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Cross-Cultural Leadership

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  1. Cross-Cultural Leadership Lauren Gruchala Kaci Grant

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. 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”

  14. 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?

  15. 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”

  16. 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

  17. US Hofstede Profile Power Distance: 40 Individualism: 91 Masculinity: 62 Uncertainty Avoidance Index: 46 Long-term Orientation: 29

  18. 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)

  19. GLOBE • 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

  20. GLOBE • 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. Clusters of World Cultures • 62 Countries divided into regional clusters • Clusters determined by: • Common language • Geography • Religion • Historical Accounts • 10 distinct clusters formed

  28. Characteristics of Clusters

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. Global Leadership Behaviors 2. Team-oriented leadership: Emphasizes team building and a common purpose among team members • Collaborative • Integrative • Diplomatic • Administratively competent

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. Universally Desirable Leadership Attributes

  35. Universally Undesirable Leadership Attributes

  36. 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

  37. 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)

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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.

  41. Questions??

  42. Sources • 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- hofstede.com/ • Northouse, P.G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice, 4th Edition, pp. 301-325.