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How to find a great international leader: The case of Swedish Managers working in Singapore
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Title: How to find a great international leader – The case of Swedish Managers working in Singapore

Level: Second Cycle: 15 Credit: Master Thesis in Business Administration

Author: Charlotte Tham

Supervisor: Maria Malama

 Examiner: Akmal Hyder

Date: June 2011

Aim: I’m interested in finding a way to make successful international recruitments. To do so I have worked with three research questions:

  • What distinguish an international leader from a domestic leader?
  • How do you recruit a successful international leader?
  • Which personal qualities make an international leader successful?


  • I have used a personal test (Hogan Personality Inventory) to find which personal qualities the manager has.
  • Approx. 10 subordinates to each of the managers have answered a survey, in order to find how successful they find the managers to be.
  • The five managers have also been interviewed twice. The first time to hear their opinion of the international leadership. The second time to follow up the result from the personal test and the survey.   

Result & Conclusions: The four main results of the study are:

  • Handling cultural differences makes the international leader special.
  • Following a structured procedure is essential when recruiting a successful international leader.
  • Qualities to look for are high interpersonal skills, strong sense of self, high flexibility, and strong interest in learning new things.
  • Leaders with strong task-orientation and love for details de-motivate their subordinates. 

 Suggestions for future research: The study could be done on a larger sample, to get a better statistical material. It could also be done on other nationalities, or on women to see how these factors affect the result.

 Contribution of the thesis: The study shows that criteria like, high interpersonal skills and flexibility have to be searched for and a structured procedure has to be followed, when recruiting international leaders. The study can help multi-national companies make better recruitments and therefore save money and time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
International Leaders, Cross-Cultural Differences, Personal Skills, Recruitment Procedure and Swedish Leaders in Singapore
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-10814Archive number: E3BA:DiVA 89/2011OAI: diva2:453061
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-11-16 Created: 2011-11-01 Last updated: 2011-11-16Bibliographically approved

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