Decision-making styles

The decision-making style of a leader is often heavily influenced by the organisationsal structures of the company the leader works for. However, organizational structures differ enormously around the world which means there can be no uniform global decision-making process.

Some cultures (as diverse as India, Saudi Arabia and France) tend towards strong, rigid hierarchies where decisions are imposed from the top with little expectation around discussion or push-back whereas as other cultures (as varied as Japan, Sweden and Australia) take a much more consultative approach where the boss elicits input from the team and factors that input into the final decision

Whichever style is adopted it is imperative that the process is understood by everybody in a cross-border working team from a very early stage in the life-cycle of a project.

Decisions with a multi-cultural dimension work most effectively when everybody is engaged in a debate about the decision-making process at an early stage and when team members agree what decision-making process is most appropriate in which situation.

When this process is agreed it needs to be clearly communicated to everybody concerned and the process should be reviewed on a regular basis.

Failure to agree a common decision-making process at an early stage is one of the most common causes of cross-border projects running late and overshooting budget.

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