Throughout this book, in each chapter the authors have suggested future areas where global leadership scholars might fruitfully conduct research that would spur the field forward. To conclude this book, we come full circle and return to one of the research areas raised by various authors as being particularly important for the field; namely, what is the scope of global leadership, and how does that impact the definition of its construct? After reviewing the literature in a previous publication, we concluded that the field of global leadership suffers from three problems or challenges that are interrelated in nature (Reiche, Bird, Mendenhall, & Osland, 2017):
Lack of clarity concerning the global leadership construct makes it difficult to conceptually differentiate among various types of global leaders and distinguish them from purely domestic leaders in research samples.
Imprecise and idiosyncratic definitions that underlie existing conceptualizations and operationalizations of global leadership create a “deficiency in explicating the underlying construct dimensions and risks equating global leadership roles that are qualitatively very different—and hence comparing apples with oranges” (p. 553).
The subsequent results of the above two state of affairs combine to form a lack of a shared conceptualization of the global leadership construct among scholars in the field, which in turn hinders the ability to draw “meaningful conclusions across qualitatively different global leadership roles … which is not only a sign of an immature research domain, but also a serious barrier to future scientific progress” (p. 553).