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02 June 2022

International Leadership - Succeeding in an Intercultural environment

TBS Education, which has been training leaders since 1903, has a long tradition of leadership! Therefore, in this issue of the Cahiers de la Tribu, "50 Shades of Leadership", we have had the pleasure of gathering several testimonies from our schools alumni , who have had experiences in an international and diverse environment. We can see from these testimonies that leadership is all about influencing people to adhere to a common goal so that they succeed in uniting their skills and efforts for a collective performance.


For many years, TBS Education's initial training programs (MiM & Bachelor) have required international experience with tremendous opportunities for cross-cultural encounters. In addition, all TBS Education students benefit from the cultural mix that is present in all our programs, through the very diverse origins of our students from all over the world. Thus, for some students, it is not necessary to leave their country of origin, since the international world comes to them through international student and professional mobility.   

Learning in very different situations to solicit commitment, the taste for responsibility, the spirit of innovation and risk-taking is part of our schooling in the programs of TBS Education. Obviously, we also have various academic theories of leadership since the foundations of this discipline which is proposed in the work of North American researchers. According to Zaleznik (1977), "Leadership inevitably requires the use of power to influence the thoughts and actions of other people." But the most concrete realization of leadership lies in the authenticity of field experience. In fact, we look for the seed of leadership among our candidates for admission to TBS Education programs that can contribute to a better, more responsible, more inclusive, and more sustainable world, even in times of crisis.

Our students learn that one person goes fast, but a team goes farther: Coordinating and guiding motivations is an important aspect of a leader's work for team cohesion. On an international scale, he exerts his determined influence in any context, beyond the distances of time, space, cultures, and personalities.

Obviously, the Covid-19 crisis has interrupted geographical and physical mobility with rather paradoxical conditions for globalized value chains. Crisis management requires leadership to preserve the health, integrity and well-being of employees and team members as well as the quality of their private lives. In this situation, the ordeal appears even more difficult for women, especially those with children.

Leading teams in a multicultural context requires gaining their trust to propose and engage a collaborative path and find consensus across cultures and individualities. It requires curiosity as well as humility to appreciate the different points of view related to each specific cultural context. An interest in the other and an openness to the world ("a global mindset") help to understand how things are organized elsewhere and allow us to discover other ways of meeting challenges.

Thus, the experiences of our Alumni shared below perfectly illustrate the continuous personal enrichment of leadership in the intercultural context, going from local to global and exploring different sectors and generations. This is where the potential and capabilities of the TBS Education alumni community lie.


Before joining Toulouse Business School in 1995, her professional career was in finance, accounting and management control with Siemens.
For TBS she has developped various Aerospace Management and other more general International Programmes. (Aerospace MBA (1999- ), TBS-IIMB Aerospace MBA (2015- ), Aerospace Management PGE Option (2002- ) for the last year of Master in Management studies, International Seminars TBS with Partner Universities around the world (1995- ), Toulouse Barcelona Summers School, Toulouse - Ljubljana "East meets West" Summer School....). She is managing and co-chairing the Advanced Master in Air Transport Management in partnership with ENAC for TBS since 2011.
In 2014-2015 she developped and launched the first international Aerospace MBA programme for Aerospace Executives in INDIA with IIMB - Indian Insitutue of Management, Bangalore.

Her main research interests are in cross-cultural, international, and European management, multicultural teams and workgroup diversity, culture change and the sharing of knowledge in international organisations. With these topics she conceives corporate executive development programmes and works on various consulting, coaching and training assignments with multinational corporations, particularly in the high-tech industry and the aerospace sector (Airbus, Liebherr Aerospace, Thales-Alcatel Alenia Space, British Aerospace, ICL Europe, Paribas, Rolls Royce, Siemens and others..). Cordula also works on a EU Horizon 2020 research project on mobility of qualified employees (2018-2022 -
Cordula has been involved in several other research projects with an international focus; one that looks at the perception of social justice across cultures. In another research she collaborates since several years with a global research team on the study of the impact of language on international business. She was also leader of a European research group on Work, Employment, and Health (TES ? Travail, Emploi, Sant?) at Toulouse Business School (2013-2017) and is conducting research on cross-cultural management, diversity and international human resource management with a European perspective. Cordula is also a country investigator for France and some "under-researched" countries for the GLOBE 2020 project, looking into leadership and organizational behaviour (
As a visiting professor Cordula lectures to MBA and Executive classes on International, European Management & Global Leadership in many partner universities around the globe. With her work and research experience in several countries of Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia she also has published in several languages, particularly in the field of multicultural management. Among other assignments, she was for 10 years visiting Professor at Arizona State University, USA (1995-2005).
She is happily married and working mother of two children.
In 2017 she obtained together with a European Network of academic Beneficiaries and Airbus Group a European Research grant (Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - the European Union's reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training) of 3,9 mio ?.
GLOMO - Global Mobility of Employees 15 early stage docotoral researchers explore and research about global mobility of skilled people in today's workplace.
See 3 See the author's other publications

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