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Leadership Assignment: Impact of Resilient Leadership on Business Culture


Task: Prepare a research report on “How does resilient leadership with a mix of transactional and transformational leadership help in maintaining diverse culture within the organisation?”


1. Introduction
1.1 Introduction

Since the businesses of these days endeavours to grow on the global platform, it is evident that the project teams within the business incorporates members who are not only different in terms of the skills they possess but also the culture, race, gender as well as nationality to which they belong. The success of the firm depends how well these diversities are being tackled and what leadership approach can best suit the workplace culture. While leadership such as Great Man, Situational, Contingency, Transformational as well as Transactional have been very much into the system of every business, resilient leadership has been one such forms which has greatly been evolving over the years (Cook, 2019).

A resilient leader can be considered as a person who considers failures as a temporary setback which can be recovered quickly and thus, they maintain a very positive attitude as well as a strong sense of an opportunity during any period of turbulence. They tend to mitigate the challenges owing to the diversity in culture within the firm and thus in case of ambiguity, this leader finds the ways to move forward and thereby ensures that the business goals and objectives are duly achieved unnerved by the cultural clashes and distress (Kadam, Rao, Abdul, & Jabeen ,2020).They not only inspire the employees but also knows how to remain within the mundane rules and carry out their activities (McEwen & Boyd, 2018). Thus, this leadership form can be considered as a mix of both Transformational and Transactional Leadership style.

In consideration to how resilient leadership plays the role of maintaining the diverse culture within the business, the following research question has been formulated: How does resilient leadership with amix of transactional and transformational leadership help in maintaining diverse culture within the organisation?

1.2Research Relevance
The modern day businesses are getting globalised day by day and the firms make the earnest endeavours to enhance their customer base and ensure that the projects that they undertake are accomplished within stipulated period of time with the help of the skills of the team members within the teams (Kadam et al., 2020).

However, often these team members belonging to different culture, religion as well as nationality faces challenges in collaborating and working together. Here, plays the role of a resilient leader who ensures that the culture clashes and differences can be well diminished so that each of the members can work in the best and collaborative manner. It has been noticed that during the time of turbulence and organisational disruption, often the culture clashes becomes more prominent and people tend to become more aggressive towards those who are not at all belonging to their own culture, religion, race and so on. But with the help of resilient leadership or more prominently with a mixture of transactional and transformational approaches, diversities related to culture can be handled well with better and resilient approach (Schmidt, 2017).

1.3Research Rationale
Although in modern day, the employees take more initiatives in honing their skills as well as ensuring that they can meet the organisational goals and objectives, however there are often great deal of confusions among them while they work in teams having multicultural members. However, with the evolution of resilience within the organisation and with resilient leadership in vogue, such challenges can be easily mitigated and overcome. The leaders ensure the employees do not develop any ineffective habit or return to any older and traditional mindsets wherein they are incapable of accepting co-workers who are not at all tolerant towards other religions, race, gender, culture and creed (Degbey & Einola, 2019).

Although this form of leadership has been growing in this age, still this approach awaits a wider acceptance among the employees as well the as the management team of the organisations in order to build a culture of resilience (Vorbach, 2018).

2. Literature Review
2.1 Introduction

This chapter has outlined the role of resilient leadership in maintaining a diverse organisational culture in the global businesses of the world. The literature review will survey the various scholarly sources such as journals, articles in order to situate the work in relation to the existing knowledge.

2.2Leadership Concept
The concept of leadership has been perhaps one such concept in literature which is very difficult to define because of its dynamic nature. However, there have been still couple of definitions given by few of the authors. According to Özmusul (2017), or, as has been opined by It has been even opined by Duchek,Raetze & Scheuch(2019), leadership can be considered as the ability to decide what needs to be done and then make others want to do it. From these two definitions it can be understood that leadership means initiation, it involves the followers and it even provides direction to the behaviours, resources as well as energies towards attaining the desired goals. There have been number of theories and concepts such as Great Man Theory, Contingency Theory, Situational Leadership theory and so on that can be mentioned and in the recent times, based on the exchanges and relationships existing between the followers and a leader, transformational and transactional leadership have even came into to the forefront (Duchek,2020). This study will thus focus on these two theories, transformational and transactional theory and currently the way resilient leadership has emerged in different organisations.

2.3Resilient Leadership
According to Andersson, Cäker, Tengblad & Wickelgren (2019), resilient leadership theory is much complex to define or even give a generic definition. There have been number of relationships found to exist between organisational outcomes and leadership, for an example, the organisational culture, employee satisfaction, employee motivation, team performance, organisational performance and so on. Thus, Ruiz-Martin, López-Paredes & Wainer (2018), defined that resilient organisation is one such leadership that can help sustain competitive advantage over the time with the help of things that can be done simultaneously: delivering an enhanced performance against the present goals and innovate effectively as well as adapt to turbulent and quick changes in case of technology and the market. As per Wang, Li & Li (2017), in order to develop this form of organisation, there should be two sub-system, and these are: adaptation and performance system and these ensure that the organisation can easily adapt and even adjust to the changing conditions within the environment. Thus, resilient leadership pays an attention to the changing organisational goals and initiate and manage changes for suiting the demands of both external and internal business environment and undoubtedly they play a superior role in ensuring that the multicultural trams within the businesses which forms an integral part of the internal environment are free of clashes and conflicts.

Teo, Lee, & Lim (2017), on the other hand, has opined that in this generation, the business environment seems to be extremely wicked and often such issues for each of the business stakeholder has different understanding as well as desired outcome. In order to tackle all these problems, leaders need to adopt some innovative approach in order to solve all such issues and thus manage organisational problems.

Resilient leadership caters to the aspect that workplace relationships exists within the business community that paves the way for employee motivation, job satisfaction and improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency levels of the workers (Vorbach, 2018). Therefore, the leaders and managers upon encountering a failure consult with their respective teams, analyses the set of activities that had been carried out and try to explain them where exactly the team went wrong. Resilient leaders do not frown upon the mistakes that take place within the working community;rather they aim to use such failures as a form of learning curve for the individuals and groups of individuals within the working community. Hence, the leaders who are self-aware and cater to a resilient form of leadership follow two different forms of managerial subsystems: Performance system and Adaptation system(Schmidt, 2017). Resilient leaders aim to perform within the working community based on two multitasking segments to possess a form of competitive advantage; the workers can aim to deliver excellent results and effective efficiency levels, actively innovate their work processes and adapt themselves towards the rapid and turbulent changes that take place within the working community (Schmidt, 2017). Both these processes are performance and change oriented where the managers and leaders analyse how their teams perform when they are posed with instances of organizational change which suit the needs of the internal and external business environment (Özmusul, 2017).

2.4Organisational culture of resilience
A culture of resilience will help in understanding cohesion, recognise the identity of each employees, celebrate the organisational events, support change and finally achieve the organisational goals and objectives. Thus, in order to attain this, resilient leadership has been evolving with time and it thus acts as a catalyst that can inspire others to exhibit resilience and resistance and even exceed the expectations of their own. Nguyen et al. (2016), states that a resilient leader can develop a “tipping point” that can altogether change the entire culture. In “The Law of the Few” which has been very well described in the book of Malcolm Gladwell’s book: “Tipping Point”,it is being believed that often the frontline leadership seems to have the capability of tipping the organisation in the path of resilience and hence act as a catalyst to enhance the dedication as well as cohesion towards the “mission” (Gladwell, 2002).This is being done by showing the four core attributes of decisiveness, optimism, open communication as well as integrity while serving as gatekeepers and conduits of informal and formal flow all throughout the firm and even enjoys enhancing source credibility(Degbey & Einola, 2019).

When a limited number of individuals serve as a source of visible information channels they demonstrate or can be said to model the behaviours that are being attached with resilience and thus possesses the capability to bring a change to the entire organisational culture since others try to replicate the resilient characteristics that they observe(Levey& Levey,2019).

The thought of organizational culture of resilience can be described as a form of general atmosphere of a working communitywhich aim to foster resilience in the wake of adversity (McEwen, 2018). A working community that carters to a diverse set of cultures and ethnicities portray a community where the individuals and groups of individuals tend to do things differently than one another which often leads to instances of managerial conflicts. The leaders and managers must aim to maintain an interpersonal relationship within the individuals of the working community where the workers are able to share their opinions and problems faced within the working community (Degbey, 2019).

Managers and leaders within various business organizations must understand that it is necessary for them to avoid any form of cultural stereotypes as it not only deteriorates the motivation levels of the workers but it also aims to lower the effectiveness and efficiency levels of the individuals within a working community. Resilient leaders view the cultural differences in neutral terms where a sense of common ground is established within the working community. Any form of perceived notion can hamper the effective decision making process for the leaders and managers for which they must generalise the cultural aspects within the working community and aim to eliminate any form of prejudices that may occur within the workplace (Degbey, 2019). Leaders and managers who are resilient find it difficult to cater to a particular fit option for different forms of situations which results in the formation of self-awareness where such leaders and managers uncover their cultural perceptions and change their expectations and management styles according to their team’s cultures and beliefs (Ruiz-Martin, 2018).

2.5Transformational and Transactional Leadership Mix
While the transformational leadership forms an epitome of an ideal leadership style due to its remarkable impact on the outcomes of the organisation such as job satisfaction, transactional leadership on the other hand as per Southwick et al.(2017), represents all the exchanges wherein both the subordinate and the superior influences each other reciprocally in order to ensure that each has been deriving something which is of value. However Holmberg, Larsson, & Bäckström (2016), explains transactional leadership seems to exist when the changes in marginal improvement or degree is being seen a result of leadership which in turn is an exchange process or a transaction wherein the needs of the followers are met if the performance of them measures up to their implicit and explicit contract with that of the leaders.

Although, it is significant to develop a newer knowledge on leadership in order to match the changing times, it seems that a varied number of theories has been emerging now and then and this includes the resilient leadership too (Holmberg, Larsson, & Bäckström,2016). A discussion on the leadership provides two of the extremes for an analysis of the effectiveness of leadership. At one end, there has been an effective leadership assessment depending on the ability of the leader to confirm a compliance by the followers to the systems, procedures as well as structures in case of an bureaucratic organisational system, on the other end, leadership effectiveness is being assessed as per the leader’s capability to develop a shared responsibility for attaining the goals of an organisation.

It has been thus argued byVera et al. (2020), the knowledge expansion in case of leadership needs to be centred on how effectively both the transactional and the transformational leadership theories are mixed for the best results. This mix will embody elements of an ideal leadership which is needed to solve the various challenges in the present day and even focus on the future. In the below figure, the transfor-sactional leadership model shows that it is obvious that resilient leadership theory has been sharing similarities with both transactional as well astransformational leadershipand this together has been quintessential in managing diversity within the company culture.

Resilient leadership in leadership assignment

Figure 1: Resilient leadership (Mix of transactional and transformational leadership)
(Source: Anwar, Abid & Waqas,2020).

This theory considers leadership that ensures a strategic thinking, more open towards change and performance, emotional intelligence and is also desirous of the knowledge through collective and learning approach. This has been much similar to the approach of both transactional and transformational leadership and hence implies a link explicitly (Gray, 2017).A transformational leader has been known to have their charisma as well as appeal for a higher moral as well as the ethical standards that influence the followers towards attaining a better objective, mission and vision. They are the leaders who are aware of the relationship that exists between both internal and external business environment and thus ensures that the negative influence of these environment endowed on one another are being planned as well as minimised in order to ensure continuity. This same thing even underlies in case of resilient leaders too, who are not only proactive in nature but are even aware of the fast-changing business environment (Gray, 2017).

In transactional leadership approach, leaders need to operate within a scope with no intention of change and thus believes in an effective performance within mundane activities by all the subordinates and thus this form of leadership has been effective in case of emergency and crisis, a similar situation that a resilient leaders also believes (Anwar, Abid & Waqas,2020).

Transactional leadership explains the leadership behaviour from three perspectives contingency reward as well as management by exception which can be further divided into passive and active. While contingency reward focuses on the adoption of the reward system by the leaders so that they can get the desired outcome, management by exception(active), considers the micromanagement of the leaders, on the other hand passive management by exception, grants the employees some supervisory space so that they can be allowed to carry out their own functions, however there are some intervention when there are issues related to maintaining the performance standard. A resilient leader even believes in maintaining employee motivation through such similar system and micromanages at times. However, at times the employees are even given their supervisory spaces.

2.6Role of resilient leadership in maintaining diverse culture
As opined by Samba, Vera, Kong & Maldonado(2017), Resilient leadership plays a vital role in maintaining the diverse culture atmosphere. Cultural resilience considers how cultural background i.e. cultural values, customs, language, norms assist in helping the individual as well overcoming diversity. Due to internationalisation and globalisation of business, the businesses need to operate in an extremely increasing turbulent and complex world wherein unexpected events are omnipresent. Legal, political changes, higher volatility of the market, global financial crisis are some of the few examples of turbulence that can threaten the survival of the firm. Moreover, it can never be ignored that such businesses have to work with diverse teams and people belonging to diverse culture. In order to be sustainably successful, it is necessary to develop resilience that has the ability to anticipate the potential threats and even cope up with the unexpected events so that a dynamic capability can be developed and most importantly develop a sense of all-inclusiveness for people belonging to various culture (Sambaet al.,2017). A resilient leader thus plays a significant role in maintaining that culture.

In this case, the John Hopkins model can be taken under consideration. The model contributes to the heuristic value to the construction of resilience and the model understands the value of putting resilience on a continuum and separates the protective immunity notion from the reactive resilience notion as a form of rebound (Holmberg, Larsson, & Bäckström, 2016). The model even believes in building resistance through assistance, evaluation and intervention, enhance the resiliency as finally ensure speedy recovery. Thus, it believes in an outcome driven continuum of care and even confirms that resiliency helps in managing the multicultural teams within the diverse culture of an organisation.

Since,resilienceis the method to challenge any form of adversityas well as misfortune and it is even essential for an effective leadership, it helps in subsiding any form of cultural clashes among the different members within a team or a group of employees(Holmberg, Larsson, & Bäckström, 2016) For an example, in a global organisation, there are often several conflicts among the employees and often the way they are handled by the leaders are not at all suitable to bring a solution to the challenges. However, with a mix of both transformational and transactional style which is synonymous with a resilient approach, such situations can be greatly dealt.

According to Andersson et al. (2019), decisions that are emerging from resilient leadership can be viewed differently by different stakeholders which may consequently lead towards facing different additional challenges. This leadership thus, deals with these additional challenges and these leaders need to alternate different leadership styles in order to ensure that whatever is the situation it can be handled effectively so that the diverse culture within the business environment can be well tackled. Resilience can be shown in different situations such as a. resilience in reacting to the stressful situations, b. resilience in creating the stressful situation and c. resilience during a chronic situation (Holmberg, Larsson, & Bäckström, 2016)

In the first type, the challenge occurs momentarily, and it even dissipates with the time, while in the second type, resilience can be for an example making the employees redundant and even deal with the upcoming consequences of the decisions undertaken. These two types are episodic in their nature;however, the third type has been considered as the leader’s ability to cope up with a continuous stressful management challenge. Thus, this form of leadership seems to be most appropriate in case of today’s global and diverse cultural teams wherein the leaders need to be resilient in dealing with itas per Teo, Lee, & Lim (2017).

A thorough examination of the various leadership techniques begins with the analysis of different theories posed by renowned scholars over the years. The theories range from “The Great Man” theory, Behavioural theory and the current mix of Transactional and Transformational leadership (Samba, 2017). The emergence of the resilient leadership paves the way for leaders and managers in various business organizations to see failures as a form of temporary setback through which they can quickly aim to recover using innovative decision-making and problem-solving skills. Such positive outlook towards a managerial setback generates a form self-awareness, attention to detail in terms of flexibility and stability of focus and an art of letting go through which physically and mentally the managers and leaders can aim to set their failures aside and aim to improve their employability skills within the working community (Vera, 2020). Moreover, this form of leadership even ensures that through flexibility and the spirit to consider failure just being a temporary setback can help the teams to work collaboratively and ensure that even if there is a diversity in culture it can help overcome such challenges.

3. Methodology
3.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the various tools and methods that help in accomplishing the research study have been detailed and thus the chapter details about the research design, data collection methods, the way interviews were undertaken, and the risks and limitations involved in the study.

3.2 Research Design
With the help of a deductive approach as well as the prior theory development as being suggested by Yin (2009).Research Design is made up of 5 components and these are:the pattern matching, time-series analysis,cross-case synthesis, explanation buildings, logic models. It is also important to find an alternative strategy for identifying as well as addressing the rival explanations for the findings. Thus, after the data collection, a rival explanation will help in justifying as well as designing a future study.In this study, the research question has been revolving around how resilient leadership has been helping to maintain diversity of culture and thus the rival explanation may consider how the absence of an overwhelming attitude to embrace diversity can disrupt resilience in an organisation. The study has undertaken an unstructured interview which has been guided by the knowledges gained from the literature review. Yin has managed to link the theories with the practical implications and thus the theories mentioned in the theoretical section will be helping to conduct the interview on the practical ground (Yin,2009). This has been followed by shadowing 3 managers for a period of 3 days wherein a passive observation of the managers has been done in the meetings. The interviewees have been approached 15 days prior and their consent were duly taken. The transcripts were even recorded with their permission and were assured to be destroyed later. The interview was carried out in English and it was conducted outside the working hours.

3.4 Data Collection
3.3.1 Primary Data Collection

The study has collected the data with the help of the primary data in the form of unstructured interviews which has been conducted for a period of 2 long hours. There were open-ended questions being asked regarding the way a resilient leader can deal with diversity of culture within the teams and the conversations were being guided in a way that it can be directed towards the research questions.

3.3.2 The interviewees
All the interviewees have been selected from the human resource, information technology and finance department of a multinational organisation that have been known for their resilience and have been operating in more than 5 countries. Three of these managers have been working with the organisation since more than 10 years dealing with different multicultural teams.

3.3.3 Secondary data collection
The secondary data were being collected through observation when the managers were being shadowed for three days. The observation was carried out in the meetings when the managers allowed the researcher to attain it as a passive member wherein the managers had been discussing with their multicultural teams with utmost resilience and patience. One of the meetings were conducted through video conference consisting of members from different countries regarding a sudden system malfunctioning within their business process and the alterations that were needed immediately. Another meeting was an in-house budget planning wherein a recent economic crisis needed to be dealt with by the multicultural team members.

3.4 Data Collection Limitations and Risks
The managers were not ready to answer all the questions asked and hence the researcher must skip few questions. Moreover, there wereseveral sensitive information that aroused questions in the minds of the researcher during the shadowing process but could not be asked due to ethical compliance.

3.5 Ethical Considerations
The study mustensure that the interviewees identities are not revealed and hence they are kept anonymous and it has been even ensured that the transcripts of the employees are not being distorted or misused.

3. Data analysis
The data analysis has been completed by following an empirical research analysis after interviewing the three managers and later doing an observation on them. The validity of how the managers have been dealing with crisis situations with multicultural teams have been internal since the validation has been done in actual situations occurring within the business (Maddux et al.,2020).

4. Results and Discussions
From the interviews, it has been deduced that the managers have been giving their very best in diminishing the cultural conflict and deal with different turbulences and crisis with utmost resilience. They followed the steps of resilience namely: developing a risk management process, resilient culture, resilient workforce, assessment of risks and undertaking simulation exercises. The managers have been clearly spotted to follow all these steps in order to maintain resilience and ensure that such resilience can even help in maintaining the diverse culture within the organisation (Duchek, Raetze & Scheuch, 2019). While Manager (1) have considered that communication is the key to maintain diversity within the organisation, Manager 2 considers team dynamics helps in maintaining the diverse culture. When asked on what alterations are needed in the organisation, Manager 1 responded that better dealing of the global teams in emerging countries , on the other hand Manager 2 has the opinion that there is also a need to focus on the emerging markets with better teams.

From the opinions of the managers it can be discussed that an organisation can deal with turbulent situations only when their multicultural team works collaboratively and thus in order to ensure this, resilient leadership deserves a special attention. The mix of the transformational as well as transactional leadership which is synonymous to resilient approach of a leader can help the employees forget about the thin line of differences amongst them and join hands to accept the changes that has to be brought within the organisation on order to cope up with certain challenges or crisis (Kim,2020).

When being asked how one can build resilience, while Manager 1 speaks about practicing though awareness, Manager 2 has mentioned about Cognitive restructuring whereas Manager 3 has recalled about maintaining a perspective

From the interview it has been understood that the transformational leaders with the help of intellectual simulation causes the followers to question processes, systems as well as assumptions and thus make the employee emerge with an innovative as well as creative ideas in order to solve various challenges rather than adopting any directive approach towards leadership. Resilient leaders too just like transformational leaders encourage learning with the help of both external and internal environment in order to build organisational resilience as well as capacity. This in turn plays a predominant role in ensuring that the learning is dissipated in a way that goes beyond any cultural barriers and even diminishes any form of cultural clashes (Wang et al., 2018) Moreover, it has been clear from the interview that transactional leadership lays a strong focus on performance with the help of compliance to guidelines, parameters, expectations in relation to subordinates and their activities. Transactional leaders focuses on formalisation, strict structuring in order to ensure compliance, predictability to attain the goals (Smith,2017)and this has been what resilient leaders also do in order to ensure that the organisational risks and crisis are well managed even though there are employees belonging to diverse culture and origin (Basinska, 2017).

Thus, it can be concluded that in this age of globalisation and the widespread growth of international business, the role of an effective leader plays a predominant role especially in channelizing the energy of the skilful employees as well as ensuring to operate the business both within and outside the national boundaries and if this leader can help maintain diversities of culture, the business can hardly face any barrier in flourishing on the global platform.

The study has even been able to focus on the research question how does resilient leadership with a mix of transactional and transformational leadership help in maintaining diverse culture within the organisation. A resilient organisation and their leaders concentrate on innovation and in order to ensure that innovation can be brought even in times of adversity it is essential that the project teams within the business work effectively surpassing all the boundaries of cultural differences (Wang et al., 2018)

The rise of resilient leadership has been proficient in not only quickly accepting the changes that has to be brought within the business for its betterment and progress but even understanding how the cultural differences can be well tackled by the resilient leaders so that change can be brought without much hassles and even all forms of risks and crisis can be well managed (Wang et al., 2018)

The organisational culture of resilience, has been one such aspect wherein there is an organisational climate or an atmosphere that promotes growth, supports are abundant, and crisis is being viewed as an opportunity. The culture of resilience has been an environment wherein resilience and resistance are not only being fostered but becomes the core fabric of the culture itself and it is the responsibility of a resilient leader to ensure that growth is aggravated and each team within the business works coherently. The managers and leaders must not frown upon the hindrances that they face while operating within a working community rather they should cater to a form of performance review and adaptation system where they can engage in innovative and effective decision-making skills (Özmusul ,2017), Such skills help the workers to adapt themselves in turbulent times of economic hardships and develop a sense of self-awareness where the workers can be future leaders themselves.

Leaders and managers who aim to operate on a global scale must separate the cultural stereotypes and beliefs from the working community and develop an interpersonal relationship with their teams through which the effectiveness and efficiency of the workers can be improved. Resilient leaders must cater to a leadership mix of transactional and transformational leadership theory to make the best out of the worst scenarios that they face within the working community. Embracing diversity can lead towards developing an adaptive mindset and this mindset can bring in small changes with respect to ideas and response rather than bringing big changes every few years. It adapts to the clear core value as well as shared purpose and this what resilience is all about. A resilient organisation seeks to have a strong culture of shared values and purpose so that even during the time of turbulence the teams can work together irrespective of any difference.

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