social brain experiences empathy: Summary of a gathering. Social Neuroscience, 5(2), 252-256. doi:10.1080/17470911003589085

[3] Wang, Y., Wen, Z., Fu, Y., & Zheng, L. (2017). Psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the Measure of Empathy and Sympathy. Personality & Individual Differences, 119168-174. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2017.07.019

[4] Haase, F. (2012). Empathy vs. Evidence in Rhetorical Speech: Contrastive Cultural Studies in ‘Empathy’ as Framework of Speech Communication and Its Tradition in Cultural History. Ethos: Felsefe Ve Toplumsal Bilimlerde Diyaloglar (Dialogues In Philosophy And Social Sciences), 5(2), 16-35.

[5] Halpern, F. (2018). Closeness Through Unreliability: Sympathy, Empathy, and Ethics in Narrative Communication. Narrative, 26(2), 125-145.

[6] Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Towards a social social– psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

[7] King, C. (2017). ‘Gays Are the New Jews’: Homophobic Representations in African Media versus Twitterverse Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 193-216. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_010

[8] James, P., & Scerri, A. (2012). Globalizing Consumption and the Deferral of a Politics of Consequence. Globalizations, 9(2), 225-240. doi:10.1080/14747731.2012.658249

[9] Fairbairn, G. J. (2017). Reflecting On Empathy. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, (92), 61-83. doi:10.1163/9789004360846_005

[10] Sheikhan, S. A. (2017). Rapport Management toward Expressing Sympathy in Persian. Linguistik Online, 83(4), 101-114. doi:10.13092/lo.83.378

[11] Atkins, D., Uskul, A. K., & Cooper, N. R. (2016). Culture shapes empathic responses to physical and social pain. Emotion, 16(5), 587-601. doi:10.1037/emo0000162

[12] Choi, E. )., Chentsova-Dutton, Y. )., & Parrott, W. ). (2016). The effectiveness of somatization in communicating distress in Korean and American cultural contexts. Frontiers In Psychology, 7(MAR), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00383

[13] Koopmann-Holm, B., & Tsai, J. L. (2014). Focusing on the negative: Cultural differences in expressions of sympathy. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 107(6), 1092-1115. doi:10.1037/a0037684

[14] Culp, J. (2018). Internationalizing Nussbaum’s model of cosmopolitan democratic education. Ethics & Education, 13(2), 172-190. doi:10.1080/17449642.2018.1439308

Cultural intelligence (CQ)

mathias-sager-cultural-intelligence copy

This article describes the relationships of cultural intelligence (CQ) with other types of intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior. Mindfulness provides for a conceptualization of intercultural competence. CQ is a useful competency for acculturation challenges as required for expatriate talents in multinational enterprises. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being. For Global Talent Management CQ is essential as a predictor of performance and creativity and therefore increasingly used as assessment tool also for transformational leadership styles.

Emotional and social intelligence, motivation, and leadership behavior

Human capital is the major sub-factor of intellectual capital that contains a measurement of “sharing and reporting knowledge” [1], indicating that social competencies are acquired capabilities on the basis of emotional intelligence [2]. Cultural intelligence (CQ) might be essential to enable sharing across cultures as it means the ability to adapt to a new culture through open-mindedness and judgment-free respect for others [3]. CQ moderates emotional intelligence and leadership behavior [4]. Indeed, to understand emotional intelligence, cross-cultural differences need to be understood too [5]. As emphasized in the theory of emotional and social intelligence competencies (ESC), the motivation to make use of the competencies is vital to consider too [2].

Mindfulness, acculturation, and psychological well-being

Mindfulness might provide for a comprehensive conceptualization of intercultural competence as a cultural sensitivity that is put in action as a result of reflection [6]. Cross-cultural intelligence can be taught through different respectively the combination of methods such as lectures, literature, exchange sessions, and most effectively field trips [7]. CQ is also a significant contributor to career capital [8], potentially not only across geographies, but also in navigating company cultures [9]. Direct inter-cultural contact impacts both cultures involved, a process that is called acculturation [10]. The challenges that come with such foreign cultural influences might be a reason why it is often difficult to find talents who are willing to live abroad. People used to minority status, people from more diverse environments, and those with higher CQ experience more positive acculturation and psychological well-being [11].

Performance improvement and transformational leadership

Assessing CQ is highly useful for global talent management as there is a proven positive correlation with job performance [12]. Thanks to higher-quality cross-cultural social exchanges, knowledge hiding, on the one hand, can be decreased and creativity, on the other hand, improved [13]. It is, therefore, not surprising that culturally intelligent global leaders are high in demand [3]. An impressing percentage of 92% (out of 100) of companies who invested into improving CQ increased revenues within one and a half years [14]. Multinational organizations’ talent management functions fare well with using CQ as a selection tool [15]. Social intelligence and CQ also predict effective transformational leadership styles [16] as it allows the appropriate adaption of behavior to cultural differences [3].

References

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