DOI: https://doi.org/10.31499/2306-5532.2.2018.153412

LEADERSHIP OF ERASMUS MUNDUS PHD STUDENTS IN MULTICULTURAL SOCIETIES: DEFINING AND BUILDING A COMPETENCE

Ielyzaveta Panchenko

Abstract


This paper explores leadership from the standpoint of social constructivism. From this point, leadership is a complex notion that is studied in different ways and requires different definitions depending on the sphere, social circle, and situation where it is needed. It consists of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, which are formed and developed in the zone of proximal development – under assistance and in the process of communication. Four questions guided the investigation:  Does the understanding of leadership depend on the cultural background? How is the understanding of leadership formed in a multicultural environment? How is leadership addressed in the Erasmus Mundus programme? As there is no universal definition, the author developed a definition of Leadership of Erasmus Mundus PhD students. For Erasmus Mundus PhD students of AMU, leadership is the interaction between leaders and followers among scholars educated at Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, that leads to positive changes in development of countries and reaching European standards. As it suggests, there should be three sets of leadership expression: ability to interact, ability to learn, ability to change.  The focus group with Erasmus Mundus PhD students and the questionnaire for the alumni address the above mentioned.

The findings prove that though cultural background influences some shades of understanding the notion of leadership, “schemas” of leadership of representatives of different social groups have more in common, than differences. The main leadership skill for representatives of all the studied nationalities is dealing with people. The importance of other skills differs depending on the nationality of a person.

As to the specifics of forming understanding of leadership in a multicultural environment, it appears to be much more complex than the one in a monocultural environment. The Erasmus Mundus participants are all the time exposed to situations when they require assistance, and receive this assistance from people of various nationalities and positions. All those people become models of leaders that form their multicultural and multileveled understanding of leadership.

As leadership consists of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, the authors explain how the Erasmus Mundus programme influences all of them: during the programme, knowledge is formed in the zone of proximal development, which is, from the standpoint of social constructivism, the best way to gain and retain knowledge; during the programme PhD students find positive changes in their personal skills, as well as gain some new ones, which can be proved by the words of the focus group interview participants; the atmosphere of AMU university provides good conditions for interaction and learning, also promotes personal changes of the participants, and motivates them to change their societies, forming their positive attitude to leadership and making them act like leaders after the programme, providing those changes.

 


Keywords


leadership; multicultural society; social constructivism; Erasmus Mundus; PhD students.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bass, B. and Stogdill, R. (1981). Handbook of leadership. 1st ed. New York: Free Press. Bass, B. M., Stogdill, R. M. (1990). Bass Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. 3rd ed. New York: Free Press.

Billsberry, J. (2009). The Social Construction of Leadership Education. Journal of Leadership Education, 8(2), pp.1-9.

Coleman, M. and Briggs, A. (2002). Research methods in educational leadership and management. 1st ed. London: P. Chapman Pub.

Copeland, L. (1942). The World's great speeches. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y.: Garden City Pub. Co.

Edmunds J. Edsel (2005). The Triangle of Success. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

Ghiselli, E. (1971). Explorations in managerial talent. 1st ed. Pacific Palisades, Calif: Goodyear Pub. Co.

Grint, K. (1997). Leadership: Classical, contemporary, and critical approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Growing leaders: Grow Tomorrow`s Leaders Today (2017) [online] Available at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/four-lost-qualities-must-build-students-today/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Guidelines For Applicants. Erasmus Mundus (2017) [online] Available at: http://mundus.amu.edu.pl/EMINENCEII/Guidelines%20for%20Applicants%20EMINENCE%20-%203%20rd%20%20call.pdf [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Gupta, A. (2005). Leadership in a Fast-Paced World - An Interview with Ken Blanchard (1st ed., vol. 20, pp.7-11): Mid American Journal of Business.

Jennings, H. (1944). Leadership - A Dynamic Redefinition. Journal of Educational Sociology, 17(7), p.431.

Gardner, J. (1993) On Leadership. 1st ed. New Zork: Simon and Schuster.

Kanter, A. (1983). Defense politics. 1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Leslie J. B. (2017). The Leadership GAP : What you need, and don’t have, when it comes to leadership talent. Center for Creative Leadership [online] Available at: http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/leadershipGap.pdf [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Lussier, R. and Achua, C. (2015). Leadership. 1st ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Misumi, J. and Peterson, M. (1985). The behavioral science of leadership. 1st ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Multidisciplinary Individual Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan (2017) [online] Available at: https://www.google.pl/search?q=mish+uam+pozna%C5%84&oq=mish&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0j69i59l2j0l2.3193j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 [Accessed 4 May 2017].

Rost, J. (1991). Leadership for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Praeger.

Rowley, T. and Moldoveanu, M. (2003). When Will Stakeholder Groups Act? An Interest- and Identity-Based Model of Stakeholder Group Mobilization. The Academy of Management Review, 28(2), p. 204.

Sandberg, J. (2001). The constructions of social constructionism. In S. E. Sjöstrand, J. Sandberg, and M. Tyrstrup (Eds.), Invisible Management: The Social Construction of Leadership (pp. 28-48). London: Thomson Learning.

Thorndyke, P. (1981). Schema theory as a guide for educational research. 1st ed. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corp.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press Weiss, P. (1986). Philosophy in process. 1st ed. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press




Copyright (c) 2018 Ielyzaveta Panchenko

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.