Developing Glocal Leaders in Asia

HCLI Research
Published 6 December 2021

The GLOCAL Project (Globalising and Localising Of Corporate Asian Leadership) is our inaugural initiative to redefine global leadership together with leading organisations operating in Asia.

This project is part of HCLI’s Thought Leadership Research Consortium (TLRC), a platform where HCLI and partner companies work closely together to address a critical human capital leadership challenge through applied research, appreciative inquiry and peer-to-peer interactions.

This study examines leadership development in Western MNCs through the lens of ‘glocalisation’. ‘Glocalisation’ in this case, is characterised by the melding of local and global considerations in business operations.

Our recent conversations with Western MNCs in Asia indicate that Asians tend to be under-represented in Western MNC leadership roles. This is unfortunate as our interviews with HR and senior leadership in this study affirmed that:

  1. There is no perceived leadership talent shortage in Asia.
  2. Asian leaders have the potential to be just as successful as Western leaders in Western MNCs. 

Increasing the representation of Asian leaders in Western MNCs is a journey and not a destination. This journey will require reframing, redefining, and tweaking current leadership development initiatives. Looking ahead, our findings signal that organisations, managers and individuals each have their roles to play and must work together to address current talent imbalances to reap competitive advantages.

We hope this study provides actionable signposts for your journey.

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