Cunningham Holdings Ltd. is a business that is family-driven and is reliant on the family for pulling the survival of business. The company envisions for creating products that are sustainable and services that are connected globally. The company is a diversified company that has its interest in hospitality, pawn, and beef products and communications. The company has started the development of a strategic review that is comprehensive. In recent times CHL Communications has been approached by a consortium of South Arabia to develop an app. This partnership has brought in a wicked problem of Cross-cultural dimension as Australia and South Arabia has a very different working environment that has invited various problems in the functioning of the company. To overcome the problem an appropriate leadership theory and a development program are to be followed by the organization. The report will study the wicked problems that might be prevailing due to the cross-cultural dimension and also the leadership theory that might help resolve the issue. With that, a leadership development program will be suggested to overcome the problem.
In the present era of globalization workforce, there is a diversity that invites battle among the functioning of the company. People of two different cultures have different meanings and different styles of working. When they work together than the culture clashes that might lead to various problems like less motivation, negative confidence etc.
In the present scenario when Saudi Arabia and the Australian workforce will work together, both the countries have a very different work culture. In Saudi Arabia working practices it is very important that an appointment is taken and the appointment is not scheduled until the visitor has arrived. Also, it is required that while making an appointment 5 times prayer time has been considered (Harbi, Thursfield & Bright, 2017). Also there it is required that appointment is not made for precise hours as the working culture is relaxed there and might cause delays. While in Australia, punctuality is an important attribute and they like there time to be managed. People in Australia do not entertain even a 5 min delay. They like to work more in the working hours and they make sure that if a meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes than it does not extend beyond that time. Australian people like to utilize their day and time management is one key they follow.
This is an important issue as when these two cultures will merge, employees, tend to generate negative attitudes. Australian people will believe that their time is being wasted while Saudi people are relaxed and won't like the timeliness. This will hamper the work between the organizations as employees would not like to work together or won't be motivated while working together.
Another issue with the deal is the level of hierarchy. In Saudi Arabia there exist a dichotomy between the managers and the associates or the subordinates. The people having authority holds the power and are required to issue the directives to others as they require the work to be done. Age is also an important factor in the Saudi Arabian culture. Even at the workplace, it is required that appropriate salutations are used and the person who is the oldest should be greeted first. While in Australia there is very less value that is placed on the hierarchy of the system. Employees are given equal treatment. The culture focusses more on the team rather than on an individual who is ranking high. With that, in their work culture staff are allowed to speak their mind and raise their opinion.
For the deal, this will be a major issue as Australian are the people who like to work freely and they like to call people by their name irrespective of their position (Collins et al, 2017). In Saudi, it will be considered as disrespect. This will in turn increase the conflicts among the team members and team dynamics will be poor. Decision making won't be appropriate as different cultures would like to work in their manner.
These problems will create leadership issues and challenges. Leaders won't be able to manage their team and the results will be hampered. Employees will have a negative attitude and teams won't be able to work accordingly. This might lead to the failure of the project.
A leader's success depends on the qualities or the tactic to manage their team. They should inspire their employees, peers, or stakeholders for getting engaged in the work and create a successful organization. Various leadership theories prevail in the study and apply to various scenarios. In this deal of CHL and Saudi Arab consortium, the leadership theory that will help in resolving the issue will be transactional and transformational. These are the two theories that will be apt in the cross-cultural dimension and will help in resolving the issue.
Transformational leadership theory represents a theory where the leader identifies the changes that are required into the team and also creates a vision that helps in guiding through the change by inspiring and also executing the changes with the help of group members who are committed. This theory also known as relationship theories focuses on the relationship that prevails between the followers and leaders (Chop et al, 2019). According to this theory followers or the employees are motivated by showing them the significance of the task and also the good that is involved in performing it. Leaders help in giving a push to its members so that they can reach their potential.
In Transaction theory also called theories of management the main concept revolves around supervision, teamwork, and organization. In this theory reward and punishment are considered as the basis for the actions of leadership. This theory is often used in the business and helps in motivating the employees.
These two theories can help in resolving the wicked problem that is prevailing in the scenario. Changes can be made by the leader and accordingly, relationships can be built. Saudi people are more inclined to forming a relationship and doing the business. This theory will help in maintaining a balance. While transactional theory will help in motivating the employees and make sure that that app is created appropriately.
According to a research paper by Davis, Froloval, and William titled Workplace diversity management in Australia, depicts the attitude of the managers regarding the diversity of workforce and practices and incorporation for managing the workforce. In the past few years, diversity in the organization has increased and workforces are merging globally. Various benefits can be delivered through the inclusion of diversity in the organization and competitive advantage can be generated. But with the inclusion of diversity, certain changes are required in the organization. It is required that every person is treated equally and impartially and also diversity inclusion requires professional coaching and training for the adoption of appropriate leadership quality to manage the workforce. The research was conducted on various Australian companies that are in the sector of healthcare, FMCG, and others. Australia is considered as a country where diversity is promoted in the business and also mangers and leader's supportiveness is studied in the paper. It has been found that workplace diversity helps in attaining better results. While merging the workforce various problems cropped up in organizations. People cultures were different that made it a problem for creating an environment that is filled with good team dynamics. Unnecessary arguments were generated and the work was hampered. The research found out that leaders or managers were the ones who have to deal with the situation. In various companies and also in the country equal opportunity legislation was created but diversity required more inputs from the leader. Leaders took steps like explaining the importance of diversity and also the benefits. They motivated people to merge and accordingly better results were derived. Team management exercises were also done to being a coordinate among the team. Thus, in this manner workforce diversity was managed by the leaders.
In another research paper by Dhara and Michelle titled Cracking the cultural code: Indian IT expatriates intercultural communication challenges in Australia have researched the cultural communication differences that lead to frustrations among the employees and dissatisfactions have been read and also how cross-cultural training helped has been understood. Indian IT sector has grown tremendously around the world and has also received importance from Australia. This has led to the demand of professionals in India in Australia. It was a strategically important step for various assignments but there was a downside to it too. If the assignment fails than it led to dissatisfaction among the clients and also impacted the quality of work. The reason that were found in the paper for failure included adjustment difficulties at the workplace and also the problems that arise because of cross-cultural communication. The main problems were the socio-cultural rules and norms that were different in both countries. The main problem in cultural communication has been the understanding of business etiquette. New culture might lead to misinterpretations that might lead to failures of projects. Cross-cultural training is helpful in the crisis. Leaders or managers should organize that which in turn will help the person in understanding the other person's business etiquette. Through this training, the organization and the professionals improved and created a better environment for the company.
In the paper effect of leadership development programs in the workplace by Daniel Francisco in the year 2017, it has been described that the leaders of business face various challenges for letting employees develop leadership capabilities. Business leaders at present do not even devote 10% of their time in developing the leadership qualities in employees through leadership development programs that in turn has led to poor leadership among the organizations. The paper used transformational leadership theory that in turn suggested the development of the employee's leadership skills. It was found that when two different cultures meet various issues cope up. Employees are not able to merge seamlessly which affects the functioning of the organization and brings in bad results. Cultural acceptance does not prevail for which leadership development programs are crated. These programs help in training the employees regarding different issues. The research has also found out that the involvement of a leader helps in bringing better results. It was found that the involvement of the CEO in the leadership development program is of paramount importance for the success of the organization. Also, it is required that the environment that is promoted in the organization should be a learning environment. In this manner successful leadership program can be developed in the organization.
CHL is an Australia company and it is merging with South Arabia Company. Both have very different cultures that might lead to problems in the development of the app. To avoid this Leadership development strategies can work, certain strategies can be followed to avoid the conflicts.
The leadership that has been suggested for the wicked problem if transformational and transactional. In transformations, new vision and ideas are welcomed and the leader identifies the changes that are welcomed. Cross-cultural training is a leadership development program that is required and can be envisioned by a leader who can understand the requirements of changes. Since the two companies are from two different cultures, the wicked problem of cross-cultural differences will cope up. A transformational leader will be the one who can envision it and bring changes accordingly. Cross-cultural training will help the employees of CHL to understand the culture of other people. Once the culture is understood leaders can motivate them to understand and avoid conflicts. To motivate the employees transactional leadership theory will come in force. The leader can generate a program where at the end of the month another person can provide a review and based on that rewards will be given to employees. So, in this form employees will be keen to know and also try to maintain the team dynamics in the organization.
Another leadership development program suggests that a leader should act in a manner he or she wants its employees to act. The leader can learn and understand the etiquette of other cultures and this can be done by a transformational leader as he believes in changes concerning time. Once the leader adopts the etiquette to deal with the other cultural people, his employees or subordinates will be motivated to do so. In the same process, the leader can arrange a seminar for the employees where they can understand the business etiquette of different cultures and also the importance of the project for them and the company. This will align their goals and will make them work efficiently. Also, when the work starts through transactional leadership, employees should be appreciated for doing the good work and adjusting to the new culture. So, in this manner employees will be more inclined to adapt to changes in the organization or a different culture.
Also, in transformational leadership, leaders put their belief in the employees (Boamah et. al, 2018). Once a leader starts believing in the employees, confidence is generated among the workforce. In this scenario when employees get a chance to mingle with the cross-cultural dynamics, they are better motivated to work in a team. For team-building exercises between the two employees can be arranged by leaders. This will help the employees in knowing each other and resolving the wicked problem of cross-cultural differences. Once employees are mingled and form a foundation of their relationship, it becomes easier for them to communicate and get over their differences.
So, for getting over the wicked problem of cross-cultural differences, it is required than transformational leadership and transactional leadership theory is followed as these two theories will help in attaining the positive results, The basic leadership development program that will help is the cross-cultural training and business etiquette training to resolve the wicked problem while team exercise will improve the dynamics and belief of leader will provide a motivation resolving the other issues.
Leadership Development program for CHL can be established in various ways. It has been found that the involvement of higher leaders is the best way to get the employees involved. So to develop a leadership development program it is recommended that:
Thus, in this manner, leadership development strategies can be adopted and wicked problems can be resolved. Once the problem of team dynamics is resolved cross-cultural training will help the employees in getting to know about the culture and business etiquettes of Saudi. This will help in achieving better results for the deal and also resolve the wicked problem.
CHL is a family business where employees are not motivated and also team dynamics are poor. The recent deal with the Saudi Arabia consortium has a wicked problem attached to it that is cross-cultural differences. Saudi business is done in the hierarchy while Australia has a relaxed environment and people are allowed to speak their minds. To avoid this problem it is required to develop a leadership development program. Transformational and transactional leadership theory will be required and to resolve the wicked problem it is required to provide cross-cultural training, business etiquette training, and formulate it in the organization through delegation and team-building exercise. Thus, bringing good results.
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Harbi, S. A., Thursfield, D., & Bright, D. (2017). Culture, wasta, and perceptions of performance appraisal in Saudi Arabia. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(19), 2792-2810.
Shah, D., & Barker, M. (2017). Cracking the cultural code: Indian IT expatriates’ intercultural communication challenges in Australia. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 17(2), 215-236.
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