Developing Global Executives

The Lessons of International Experience

Morgan W. McCall, Jr., George P. Hollenbeck

Publisher: Harvard Business School, 2002, 257 pages

ISBN: 1-57851-336-7

Keywords: International Enterprise, Human Resources

Last modified: Dec. 4, 2007, 3:51 p.m.

In our borderless global economy, companies must ship their executives nearly as far and wide as their products. Whether these far-flung executives soar or land with a thud may make all the difference between a successful international enterprise or a world-class failure-and it is this crucial difference that Developing Global Executives defines.

Based on a wide-ranging study of veteran global executives, leadership development experts Morgan W. McCall, Jr. and George P. Hollenbeck reveal what it takes for organizations to groom, and individuals to become, successful international executives.
The answer sounds deceptively simple: People learn to "be global" from doing global work. But therein lies a tricky distinction-what specific types of career experiences are the ones that prepare global leaders for their roles? To what extent can individuals seek out-and companies help orchestrate-these experiences?

In Developing Global Executives, leading global executives help answer these questions. Through their candid, rich, and varied stories, readers learn who global executives are, what distinguishes them from domestic leaders, and which experiences have been most critical to mastering their extremely demanding careers. In addition, these "lessons from the field" underscore the key requirements and challenges of effective leadership in a global environment: from the importance of continuous learning and the crucial role of mentors to the difficulties in overcoming "culture shock" and the warning signs of potential derailment.

Practical and far-sighted, this book offers a wealth of firsthand insights for aspiring and current international executives and the organizations that employ them.

  1. Introduction: A World of Possibilities
  2. What Is a Global Executive?
  3. Global Journeys: The Lives of Global Executives
  4. The Lessons of International Experience
  5. Experiences That Teach Global Executives
  6. Making Sense of Culture
  7. When Things Go Wrong
  8. Developing Global Executives: The Organization's Role
  9. Building a Global Career: The Individual's Part
  10. Epilogue
  • Appendix A: Interview Questions
  • Appendix B: Methodology
  • Appendix C: Supplementary Tables


Developing Global Executives

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: Dec. 4, 2007, 3:49 p.m.

It is hard to find anything directly useful in this book, but it may be prejudice on my part, as I have been an expatriate.

There is nothing wrong with what they say, but they fail to come to any conclusions or recommendations. They also fail to address the most problematic arena, repatriation, more than cursory, which is where most expatriate programs usually fails.

An OK book for an HRM student or for someone that is starting to think about becoming an expatriate.


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