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Political power is based on a system of representation and it is accepted that authority be questioned and criticized. Countries with historically low levels of this dimension have included Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Great Britain Hofstede The six countries differed less on the dimension of individualism. Employees in Georgia, who had ranked lowest in power distance, also showed the lowest level of individualism and the highest level of collectivism.
High levels on the individualism dimension are associated with an orientation to the self rather than the community, an emphasis on individual initiative and decisions, identity anchored in the individual rather than the collective, and the norms of autonomy, variety, and pleasure as opposed to order, duty, and security. Masculinity, the tendency to behave in gender-stereotypical terms, was very high in the four SU countries, as was the tendency to plan for the long term rather than focus on short-term results.
In highly masculine countries, such as many Latin American and Mediterranean nations, achievement, ambition, and possession are valued highly, and there is a greater centrality of work in the lives of individuals along with higher levels of work stress. In summary, compared to Germany and the US, the four former SU countries differed primarily by a much lower level of power distance, higher levels of masculinity, and much longer planning horizons.
Concerning leadership styles, the fact that contingent reward was much more highly correlated with transformational than the other transactional styles raises a question over the validity of the distinction between the two and where the positive reinforcement factor belongs. This question has previously been posed in previous research with Austrian and German bank employees Geyer and Steyrer , but no conclusive answer has been advanced to date. This shows that in these countries there is no clear preference for one of two major leadership styles transactional or transformational , and elements of both styles are being used.
Georgia, overall, had the highest scores for all transformational leadership styles. We believe, though, that this finding should be interpreted with caution.
In cross-cultural studies, it is often difficult to attribute observed mean differences between country scores to national culture differences, because these differences may be products of methodological artifacts, such as differences in response style van de Vijver and Leung In some cultural contexts especially more collectivistic ones , responses are given in a more socially desirable way to please the researcher Aycan et al.
These problems in cross-cultural studies are minimized to a certain extent by employing data standardization van de Vijver and Leung However, since the standardization approach can also mask important differences between country samples, we opted for not using it in this study.
Further, although the laissez-faire and management-by-exception leadership styles are less prevalent in all four countries of the former Soviet Union than are the other styles, these two styles have received much higher scores here than in the US and Germany. This suggests that leadership and management development programs developed by Western professionals for the countries of the former USSR should address these styles, making explicit their characteristics and drawbacks, and assisting trainees in correcting associated negative attitudes and behaviors.
For all four countries, socio-cultural dimensions used in this study predicted leadership styles, but accounted for a small portion of variance with the exception of the relationship between the four cultural dimensions and the management by- exception leadership style. This could suggest two possibilities. First, some other factors could have stronger effects on leadership than the socio-cultural dimensions.
In contrast to this approach, Triandis and his colleagues proposed that individualism and collectivism are unique constructs and need to be split into separate continua. This proposition was supported by recent cross-cultural research Earley and Gibson ; Ralston et al.
Additionally, both individualism and collectivism may be multifaceted dimensions consisting of more than one component Triandis Further, since the relationships between leadership and national culture dimensions were not that strong, we need to continue the investigation of the interface of leadership and culture on other levels.
For example, organizational, industry, and professional cultures could be playing more important roles in shaping the leadership behavior than country-level culture. Large-scale surveys such as this one are subject to a number of limitations that need to be kept in mind when interpreting the results.
First, with all country-level research this study shares the limitation of likely sampling bias. Although measures were taken to reduce measurement error through the use of native-language instruments and local research teams who administered the survey, distortions of the findings due to convenience sampling are likely. Thus, the results reported here represent the respondents and not their countries. Second, the study did not take into account the political realities of conducting social science research in countries with long authoritarian histories which present the likelihood of further response bias.
Third, the results are likely to be influenced by single-method and single-source bias, another limitation of large-scale survey research. Finally, this study was designed in an ethic fashion, using existing and established measurement instruments to assess constructs such as leadership and culture that quite possibly have highly situational and temporal aspects not captured here.
This is an especially important limitation for the broad and under-specified constructs of culture and leadership that, to date, lack underlying unified theories and models Ardichvili, Experimental studies exploring implicit leadership theory have found that people use categorization processes when forming leadership perceptions. They match a target person against a cognitive prototype that contains characteristic leader attributes and someone recognized as a leader is also perceived to be more powerful and in??
Culturally endorsed differences in leadership concepts can affect the reactions of others to a foreign manager in a way that impedes cross-cultural leadership success. The more leadership concepts between foreign managers and relevant attributers in a host country differ, the less the likelihood that cross-cultural leadership will be accepted and effective.
Generally, cross-cultural research suggests that culture can influence leadership concepts. The cultural similarity of countries which are geographically close to each other can be seen to be the result of a spread of cultural values through geopolitical developments in history.
Language contains meanings and values which influence the development and maintenance of schemata and prototypes related to job behavior and leadership.
Some countries also share religions, for example, the Latin European cluster is predominantly Catholic. Common religious beliefs are associated with common norms and values in society and at work. Last but not least, the degree of modernity, for example, in economic development e. Societies today are experiencing significant changes potentially as far reaching as the transition from agricultural to industrial societies. The new society — variously called information society, knowledge society or networked society — is marked by four key structural changes reshaping leadership [Masuda; Bell; Castells]: ICTs ; accelerated globalization; a shift toward knowledge as the central factor of production i.
As a result, a post industrial digital age style of leadership is emerging characterized by stronger horizontal linkages among elites across different sectors and even different countries, especially government leaders, private entrepreneurs and executives, researchers and civil society leaders Goethals.
Leadership involves disproportionate influence, and all over the world, the leadership role is associated with power and status. Thus, the way in which power and status are divided in society is obviously relevant to the leadership role. In line with Hofstede, Schwartz contrasts hierarchical and egalitarian cultures. The first emphasize the chain of authority and hierarchical structures.
An unequal distribution of power and status is legitimate and expected. Employees comply with directives without questioning them. In contrast, people in egalitarian cultures view each other as moral equals. Employees typically have their say in decisions affecting them and share in goal-setting activities. Power distance and a hierarchical orientation in society have an impact on management policies in organizations.
Power distance in society is also directly related to leadership. For example, subordinates in high rather than low power distance societies are more reluctant to challenge their supervisors and more fearful in expressing disagreement with their managers. In highly egalitarian countries such as The Netherlands and Australia, transformational leader behaviors are highly correlated with participation in decision making. This suggests that transformational leaders may need to be more participative to be effective in highly egalitarian societies.
In contrast, in high power distance societies, transformational leadership may take a more directive form. German business owners plan more and in more detail. Careful and detailed planning and on-time delivery are needed to meet customer expectations in their context. In Ireland, planning is less valued and customers expect high flexibility. Planning too much is seen as risky, as this may decrease the ability to rapidly respond to changing needs and demands of customers.
In short, detailed planning by leaders was found to have a positive influence on small business success in the high UA context Germany but a negative influence in the low UA context Ireland. UA also influences the expectations leaders have of subordinates and customers have of businesses. In high UA contexts, planning and detailed agreements are the norm, whereas in low UA contexts flexibility and innovation are more prominent.
Another well-known culture dimension is individualism versus collectivism IC. Cultures characterized by individualism can be seen as loosely knit social frameworks in which people are supposed to take care of themselves and look after their own interests and those of their close family only. A tight social framework with strong and cohesive in-groups that are opposed to out-groups is a key characteristic of high collectivism. People expect their ingroup to look after them and are loyal to it in return.
Collectivists tend to have a stronger attachment to their organizations and tend to be more willing to subordinate their individual goals to group goalsPeople from individualist cultures, however, are expected to be more motivated to satisfy their own self-interests and personal goals.
Individuals take care of themselves, and individual initiative, achievement, and rewards are central. As such, individualists may be more motivated by more short-term focused transactional leadership Dickson, Unique cultural characteristics such as language, beliefs, values, religion, and social organization are generally presumed to necessitate distinct leadership approaches in different groups of nations-popularly known as culture clusters Dorfman,
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Leadership is defined as ‘the process in which an individual influences the group of individuals to attain a common goal’. The goal is attained by mutual cooperation and cohesive behaviour. A. Essay on Leadership: Meaning, Nature and Importance of Leadership! “Leadership is the quality of behavior of individuals whereby they guide people or their activities in organising efforts” — Chester I. Barnard “Leadership is the ability of a superior to induce subordinates to work with.
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