Dalton (2002) had focused on what managers do, which are behavioural roles, rather than the reason or method used by these managers. He recognized that variations in cultural beliefs, values and norms as well as variations in managerial style challenged the performance of global managers.
On the other hand, Rifkin (2006) said that soft skills may be more important for global managers to be effective. He suggested three steps companies and managers can take to better prepare for the challenges of managing globally, which are: • To develop a clearer understanding of the challenges of managing people across borders; • To instill in new global managers an awareness of and an appreciation for the vast differences among cultures in which they do business; and • To give global managers the tools and support they need to succeed.
Writing on international management and cross-cultural perspectives, Adekola (2007) stated that like the domestic managers, international managers must also adhere to the four major roles of planning, organizing, directing and controlling. He said that planning assures that the business organization has some idea of its purpose, where it is heading and how it will achieve its objectives. International managers must consider not only local conditions but also overall international operations in their short or long-range preparations to achieve their goals.
They must be aware of the extent to which employees, local customers, government officials and suppliers are likely to accept or resist changes. Adekola (2007) also stated that control for an international manager includes ensuring that what is happening is what was intended to happen. Control is used in different ways by the organization depending on the level and scope of its application. He quoted Miller (1987) who said that for an international manager, “control should provide managers with the information necessary to monitor the operations of the firm to help achieve its global strategy”.
According to Adekola (2007), “international direction and leadership style is the way in which a manager chooses to fulfill leadership, delegation, communication and supervision responsibilities. These choices reflect both personal and cultural differences. ” He believed that international managers’ roles can be very effective when a manager can learn and develop leadership functions such as completing organizational work through employee motivation, getting commitment, energizing employees’ behaviour and by creating personal interests and excitement in the organization’s goals.