“Effective international managers were said to be those who were adaptable, flexible, open-minded, speaking in foreign languages, and making friends with those of many nationalities.” (Smith, 1992:46) Critically discuss the validity of this statement and the extent to which being “… adaptable, flexible, open-minded, speaking in foreign languages, and making friends with those of many nationalities” are relevant and sufficient qualities, capabilities and conditions for international managers being effective in the context of managing culturally diverse project teams. Draw on specific illustrative examples from case studies and/or organisations with which you are familiar.


THE TASK: write a 2300 word paper that addresses the following:

“Effective international managers were said to be those who were adaptable, flexible, open-minded, speaking in foreign languages, and making friends with those of many nationalities.” (Smith, 1992:46)

Critically discuss the validity of this statement and the extent to which being “… adaptable, flexible, open-minded, speaking in foreign languages, and making friends with those of many nationalities” are relevant and sufficient qualities, capabilities and conditions for international managers being effective in the context of managing culturally diverse project teams. Draw on specific illustrative examples from case studies and/or organisations with which you are familiar.

You will be expected to demonstrate that you:
1. Are familiar with and able to critically review the relevant literature on international HRM, international/global managers and intercultural working.
2. Have a critical understanding of the role and contributions of international managers.
3. Have a critical understanding of the capabilities, qualities and conditions that various studies report as being important to the role and effective functioning of an international/global team leader/manager.
4. Have an appreciation of the concepts of ‘expatriates’ and ‘expatriate strain’ and their implication for international HRM.
5. Have an appreciation of the specific organisational strategies and interventions that can be used to ensure international managers are fit for the role, as well as those that can ameliorate/or limit the impact of potential challenges an international manager might face e.g. selection methods, pre-departure briefings and training, cultural competence skills development.

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