Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


School of Communication and Media

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Christine Lemesianou

Committee Member

Phillip Bakelaar

Committee Member

Todd Kelshaw


In the world of business, a twofold increase in global practices is expected between 2005 and 2029 (Alon & Higgins, 2005). Consequently, today’s multinational leaders require a combination of skills that differ significantly from yesterday’s domestic or “boundary-confined” leaders. This thesis provides an in-depth look at five key competencies attributed to leadership success from the cosmopolitan perspective. These five areas or elements are: An ethical perspective, a global mindset, a tolerance for ambiguity, an acceptance of complexity, and emotional and cultural intelligences. A literature review examines the theoretical and empirical findings related to global leadership, cosmopolitanism and each of the five core competencies. A case study provides insight into how the five specific skill sets are currently utilized in the field of business. The case study explores how the original discourse regarding the five core competencies is practiced in the discourse of Kraft Foods and in the actions and statements of its CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, during a critical event, the controversial acquisition of Cadbury, Inc. The analysis of the findings indicated that the organizational discourse supported and demonstrated the five core competencies, while the statements and the actions of its leader did not consistently display a strong predilection or extemalization of the competencies. In this instance, the results suggest that there is an inconsistency between what the discourse proposes and the enactment of an organizations’ leader during a critical event. The findings of this thesis also point to the need for additional research to determine the following: Whether or not the core competencies are truly essential to exemplary leadership, and what are the ramifications of the absence or the demonstration of these competencies on a day-to-day basis and during a critical event.

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