Handbook of International Human Resource Development
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Handbook of International Human Resource Development

Context, Processes and People

Edited by Thomas Garavan, Alma McCarthy and Ronan Carbery

This Handbook draws on a global team of distinguished Human Resource Development and IHRD scholars to provide research and practice insights on a range of contemporary IHRD issues and challenges. The Handbook reviews a number of critical contextual dimensions that: shape the IHRD goals that organisations pursue; impact the IHRD systems, policies and practices that are implemented; and influence the types of IHRD research questions that are investigated. The Handbook examines the processes or actions taken by organisations to globalise IHRD practices and discusses important people development practices that come within the scope of IHRD.
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Chapter 17: IHRD and leader development

Nicholas Clarke


This chapter explores international leader development as a significant area of inquiry and practice within the emerging field of international human resource development. The focus is specifically on leader as opposed to leadership development within an international context, reflecting the major body of work in this area to date, which has looked at the concept of global leaders and their development. The chapter takes a critical approach to the literature on global leader development and highlights the relatively poor data that exists regarding the impact of global leader development. It raises major questions that need to be addressed to further our understanding in this area if both theory and practice are to be enhanced. Chief among these include the need to better align both current theory and practice and the problems associated with global competence-based frameworks that reflect fairly ethnocentric notions of how leaders should be developed. The chapter argues that the literature should explore ideas that cross-cultural differences in leadership have implications for how leader development might be construed and even practised in differing cultural contexts. Drawing upon the popular model of leader development as comprising the three key components of assessment, challenge and support, the chapter identifies cultural limitations associated with three traditional methods used in leader development (1) three hundred and sixty degree feedback, (2) developmental job challenge and (3) self-directed learning. The chapter concludes with recommendations on directions for future research in the area of international leader development.

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