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Advancing Leadership Teamwork 

in Global Enterprises 

 

ALIGN is a research-based innovation project initiated by UKON A/S in cooperation with Department of Global Studies at Aarhus University and supported by Innovation Fund Denmark. The aim of the project is a scientific study of leadership teamwork in global enterprises, in order to advance existing knowledge and methods for enabling and accelerating teamwork about leadership in global and intercultural endeavors. Please visit ALIGN’s website here.

 

ALIGN started in June 2016, and is expected to run until late 2017. During the fall of 2016, our researchers will conduct personal interviews, group interviews and observe various meetings between leadership team members, as well as collect other observational studies for the first phase of data processing in early 2017. The second phase in the spring of 2017, will be a second round of interviews and observational studies to support our early findings. UKON’s consultants will regularly be putting our findings into practice to test and verify the results, which eventually will be adjusted and incorporated in UKON’s work with global leadership teams in a rapidly changing globalized world in order to meet existing demands.

Respondents

We are looking for respondents to participate in interviews. We are searching for leaders currently involved in a global leadership team with one or more different nationalities or cultural differences. If you are interested in participating in ALIGN, we will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. For more information, read ALIGN’s Introduction Letter, or feel free to contact UKON for more information.

 

Advancing

A lot is already known about global organizations, leadership, teamwork – even global teamwork, and culture. So far, few have conducted scientific studies of the special premise and challenge of leadership teamwork in global enterprises. For global organizations to fulfill their potential, we believe that they must aim for a higher degree of real teamwork about leadership in the future. We intend to sharpen and develop the available knowledge and methods to do so.

Leadership

We understand leadership as the production of organizationally shared direction, alignment and commitment, (Drath et al, 2008). Only through direction, alignment and commitment can an organization create better results than a single individual. Leaders, in particular, are responsible for creating shared direction, alignment (coordination) and commitment within their field, yet leadership is not something they possess or do. Instead, it is an outcome that leaders seek to create in a group of people that share a task by means of various leadership styles and tools. By definition you cannot produce leadership alone, but only in collaboration with employees, other leaders, and other important stakeholders. Leadership teamwork thus becomes paramount to realizing the organization’s potential for results with culture(s) becoming the material through which leadership must be produced.

Teamwork

Teamwork is a form of collaboration that involves: 1) identifying important objectives that can only be achieved through the joint efforts of all the team members, 2) attention to how the teamwork is progressing in order to continually improve the effectiveness of the collaboration, and 3) efforts that each individual put into ensuring the success of the other team members. Teamwork includes, but is not limited to, information sharing, coordinating, planning, giving feedback, helping, problem solving, and shared decision-making.

In Global Enterprises

All organizations – be they private, public or NGO’s – are becoming increasingly global. Stakeholders, markets, employees, value chains, organizational ecosystems, offices, cash flow, knowledge, and influence are rapidly becoming more global. Research and client focus groups have shown that the subsequent organizational diversity has many advantages. For global organizations to live up to what is expected of them, their leadership teams must be the point of convergence of such diversity. These teams are ultimately held responsible for creating shared direction, alignment and commitment across fundamentally different cultures and languages. To create results under these conditions, we need to advance specific intercultural knowledge and methods on how to facilitate and accelerate leadership teamwork in an efficient and well-researched manner.

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