As the title suggests, this chapter is about culture and leadership. Like the previous chapter, this
one is multifaceted and focuses on a collection of related ideas rather than on a single unified
theory. Our discussion in this chapter will center on research that describes culture, its
dimensions, and the effects of culture on the leadership process.
The scope of the globe project is its main strength. The findings from this project make a major
statement about how cultures around the worldview leadership. Other strengths are its
quantitative research design, an expanded classification of cultural dimensions, a list of
universally accepted leadership attributes and the contribution it makes to a richer understanding
of the leadership process. On the negative side, the GLOBE studies do not provide findings that
form a single theory about the way culture relates to leadership. Furthermore, the definitions of
the core cultural dimensions are unclear, the conceptualization of leadership used in the studies is
limiting, the leadership measures are not exact, and the list of universally endorsed leadership
attributes does not account for the various situations in which leaders operate. Regardless of
these limitations, the GLOBE studies stand out because they offer so much valuable information
about the unique ways culture influences the leadership process.
Headings of the Chapter
5. Case studies
Culture is an abstract term hence it is difficult to define and different people define it in different
ways. In the chapter, culture is defined as the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols, and
traditions that are common to a given group of people. It is these shared qualities that make them
unique. Culture is dynamic and it is transmitted to the others. The terms such as multicultural and
diversity are related to culture. Multicultural can also be used in reference to a set of subcultures
are defined by race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
This section describes two concepts that are closely related to culture and leadership:
ethnocentrism and prejudice. Both concepts have an impact on the way the leaders influence the
other people. Ethnocentrism is the tendency of the people to place their own group at the center
of their observations of others in the world. It is a perpetual window through which people from
a given culture make subjective or critical evaluations of people from another culture. Prejudice
is largely fixed attitude, belief or emotion that is held by an individual about another individual
or group that is based on faulty or unsubstantiated data. There are some cases where prejudice
may be positive but most of the time it is normally negative.
Dimensions of culture
Culture has been the focus of many studies across a variety of disciplines. Determining the basic
dimensions or characteristic of different cultures is the first step in being able top understand the
relationships between them. Several well-known studies have talked about how culture can be
Uncertainty is concerned with the way the cultures use rules structures and laws to make more
predictable and less uncertain. The countries that have a high tolerance for uncertainty are likely
to have a thriving entrepreneurial culture because of the fact that the people take more risks and
make daring decisions compared to the one that does not. In other cultures that have less
tolerance to uncertainty, it is uncommon to see the people taking risks and making daring
decisions. In the latter case the business deals and negotiations require cultivation as a way of
building the much needed trust among the stakeholders.
This dimension refers to the degree to which the members of a group expect and agree to which
members of a group expect and agree that power should be shared unequally. Power distance is
concerned with the way the cultures are stratified, this creating levels between people based on
power, authority, prestige, status, wealth and material possessions.
This dimension describes the degree to which an organization or a society encourages
institutional or societal collective action. Institutional collectivism is focused on whether cultures
identify with broader societal interests rather than with individual goals and accomplishments.
This dimension refers to the degree to which the people express pride, loyalty and cohesiveness
in their organization or families. In-group collectivism is focused on the extent to which the
people are devoted to their organizations or families.
This dimension measures the degree to which an organization or a society minimizes gender role
differences and promotes gender equality. Gender egalitarianism is concerned with how much
societies de-emphasize the members’ biological sex in determining the roles that the members
play in their homes, organizations and communities.
This dimension refers to the degree to which people in a culture are determined, assertive,
confrontational, and aggressive in their social relationships. It is concerned with the how much a
culture of a society encourages the people to be aggressive, forceful and tough.
This concept refers to the extent to which people engage in future-oriented behaviors such as
planning, investing in the future, and delaying gratification. It emphasizes that the people in a
culture prepare for the future as opposed to enjoying the present and being spontaneous.
This dimension describes the extent to which an organization or a society encourages and
rewards the group members for improved performance and excellence. It is concerned with
whether people in a given culture are rewarded for setting and meeting challenging goals.
This dimension refers to the degree to which a culture encourages and rewards people for being
fair, altruistic, generous, caring and kind to the others.
Clusters of world cultures
GLOBE researchers divided the data from the 62 countries they studied into regional clusters.
These clusters were important in the analysis of the similarities and the differences between
cultural groups also known as clusters and to meaningful generalizations about culture and
Characteristics of clusters
Data analysis conducted by the GLOBE researchers on the data that was collected from the
above dimensions was used in the characterization of the clusters. The Anglo cluster is made up
of the US, Australia, Ireland, England, South Africa and New Zealand. These counties were
high in performance orientation and low in in-group collectivism.
The other group was the Confucian Asia that which is made up of Singapore, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan which exhibited high scores in performance orientation,
institutional collectivism, and in-group collectivism.
Eastern Europe is made up of Greece, Hungary, Albania Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Georgia and
Kazakhstan. These countries were high in assertiveness, in-group collectivism and gender
German Europe includes the countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and
Germany. The countries scored high in performance orientation, assertiveness, future orientation
and avoidance of uncertainty.
Latin America is made up of Ecuador, El Salvador, Columbia, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala,
Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Mexico. The people in these countries scored high in
group collectivism and low on performance orientation.
Latin Europe is made up of Israel, Italy, Francophone Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and France.
The people in this cluster scored high cultural dimension but scored low on humane orientation.
Middle East is made up of Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Turkey. The people in this
cluster scored high on in-group collectivism and low on future orientation gender egalitarianism
and uncertainty. The other clusters include Nordic Europe, Southern Asia, and Sub-Saharan
Africa. Information on the findings in this cluster can be found in this chapter of the book.
Leadership behavior and culture
The topic addresses charismatic/value based leadership, Team-oriented leadership, participated
leadership, humane-oriented leadership, Autonomous leadership and Self-protective leadership.
It focuses on Eastern Europe leadership profile, Latin America leadership profile, Latin Europe
leadership profile, Confucian Asia leadership profile, Nordic Europe leadership profile, Anglo
leadership profile, Sub-Saharan Africa leadership profile, Southern Asia leadership profile,
Germanic Europe leadership profile and middle east leadership profiles.
Universally desirable and undesirable leadership attributes
This was part of the outcomes that came as a result of GLOBE project that was carried out.
1. As the title suggests, this chapter is about culture and leadership.
2. Anthropologists, sociologists, and many others have debated the meaning of the word
3. Before beginning the o8ur discussion of the various facets of culture, this section
describes two concepts that are closely related to culture and leadership; ethnocentrism
4. Culture has been the focus of many studies across a variety of disciplines.
5. In an effort to characterize the regional clusters, GLOBE researcher’s analyzed data from
each of the regions using the dimensions of culture described earlier.
6. The overall purpose of the globe project was to determine how the people from different
cultures viewed leadership.
7. For the Eastern European countries, an ideal example of a leader would be a person who
was first and foremost independent while maintaining a strong interest in protecting his
or her position as a leader.
8. One of the most interesting outcomes of the GLOBE project was the identification of a
list of leadership attributes that were universally endorsed by 17000 people in 62
countries as positive aspects of effective leadership.
9. Although this chapter on culture and leadership does not represent a single unified theory
of leadership, it does present findings that have several strengths.
10. The body of research on culture and leadership also has several weaknesses.
11. Training programs about culture and diversity have been popular for many years.
12. Since World War II, there has been a dramatic increase in globalization throughout the