By Michael A. Moodian (Ed.)
Sage Publications, 2008
Contemporary Leadership and Intercultural Competence is a timely release as cultural diversity has never been as paramount as it is today. Global ethnicities, religion, politics, economics, and technology are now woven into all aspects of the U.S. workplace and society this book helps define and explain why and how. Overall, it should prove to be a major contribution to the field.
Contemporary Leadership, a volume consisting of 20 chapters by various authors, addresses three primary topics: (1) examining the evolving role of cultural diversity in the workplace, (2) applying cultural comprehension to organizations, and (3) measuring intercultural competence. Editor Michael A. Moodian enlisted the services of some heavy hitters. Contributors include Fons Trompenaars, co-author of the best-selling Riding the Waves of Culture; Soon Ang, co-author of two books on cultural intelligence; Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe, experts on workplace diversity; former Massachusetts Governor and former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis who wrote the introduction; and several Pepperdine University faculty members.
One chapter examines the cultural components of frequently used training and behavioral assessments, such as DISC, the four quadrant behavioral model, and the Leadership Practices Inventory. There is also a section dedicated to various tools that measure one’s feelings toward cultural diversity, including the Intercultural Development Inventory and Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory. These tools should prove valuable to human resource and corporate training directors.
One of the most beneficial aspects to readers will likely be the book’s easy application to various sectors; it is broad enough in scope that it can apply to business leaders, public policy makers, education supervisors, and human resource practitioners. At the same time, numerous examples are provided to demonstrate practical applications of some complex theories.
Contemporary Leadership is a phenomenal book that I highly recommend. It fills a void in the literature, and it should accompany the great books released by thought leaders in the field, such as Hofstede, Adler, Trompenaars, and Hampden-Turner. It is a great starting point if one wants to explore organizational cross-cultural issues but does not know where to begin.
Full Disclosure: Michael A. Moodian, editor of Contemporary Leadership and Intercultural Competence, received his doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. In addition, several Pepperdine faculty, including John Tobin and Leo Mallette of the Graziadio School of Business and Management and Laura Hyatt and June Schmieder-Ramirez of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, contributed chapters to the text.