Leadership and intercultural competence at work

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This paper examines the workplace discourse of leaders from different ethnic groups within one country, with some shared and some distinct values and interactional norms. The focus leaders come from professional organisations, one Māori and one Pākehā (European). The leadership performance of the mainstream, Pākehā leader provides little evidence of intercultural awareness, while the Maori leader’s performance demonstrates intercultural competence; he skillfully integrates aspects of Māori and Pākehā ways of doing things at work. His innovative, hybridised leadership style presents one possible model for a new intercultural style of leadership, a style which values some aspects of tradition, whilst also adopting useful elements of new approaches to leadership. The analysis suggests how new intercultural norms are forged by particular individuals in influential positions in a multicultural society.


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