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Management replies

Please reply to A and B with 150 words a piece


When I read the topics for this week’s discussion, I was surprised by the term we would be talking about. Time for some research! The local and cosmopolitan classifications for scientists were created quite some time ago and are still in use today in a wider sense. Kornhauser (1962) defined locals as scientist who stayed close to home and worked/published/presented in their native countries, more or less. Cosmopolitans were more global and networked in nature. My guess is that many more scientists and other working professionals today consider themselves cosmopolitan based upon techno logical advances and the ease of global visibility.

In my corporate life I started out very much as a local, writing software for radar systems in my cube that I shared with three other engineers. I did not attend conferences, did not do scholarly work aside from learning enough electrical engineering to program firmware, and no one in the industry knew my name. They knew my boss Carl’s name, though, in the US and elsewhere in the world; Carl the cosmopolitan, even before technological advances made it easy to network and be known globally, was quite the authority on radar systems microcode and firmware in the day.

As I grew more senior and took on more managerial roles, my visibility and reputation began to change. I attended conferences for telecommunications Subject Matter Experts, spoke at conferences on our technology products and implementations, published articles with other experts in trade journals and performed global product sales support around the world. Over time, I became quite a bit more recognized and cosmopolitan in the telecom industry. Then I moved on to managing a software consulting district. The new job had little to do with my telecom days but everything to do with the Susan recognition factor. This carried forward into my consulting life as a project management SME and led to travelling everywhere, editing textbooks and writing one of my own. After 15 years of this high-visibility, road warrior role I decided enough with the travel. So now I am more of a well-networked “former cosmopolitan” a local again although I am still known by and in touch with many buddies from the past in my professional network.

My contribution to the success of my project teams, groups and consulting clients depended upon the role I was in at the time According to Haas (2006), “cosmopolitan and local team members can help their teams to acquire and apply knowledge more effectively, by bringing both internal and external knowledge to their teams and enabling the teams to more successfully transform this knowledge into improved project performance” (p. 368) Being a cosmopolitan opened more doors to knowledge in the industry and discipline but being more local was where the actual work is done. This was true even in global companies as most had divisions based in a specific spot where the folks working there were local in the job. Some of the managers may have traveled to different sites and taken on the sheen of being cosmopolitan, but their impact was limited as the scope of their efforts still resided in a single company. I think that Glaser (2011) has the best view of these two definitions, making scientists an effective, hybrid local-cosmopolitan types.

I can see how more networked visibility in your professional life is seen as a negative by your team or direct reports. It is easy to spend more time on the speaker’s trail and writing articles about what you did versus doing something and paving the way for your team’s success. This visibility is easier when you are a consultant as it is one of the reason’s your clients select you to perform work. The less public, local view of getting work done sits better with the teams who work for you and are making things happen. Your focus is local and on the effort at hand versus external and perhaps off the beaten track of the work efforts. Let’s face it – teams know when their manager is out for personal glory versus supporting and enabling the team.


Discuss a perspective that reflects personal cosmopolitan a local view with a organization. An example will be provided that shows why I chose a particular perspective.

The following table provides an example of the tensions that project managers experience that sometimes don’t align with organizational or sponsored company views. According to Hodgson, et al, (2016), contains the argument that compares cosmopolitan and local views as companies strive to complete projects or implement change are thus identified. Goulder, (1957), “developed and identified the original concepts within the organizational settings that differentiate cosmopolitan and local identities amongst college employees. He identifies and defines cosmopolitans as those with ideals of low on loyalty to the employing organization, high on commitment to specialize roles skills, and likely to use an outer reference group orientation. Comparatively with the local ideas he identifies them as high on loyalty to the employing organization, low on commitment to specialize role skills, and likely to use an inner reference group orientation.” (Goulder, 1958, p. 290). More specifically and perhaps more importantly Goulder identifies key implications that there are tensions between the modern organization’s needs for loyalty and expertise thus the resulting organizational conflicts. (Hodgson, et al., 2016).

This is my growing conflict and personal struggle with my current organization. The latter of progression seems to be focused on employing from within and this creates a tension to those who are skilled and perhaps expert with advanced degrees, they are somehow overlooked because of their lack of experience. This seems quite unfair that companies would have such bias opinions of those who possess expert knowledge but have not proven themselves to be loyal having seniority with the company. The same people are often overlooked for promotion and favor is given to those who have climbed through the ranks. Again, those possessing cosmopolitan ideas and able to forecast, estimate and inquire skills from some book of knowledge are often seen as informants of information and ideals that don’t apply. Often, those who have built long standing relationships with friends and associates who are the ones that do the work within the team the insider is given in favor and often receives the cooperation from the local body or coworker in a less hostile fashion. In other words, they are able to break down barriers to improvement by less political means and erect new barriers as identified by the results. (Kanter, 1995, p.23-24)

My contributions to the group are often seen as being aloof and commonly perceived as nonconforming to the local understandings and feelings of the group. I am often seen as being hands-off and high-minded, thus not wanting to engage with the local narrative of a respected leadership. This conflict and tension exist because of their policies and procedures to ignore forward progression of those who are skilled and better fit, thus cosmopolitan in ideology.

My behavior may be additionally mistaken by others is not being helpful or standoffish to the group’s effort through my silence and non-participative behavior being read by leaders as nonconforming and silent. Most of this is due to my lack of time to contribute to various committee meetings which require my time and provide an unneeded distraction as I am a full-time student and full-time employee. Likewise, those with time (the locals) are able to network and become friends with those who would promote their long-term agendas for growth.

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