Cross Cultural Essay

1099 words - 5 pages

Leadership is an integral component of the social fabric of many organizations, which makes leadership an important topic of investigation for researchers. Certain characteristics of a culture may render specific leadership characteristics and styles acceptable and effective (Casimir 47). For example, Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Dimensions is the extent to which a culture could be characterized as collectivist or individualist, high or low in power distance, would be expected to influence the effectiveness of participative versus autocratic, or individually directed versus team-directed leadership strategies (Landy 576). What works in the United States may not work in business environments around the world, which implies that there is not one way of leading.
In 1993, The Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program (GLOBE) was launched to test leadership hypotheses in various cultures. Over the past several years GLOBE has evolved to investigate over 60 cultures representing all major regions of the world to focus on universal and cultural-based variances in perceived effectiveness of leadership attributes by asking middle managers whether specific leadership characteristics and behaviors aid or hinder a person in becoming a leader. Universally accepted aspects of leadership include integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty, which are specific to cunning and sensitive cultures. These types of cultures do not value loners or those who are non-cooperative. In ambitious and status conscious cultures, a leader who is charismatic, visionary, inspirational, and motivational is valued rather than someone who is ruthless, non-explicit, and dictatorial. The list of universally accepted aspects of leadership is indicative of transformational and charismatic leadership, which is contrasted by the universally rejected attributes that would never be found in a transformational or charismatic leader.
The behavioral approach of leadership states that behaviors are learned therefore anyone can attain effective leadership abilities. Autocratic leaders make all the decisions for their departments and tend to show little concern for individuals, meaning staff members have little to no input. Usually, this results in high rates of low morale, absenteeism, and employee turnover. This type of leadership works well with countries like Russia, China, and Mexico because they have high power distance and are characterized as masculine, which means the leaders have more authority and are not expected to share power with subordinates. Leaders in countries with high power distance need to be assertive and decisive because the people are expecting them to. On the other hand, this type of leadership would not work in countries like Israel, Denmark, and New Zealand because they are low in power distance and characterized as being feminine. Gender egalitarianism in a country is the amount to which men and women receive equal treatment, and...

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