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Genghis Khan And The Mongolian Culture

2839 words - 11 pages


The following report will discuss the leadership qualities of Borjigin Temüjin and the organizational culture of his people, the Mongols. Readers might be confused on who Borjigin Temüjin is, he was the man known today as Genghis Khan. This paper will illustrate how Temüjin’s ability to lead developed by exploring his beginnings and how through his exceptional leadership skills he went on to create the largest contiguous empire in history. The first part of the paper will concentrate on Mongol culture in the 12th century, Temüjin’s upbringing in that culture and how he changed it through the consolidation of the many Mongol tribes. The second part will discuss the rise of Borjigin Temüjin to the post of Genghis Khan and which of his qualities allowed him to achieve this. The third part will discuss his legacy and how even after his death his planning was evident and his empire continued to expand. All these parts will have explanations on how they connect to our present day study of organizational behavior.

“When we examine [organizational] culture and leadership closely, we see that they are two sides of the same coin; neither can really be understood by itself. On the one hand, cultural norms define how a given nation or organizations will define leadership – who will be promoted, who will get the attention of followers. On the other hand, it can be argued that the only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture; that the unique talent of leadership is their ability to understand and work with culture; and that it is an ultimate act of leadership to destroy culture when it is viewed as dysfunctional.”
(Schein, E. H. 2004. Organizational culture and leadership. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 10-11).

Mongolian Culture

At the time of Borjigin Temüjin’s birth Mongolian culture was splintered and consisted of many various clans and tribes with similar traditions and customs. All of these clans were nomadic and regularly fought against each other. Around 1125 A.D the Chinese empire which had historically influenced decisions in Mongolic regions was weakened because of internal problems in their own kingdom, this led to a Khamag Mongol (a tribal confederation). The tribal confederation unified Mongol’s in their traditions and customs, and yet allowed the tribes to maintain autonomy over their regions. During this time influence was gained by either marrying into another tribe or outright defeating them in battle. The weakened Chinese state kept its borders safe through encouraging infighting between the tribes. The Chinese would support one tribe but as soon as they saw it becoming too powerful they would switch allegiance to another. This infighting continued until Khabul Khan (Genghis Khan’s Great-Grandfather) united the confederation to raise an army, and attacked the Chinese empire. This unity did not last long when Khabul Khan died, there was a power vacuum and soon the tribes resumed...

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