In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Global Leadership

  • Introduction
  • Reference Sources
  • Journals
  • Textbooks
  • Bibliographies
  • Books for Practitioners
  • History and Trends
  • Theories and Models of Global Leadership
  • Global Leadership in Teams
  • Leading Global Change
  • Women Global Leaders
  • Responsible Global Leadership
  • Global Talent Management

Management Global Leadership
Mark E. Mendenhall, Sebastian Reiche
  • LAST REVIEWED: 20 January 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 September 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0179


Global leadership is the study of leadership in the global context. Reiche, et al. 2017 (cited under Theories and Models of Global Leadership) states that the global context forces leaders to influence a wider range of internal and external constituents compared to leaders who operate in a domestic context. Further, these constituents reside in multiple national cultures and jurisdictions, which increases the task and relationship complexity of leaders who work in the global context. In Adler, et al. 2000, global leadership is characterized as being neither domestic (focused only on leadership theory and practice in a specific country) nor multidomestic (comparing leadership theory and practice between specific countries) in nature. Rather, global leadership focuses on the competencies, processes, behaviors, and roles leaders must effectively engage in when simultaneously leading diverse groups of people and managing stakeholder relationships globally across multiple cultures. The demands, challenges, ambiguity, and unpredictability associated with global versus domestic and multidomestic leadership are argued by scholars in the field to constitute global leadership as being a different type or category of leadership that requires not only higher levels of commonly accepted leadership skills, but also skills that are unique to the demand of leadership in the global context. In Reiche, et al. 2017 global leadership is said to constitute the ways that leaders in a global context influence their constituents who reside in different nations within a milieu that is high in both task and relationship complexity.

Reference Sources

Two of the four reference sources are especially useful for scholars and others interested in gaining a comprehensive overview of the research findings in global leadership: Global Leadership: Research, Practice, and Development and Advances in Global Leadership. The former is an ongoing volume that provides an update on the scope of new and past global leadership research with each new volume that is published. It is currently in its third edition. The latter volume is published annually and is the primary publication outlet for global leadership research. Deters 2017 integrates the global leadership research with talent management research and explores how the two fields are both conceptually reliant upon each other. The Blackwell Handbook of Global Management: A Guide to Managing Complexity was designed by a team of international management scholars to address varying aspects of global leaders’ roles and challenges and remains an excellent resource for global leadership processes related to boundary-spanning, leading global teams, and global competencies. Books that are more dated but have significantly contributed to the understanding of global leadership are listed in the History and Trends section.

  • Advances in Global Leadership. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing, 2009–.

    This volume, published yearly, is both an e-journal and an edited book series. It is included in the reference resources due to its sole focus of publishing only research that involves global leadership. It operates like a journal, wherein authors submit research for review. It has developed the reputation as being the primary global leadership-focused publication outlet in the field and is an excellent resource to gain a sense of what the most recent, cutting edge research is in the field.

  • Deters, Jürgen. Global Leadership Talent Management: Successful Selection of Global Leadership Talents as an Integrated Process. Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2017.

    DOI: 10.1108/9781787145436

    The value of this book lies in its integration of global leadership research with Global Talent Management research. It bridges these two subdisciplines of international management, showing their interconnectivity. It is an excellent resource for an introduction to both literatures and to a better understanding of how Global Leadership Development relates to larger human resource practices.

  • Lane, Henry W., Martha L. Maznevski, Mark E. Mendenhall, and Jeanne McNett. The Blackwell Handbook of Global Management: A Guide to Managing Complexity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

    DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631231936.2004.x

    This handbook was created by scholars from the International Organizations Network (ION), a loosely coupled research network of international management scholars, with the purpose of bringing the best knowledge the field had to offer into one volume that thoughtful practitioners and other scholars could use as a primary resource for their work. The handbook addresses key processes that global leaders must navigate in order to be successful.

  • Mendenhall, Mark E., Joyce S. Osland, Allan Bird, et al., eds. Global Leadership: Research, Practice, and Development. New York & Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2018.

    Currently in its third edition, the purpose of this volume is to provide a comprehensive review of the existing research literature in the field of global leadership. Each new edition integrates the research in the field that has taken place since the publication of the previous edition. It is an excellent starting point for anyone desiring to enter into the field as a scholar or as a way of understanding the dynamics of global leadership.

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