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Dissertation Abstract

Cultural Intelligence in Global Leadership:
A Model for Developing Culturally and Nationally Diverse Teams

Benjamin Paul Dean
November 2007

Against a background of increasing global integration, two major dynamic forces are rapidly converging. The first is a major trend toward greater cultural diversity, a dominant feature of globalization that is profoundly affecting organizations today. Converging with the trend toward greater cultural diversity is a second major dynamic of globalization—a rapid movement of organizations toward more global teams. The researcher employed a narrative research method to examine global leadership through a functional leadership perspective and applied the construct of cultural intelligence (CQ) to global leadership as a means of examining the specific leadership processes and cultural strategies global leaders endorse in building culturally and nationally diverse teams. Multiple case studies and in-depth interviews of individual leaders were used to explore culturally intelligent principles and cultural strategic thinking that global leaders adopt as the leadership processes, structural interventions, and strategies or approaches for creating global teams and developing global teamwork. The central finding of this study was that global leaders endorse and adopt culturally intelligent principles in applying the leadership processes and cultural strategies that influence culturally and nationally diverse teams. The results also indicated that global leaders overwhelmingly prefer a synergistic cultural strategy that applies CQ to global teamwork in a way that achieves team integration and shared identity. This format of this study presented and tested a model of interculturally competent global leadership derived from the existing literature and based in functional leadership theory. Support for the model emerges from the findings on the leadership processes and cultural strategies that culturally intelligent leaders adopt in forming global teams and developing global teamwork. Implications also emerge from this research on broader issues relevant to global leadership and for future studies.