What leadership considerations must an organization weigh in selecting another country to open a location such as a manufacturing plant?
While choosing to open a new location in another country, the most important leadership consideration is having strong sense of knowledge as well as experience of the leader in being able to handle employees in a cross cultural environment. The leader must be able to manage the organization in a way to form a balance between the home culture and the host cultural environment. Some of the issues that the leader must be able to handle strongly include sensitivity of the cultural differences, the difference between the laws and regulations of both countries, the difference between the business ethics and practices etc. The leader must portray knowledge about the host culture and have experience of working with culturally diverse people. The ability of the leader to act as a bridge between the home country employees and that of the host country.
How might leaders need to change leadership styles to manage multinational locations?
As there is a difference in culture, as well as the level of risk tolerance, the leaders needs to balance the mission of company with the host culture. It becomes imperative for the leaders to be tolerant and be able to accommodate the value differences while having strong sense of their values both personal and corporate. Though they must bend for local practices but the corporate identity must not be sacrificed at any cost. In order to bring any change, the leader must have a vision to mobilize the people so that the change can be made. The leader must have the ability to build emotional bonds with the people and help them develop for their future.
What public relations issues might arise from such a decision?
The biggest challenge for the leader is to balance the global needs of the MNC with the home country differences. Usually when the operations are scattered globally the power is de-centralized. To bring about some required change, the leader needs some level of autonomy so that he can take decisions according to the requirements of the situation in the host country. One of the public relations issue is to manage and lead the knowledge workers in the new location. By development emotional ties and serving the people into development, the leader has to instill loyalty in them. Moreover, it is the duty of the leader to guide the knowledge of the workers into innovation by nurturing collaboration and communication.
How would you recommend such a company to demonstrate their social responsibility to their headquarters country as well as any offshore locations?
The multinational corporation must play a role in promoting stability in the region it operates. It has a social responsibility towards the region which is fulfilled when it brings knowledge, infrastructure, expertise, employment and economic mobilization in the market. They can increase the foreign investment which triggers trade in the host country. Moreover, by training the local workers, it contributes to the development of the local human force and indirectly the country. For such a company, social responsibility can be exercised in the home country by taking the foreign investment back and investing in the society. This includes investing in education sector, health sector, and by encouraging employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.
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