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Measuring Global Mindset®

March 23, 2017
global mindset

Measuring Global Mindset

Global Mindset can be measured. There are 3 primary dimensions: psychological, social, and intellectual. Learn more. 

This article is derived from the multimedia flipbook “To Succeed In Global Business, A Global Mindset Is Essential.” For a complimentary download of the flipbook, visit https://thunderbird.asu.edu/global-mindset 

Download Global Mindset Flipbook

Global Mindset is the set of individual qualities and attributes that help a manager influence individuals, groups, and organizations from other parts of the world.

Faced with the complexity of working across borders, the lack of rigorous large-scale empirical studies on global leadership, and companies’ reported challenges in finding or developing global leaders, a group of eight Thunderbird professors embarked on a research project to identify the core individual qualities and attributes that would enable global business success – that is, the Global Mindset.

The Thunderbird team conducted interviews with over 200 senior executives and 5,000 managers in 23 cities in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. They asked these executives and managers about their successes and failures, about what was getting in the way of their progress in other cultures, and the degree to which they enjoyed working with people who were different from them. The researchers asked interviewees what they thought being global leaders and effective managers in a cross-cultural environment looked like.

“When you’re working with people from other parts of the world, the way that they define a problem may be completely different,” explains Thunderbird Professor Mansour Javidan. “The methods they use to find a solution may also be completely different. And the solution they find to the problem may be completely different. So your job as a manager becomes creating agreement and consensus among these people who bring very different perspectives to the table.”

“Your job as a manager becomes creating agreement and consensus among these people who bring very different perspectives to the table.” – Click to tweet 

“When you think about globalization, the implication of the company’s global strategy is that managers will be increasingly asked to work with people from other parts of the world,” Javidan explains. “The problem is that children grow up mostly learning how to live and work with people who are like them. So when a company asks its managers to work effectively with people from other parts of the world, it’s asking managers to do something that’s different from what they’re naturally developed for.”

How can we prepare these managers for this new expectation that their global companies have of them? That is the essence of Global Mindset.

A person with a low level of Global Mindset finds dealing with people from other parts of the world challenging, frustrating, and intimidating. In contrast, a person with a high level of Global Mindset finds diversity interesting, not intimidating, and an exciting challenge. She is passionate about diversity and willing to push herself. She is comfortable being uncomfortable.

Leaders with a strong stock of Global Mindset know about cultures and political and economic systems in other countries and understand how their global industry works. They are also better able to build trusting relationships with people who are different from them by showing respect and empathy and by being good listeners.

Global Mindset for Strategic Leadership
October 22-24, 2017 | Dubai, UAE

Learn More

 

Measuring Global Mindset

After the Thunderbird team defined Global Mindset, they set about building a tool to measure it – what became the Global Mindset Inventory (GMI). An individual’s Global Mindset score is based on three primary and nine secondary dimensions, shown in the figure below.

3 Dimensions of Global Mindset

Three dimensions of Global Mindset

  1. Global psychological capitalThe affective aspect of Global Mindset. It refers to the manager’s emotional energy and her willingness to engage in a global environment. It reflects a positive and constructive attitude towards diversity of thought and action.
  2. Global social capitalThe behavioral aspect of Global Mindset. It reflects the manager’s ability to act in a way that helps build trusting relationships with people from other parts of the world.
  3. Global intellectual capitalThe cognitive aspect of Global Mindset. It refers to how much and what the manager knows about the global business in her industry and its broader macro environment, and how easy it is for her to analyze, digest, and interpret this information


The three are interrelated. For example, global psychological capital helps a manager leverage her global intellectual capital. A manager may be knowledgeable about other cultures and may be relatively up-to-date about world events, but without a strong global psychological capital she may be disinterested in working with people from other parts of the world and may find global roles stressful and frustrating.

Bottom line

Because Global Mindset can be measured, it can also be improved. While people often have an inclination toward a high- or low level of Global Mindset, it can be raised. That’s the subject of the third blog post in this series, Growing Your Global Mindset {hyperlink}, so read on!

Mansour Javidan teaches these concepts in depth in the Global Mindset for Strategic Leadership program, which is offered April 10-13 in Glendale, Arizona. Enhance your strategic global leadership perspectives and capabilities for increased influence across cultures and greater overall success with global responsibilities. Learn more about the Global Mindset for Strategic Leadership program. 

Join the discussion!

Have you taken the Global Mindset Inventory? Has knowing where you rank on psychological, social, and intellectual capital helped you be a better leader? Share your story on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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