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5
Sep

Leadership Attributes

Extensive time and resources have been devoted to the search for “attributes” and “traits” of effective leaders, as well as characteristics of dysfunctional leaders.  Much of this work has been conducted under the umbrella of settling debates about whether leaders are “born or made” and, to the extent that genes are not totally responsible for leadership success, what strategies can be used to teach people how to execute the behaviors though to be associated with effective leadership.  Leadership is important to the progress and success of emerging companies and this report provides an overview of some of the more interesting research on "leadership attributes" and the conclusions of researchers that their is hope for teaching persons in leadership roles how to execute the behaviors associated with effective leadership.

5
Sep

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

While on the face of it one might assume that entrepreneurship would have a positive impact on economic and social development, there are those that have questioned this proposition.  Baumol, for example, has observed that “entrepreneurship can take various forms, and not everything labeled as ‘entrepreneurial’ might be desirable from a macroeconomic and societal perspective”.  If this is true, policymakers developing tools to encourage and support “entrepreneurism” need to have a better understanding of just what types of entrepreneurial activities are likely to have the most positive impact on economic development.  This month's report provides an overview of some of the research that has been done regarding the relationship between "entrepreneurship" and "development".

5
Sep

Leadership Dimensions as a Function of Cultural Imperatives

This report explores the efforts of two researchers, Muczyk and Holt, to suggest how leaders might select between “democratic” and “autocratic” styles in different cultural contexts.  In general, Muczyk and Holt observed that “democratic” leadership with respect to making decisions and setting goals may be suited for cultures that are low on power distance, high on individualism and femininity, low on uncertainty avoidance and characterized by internal environmental orientation and might also be suitable in societies whose members have a low regard for hierarchy and an inclination to bypass the chain of command.  On the other hand, Muczyk and Holt speculated that “autocratic” leadership might be more appropriate in societies that are high in power distance, collectivism, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance and that are characterized by external environmental orientation and in societies whose members have a high regard for hierarchy and are reluctant to bypass the chain of command.  The observations made by Muczyk and Holt were similar to those made by Hofstede, who argued that large power distance and collectivism were closely related and typically associated with developing countries while small power distance and high individualism were closely related and typically associated with industrialized countries.

5
Sep

Internet Governance Forum

This month’s post highlights the publication of “IGF 2010-Developing the Future Together”, which catalogs the activities at the Fifth Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Lithuania in September 2010.  The book was edited by my son, Brian, who is working as a consultant to the IGF and, in fact, is attending the Sixth Meeting of the IGF in Nairobi at this very moment.  The IGF, which was established by the World Summit of the Information Society in 2006, works on extremely challenging public policy issues related to Internet governance such as Managing Critical Internet Resources; Access and Diversity; and Security, Openness and Privacy.  Governmental attempts to control the Internet, a recent issue in China and the Middle East, are just one thorny area, as described today in The Economist.

5
Sep

US Patent Law Changes Finally Approved

This issue of Business Counselor Update describes changes that have been made over the last quarter in the Westlaw database Business Transactions Solutions (BTS).  Access to further information requires a Westlaw subscription, which can be obtained by using the contact and ordering information below.  The most notable development has been the passage of sweeping changes to the US patent laws after years of debate and controversy.  Business counselors should review the new rules carefully in order to inform and advise their clients.