THE THIRD CULTURE PRINCIPLE AND LEADERSHIP TEAM COMPETENCE DEVELOPMENT
Wang, Z. M., Zhejiang University, China
Under the rapid globalization, more and more empirical studies were carried out on leadership team development and competence modeling in relation to the organizational culture in China. One significant development has been the third culture principle. The third culture is characterized by trust, respect, cooperation, long time perspective, and win-win strategy, a culture different from either Chinese traditional culture or the overseas' business culture. On the basis of recent empirical researches and the three- year longitudinal study on cross-cultural leadership teams in 40 companies (30 joint ventures vs 10 local companies) in China, the third culture principle is formulated with four procedural components and its contingencies. The third culture procedural components are: cross-cultural awareness, team compatibility, competency-based learning, and performance accountability. The best timing and focus for developing a third culture is dependent upon contingencies such as leadership cultural diversity, business development phase, leadership team relationship, and conflict management strategy. Two specific approaches to the third culture principle proved to be most effective in developing global leadership teams. The first approach is the longitudinal progressive leadership learning emphasizing cross-cultural managerial values. The second approach is the strategy-redesign process linking with strategic HR management and business development. A general model of the third culture principle is built up with implications to enhancing leadership team competence and effectiveness (The studies were supported by the CNSF grants of No. 70071050 and No. 39870247 and the GRC grant).