In the past decade an increasing number of international managers from multinational organizations have participated in development programs at the Center for Creative Leadership. These managers work across the borders of multiple countries simultaneously. Some of them are expatriates. Most are not. And although many of these managers are not wrestling with the issues of relocating and adjusting to living in a different culture, they all find themselves dealing with cultural issues—defined in the broadest context—every time they pick up the phone, log onto their e-mail, or disembark from an airplane.

Working with these managers led us to ask fundamental questions about our current understanding of managerial effectiveness and whether ...

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