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The Global Manager Essay

Over the past decade, the contemporary working environment has changed dramatically, which has significantly implicated global and international managers. Organizations today have gone global, dynamic, complex, extremely volatile, and highly competitive. Besides these external conditions, most of these organizations face multiple global challenges, including management of diverse employees and lack of some specific competencies. Therefore, these organizations require their managers to spend considerable time managing businesses overseas. A global manager is responsible for managing teams of employees and operations across diverse cultures and time zones that require them to have new skills, attributes, and capabilities. The current research paper evaluates and analyzes critical traits of a global manager in reference to the appraisal of international culture, ethics, and value-based considerations.

Aims and Objectives of the Study

Since global managers play significant roles, including planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, they need to possess the required traits. Thus, this study aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • To establish the need to acknowledge the existence of the international culture for the successful management of global organizations
  • To determine how ethical practices by global managers facilitate the success of the organization
  • To establish how global managers drive the businesses at the global market through value addition and considerations.

The research paper is structured into five areas, including the introduction that presents the context of the topic and the research objectives. The literature review is the second section about the literature review in relevance to three areas of appraising of international culture, ethics, and value-based considerations. The case study section introduces the business of choice, while the self-audit presents the score of the researcher’s self on a scale of 1-10 about the areas identified. The final part is the conclusion that brings together all the ideas of the study.

Literature Review

Appraisal of International Culture

Significant research has been conducted on the organizational culture in the context of international level business. The multicultural team, composed of people from different cultures, has emerged following the rapid rise of multinational and even global interactions. This team is characterized by a joint deliverable for the organization, or another stakeholder has since become common and more critical. According to Prat (2002), for those working in an organization, their backgrounds are not exogenously given, considering that it is the organization that chooses the persons to hire. Therefore, for the success of the international organizations, global managers should ensure that the teams are first able to overcome the barriers that are encompassed in the cultural differences, including the problem of communication and value incongruence, among other obstacles. Lane et al. (2009) have found it essential to recognize and respect differences in titles, greeting rituals, means, and business cards. This, therefore, requires global leaders to understand deeper levels of culture, which subsequently influence the way people approach work and collaborate.

Cultural intelligence is identified as a key aspect in the management of the global business, considering that it increases the familiarity of a particular culture. Denison et al. (2014) argue that cultural intelligence is essential in assessing the business and cultural differences of any organization operating internationally. Three components facilitate cultural intelligence, which includes knowledge, skills, and mindfulness which interact and link in a system. With cultural intelligence, Lane et al. (2009) observed that managers gain the capacity to act effectively in multiple cultural environments. Thus, the managers make it easier to adapt and work effectively and respectfully with people who practice other cultures while maintaining their own identity. By appraising international culture, a global manager is able to work across boundaries since they become aware of themselves and others. Culture refers to the regional, local, organizational, and religious practices exhibited by various groups.

International companies face the risk of undertaking during the selection of the managers, especially for expatriate assignments. According to Knappert (2013), there are substantial direct and indirect costs incurred in any case there is a failure recorded, such as premature return or ineffective performance. The acknowledgment of the cultural differences internationally is a significant factor that impacts selection and criteria applied by global leadership. Stahl et al. (2010) observed the need to encourage managers to use their different perspectives in any cultural setting to benefit the organization. They need to enable innovation by leveraging on the various networks embedded in different contexts and by drawing synergies that arise from the differences they have. As a result, this has the potential of increasing the effectiveness of the team.


Literature has examined ethics as the trait exhibited by global managers. Desai and Rittenburg (2017) established a thin line to ethical practice in any organization that operates globally, considering that managers have to deal with individuals that depict different cultural respects. The authors argue that it may not be true that in any provided circumstance, what draws an ethical line is a practice that will hold to be true for another culture. Weaver (2015) studied the recently emerged global ethics as a popular concept that researchers have focused on in the field of multinational business. Cavusgil et al. (2014) examined the ethics of global managers as a combination of the individual having the expected morals that consider the traits of integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty. Desai and Rittenburg (2017) indicate that integrity goes beyond only being forthright and honesty to consider how sound the entity is, including the society within which the organization operates. According to Lane et al. (2009), integrity and ethical behavior entail the imperative to act with integrity and demands leaders to take ethics seriously, especially those managing internationally recognized companies. The possession of integrity requires managers to practice consistency with what they believe in as their behavior and actions.

Multiple theories, including consequential or theological theories, deontological (rule-based) theories, and cultural theories, have been examined in reference to the ethics practices of global managers. According to Andersen (2011), consequential or theological theories focus on the results of the decisions, outcomes, or consequences where much of what is done is maximum good and minimum harm. Theological, ethical theories describe the responsibilities and obligations of the global managers for them to attain specific goals of ethics that drive their actions. Utilitarianism encompasses both consequential and teleological such that it defines moral experience as essential in attaining particular goals that depict human utility. Alexander and Moore (2007) examined deontological (rule-based) theories that focus on moral obligations, duties, and rights. From the basis of these theories, the morality of action needs to be based on whether the action itself is wrong or right under the provided rules instead of relying on the action consequences. The special emphasis of these theories is based on the relationship between the morality of human actions and their duty. These theories demand respect for individuals and need to be treated as useful, such as being the end products rather than using them as means to ends (Meehan et al., 2017). The finally categories of forms examined as ethics for the global managers are cultural theories that emphasize cultural differences in the behavior standards and espouses observing local standards.

Values-based considerations

The considerations of the organizational value have been of concern to practitioners with a focus on how best they can be achieved in an organization. Wang et al. (2018, p.5) define value considerations as the degree to which innovation is perceived better compared to the product or idea it supersedes. Sjödin et al. (2020) proposed the idea of a values technique that takes the perspective of an “actor –network-infused practice”. Global managers should consider the idea of value work which comprise of the interrelated domains, which include applying value processes, mapping issues into activity networks, circulating value dialogue to enhance the development of mindset, and working with critical issues. According to Balogun et al. (2015), global managers show the willingness to continued efforts towards the implementation of these values practices. For many managers, their focus has shifted towards the effects of what values practices provoke within their global organizations. Those who are strategic enough develop particular abilities and enhance their management style to create more value for shareholders. Thus, global managers need to adjust to the required styles of management that ensure effectiveness through compliance with those values embedded deep in the fundamental level to acceptance in the global space in the right way. Herold et al. (2007) identified the need to retain the policies by managers to allow receipt of support from various stakeholders despite having different values.

The idea of innovation has taken center stage in the value-based considerations, especially for most industrial firms, which has since attracted management literature. The modern form of business model innovation involves shifting from the sale of products to the sale of outcome-based services that allow organizations to create, deliver, and capture values. This is considered a high-gain and high-risk business strategy adopted by managers operating globally to redefine value creation and value capture. Similarly, Balogun et al. (2015) observed that managers should consider individuals who have lived and worked in a foreign country as valuable resources and capitalize a pool of global knowledge to training and retention of employees conducting international assignments. Lane et al. (2009) argued that global managers need to embrace change through the use of various techniques or tools, which include the Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, or three steps of appraising, adopting, and reinforcing. Spector (2007, p.24) examined the Balanced Scorecard as a measure for the company’s performance to understand how a company performs in the long run through indicators and specified benchmarks. Managers are able to define the problems faced by the business through the perceptions of the employees and customers and find the solutions to the root causes of the problems.

Case Study

The business of choice is McDonald’s Corporation which is an American fast-food company found in San Bernardino, California, in the United States. It is considered the largest restaurant chain by revenue which serves over 69 million customers daily in more than 100 countries (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). The company has more than 38,000 outlets globally and is best known for various products that include French fries, cheeseburgers, and hamburgers. Other products are featured, such as breakfast items, chicken products, soft drinks, and desserts, among others (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). Despite its global operation, McDonald’s is among the most successful business through its leadership that has embraced the international culture, ethics, and value-based considerations in its management style.

McDonald’s International Culture

The global success achieved by McDonald’s is associated with the company’s adoption of the cultures of different countries. As a company, the leadership provided by its president and the chief executive officer have blended into local cultures by bending over backward. The company has been coming up with fresh products and services intending to address the specific needs of a diverse consumer market based on the local, economic, and demographic factors globally. In the 1960s, McDonald capitalized on the American events, which included the baby boom accompanied by swelling ranks of teenagers and the rising labor force participation by the female (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). They made attempts to offer fast food for a good price. Similarly, McDonald’s advertises to critics as a company operating and available globally, but it is run by local people. Therefore, the franchise system of this company is in such a way that the McDonald’s restaurants in Japan are run by the Japanese, and that of Israel is run by the Israelis. Thus, this makes it easier for the local owners of the business to choose the offerings on the menu that is suitable for their culture. They also get an opportunity to find alternative suppliers and find appropriate marketing for their culture.

Various cases have demonstrated the actions of McDonald’s management towards implementing the appraisal for international culture traits. It is possible for an America in Saudi Arabia to seat single men with families at any opening of McDonald’s. However, it would be easier for a Saudi Arabian owner to view the same as unacceptable, and it would require the restaurant’s design to accommodate this culture (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). In the past years, McDonald’s in France did the unthinkable to prove that it was local when it printed advertisements that made fun of the eating habits of the US. These restaurants in France are considered to be more fashionable and comfortably designed, unlike it is in North American, to create more enjoyment for customers.

McDonald’s Ethics

McDonald’s thrives in ethical practices as the company focuses on fulfilling its obligations towards ensuring that the products available to the customers have the required quality. This is also the moral expectation of the company from its global customers. In 2017, McDonald’s was ranked twelfth as a successful brand globally based on various responsibilities that the company has continued to conduct (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). From the cultural theories’ perspective, the company’s success is based on ensuring that there is uniformity. This means that anyone who seeks the services of McDonald’s in any part of the world is assured that they will get the same quality, food, and experience. In any case, consumers tend to rely on consistency to get the equal quality value of the products regardless of where they are located. Similarly, the ability to make efforts towards cultural awareness shows that they value the cultures of the local people where restaurants are set up in foreign countries (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). This is an ethical responsibility, and such efforts make McDonald’s morally admirable to the customers hence easily adaptable in such settings.

As an international fast-food chain, McDonald’s corporate social responsibility supports giving back to the community as part of its mission and heritage. This reflects that even in their product and service provision, the major area of concern of McDonald’s is to help the community find solutions that define its ethical activeness. The same could be reflected in the work of Ronald McDonald, which revolved around providing house charity that made him recognized as a generous person (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). Besides the charities, the company’s management has demonstrated having interest and longing to assist the community and the people who are in need. However, all has not been well for McDonald following the accusations overs the issues of child exploitation that are prohibited under the law. Thus, the global performance of McDonald’s is significant as a result of its actions towards the vulnerable in society.

McDonald’s Value-based Considerations

The management of McDonald’s has ensured that the company’s performance is measured over an extended period through various indicators that define its value. The value is reflected in the gains made by the stakeholders of the company, including customers, employees, and the business owner. The growth experienced by the chain has moved from a single restaurant into an expansive corporation is based on value considerations that involve innovation, consistency, and resiliency (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). Consumers’ tastes have changed over time, and the company has been able to respond promptly to the changes through innovation. The menu innovations, including the filet-on-fish and drive-thrus, have ensured that McDonald’s holds product offerings for all meal times as well as the snack periods that come in between hence making an increased profit (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). The franchisees have helped keep up with the tastes and want of customers. The leadership of McDonald’s has maintained constant talk about the values considering the system that allows all the restaurants to be unique and locally owned. This means that values form the basis for guidance in decisions made by the leadership. The management considers the values as the foundational component that accelerates the arches and guides through the achievement of business objectives and delivers the required quality for all the stakeholders, including the customers, communities, employees, and suppliers.

The company’s leadership globally has ensured changes that assure the considerations based on the values of the products. For instance, the company has developed professional guidance in areas of children-wellbeing and nutrition and also ensured that the entire guest packaging comes from renewable or recycled sources (Mcdonalds Corp, 2020). Efforts have also been made concerning ensuring that the choices of consumers are healthier. Changes have also been recorded in the food practices of the company that allows smooth running, excellent performance, and increased profitability while facilitating the needs of the customers.


Traits Score
1. International cultures
a) I work with various groups of employees, especially those originating from the local setting to understand their cultures 8
b) I ensure that the leadership is participatory to allow more interactions with the locals to receive their concerns and factor in their cultural differences 8
c) Ensuring that there is a reliable communication channel between the management of the organization in the foreign country, employees, and other stakeholders to listen and consider their needs, likes, and dislikes 9
d) Read more books about the cultures of a host country to help understand about such communities to improve the interaction and manage a culturally diverse team 6
e) Ensure delegation of duties to the local people who already understand the cultural practices of the potential customers in terms of their cultural practices 7
f) Facilitate the free and fair process of hiring to get people on board who have information on the customers and the type of products they use 8
g) Consider using a common language to all people in an organization, such as an internationally recognized language, including English 9
2. Ethics
a) Ensure that the products offered in the foreign country are comprised of the right and required quality 7
b) Offer products and services at affordable prices without exploiting the buyers 6
c) Ensure that customers get the value of their products whenever they require such products locally or import internationally 9
d) Carry out corporate social responsibility within the community or the country where the company operates 8
e) Ensure that employees are fairly treated by normal working hours, balanced and equal pay, allowing them to stay away from work if need be to observe their culture, and giving them autonomy to design work 8
3. Value-based Considerations 7
a) Capitalize on the use of technology to spice up innovation on the means of production and distribution 6
b) Ensuring that production is based on the need of the customers in order to satisfy them 8
c) Facilitate change within the organization to adjust and reflect the modern business environment 7
d) Employ modern strategies that ensure demand and production are met in the market, both foreign and international 7
e) Ensure that there is consistency in the way of production and that products are available for use in the market 8

Detailed Plan to Develop the Traits

Traits Activities Time
International cultures
  • Recruitment of the local employees in the foreign country
  • Training and orientation on the duties to be conducted by each of the workers
  • Holding regular meetings to understand the progress and suggest new changes
  • Follow up with customers to ensure they feel satisfied with the operations of the organization
July 20th to September 30th, 2021
  • Conduct research on the products most preferred by consumers
  • Listen to employees on what they feel about working in a new environment
  • Training workers on production and providing of quality products
  • Working closely with the community to help the vulnerable and the need
July 25th to September 20th, 2021
Value-based Considerations
  • Call for the supply of modern technology to be used in production
  • Receipt and selection of the best vendor to supply the required technology
  • Put the technology into place for better production and provision of services
July 10th to August 30th, 2021


The focus of this paper is to investigate some of the key traits of a global manager with a specific focus on the appraisal of international culture, ethics, and value-based considerations. Prior research has established that the working environment has changed dramatically in recent years, which has significantly implicated global and international managers. Organizations, therefore, require that managers spend considerable time managing businesses overseas. A global manager is responsible for managing teams of employees and operations across diverse cultures and time zones. These key traits of a global manager, including the appraisal of international culture, ethics, and value-based considerations, are required to navigate them through the business challenges brought by the changes that occur within the environment. McDonald’s is chosen for the case study in this paper, considering its ability to successfully operate in more than 100 countries globally for over eight decades. The company has benefited from international culture through its ethical practices and value creation, it has remained top on the list of the competitive companies in the food industry across the globe.

Reference list

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Andersen, S., 2011. Theological ethics, moral philosophy, and natural law. Ethical theory and moral practice4(4), pp.349-364.

Balogun, J., Bartunek, J.M. and Do, B., 2015. Senior managers’ sensemaking and responses to strategic change. Organization Science26(4), pp.960-979.

Cavusgil, S.T., Knight, G., Riesenberger, J.R., Rammal, H.G. and Rose, E.L., 2014. International business. Pearson Australia.

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Denison, D., Nieminen, L. and Kotrba, L., 2014. Diagnosing organizational cultures: A conceptual and empirical review of culture effectiveness surveys. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology23(1), pp.145-161.

Desai, A.B. and Rittenburg, T., 2017. Global ethics: An integrative framework for MNEs. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(8), pp.791-800.

Herold, D.M., Fedor, DB and Caldwell, S.D., 2007. Beyond change management: A multilevel investigation of contextual and personal influences on employees’ commitment to change. Journal of Applied Psychology92(4), p.942.

Knappert, DPL, 2013. Global Performance Management In The Multinational Enterprise.

Lane, H.W., Maznevski, M., Deetz, J. and DiStefano, J., 2009. International management behavior: Leading with a global mindset. John Wiley & Sons.

Mcdonalds Corp (2020). 10-K”. February 22nd, 2020.

Meehan, J., Menzies, L. and Michaelides, R., 2017. The long shadow of public policy; Barriers to a value-based approach in healthcare procurement. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management23(4), pp.229-241.

Meiseberg, B. and Ehrmann, T., 2013. Diversity in teams and the success of cultural products. Journal of Cultural Economics37(1), pp.61-86.

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Santhidran, S., Chandran, V.G.R. and Borromeo, J., 2013. Enabling organizational change–leadership, commitment to change and the mediating role of change readiness. Journal of business economics and management14(2), pp.348-363.

Sjödin, D., Parida, V., Jovanovic, M. and Visnjic, I., 2020. Value creation and value capture alignment in business model innovation: A process view on outcome‐based business models. Journal of Product Innovation Management37(2), pp.158-183.

Spector, B., 2007. Implementing organizational change: Theory and practice. Prentice Hall.

Stahl, G.K., Mäkelä, K., Zander, L. and Maznevski, M.L., 2010. A look at the bright side of multicultural team diversity. Scandinavian Journal of Management26(4), pp.439-447.

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Weaver, G.R., 2015. Ethics programs in global businesses: Culture’s role in managing ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 30(1), pp.3-15.


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