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Ekin K. Pellegrini
Dr. Ekin Pellegrini is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business Administration. She is also affiliated with the doctoral program in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and occasionally teaches Ph.D. seminars in Mentoring and Leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Bogazici University, a Master of Science in Management from the University of Florida, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Miami. She has traveled the world researching international management. Dr. Pellegrini was inspired to study international management by experiences while working for various multinational companies in Istanbul. She combines real world experience and intensive research to prepare our future global leaders.
What are your research interests?
My research interests are leadership and mentoring in the international business context. Management research from non-Western organizations have flourished within the last decade and I’m specifically focused on leader-member exchange relations, paternalistic leadership and cross-cultural mentoring within this emerging and intriguing field of research.
What are your teaching areas?
I teach leadership, international management, and organizational behavior at the undergraduate, MBA and PhD levels. I also provide corporate trainings through UMSL. In today’s global environment, teaching management to practitioners is challenging due to increasingly dynamic work arrangements. Producing relevant and timely research in this area enables me to share current insights and practices with my students. The required readings in my classes very frequently include “in press” reports and research that have yet to published which enable us to discuss leading-edge methods and practices.
What does it take to be a global leader in the 21st century?
Being a global leader requires multicultural competence to effectively lead in today’s culturally diverse work environment. This requires an understanding of cultural differences with respect to business practices and more importantly an appreciation that no culture is better than another. Effective global leaders are informed about, accept and appreciate cultural differences instead of trying to find ways to defend their own position. Learning about cultural differences is clearly important, but it's only the first step towards developing cultural intelligence. Being a global leader is being able to adjust your behavior and adapt in light of these cultural differences. This is not an easy undertaking and it is very common to feel inauthentic or even resentful when trying to adapt behavior overseas. How do you learn how to successfully master this skill? In my MBA classes!
What advice do you have for students preparing to be global leaders?
My advice for students interested in global careers is to start building their global networks now. It is common practice at UMSL to bring in guest speakers. I frequently invite executives from various multinational companies to class and that’s a great networking opportunity for students. We have a very successful IB Career Conference at UMSL every year in March and numerous executives from multinational companies interact with and mentor students interested in global careers. Take advantage of these international networking and mentoring opportunities we provide at UMSL. Global dexterity is a skill so it can be developed however students interested in developing this skill should put forth the effort to immerse themselves in international environments. St. Louis provides an excellent context for international exposure with large numbers of residents from Mexico, Bosnia, India, China, Germany, and Russia. Finally, I advise students to learn another language at least at a basic level. Learning another language provides you with a window into a fascinating new culture and offers you a different perspective, which will further empower you to successfully engage in international business.