Thomas K. Grose
"There is a huge variety of styles, partly produced by historical, cultural, and regulatory differences," says
If you think of global business styles as a continuum, U.S. executives are at one end, their Asian counterparts at the other. American executives, and the companies they lead, are generally more comfortable with risk and uncertainty than those in
It's also why there is no global market for CEOs, says
Actually, there are a number of styles within
The American system is also meritocratic and performance based. Pay, bonuses, and promotions are tied to doing a task well. That's not always the case at large companies in
American executives' operating methods also are shaped by the capital markets, which are obsessed with short-term gains. "One trademark of the American style is a focus on achieving results, short-term and long-term," says
Mills says American CEOs excel at three things, starting with controlling costs. "In
American phenomenon. Also striding the U.S. corporate landscape are celebrity CEOs, as well known to readers of
How likely is it that the world's varying executive styles will converge? "It's too early to tell," says
That's not to say, however, that any one method reigns supreme. Arguably, the high-risk, more flexible styles of American CEOs are more suited to "disruptive" industries, like fashion, high technology, and entertainment, while the careful, consensus-driven styles of Asian execs are more at home in mature, slow-growth industries. But other than that, Hambrick says, "there's no best way to run a company. It's all a matter of it being a cultural fit." In other words, when it comes to corporate leadership: Vive la différence!
Free Markets, Free Muslims
Jon B. Alterman
Vali Nasr's new book, Forces of Fortune, was written largely in the exuberant phase of Dubai's story, but it is being published in a more sober time. It reflects some of the old enthusiasm for the notion that 'the Dubai model' -- a multiethnic, capitalist society insulated from violence and ideology -- could save the Middle East from a downward spiral of intolerance and political extremism.
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report