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Leadership Behaviors and Organizational Practices Across Cultures

  • Project GLOBE (Global Leadership & Org Behaviour Effectiveness)  Studies and evaluates cultural attributes and leadership behaviour
  • Based on belief that certain attributes that distinguish one culture from others can be used to predict the most suitable, effective and acceptable organizational and leader practices within that culture
  • 170 researchers, 7 years data collection on 18,000 managers in 62 countries

Are there leadership behaviours, attributes and organizational practices that are generally accepted and effective across cultures? … in some cultures only?

  • How much do behaviours and attributes in specific cultures influence the economic, physical, and psychological well-being of members in the researched societies?
  • What is the relationship between these socio-cultural variables and an international competitive capacity of the various sample societies?

Identifies 9 cultural dimensions to assess cultural similarity geographically:

  • Assertiveness orientation - the degree to which individuals in organizations or societies are assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in social relationships.
  • Future orientation - the degree to which individuals in organizations or societies engage in future-oriented behaviors.
  • Gender egalitarianism - the extent to which an organization or a society minimizes gender role differences and gender discrimination.
  • Uncertainty avoidance - the extent to which members of an organization or society strive to avoid uncertainty by reliance on social norms, rituals, and bureaucratic practices to alleviate the unpredictability of future events.
  • Power distance - the degree to which members of an organization or society expect and agree that power should be unequally shared.
  • Collectivism I: Institutional collectivism - degree to which organizational and societal institutional practices encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action.
  • Collectivism II: In-group collectivism - degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty and cohesiveness in their organizations or families.
  • Performance orientation - refers to the extent to which an organization or society encourages and rewards group members for performance
  • Humane orientation - degree to which individuals in org./soc. encourage and reward individuals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, and kind to others.

Culturally endorsed implicit leadership theory (CLT) - GLOBE grouped 20+ primary leadership dimensions into six encompassing dimensions of global leadership (behaviours):

Charismatic/value based – reflects the ability to inspire, to motivate, and to expect high-performance outcome from others based on firmly held corevvalues.

Team oriented – emphasizes effective team building and implementation of a common purpose or goal among team members

  • Self-protective – ensuring the safety and security of the individual and group through status enhancement and face-saving
  • Participative – reflects the degree to which managers involve others in making and implementing decisions
  • Human orientation – reflects supportive and considerate leadership but also includes compassion and generosity
  • Autonomous – refers to independent and individualistic leadership attributes, being able to function without constant consultation
  • Corresponds generally with those of Hofstede
  • Different from Hofstede: many researchers with varied perspectives were involved (vs. Hofstede alone); studied many companies vs. Hofstede’s IBM.
  • GLOBE provides a current comprehensive overview of general stereotypes that can be further analysed for greater insight
  • Attempted to avoid a one-sided Western focus
  • More industries, broader profiles, and levels of analysis (e.g., individual, organizational, societal) were taken into consideration
  • Similar to Hofstede, the original data is not publicly available
  • Criticized for further differentiation of cultural dimensions by Hofstede
  • Still focusses on cultural values and national/regional cultures

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