(Solution) leadership and management development training to improve cultural awareness



The increased globalization with immense implications on all industries, the labour workforce needs equally change. According to Merchant (2011), the changes include accommodation of the homogenous culture and adapting to the diverse cultures. As a consequence, the senior management/leadership in such organisation source for ideal strategies to harness effective management of the culturally diverse personnel and workplace. One of the strategies that are adopted is leadership and management development training. Adopting the definition of Molinari and Shanderson (2013) cultural awareness implies being in a position of appreciating the organisational factors supporting or obstructing cultural sensitivity. In this case, a culturally aware leader/manager is able to successfully adapt to an unfamiliar cultural setting. According to Cseh et al. (2013), companies that have been in a position of harnessing effective management of diverse workers have established environments for active learning within the organisation. The active learning includes provision of a dedicated employee training in cultural awareness and competence. In this case, Molinari and Shanderson (2013) argued that the training can include development of self-awareness and insights on the personal assumptions and prejudices, understanding other people’s diverse expectations and behaviours and accepting the prevailing differences.


The primary benefits of participating in training are informed by Mabey (2007) study that has identified good management as essential to create order, consistency and quality to the chaotic organisation environment with leadership involving the actions of preparation of an enterprise for change and assisting the employees in coping up as they struggle through it. This is further expounded by Irving (2010) study that has pointed out that despite cultural awareness initially being offered to leaders and managers directly involved in international relations, currently, different organisations are tasked with the responsibility of equipping majority of the leaders and managers in an effective intercultural competence. This is affirmed by Gong (2008) study that has noted that when leaders and managers are trained on cultural awareness, the positive benefits are as shown in figure 1;

Figure 1: Benefits of Cultural Awareness Training

Adopted from Gong (2008)

For the purpose of understanding the areas of training on the cultural awareness, the Hofstede model on cultural differences could be reviewed as it offers an appropriate explanation of Japanese business culture and ethics (Hofstede et al., 2012; De Mooij & Hofstede, 2010). As shown in figure 2, this model is used to describe the society culture on the values of its members and the extent to which they relate to the behaviours. Through this, it is possible to identify the areas that would be beneficial from the leadership and management development training to improve cultural awareness prior leaving for Tokyo.


Figure 2: Hofstede Cultural Dimension Model

Adopted from Batyko (2012)

Power Distance Index (PDI) –

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