Building Global Competence for Asian Leaders

Recent development shows an increasing international trade and across-borders investment as well as a growing bilateral and multilateral free-trade agreement among the Asian countries. Thus resulted in more and more Asian (and global) organizations facing increasingly culturally diverse groups to manage and to deal with. Hence it indicates the needs of systematic development of intercultural competence and sensitivity for Asian leaders. This study attempts to apply indigenous approach to deal with the underdeveloped systematic knowledge for non-Western societies and the lacking of practices to develop global Asian leaders. Series of in-depth interviews with Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean international assignees and their local co-workers will be conducted in China, Indonesia and Singapore in addition to an online survey.

Research Objectives

A culture-specific model for intercultural sensitivity will be developed for each of the targeted culture based on indigenous resources (e.g., history, cultural studies, and folklore). Based on these indigenous models, materials for leadership development program will be created (e.g., case studies, critical incidents).

In detail, the research objectives are defined as follows:

  1、Elaborating the challenges and problem solving strategies of Chinese, Singaporean and Indonesian business leaders in international co-operations.

  2、Identifying key learning experiences to develop and sustain ICS for Chinese, Singaporean and Indonesian business leaders.

  3、Developing culture-specific ICS models for Chinese, Singaporean, and Indonesian business leaders, covering innate characteristics and competencies.

  4、Creating learning materials for leadership developmental programs, e.g., case studies, critical incidents, culture assimilator.

  5、Instigating recommendations of organizational systems to support culturally effective leaders.

Research Design and Methodologies

This study focuses on developing global competency model, which can be applied for a systematic leadership development program for Asian Leaders. The whole project is divided into two phases; phase 1 will be conducted in China and Indonesia, phase 2 will be conducted mainly in Singapore. Detailed on the phase 2 will be submitted as the phase 1 progress.

The first phase is built on the previous research on Indigenous Intercultural Sensitivity of Chinese and Indonesian professional, which has been closed successfully by Dr. Panggabean and Dr. Tjitra in 2008. This phase will focus on elaborating the intercultural experiences of the Chinese and Singaporean international assignees in Indonesian, as well as Indonesian and Singaporean in China.

Two research methods are going to be applied: Qualitative In-Depth Interviews and Quantitative Online Survey. Sixty in-depth Interviews are going to be conducted in Indonesia and China. For the online survey, 250 respondents in Indonesia and China are targeted.

In Indonesia the respondents are the Chinese and Singaporean expatriates who are working and living in Indonesia as well as their local Indonesian counter-parts. In China, the respondents are the Indonesian and Singaporean expatriates who are working and living in china as we their local Chinese counter-parts. All interview are going to be recorded and fully transcribed. Inductive content analysis will be applied to analyze the interview data, supporting with the computer-based software Atlas.ti.

Expected Results and Deliverables


The project will start on October 1st 2010, and divided into two phases. At the end of this 12 months project, following deliverables are expected:

  1、Comprehensive and systematic findings on the current situations and practices of Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean international assignees in Asia.

  2、Theoretical framework and working model of the intercultural competence and sensitivity of Asian Leaders, incl. culture specific particularity of Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean.

  3、Systematic study on the challenges and synergy potentials of pan-Asian Teamwork focusing on Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean.

  4、Learning strategy and materials to systematically develop the intercultural competence and sensitivity of Asian Leaders, in particular the one with Chinese, Indonesian and Singaporean origins.