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Leadership and change management : : a cross-cultural perspective

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A leader’s role in the management of change is a critical issue for successful outcomes of strategic initiatives. Globalization and economic instability have prompted an increase in organizational changes related to downsizing and restructuring to improve financial performance and organizational competitiveness. Researchers agree that a leader’s’ inability to fully understand what is needed in order to guide their organizations through successful change can be a reason for failure. Proper planning and management of change can reduce the likelihood of failure, promote change effectiveness, and increased employee engagement. Yet change in organizations must be viewed as a continuous activity that affects both organizational and individual outcomes. If change management can be considered as an event induced by socio-cultural factors, the cultural variable gains greater significance when applied to the quality of the relationship between a leader and his/her team. Many organizations today are on the verge of internationalization. It is here that the cultural context can affect behaviours and, in the same way, leadership style. With respect to the lack of research integrating culture, on one hand, and the specificity of leadership, on the other hand, the research presented in this book by an eminent group of scholars will explore the influence of culture - ethnic, regional, religious - on how leaders manage change within organizations.

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