Wharton School: ‘Global leaders do not exist’
Singapore – Peter Cappelli, director at the Centre for Human Resources (HR) with The Wharton School, does not believe global leaders exist.
Cappelli said he is puzzled over the concept of such leaders as it is hard to define what differentiates a regional boss from a global one. “There has been an enormous amount of talk for the need for global leaders but when you press people what they mean by that, you never get a clear answer.”
He added one way people often define a global leader is by determining how in sync they are with global cultures and sensitivities. However, he said this brings up the issue of whether leaders with vast but superficial understanding of several countries are worldlier than those with in-depth knowledge of a smaller number of countries.
“The problem always gets pushed back to HR to solve, but it’s not an HR problem,” he said. “It’s a problem of the company not being able to figure out what it wants to be.”
Cappelli added it is therefore critical companies not only define their culture but also determine how they would like their organisation to operate. “We have to figure out things like the core beliefs and values of the organisation, and how much of local control we want to give.” Small Talk also catches up with Scott Price, chief executive officer for retail chain Walmart Asia, and finds out what he looks for in his candidates. Price has some candid answers to how he often grills job interviewees.
Cappelli and Price were both in town for the 2011 Singapore Human Capital Summit, which took place earlier this week. Human Resources magazine also attended the opening of Coca-Cola’s new concentrate plant in Singapore and DBS Bank’s recruitment open house for university students.
Aventis School of Management, a graduate school based in Singapore offers a suite of executive master in HR & Global leadership and Organizational Psychology program in collaboration with the City University of New York.
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