Global Leadership and Cross-Cultural Teams

Leadership plays a significant role in managing businesses in cross-cultural setups. Variances between the manager’s leadership styles may influence how organizations operate. Global leadership can build social capital that strengthens relationships based on trust. The difference in leadership styles between James and Sarah Brennan (previous owner of Ravinaki Resort) and Ross Griffins, the new owners, is that the former could build trust and encourage cordial interaction with the local people. The contingency approach of leadership explains the significant difference in leadership approaches between the owners of Ravinaki Resort. The model appreciates the contribution of people’s cultural makeup in enhancing business success.

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Accordingly, it emphasizes the role of a leader as an administrator whose characteristics resonate with the local traditions of the people to achieve growth. The previous owners implemented the contingency approaches that succeeded in winning the local population’s trust, which translated into business success compared to the new owner who took the universal approach. Notably, the approach assumes that global cultures have constant and similar traits applicable universally with the location of the project notwithstanding. Hence, the relationship between local employees of the resort, populations, and leadership, such as the Lomaiviti’s chiefs, worsened, leading to poor business performance.

Cross-cultural variations may bring conflicts in businesses. Cultural differences were a major source of tension between the new owners of Ravinaki resort and the local workers. Cultural sensitivity creates awareness of other individual perception on certain issues, such as work, attitudes, practices, and behavioral traits. The previous owners focused on mentoring employees, which enhanced productivity. Such a relationship with the local workers was an incentive for success. It is evidenced from the James’ routine of helping workers load chains while Sarah assisted kitchen staff with advice on the menu and food preparation. Furthermore, the previous owners managed their relationship with local stakeholders, such as the chiefs, by spending time drinking kava as a way of interacting. The move improved relationship and trust among the local population and the management.

However, the new owner employed foreign divers and chefs, among other employees, who gave out operational instructions without seeking support from the kitchen staff, a move that led to poorly served orders. Hofstede’s Value Dimensions demonstrates the tension between the local people and the managers. For instance, power distance culture attributes authority to hierarchical leaders, such as chiefs, especially in Lomaiviti’s case, contrary to the new owner’s culture. Besides, the uncertainty avoidance principle explains the tension since employees are less responsive to their roles leading to disagreements. Hence, the majority of workers would look for new opportunities elsewhere. The situations at the resorts create further disunity, leading to more potential conflicts among the stakeholders.

Recruitment and selection processes are important because they define the operational success of an organization. The selection and recruitment criteria of previous and new owners of Ravinaki resort had several adjustments. The new owners preferred dealing with expatriate workers to deliver quality and value, while previous owners appreciated local talent and workforce for cohesion and local stakeholder support.

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Strengths Weakness
i.      The local employees have an advantage of local experiences, such as experienced local guides with the ability to navigate through the treacherous reefs.

ii.      The high training costs of expatriate employees enable them to deliver professional services to customers.

  i.    Expatriate workers recruitment models fail to deliver success due to the inability to integrate with local cultures and practices, leading to workplace rebellion among employees.

ii.    The model also fails when employees have poor orientation and training on how to deal with cultural variations at a new work environment.

iii.    Expatriate workers are relatively expensive in regards to cost and allowances compared to locals.


As the real owner of the resort, I would engage in diverse skills from different employees and manage the cross-cultural diversities through motivation. Additionally, I would ensure a blend of professionals and local workers, especially in the diving department that involves the exploration of non-exploited reefs, which are relatively treacherous. Furthermore, it would be necessary for professionals to blend with locals to balance the workforce for comparative advantage effectively.

Making payments to local chiefs to access popular sites for diving, snorkeling, and kayaking has implications for Ravinaki resort. One of the significant effects is high recurrent budgets for business since chiefs would be paid every time guests seek to visit the locals. However, avoiding making such payment has implications on the resort. The move may create conflict between the local leadership and the people, which might affect the business. The decision by Ross Griffiths to sue the local chiefs for such threats is faulty. For instance, although the local leaders may not win the case, the intolerant relationship between the two stakeholders will affect the business because the local communities may retaliate. Additionally, given that chiefs control local power, the courts could also rule in their favor, leading to the entire business collapse.

The principle of universalism provides a perspective that certain people acknowledge their ideology as exclusively true and that those who hold dissenting opinions are heretics or misguided. Conversely, the concept of particularism maintains that truth is based on the listener and that various individuals hold a position that contrasting beliefs about a perceived false issue are truthful. Applying the dimensions of particularism and universalism to the case of Ravinaki resort reveals the misconception between the new owner and the local chiefs. Whereas Ross Griffiths believes that the only model for managing their challenges with the chiefs is through courts of law, he fails to acknowledge that dialogue and relationship building applied by the previous owners can enhance collaboration.

The current situation at Ravinaki resort requires an operational strategy to reclaim the previous position in the market. Irrespective of the significant improvement and accessibility, customers in the resort are limited in number. Additionally, the growing rifts between expatriate and local employees affect the quality and reduce business opportunity. The Owner of Ravinaki resort should create harmony between expatriate employees and locals through mentorship while reducing attrition levels. Furthermore, he should establish a working and cordial relationship between the management and the local chief. By encouraging friendly affiliation with the local stakeholders, Ravinaki resort may become acceptable, enhance guests experience during visits, and inspire growth. In addition, managing communication behavior between the cross-cultural teams will alleviate the challenges. For example, building trust between the chef and the kitchen staff would enhance work relationship and professionalism. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies would enhance participation. Hence, through CSR activities, the local stakeholder would benefit and inspire acceptance of Ravinaki resort in the community. Therefore, supporting community cultural projects would enhance participation.

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