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University of California, Davis

Leadership in Multinational, Cross-Cultural Teams

University of California, Davis via Coursera


Whether you are currently a manager or not, you should now be ready to learn to play a leadership role in a multinational team. Leadership is more than management, and culture greatly affects what is expected of leaders. For instance, some cultures expect their leaders to give directives; others expect them to facilitate so that everyone on the team has a chance for their voice to be heard. No matter which way they lean, you are likely to hear “that’s just the way it’s done” if you try to shake things up. Leadership requires adapting your style to build comfort from team members with different backgrounds than yours while also helping change the narrative for people who don’t want to adapt to your strengths. You need to help others find the levers to pull that work for them to adjust to a cross-cultural environment. As leaders you also need to be constantly learning to prepare for the inevitable changes of the future? By looking into the future, how will different cultures grow, and how will climate change and technology fundamentally alter the line between physical and virtual space. What will all this mean for multinational team leadership in the future?


  • Getting Started and What It Means To Lead
    • In this module, you will be able to define how leadership can show up on a team and distinguish between leadership and management. You'll be able to name acts of leadership that can have influence without any formal authority. You will also be able to identify when one should lead and when to follow and you will be able to recognize the different leadership styles.
  • Challenges That Arise From Cultural Expectation Of Leadership
    • In this module, you will be able to discuss how culture and bias affects your vision of a leader and differentiate between hierarchical and flat leadership and the cultural expectations of those styles. You'll be able to recognize how power is demonstrated across cultures and identify the challenges of other sub-cultures within your team. You will be able to discuss how decisions are made in various cultures and be able to differentiate how leaders are viewed in various cultures.
  • Becoming a Leader For Everyone
    • In this module, you will be able to adapt your cultural style to build comfort and familiarity within your teams. You'll be able to recognize and change the narrative for cultural dissenters and be able to help others find the levers that work for them for cultural exchange. You will also be able to use strategies to create decision making norms for your team.
  • Leading Towards the Future for Multinational, Cross-Cultural Teams
    • In this module, you will be able to envision what a multinational, cross-cultural team will look like in the next 20+ years. You will be able to consider the factors on generational influence like age, global matters, climate, etc. in the future of multinational, cross-cultural teams and leadership. You will be able to anticipate how globalization, technology, economies, and environmental change can impact teamwork. You'll also be able to identify opportunities and challenges these changes will bring for the multinational, cross-cultural team leaders building this new future.

Taught by

Daniel Student and Dr. Cleveland Justis


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 16 ratings

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