AMA Study Reveals Benefits of Developing Global Leaders

Jan 24, 2019

Most corporations want and need leaders who can help them compete successfully in today’s global environment, but knowing this and doing something about it are two different things.

In 2010, American Management Association commissioned the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to study what high-performance organizations are doing differently and how workforce improvements have bottom-line impact. The study consisted of an e-mail list of primarily high-level business, HR, and management professional contacts from AMA and i4cp. In total, 939 usable responses were collected. Of those surveyed, only about a third (31%) of the participants said that their organizations have a global leadership development program or curriculum; 14% said they had developed one but admitted they hadn’t yet implemented any portion of it.

The good news: those companies that did have these programs may be enjoying performance-related benefits. The Study found a significant statistical correlation between the degree to which respondents said their organizations have these initiatives and the degree to which they reported that their companies enjoyed improved market performance.

Among the findings, critical thinking and problem solving, change management, and leading cross-cultural teams are the most widely taught global leadership competencies. However, the Study also found that developing leaders’ ability to expand the corporate brand in global commerce--which is a less popularly taught competency--is significantly related to improved market performance and program success.

Three-fifths of respondents from organizations with global leadership programs reported that they use metrics to evaluate the success of their leadership programs, and 56% of those said they do so before they create the program itself, as opposed to during or after program implementation. The most popular metrics involved assessing changes in leadership and management behaviors and measuring the business results derived from an initiative.

To find out more from this AMA study, visit