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Cross-Cultural Leadership. Lauren Gruchala. Kaci Grant. Overview. Culture Defined Related Concepts Hofstede & others GLOBE Universally Desirable and Undesirable Leadership Attributes Challenges to Cross-Cultural Leadership Questions Sources.

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cross cultural leadership

Cross-Cultural Leadership

Lauren Gruchala

Kaci Grant

  • Culture Defined
  • Related Concepts
  • Hofstede & others
  • Universally Desirable and Undesirable Leadership Attributes
  • Challenges to Cross-Cultural Leadership
  • Questions
  • Sources

The Dutch place emphasis on egalitarianism and are skeptical about the value of leadership. Terms like leader and manager carry a stigma. If a father is employed as a manager, Dutch children will not admit it to their schoolmates.

  • Arabs worship their leaders- as long as they are in power!
  • Iranians seek power and strength in the leaders.
  • The Malaysian leader is expected to behave in a manner that is humble, modest, and dignified.
why is this important
Why is this important?
  • Globalization
  • Increased interconnection between people
  • Need for leaders to become competent in cross-cultural awareness and practice
  • Diversity in our country

Cross-Cultural Research Endeavor

  • Leadership research is tricky:
    • No consistency agreed upon definition of leadership
    • No clear understanding of the boundaries of the construct space
culture defined
Culture Defined
  • The learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols, and traditions that are common to a group of people (Northouse)
  • A set of patterns for social collectivities that differentiates among them in meaningful ways (House, Wright & Aditya)
essential parameters of culture
Essential Parameters of Culture
  • Culture represents some form and degree of collective agreement
  • Culture refers to sharing of important interpretations of entities, activities, and events
  • Cultural norms and cultural forces are manifested linguistically, behaviorally, and symbolically in the form of artifacts
  • Common member experiences are inherent in the notion of culture
  • Cultural variables take on the force of social influence largely because members of collectivities identify with an agreed-upon specific set of values and common social identities
essential parameters of culture8
Essential Parameters of Culture
  • Common experiences and agreed-upon norms have powerful socialization effects on the members of cultures
  • Cultural interpretations, symbols, artifacts, and effects are transmitted across generations
  • The social influence of cultural forces is assumed to provide a set of compelling behavioral, affective, and attitudinal orientations for members of cultures
  • Members of specific cultures are presumed to abide by a set of norms that reflect the above-mentioned commonalities
related concepts
Related Concepts
  • Ethnocentrism: the tendency for individuals to place their own group at the center of their observations of others and the world
    • Obstacle because it prevents people from fully understanding or respecting the world of others
  • Prejudice: a largely fixed attitude, belief, or emotion held by an individual about another individual or group that is based on faulty data
  • Both can have an impact on how leaders influence others.
related concepts10
Related Concepts
  • Multicultural: an approach or system that takes more than one culture into account; a set of subcultures defined by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age
  • Diversity: the existence of different cultures or ethnicities within a group or organization
  • Monolithic cultures: provide approximately common experiences for members of collectivities (no variation)
  • Pluralist cultures: contains two or more subgroups that share some common experiences but not others
cross cultural studies
Cross-Cultural Studies
  • Haire, Ghiselli and Porter (1966)
    • Studied responses from 3,641 managers from 14 countries
    • Managers favored democratic styles of management; consistently felt that subordinates lacked necessary abilities to be led democratically; most endorsed egalitarian organizational structures, however saw themselves as part of elite group; better to direct than persuade
cross cultural studies12
Cross-Cultural Studies
  • Bass, Burger, Doktor & Barrett (1979)
    • Based on multiple measures of observed behavior and questionnaire responses of 8,566 middle managers from 12 different countries
    • Data collected between 1966 and 1973
    • Strong main effects of national citizenship and modest main effects of rate of advancement on many of the dependent variables (i.e., managers’ responses to questionnaires, self-reports of behavior in exercises, observations of each other’s behavior)
  • Table 20.1 (Earley & Erez)
hofstede 1980 2001
Hofstede (1980,2001)
  • Most referenced research concerning dimensions of culture
  • Based on questionnaires from 100,000 people in more than 50 countries (IBM HQ Staff)
  • Cultural differences primarily encountered as differences in shared values
  • Values defined as “ broad tendencies to prefer certain states of affairs over others”
hofstede s 3 core questions
Hofstede’s 3 Core Questions
  • Three core questions that have to be addressed in all cross-cultural research:
    • What are we comparing?
    • Are nations suitable units for comparison?
    • Are the phenomena we look at functionally equivalent?
hofstede dimensions
Hofstede Dimensions
  • Power Distance
    • The degree to which less powerful members of a society accept a hierarchical or unequal distribution of power in organizations/society
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
    • The degree to which members of a given society feel uncomfortable in ambiguous situations and have created beliefs, norms, and institutions that are intended to minimize the occurrence of or cope with such situations
  • Long-term-Short-term Orientation
    • Long-term- thrift and perseverance
    • Short-term- respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, protecting one’s “face”
hofstede dimensions16
Hofstede Dimensions
  • Individualism-Collectivism
    • Individualist- the degree to which individuals function independently of each other and are expected to look after themselves and their immediate families
    • Collectivist- the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups that are expected to look after these individuals in exchange for loyalty to the group
  • Masculinity-Femininity
    • High scores- the degree to which members of cultural entities look favorably on assertive, aggressive, competitive, and materialist behavior and striving for success
    • Low scores- the degree to which members value supportive behavior, nurturance, care, and service and endorse gender role differentiation and discrimination
us hofstede profile
US Hofstede Profile

Power Distance: 40

Individualism: 91

Masculinity: 62

Uncertainty Avoidance Index: 46

Long-term Orientation: 29

hofstede conclusions
Hofstede Conclusions
  • Gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries
  • 3 noted studies have failed to demonstrate consistency with Hofstede’s dimensions
    • Gerstner and Day (1994); Ng et al. (1982); Chinese Culture Connection (1987)
g l o b e
  • Global Leadership & Organizational Behavior Effectiveness
    • Robert House (1991)
    • Purpose: Increase understanding of cross-cultural interactions and the impact of culture on leadership effectiveness
    • Quantitative methodology
      • Responses of 17,000 managers; 950 organizations; 62 cultures
    • 9 cultural dimensions – 7 derived from Hofstede
g l o b e20
  • For each of the nine dimensions, items were developed at both the societal and organizational level
  • 2 measures were used for all 9 dimensions:
    • Items phrased in terms of the society or organization as they are
    • Items phrased to evaluate what practices should be enacted in the society or organization
dimensions of globe
Dimensions of GLOBE
  • Uncertainty Avoidance: Extent to which a society, organization, or group relies on established norms, rituals, and procedures to avoid uncertainty
    • Uncertainty accepting societies have been found to be more innovative
    • Mangers from high UA countries tend to be more controlling, less delegating, and less approachable
    • High UA value career stability, formal rules, & the development of expertise
    • Low UA value career mobility and general skills rather than specialized skills
    • Low UA managers expect resourcefulness & improvisation
    • High UA managers expect reliability & punctuality
dimensions of globe22
Dimensions of GLOBE

2. Power Distance: Degree to which members of group expect & agree that power should be shared unequally

  • Participative leadership significantly predicted by the degree of PD
    • Germanic, Anglo, & Nordic Europeans attuned to PL
    • Middle Eastern, East European, Confucian Asian, & Southern Asian clusters do not endorse
dimensions of globe23
Dimensions of GLOBE

3. Institutional Collectivism: Degree to which organization or society encourages institutional or societal collective action

4. In-Group Collectivism: Degree to which people express pride, loyalty, & cohesiveness in their organizations or families

dimensions of globe24
Dimensions of GLOBE

5. Gender Egalitarianism: Degree to which an organization or society minimizes gender role differences and promotes gender equality

  • High GE countries endorse charismatic leader attributes & participative leader attributes:
    • Foresight, enthusiasm, & self-sacrifice
    • Delegation

6. Assertiveness: Degree to which people in a culture are determined, assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in their social relationships

dimensions of globe25
Dimensions of GLOBE

7. Future Orientation: Extent to which people engage in future-oriented behaviors such as planning, investing in the future, and delaying gratification

8. Performance Orientation: Extent to which and organization or society encourages and rewards group members for improved performance and excellence

dimensions of globe26
Dimensions of GLOBE

9. Humane Orientation: Degree to which a culture encourages and rewards people for being fair, altruistic, generous, caring, and kind to others

  • 9 dimensions used to analyze attributes of 62 different countries
clusters of world cultures
Clusters of World Cultures
  • 62 Countries divided into regional clusters
  • Clusters determined by:
    • Common language
    • Geography
    • Religion
    • Historical Accounts
  • 10 distinct clusters formed
leadership behavior and culture clusters
Leadership Behavior and Culture Clusters
  • Derived in part from Lord and Maher (1991)- implicit leadership theory
    • Individuals have implicit beliefs & convictions about the attributes and beliefs that distinguish leaders from non-leaders and effective leaders from ineffective leaders
      • Leadership is in the eye of the beholder- what people see in others when they are exhibiting leadership behaviors
  • GLOBE researchers identified 6 global leadership behaviors
global leadership behaviors
Global Leadership Behaviors
  • Charismatic/value-based leadership: Ability to inspire, motivate, and expect high performance from others based on strongly held core values
      • Visionary
      • Inspirational
      • Self-sacrificing
      • Trustworthy
      • Decisive
      • Performance oriented
global leadership behaviors32
Global Leadership Behaviors

2. Team-oriented leadership: Emphasizes team building and a common purpose among team members

  • Collaborative
  • Integrative
  • Diplomatic
  • Administratively competent
global leadership behaviors33
Global Leadership Behaviors

3. Participative leadership: The degree to which leaders involve others in making and implementing decisions

  • Participative
  • Nonautocratic

4. Human oriented leadership: Emphasizes being supportive, considerate, compassionate, & generous

  • Modesty
  • Sensitivity to people
global leadership behaviors34
Global Leadership Behaviors

5. Autonomous leadership: Refers to independent and individualistic leadership

  • Autonomous
  • Unique

6. Self-protective leadership: Reflects behaviors that ensure the safety & security of the leader & and the group

  • Self-centered
  • Status conscious
  • Conflict inducing
  • Face saving
strengths of globe
Strengths of GLOBE
  • Only study to analyze how leadership viewed by cultures around the world
  • Large Scope
  • Well-developed quantitative research design
      • Standardized instruments = generalizeable
  • Cultural dimensions more expansive than Hofstede
  • Provide information about what is universally accepted as “good” & “bad” leadership
  • Expand our knowledge to view leadership outside our perspectives
criticisms of globe
Criticisms of GLOBE
  • No clear set of assumptions & propositions to form a single theory about the way culture relates to leadership or influences the leadership process
  • Some cultural dimensions and leaderships behaviors are vague (e.g. power distance, self-protective leadership)
  • Implicit leadership theory- ignores research that frames leadership in terms of what people do (e.g. transformational leadership)
application of globe
Application of GLOBE
  • Help leaders understand their own cultural biases & preferences
  • Help leaders understand what it means to be a good leader
  • Help leaders communicate more effectively across cultural and geographic boundaries
  • Practical Ways:
    • Culturally sensitive websites
    • Design new employee orientation programs
    • Improve global team effectiveness
future of cross cultural leadership
Future of Cross-Cultural Leadership
  • Internet has made it easier to obtain samples & answer questions quickly
    • Web-based surveys
    • Real time chat
    • Video Conferencing
  • Blessing & a curse
    • Unqualified individuals try to collect & interpret data
unresolved issues limitations
Unresolved Issues/ Limitations
  • Magnitude of the effect of cultural influences unknown
  • The influence of cultural forces on local conceptions of leadership, the social status of leaders, and the amount of influence granted to leaders
  • Processes by which cultural entities affect member psychological states and behavior not clear
  • Convenience sampling
  • Valid information in interviews, self-report measures, etc.
  • Dickson, M.W., Den Hartog, D.N., & Mitchelson, J.K. (2003). Research on leadership in a cross –cultural context: making progress, and raising new questions. The Leadership Quarterly, 14, 729-768.
  • Earley, P.C. & Erez, M. (1996). Understanding the International Leader, pp. 535-625.
  • Hofstede, G. (2009). Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions.Retrieved April 12, 2009, from itim International Web site: http://www.geert-
  • Northouse, P.G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice, 4th Edition, pp. 301-325.