Last Updated 17 Jun 2020

Cultural Leadership

Category Leadership
Essay type Research
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CONTENTS 1. Introduction.................................................................... 2 2. Culture............................................................................. 3 Definition Dimensions of culture 3. Cultural leadership......................................................... 8 Globalisation Global leadership behavior 4. Conclusions ................................................................... 9 5. References..................................................................... 10 1. Introduction

Cultural leadership is a study in which I sumarry colected some related ideas about culture, leadership and the impact of culture on leadership process. The project is structurared in two chapters, follow by a conclusion and bibliography. The first chapter begins by defining culture and describing the dimensions of culture with specific examples in every aria. Determining the basic dimensions or characteristics of different cultures is the first step in being able to understand the relationships between them. Because it is an abstract term, the word culture it is hard to define, and different people often define it in dissimilar ways.

A definition which captured my attention is one which defined culture as the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols, and traditions that are common to a group of people. It is these shared qualities of a group that make them unique. Culture is dynamic and transmitted to others. In short, culture is the way of life, customs, and script of a group of people. (Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1988). Next, in the second chapter, I found it necesarry to talk about how leadership varies across cultures and which specific leadership attributes cultures universally endorse as desirable and undesirable.

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As individuals we have implicit beliefs and convictions about the attributes and beliefs that distinguish leaders from non-leaders and effective leaders from ineffective leaders. So, from the perspective of this theory, leadership is in the eye of the beholder. Leadership refers to what people see in others when they are exhibiting leadership behaviors. Because of that, I have presented in this chapter six types of leadership accepted worldwide based upon Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness –GLOBAL- Research Program.

I chose this specific topic, because I am interested in the domains presented, culture and leadership, and I considered this occasion, like being a great opportunity to discover more information or facts regarding them. 2. Culture Definition Anthropologists, scientist, sociologists and many others have debated the meaning of the word culture. Because it is an abstract term, it is hard to define, and different people often define it in dissimilar ways. Below, I have tried to find out some definitions of culture as follows: Kroeber, A. L. , & Kluckhohn (1952).

Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions :" Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i. e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, and on the other as conditioning elements of further action’’. Banks, J. A. & McGee (1989).

Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon: "Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies. The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects of human societies.

People within a culture usually interpret the meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the same or in similar ways. " Linton, R. (1945, p. 32). The Cultural Background of Personality: "A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society" From a business view, when leading a multicultural group, it is important to be aware of the norms, beliefs, and values that the participants bring with them to the setting. These norms, beliefs, and values not only shape identity but they also affect perceptions, attitudes and assumptions.

These aspects of individuals and groups are typically not visible and yet, they are extremely important to take into consideration during the planning and facilitative processes. Other aspects of culture implies institution, religion, education, language, material culture and life-style. Dimensions of culture Hofstede (1994) identified four dimensions of culture: The first one, individualism versus collectivism, refers to how people define themselves and their relationships with others. In an individualist culture, the interest of the individual prevails over the interests of the group.

Ties between individuals are loose. People look after themselves and their immediate families. For example, a student from Colombia may study in the United States and earn a Ph. D. , teach at a distinguished university, and publish important books, but when he returns to visit Colombia, people to whom he is introduced will want to know to whom he is related. Colombians want to know who his family is because that places him in society much more so than any of his accomplishments in the United States. Individualistic cultures like USA and France are more self-centered and emphasize mostly on their individual goals.

This kind of cultures tend to think only of themselves as individuals and as “I” distinctive from other people. They define people by what they have done, their accomplishments, what kind of car they drive. Individualist cultures are more remote and distant. Collectivistic cultures have a great emphasize on groups and think more in terms of “we”. In China, for example it is out of question to disagree with someone’s opinion in public. You will do that in a more private and personal atmosphere to protect a person from the “loss of face”.

In collectivistic cultures a direct confrontation will be always avoided. The second dimension that the author presents is the one which indicates the extent to which dominant values in a society tend to be assertive and look more interested in things than in concerning for people and the quality of life. “Masculinity is the opposite of femininity; together, they form one of the dimensions of national cultures. Masculinity stands for a society which social gender roles are dearly distinct: men are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life. “Femininity stands for a society where gender roles overlap: both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life. ” The Masculinity and Femininity dimension describes how cultures differentiate on not between gender roles. Masculine cultures tend to be ambitious and need to excel. Members of these cultures have a tendency to polarize and consider big and fast to be beautiful. In workplaces employees emphasize their work to a great extent (live in order to work) and they admire achievers who accomplished their tasks.

Feminine cultures consider quality of life and helping others to be very important. The country which strives the most for maximal distinction between what women and men are expected to do, the culture that place high values on masculine traits stress assertiveness, competition, and material success is Japan, the last country being Sweden. The third dimension is power distance, or the way the culture deals with inequalities. Hofstede (1997,p. 28) defines power distance as “the extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally”.

Hofstede believes that power distance is learned early in families. In high power distance cultures, children are expected to be obedient toward parents versus being treated more or less as equals. In high power distance cultures, people are expected to display respect for those of higher status. For example, in countries such as Cambodia and Thailand, people are expected to display respect for monks by greeting and taking leave of monks with ritualistic greetings, removing hats in the presence of a monk, dressing modestly, seating monks at a higher level, and using a vocabulary that shows respect.

In a high power distance culture, company bosses are “kings” and employees “loyal subjects” who don’t speak out. In the low power distance workplace, subordinates expect to be consulted, and ideal bosses are democratic. In more democratic organizations, leaders are physically more accessible. And finally, the last dimension is about uncertainty avoidance which expresses the deficit that people tolerate ambiguous situations and need formal rules. Uncertainty is “the extent to which the members of a culture fell threatened by uncertain or unknown situations.

One of the dimensions of national cultures (from weak to strong). ”. Some cultures need to have a strong uncertainty avoidance like France. In France many strict regulations are used and tasks are heavily centralized in companies and for meetings it is important to consider that. They are very careful with the details or any circumstances which could cause any kind of uncertainty for French business people. Germans and Finns have a less level of uncertainty avoidance and a medium level of power distance have the need for clearly specified competence to avoid uncertainty.

They need specific procedures and distributions of tasks, instructions and rules. The co-ordination and control can be achieved through standardization and certification measurers. Americans and Chinese (Hong Kong) have a lower need for uncertainty avoidance and rather avoid too many rules and formalities. They are more likely to stimulate innovations and emphasize new ideas. They are more flexible and more acting than reacting on changes occurring inside and outside of business. In contrast cultures with very strong uncertainty avoidance display their emotions in the way that everything that is different, is dangerous.

They resist in changes and worry about their future. 3. Cultural leadership Are leaders made or born? I think this is a question that most of us asked in a moment or another. In my opinion leaders are made but they must have some skills before that process too. If somebody have the desire and willpower, he can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things a leader must be, know, and, do.

These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. We can affirm that culture is a long-term, complex phenomenon. Culture represents the shared expectations and self-image of the organization.

The mature values that create "tradition" or the "way we do things here" because as we should know things are done differently in every organization. The collective vision and common folklore that define the institution are a reflection of culture. Individual leaders, cannot easily create or change culture because culture is a part of the organization. Culture influences the characteristics of the climate by its effect on the actions and thought processes of the leader. But, everything somebody dose as a leader will affect the climate of the organization.

For instance, the cultural diversity of employees found in worldwide multinational organizations presents a substantial challenge with respect to the design of multinational organizations and their leadership. In my opinion, given the increased globalization of industrial organizations and increased interdependencies among nations, the need for better understanding of cultural influences on leadership and organizational practices is getting higher. Situations that leaders must face are highly complex, constantly changing, and difficult to interpret.

More than ever before, managers of international firms face fierce and rapidly changing international competition. Globalization has also created the need for leaders to become competent in cross-cultural awareness and practice. Adler and Bartholomew (1992, p. 53) contend that global leaders need to develop five cross-cultural competencies. First, leaders need to understand business, political, and cultural environments worldwide. Second, they need to learn the perspectives, tastes, trends, and technologies of many other cultures. Third, they need to be able to work simultaneously with people from many cultures.

Fourth, leaders must be able to adapt to living and communicating in other cultures. Fifth, they need to learn to relate to people from other cultures from a position of equality rather than cultural superiority. Additionally, global leaders need to be skilled in creating trans cultural visions. They need to develop communication competencies that will enable them to articulate and implement their vision in a diverse workplace. In sum, today’s leaders need to acquire a challenging set of competencies if they intend to be effective in present-day global societies.

GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness) started a research program in order to describe how different cultures view leadership behaviors in others, and they identified six global leadership behaviors: charismatic/ value based, team oriented, participative, humane oriented, autonomous, and self-protective. These global leadership behaviors were defined as follows: Charismatic/value-based leadership reflects the ability to inspire, to motivate, and to expect high performance from others based on strongly held core values.

This kind of leadership includes being visionary, inspirational, self-sacrificing, trustworthy, decisive, and performance oriented. Team-oriented leadership emphasizes team building and a common purpose among team members. This kind of leadership includes being collaborative, integrative, diplomatic and administratively competent. Participative leadership reflects the degree to which leaders involve others in making and implementing decisions. It includes being participative and non-autocratic.

Humane-oriented leadership emphasizes being supportive, considerate, compassionate, and generous. This type of leadership includes modesty and sensitivity to people. Autonomous leadership refers to independent and individualistic leadership, which includes being autonomous and unique. Self-protective leadership reflects behaviors that ensure the safety and security of the leader and the group. It includes leadership that is self-centered, status conscious, conflict inducing, face saving, and procedural. Below, you have examples with leadership styles in different cultures:

The countries from Eastern European have the idea of a leader which is moderately charismatic/value-based team-oriented, and people-oriented yet largely uninterested in involving others in the decision-making process. To sum up, this culture describes a leader as one who is highly autonomous, makes decisions independently, and is to a certain degree inspiring, team-oriented, and attentive to human needs. Quite different from the Eastern European countries, the Latin American countries place the most importance on team-oriented, charismatic/value based, and self-protective leadership and the least importance on autonomous leadership.

As a fact ,those leaders tend to be moderately interested in people and their participation in decision making. An ideal example of leadership for the Nordic European countries is leadership that is highly visionary and participative while being somewhat independent and diplomatic. For these countries, it is less important that their leaders be people oriented or protective of their office. Nordic Europeans prefer leaders who are inspiring and involve others in decision making. They do not expect their leaders to be exceedingly compassionate, nor do they expect them to be concerned with status and other self-centered attributes.

For countries in Africa, an ideal leader is modest, compassionate, and sensitive to the people. In addition, they believe a leader should be relatively charismatic/value-based, team oriented, participative, and self-protective. Leaders who act independently or act alone are viewed as less effective in these countries. In short, the African profile characterizes effective leadership as caring leadership. Like many other countries, these countries believe leaders should be inspirational, collaborative, and not excessively self-centered. Leaders who act autonomously are seen as ineffective in African countries.

The leadership profile for the Middle Eastern countries differs significantly from the profiles of the other regions. Middle Eastern countries find self-attributes such as face saving and status are important characteristics of effective leadership. They also value being independent and familial. However, they find charisma, collaboration, and participative decision making less essential for effective leadership. To sum up, the Middle Eastern profile of leadership emphasizes status and face saving and de-emphasizes charismatic/value-based and group-oriented leadership.

As we can see above, the dominant cultural norms endorsed by societal cultures induce global leader behavior patterns and organizational practices that are differentially expected and viewed as legitimate among cultures. Thus, the attributes and behaviors of leaders are, in part, a reflection of the organizational practices, which in turn are a reflection of societal cultures. 4. Conclusions After I have done this paper I realized that culture and leadership are like the two sides of the same coin. I believe that culture have a significant impact on leadership.

First of all, culture shapes an individual ‘s self-definition of a leader through fundamental ideas about self and work. Second, the norms, values, beliefs or assumption an individual already learnt in the culture, makes him pass through cultural filters so that he perceive the world of work and leadership development different, meaning we don’t see the world through the same lens. We talked about culture, its definitions from different points of view, dimensions of culture and cultural leadership.

Here we touched arias like: globalization, leadership’s styles accepted all over the world with regional examples. After all, the core of this project can be summarized in a couple of phrases, like the ones below. Leaders are immersed in their own societal culture, and they are most likely to enact the global leader behavior patterns that are favored in that culture. Founders influence the behavior of subordinate leaders and subsequent leaders by use of selective management selection criteria, role modeling, and socialization.

Further, the dominant cultural norms endorsed by societal cultures induce global leader behavior patterns and organizational practices that are differentially expected and viewed as legitimate among cultures. Thus, the attributes and behaviors of leaders are, in part, a reflection of the organizational practices, which in turn are a reflection of societal cultures. At the present time, there is a greater need for effective international and cross-cultural collaboration, communication and cooperation, not only for the effective practice of leadership, but also for the betterment of the human conditions.

As we view in this project, globalization has let its mark on the cultures of the world, which are getting more and more interconnected. As a conclusion, nowadays leaders should be encouraged or take initiative to reflect on their own values, see that multicultural differences exist and work to improve culture for all. 5. References Cultures and Organizations – Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival” Hofstede, Geert (1994) http://books. google. ro Cross-cultural approaches to leadership development by Clyde Brooklyn Derr http://www. cribd. com/doc/17743776/Nature-of-Culture-Its-Impact-on-Business http://www. via-web. de/conceptualization-of-culture/ http://www. ramergroup. com/pdfs/Concepts-of-Leadership. pdf http://www. online-leadership-tools. com/develop-leadership. html http://www. nwlink. com/~donclark/leader/leadcon. html :Concepts of Leadership http://www. thunderbird. edu/wwwfiles/sites/globe/pdf/process. pdf - Cultural Influences on Leadership and Organizations: Project GLOBE --------------------------------------------

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