Eurostar International Limited, commonly abbreviated as EIL, is a railway company that operates the international Eurostar train services between London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris via the Channel Tunnel. The business was initially managed by three different organizations in the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium. However, the above-mentioned governance structure was replaced by EIL as a single management organization in 2010. Many changes are rapidly occurring in the transport industry, and organizations within this sector, including Eurostar, have to be equipped with the appropriate strategies for managing these modifications.
Factors such as globalization, technological innovations, and organizational development are quickly shifting, especially in the passenger transport system. As such, every company’s leadership in the sector must be aware of the appropriate approaches for managing these changes and their importance in the company’s success. Therefore, this paper examines the strategies for leading and managing change at Eurostar. This report specifically focuses on the role of leadership in organizational change in Eurostar and some of the measures that leaders should take to ensure that change is effectively managed within the organization.
The Role of Leadership in Managing and Delivering Change Programs
When performed exceptionally, leadership can trigger significant improvements in a company’s overall performance. Efficient and savvy leadership teams help thrust projects forward by developing an appealing corporate culture and encouraging financial success (Rey, Marimon, and Mas-Machuca, 2019). In addition to one’s experience or certification, a positive outlook and ambition can increase a person’s leadership capabilities. The evaluation of the roles and responsibilities to be executed by individuals in various management positions can help an organization place the right people at the helm and steer the organization towards success.
Leadership is crucial at all management levels; for instance, at the top level, this conception is essential for gaining cooperation in the formulation of policies and plans (Bel et al., 2018). In the middle and lower tiers, appropriate management approaches are required to develop and execute projects and programs framed by the senior administrative unit (Bel et al., 2018). It can be exercised through the guidance of the other employees at the time of plan executions.
At Eurostar, heads should be aware of their functions and responsibilities to effectively perform their duties and meet the organization’s set goals. Therefore, the first role of a manager is to possess a clear vision that they also believe in. Without an effective vision, leaders, as well as their juniors, may lack motivation, focus, and dedication (Lei, Leungkhamma, and Le, 2020). This vision should be practical and realistic, and relevant with regard to guiding employees to accomplish the set goals. As such, company heads must create a compelling vision that enables subordinates to comprehend how their respective roles contribute to the attainment of the company’s goals.
Secondly, an effective leader should have focus; this particular element promotes self-awareness and self-control. They have a responsibility to help their followers to focus on the things that are important to the organization and its stakeholders. Without a clear direction, employees will forget about the overall vision and lose focus on the significance of their contributions to the organization’s overall productivity (Herd, Alagaraja, and Cumberland, 2016).
A leader also has a role in influencing their followers. No matter how meaningful, practical, or clear the vision is, and irrespective of how focused the labor force is, leading by example is paramount. Human beings are created for relationship, to interact and relate with each other for co-existence. As such, followers want to feel that the leader is aligned with the organization’s mission and vision (Herd, Alagaraja, and Cumberland, 2016). A leader should influence people to make the right choices and decisions for the company. A leader has the responsibility to earn his followers’ trust and buy-in to ensure that the organization is steered ahead.
Effective and sustainable leadership is among the most critical parts of the entire method for Eurostar to sustain its operations even in the face of problems caused by rapid economic growth (Bel et al., 2018). Leaders are responsible for overseeing or managing the organization’s operations and ensuring that these activities focus on achieving the set goals. Good leaders also influence their subordinates and motivate them by fostering an influential organizational culture and other benefits such as worker compensation, insurance, and leave benefits, among others (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). For many organizations, implementing change has always been a problem. It is hard for human beings to accept evolution because this element pulls them out of their comfort zones and forces them to change their habits.
Change management in a company refers to the approach aimed at dealing with modifications in the organization and the people. Change management gives the firm an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage if it efficiently and effectively implements and adapts to the market changes (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). Leaders with strong leadership skills can motivate and influence subordinates and apply changes to the organisation effectively. Without effective organisational leadership, there will be no changes made because there will be no heads to manage and motivate employees and provide clear directions.
Trust is a crucial element in leadership, which fosters productivity, morale, and teamwork within the workplace. Gaining employees’ trust improves a company’s overall performance and workers’ commitment to the attainment of set goals (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). When employees trust their leaders, they can also trust that organisational change is meant for their good and not to their detriment. People will only follow the guidance of a person they trust to lead them through the right path.
Excellent leadership also creates a positive organisational culture. A positive culture is shaped when there is trust between employees and leaders within the workplace. Managers and employees need to trust each other to foster a positive culture (Sriyakul et al., 2019). Positive organisational culture improves performance and influences the attitudes and behaviours of employees in the organisation positively. A positive corporate culture enhances performance and reduces employee turnover. It also helps to facilitate the solution of internal conflicts and issues in the organisation (Sriyakul et al., 2019; Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018).
When leaders establish an excellent workplace culture which does not discriminate or oppress others, it provides an effective working environment that reduces internal conflicts and encourages cooperation and discussion to work through any issues that may come about (Sriyakul et al., 2019). Influential company culture also promotes healthy competition among employees by motivating them to be more innovative. Therefore, a strong and positive corporate culture can help improve the overall performance of Eurostar.
At Eurostar, leadership can positively or negatively affect change, depending on the methods that the leaders use and their effectiveness in achieving the intended modifications. Company heads must take the front lead on planning for any adjustments or improvements in the enterprise’s operations (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). They must show team members that the perceived remodelling approach helps to enhance better practices within the organisation and their ability to perform their duties efficiently (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). Often, workers will meet the change with resistance, and to counter this phenomenon, managers at the company must ensure that they also plan for practical steps to take in case of resistance.
Influential leaders should also ensure that employees understand the reason for the change by educating them about it. They should ensure that they thoroughly address any concerns and answer any questions to avoid confusion or misinterpretation (Bel et al., 2018).
Leaders at the company must identify any work pattern change that may cause disorientation or confusion among employees and educate them on the new systems. This approach will aid in ensuring workers’ comfortability within the workplace and their capacity to perform effectively (Bel et al., 2018). Leaders also have a role in designing effective communication processes that acknowledge change and the employees’ potential to feel threatened or become fearful. Managers should clearly communicate their expectations and ensure that team members understand the organisation’s vision and duties.
Importance of Leadership Styles in Key Sector Changes
Globalisation describes the rapidly growing interdependence in the world’s cultures, populations, and economies, bought forth by cross-border trade in products, services, people, technology, information, and flows of investment (Okoye and Nwaigwe, 2015). Many countries have developed economic partnerships to facilitate this movement over many years. In the transport sector, such as the one that Eurostar operates in, companies have to adapt to the international standards set for them by the globalising economy and to submit to more advanced internalisation processes (Okoye and Nwaigwe, 2015). Globalisation is accompanied by numerous changes in transport networks, systems, enterprise organisational structures, and the state of the economy.
For example, globalisation has resulted in the increased movement of goods, services, and people. Many investors are moving from one country to another to make transactions or trade. Globalisation has also given rise to the need for people to travel from one point of the world to another (Okoye and Nwaigwe, 2015). As such, Eurostar being a logistic company needs an effective leadership style that will enable it to cope with the changes brought about by globalisation. The leadership style should be transformative. A transformational leader has the potential to oversee risks and threats and work effectively to ensure that the risk is beneficial to the company.
In this case, a transformational leader will help the company maximise opportunities and encourage workers to come up with creative ideas to resolve complex problems (Okoye and Nwaigwe, 2015). A transformational leader encourages employees to be open and involves them in decision-making processes (Okoye and Nwaigwe, 2015). Such a style is crucial for Eurostar in managing the changes brought about by globalisation because employees will own the process and come up with ideas that will give the company a competitive edge.
Internalisation happens when an entity handles its business transactions itself as opposed to routing them out to an external party. This procedure applies to investment or business transactions or the larger corporate world (Sinaga et al., 2018). An organisation may decide to handle its issues in-house rather than outsourcing them to third parties. For example, Eurostar may choose to internalise its transport services and conduct them in-house instead of having third-party companies to perform these operations (Rey, Mariman, and Mas-Machuca, 2018). This process is known as internal sourcing, and it allows the enterprise to deliver services to clients through its channels or connect instead of utilising an external shipping company.
Internalisation may be beneficial for Eurostar as it can help cut down costs of outsourcing certain services. The above-mentioned process is also advantageous to brokers, who can make more money on the spread or difference between the sale and purchase price (Rey, Mariman, and Mas-Machuca, 2018). For Eurostar to achieve effective change to internalisation, it requires a transactional leadership style (Xiong & King, 2019).
Transactional leadership involves directing and motivating employees majorly through appealing to their self-interest (Sinaga et al., 2018). The power of a transactional leader emanates from their responsibility and authority in the company. Followers are expected to obey the leader’s instructions, and the leader motivates them through punishment and reward systems. In the case of internalisation, workers need to be motivated to take on more tasks to save the organisation additional outsourcing costs (Xiong & King, 2019). Therefore, the reward system will make employees work more accurately and be willing to take on more responsibilities for them to be rewarded. Such an approach will ensure that employees come out and take on outsourcing duties.
Technological innovation is a business process that has been identified as a critical factor for increasing a company’s competitive advantage. This conception integrates activities that enhance research and development and designing new products, techniques, and services that generate new knowledge (Lei, Leungkhamma, and Le, 2020). From electric vehicles and automated trucks, technological innovations are redefining the transport industry. Logistic companies such as Eurostar currently enjoy the benefits of a thriving marketplace. According to (Lei, Lei, Leungkhamma, and Le (2020), this phenomenon may be ascribed to globalisation, which enhances these enterprises’ abilities to invest and advance technologically. These organisations’ visions typically shape the arena of international commerce.
Transportation companies are facing immense change, coupled with exciting developments that bring new opportunities and challenges. As such, Eurostar needs a leadership style that will keep pace with developing technologies and advancements (Fiaz, Su, and Saqib, 2017). Therefore, the company needs transformational leadership styles to enable employees and other stakeholders to feel free to explore new ideas and new innovations.
Transformational leaders allow employees to share their ideas and freely. These leaders take charge and lead by example (Fiaz, Su, and Saqib 2017). For example, at Eurostar, transformational leaders will be on the frontline in developing innovative technologies and integrating them into the company’s operations. Transformational leaders will engage in research and development to explore and evaluate market trends that will help the company gain a competitive advantage. By taking the lead in innovation, these leaders will act as role models to subordinates, who will, in turn, encourage them to be innovative and creative.
Organisational development is a science-based process aimed at helping organisations build their capacity to change and gain more effectiveness by identifying, developing, and reinforcing processes, structures, and strategies. Over time, organisational development has become more and more crucial (Sriyakul et al., 2019). The business world is today characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). This world requires agility from firms, and organisational development is the only way to achieving the needed skill. Globalisation results in great interconnectedness and opens up companies to new threats and opportunities (Sriyakul et al., 2019).
Therefore, leadership plays a crucial role in any organisational development. Effective leadership styles are important management functions that help to foster productivity and achieve success. For Eurostar to be successful in achieving organisational development, it has to apply a combination of transformational and transactional leadership styles (Sriyakul et al., 2019). Transactional leadership is based on control and processes requiring strict management structures. On the other hand, transformational leadership focuses on influencing others to follow and requires high degrees of cooperation, coordination, and communication.
Transactional leadership may be beneficial for Eurostar because it supports adherence to standards. However, this leadership style does not support openness to creativity and innovation. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, inspires employees to strive beyond expectations (Bel et al., 2018; (Sriyakul et al., 2019). Thus, transformational leadership influences positive attitudes by allowing creativity through the development of trust, openness, and enthusiasm.
In such a case, transactional leadership would result in greater acceptance of innovation through reward (Bel et al., 2018). Both transactional and transformational administrative frameworks will be needed at Eurostar for organisational development to counterbalance each other and help achieve development goals. The transactional management model will ensure that teams are running smoothly and being productive, while transformational leadership will enhance innovation and create a compelling vision for the organisation.
Leadership Capabilities and Strategies across Sectors
The success of any multinational corporation lies in its ability to have leaders who have effective capabilities and strategies to run the organisation and effect change. Global leaders are defined as people that cultivate businesses in foreign markets, set business strategies at international levels, and manage globally diverse teams. Research shows that specific leadership skills, techniques, and capabilities cut across all sectors regardless of the type of business (Mendenhall et al., 2017).
Studies have also identified leadership capabilities and strategies that cut across different sectors to contribute to organisational success (Mendenhall et al., 2017). Among the significant proficiencies deemed essential in enhancing efficient management practices is communication skills. All leaders, regardless of the type of business they oversee, need to have effective communication skills.
The essential key to effective leadership is communication; effective leaders have to be first-class communicators. Communication helps them have a clear set of goals and values and allows them to promote and inculcate those values in others (Cumberland et al., 2019). Leaders who are efficient communicators gain proper appreciation from employees and following from their subordinates. They can express their ambitions and passion while interacting with others.
This is because they understand that the failure to convey important information to the relevant audiences may impact an organisation’s overall performance due to miscommunication, as well as the lack of clarity and openness. Leaders who have great communication skills are also excellent listeners who pay attention to others’ thoughts and ideas (Cumberland et al., 2019). They can pick up non-verbal cues and act on them effectively. This also makes them good observers, capable of reading their team members’ behaviours, activities, attitudes, and anxieties, thus modifying their messages according to the situation.
The second global leadership capability is respect for cultural diversity. Respect for cultural diversity means appreciating, accepting, and recognising that people hail from different cultures and backgrounds, and these should be respected. A leader who has respect for cultural diversity can listen and interact with employees and other stakeholders effectively (Whitaker & Greenleaf, 2017). Such leaders are impartial and considerate; They often base their operations on merit instead of personal biases (Whitaker & Greenleaf, 2017). They hire employees because they are experts in their fields and do not discriminate against people who ate from different cultures.
A culturally competent leader provides equal opportunities to all employees and sets policies that prohibit discrimination or prejudice of any kind. Therefore, all employees, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality, feel respected and appreciated (Whitaker & Greenleaf, 2017). In turn, these employees will be more productive and more motivated. Leaders who respect cultural diversity foster a positive organisational culture that attracts a large pool of talents and expertise.
Another leadership capability that cuts across a wide range of sectors is cognitive skills. This skill is the foundation of all leadership skills as it involves the ability to acquire knowledge and gain new techniques in solving problems (Schoemaker, Heaton, and Teece2018). Cognitive skills allow a manager to understand the environment in which they lead and to apply appropriate leadership styles or tools to the occasion. A leader with effective cognitive proficient has the ability to trust and be trusted (Schoemaker, Heaton, and Teece, 2018). They understand what needs to be done and have the appropriate judgment and courage to lead their teams through the toughest times. Cognitive leaders have complete faith in themselves and the people around them.
Lastly, effective leaders also need to have emotional intelligence (EI). According to Herd, Alagaraja, and Cumberland (2016), EI plays a significant role in maintaining and sustaining positive relationships with employees and other stakeholders. All successful leaders have been found to have emotional intelligence and often have excellent relationships with the people they interact with (Herd, Alagaraja, and Cumberland, 2016). Emotionally Intelligent leaders comprehend how their team members react to various situations, and they typically devise ways of meeting their demands adequately. They maximise their teams’ strengths and have a deeper understanding of human emotion.
Intelligent leaders understand the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and can make them click due to their self-awareness. Although any leader can get projects delivered within a set timeline, emotionally intelligent leaders do it effectively by assessing and evaluating their teams and identifying their strengths and challenges (Herd, Alagaraja, and Cumberlnd, 2016). Strategising is a vital part of managing projects, and experienced leaders understand their team members’ capabilities well enough to know the tasks that need to be given to specific team members to get projects running smoothly.
Emotionally intelligent leaders can listen to others and take input from their teams (Kohnke, Reiche, and Bala, 2016). They not only try to get the work done, but they also consider other individuals’ willingness to engage in planning and strategising approaches accordingly. Intelligence allows a leader to evaluate the opinions of others, and hypothetically put them into the plan that they fit in.
Key Performance Indicators for Change Management
Key performance metrics (KPIs) aid an organisation in identifying and evaluating progress against operational objectives. When a company analyses its position, recognises all of its players, and determines its objectives, it needs a method of evaluating success in achieving these objectives (Sroufe, 2017). These metrics are the main success measures. Quantifiable metrics are primary performance indicators representing an organisation’s vital success drivers. According to Scroufe (2017), KPIs may be different depending on the company. No matter what key performance metrics are chosen, they must represent the priorities of the enterprise and be key to its progress.
When a company like Eurostar is trying to raise user understanding and keep users updated, it must run a contact campaign. To monitor its communication awareness effectiveness, the organisation should integrate the analysis of the underlying communication approaches employed by managers and employees (Kämpf-Dern and Konkol, 2017). Suppose the organisation wants to raise stakeholders’ interest in reforming its communication approaches.
In that case, its leaders should design metrics that seek to assess buy-in among pertinent personalities and parties in the change management process. If the organisation provides coaching and training, then its mission is to deliver new skills and expertise to affected staff, managers, and consumers that will allow them to use new business solutions efficiently (Kämpf-Dern and Konkol, 2017). As such, teaching and coaching of KPIs will require adoption steps. When it comes to measuring and tracking the effectiveness of change management, including how customers, managers, or employees are transiting through the change, Eurostar can use the metrics provided below.
Track Communications and Awareness of the Change Metrics
Studies show that the lack of awareness about certain organisation improvements accounts for the likelihood of resistance among employees and other stakeholders. Therefore, developing and implementing an effective communication strategy campaign to create awareness is a key factor in the success of any change project (Xiong and King, 2019). One of the most effective ways of measuring and tracking the success of this communication campaign is to design and send out questionnaires and surveys to managers and employees who have received the communication. The survey should include questions that evaluate the extent to which individuals are knowledgeable of the change and its pertinent impacts (Xiong and King, 2019). The questionnaires can be designed such that employees can rate how aware they are about the change on a scale of 1-5.
One of the best ways to do this is to draft and send out surveys and questionnaires to employees and managers that received the message. Measurements can also include meeting with specific managers and inquiring directly about how their reports are reacting to the change communications and their level of awareness (Xiong and King, 2019). The company can also engage with change supporters to get their perspectives and input on ‘water cooler conversations’ (Xiong and King, 2019). They should have them give direct end-user feedback. Examples of change management performance indicators include feedback about the responses of employees regarding change management.
Track the Desire to Support Change
The lack of commitment or desire to support change is among the biggest reasons why projects and change fail. Therefore, measuring the effectiveness of change management should involve measuring and tracking the desire of employees and other stakeholders to support the change (Kämpf-Dern and Konkol, 2017). The best way to get this measurement is to get feedback from employees and managers directly. The change pioneers should send out questionnaires and surveys to evaluate and measure the stakeholder support for the proposed change as well as their willingness to participate and support it (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018).
Change initiators should also meet with managers and other relevant stakeholders to get their overall input regarding their desire to support the change project. They should also seek to get direct feedback from users during one-on-one meetings, open forums, group meetings, and other engagement sessions to determine how well the employees and stakeholders are giving their buy-ins and support for the change.
Track Knowledge & Skills in Change Management
Eurostar track several change metrics and change performance indicators to allow the company to determine how well end-users are learning and adapting to the use of new processes and practices (Kämpf-Dern and Konkol, 2017). The first step would be to measure the usefulness and relevance of the process through questionnaires, surveys, or talking to users during and after the training to get their feedback.
The management should try to find out whether the course was relevant, ask relevant questions about the learning, discuss the strengths and challenges of the program, try to understand whether the training accommodated the learner’s learning pace and style, and ensure that at the end of the assessment they get a good understanding of how well the users received the training and determine any gaps (Diab, Safari, and Bakeer, 2018). Secondly, change champions should measure the skills and knowledge gained from the training. To measure this, they can use a mixture of metrics such as COLT scores, test scores, supervisor feedback and report, and certification.
As a passenger transport provider, Eurostar is faced with numerous changes. As globalisation continues to impact the world, passenger transport continues to revolutionise and change. As such, it is crucial for Eurostar to keep abreast with these changes for the company to stay afloat in the industry. For Eurostar to achieve success, it needs to develop and implement management practices and processes that will ensure that it integrates into the change successfully.
Successful change in an organisation depends on the leaders who have direct powers and authority over the people going through the change. As such, Eurostar should ensure that its leaders acknowledge that their support and motivation are crucial to the organisation’s success and they are committed to doing their part. These leaders should also demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours that they expect from subordinates.
Employees observe their leaders’ actions for consistency between their words and actions to see whether they should support the change. Therefore, leaders at Eurostar should adopt effective leadership styles and traits that will enable employees to give their buy-in and support change projects. The transport industry is also undergoing various transformations, and therefore, Eurostar should ensure that it has effective leaders to create effective organisational development.
Without effective leadership styles and practices, Eurostar may lag behind in adopting the necessary changes happening in the industry. As such, effective leadership will enable the company to keep pace with technological innovation, globalisation, internalisation, and organisational development. Effective leadership will help the company adopt these changes and gain a competitive advantage in its marketplace.
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