A new challenge in executive education is to develop responsible global business leaders. In this article we describe "Project Ulysses", an integrated service learning program which involves sending participants in teams to developing countries to work in cross-sector partnerships with NGOs, social entrepreneurs or international organizations. In order to understand how Ulysses participants learn from their experiences while abroad, we interviewed 70 participants and content-analyzed the learning narratives that they produced. We found evidence of learning in six areas: responsible mindset, ethical literacy, cultural intelligence, global mindset, self development, and community building. We also identified a number of processes through which learning occurred at the cognitive, affective and behavioral levels, including the process of resolving cultural and ethical paradoxes; constructing a new life-world; and making sense of the emotions experienced while on assignment. The results of a post-program survey confirm the long-term effectiveness of Ulysses in developing and enhancing competencies that are critical for responsible global leadership. We discuss the implications for theory building on responsible leadership and helping organizations leverage the potential of international service learning programs for developing responsible global leaders.

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Pless, Nicola; Maak, Thomas; Stahl , Gnter K.

Developing responsible global leaders through international service learning programs: The Ulysses experience

06/2011
A new challenge in executive education is to develop responsible global business leaders. In this article we describe "Project Ulysses", an integrated service learning program which involves sending participants in teams to developing countries to work in cross-sector partnerships with NGOs, social entrepreneurs or international organizations. In order to understand how Ulysses participants learn from their experiences while abroad, we interviewed 70 participants and content-analyzed the learning narratives that they produced. We found evidence of learning in six areas: responsible mindset, ethical literacy, cultural intelligence, global mindset, self development, and community building. We also identified a number of processes through which learning occurred at the cognitive, affective and behavioral levels, including the process of resolving cultural and ethical paradoxes; constructing a new life-world; and making sense of the emotions experienced while on assignment. The results of a post-program survey confirm the long-term effectiveness of Ulysses in developing and enhancing competencies that are critical for responsible global leadership. We discuss the implications for theory building on responsible leadership and helping organizations leverage the potential of international service learning programs for developing responsible global leaders.
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Developing responsible global leaders through international service learning programs: The Ulysses experience
Pless, Nicola; Maak, Thomas; Stahl , Gnter K.
Academy of Management Learning & Education
Vol. 10, n 2, 06/2011, p. 237 - 260

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