Leadership is one of the most widely researched topics of the 20th century while being one of the most misunderstood as well (Nazari, 2012). Because leadership styles are directly related to leaders’ self-concept and organizational functions, researchers are increasingly interested in the study of leadership styles (Nazari, 2012).
Leadership involves the ability to inspire and influence the thinking, attitudes, and behavior of other people. Diverse theories of leadership can be found in the organizational literature. These theories can be distinguished by several historically distinct approaches that focus on either traits, behaviors, situational contingencies, or transformational leadership (Gibson, 1995).
An organization is an interacting network, not a vertical hierarchy. Effective leaders work throughout; they do not sit on top (Mintzberg, 2010).
While the phenomenon of leadership is widely considered to be universal across cultures, the way in which it is operationalized is usually viewed as culturally specific (Dorfman, 1997).
Definition of leadership
Leadership is defined as the process of having dominance on group activities in order to realize the objectives (Nazari, 2012). Leadership is a sacred trust earned from the respect of others (Mintzberg, 2010).
Many definitions of leadership have been proposed in the literature, but despite differences among them there seems to be some kind of agreement among authors that leadership is a process, involves influence, occurs within a group context, and involves goal attainment (Carter, 2011).Kreitner defines leadership as ‘a social
influence process in which the leader seeks participation of subordinates in an effort to reach
organisational objectives’. Similarly, the GLOBE research defines leadership as ‘the ability
of an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the
effectiveness and success of the organisations of which they are members’ (Carter, 2011).
General information on leadership
To execute the leadership task, managers try to have influence the people under their supervision and motivate and direct them to achieve the organizational objectives. Creating motivation in staff in such a way that they do their activity and work in the organization with enthusiasm and reach the goals is very important. This problem with transnational managers who have to create motivation in the individuals with different cultures is more significant.
Five socio-cultural dimensions, identified by Hofstede (1984, 1997). The first dimension is called power distance (PDI), and is defined as the degree of inequality among the people which a group of people considers as normal. The second dimension, individualism (IND), is the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather
than as members of groups. The third dimension, masculinity (MAS), is the degree to
which such ‘masculine’ values as assertiveness, competition, and success are emphasized
as opposed to such values as quality of life, warm personal relationships, and service.
Uncertainty avoidance (UAI) is the degree to which people in a country prefer
structured over unstructured situations. Finally, the fifth dimension, long-term
orientation (LTO), was intended to account for specific traits of many Asian cultures,
which were not covered by the first four dimensions (Hofstede 1993). Long-term
orientation is defined as the degree to which people’s actions are driven by long-term
goals and results, rather than the short-term results and the need for immediate
gratification.According to Hofstede (1997), the US business culture is characterized by low PDI,
LTO, and UAI, and high IND and MAS. Furthermore, German employees display
low PDI and LTO, and high UAI, MAS, and IND. Regarding Russian managers,
Hofstede hypothesized that they would be characterized by high PDI, high UAI,
medium-range IND, and low MAS (Hofstede 1993). Bollinger (1994) and Naumov
(1996) tested Hofstede’s hypotheses in their studies of Russian managers, and found
support for these predictions on all four dimensions. Elenkov (1998), in his comparative
study utilizing Hofstede’s dimensions, found that US managers are more individualistic
than their Russian counterparts and the managerial culture in the United States is also
characterized by lower power distance and uncertainty avoidance than the Russian
managerial culture.Since the late 1980s, much of the leadership research has concentrated on characteristics
and specific effects of charismatic and transformational leadership (Bass 1985; Kanungo
1990; Sashkin 1988; Tichy and Devanna 1990). In this study, we used a version of
transformational leadership theory formulated by Bass and his colleagues (Bass 1985,
1996; Avolio et al. 1995). According to Bass (1985), transformational leaders motivate
their followers by inspiring them, offering challenges, and encouraging individual
development. Transformational leadership stresses achievement of higher collective
purpose, of common mission and vision. The second leadership style is transactional
leadership. Transactional leaders stress specific benefits that their subordinates would
receive by accomplishing agreed-upon tasks. A transactional leadership style involves
negotiations between leaders and their subordinates, and exchange relationships
between them. Research shows that different behaviors are involved in transformational
and transactional leadership. The behaviors are measured with the Multifactor
Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) (Avolio et al. 1995). Transformational leadership
includes individualized consideration (IC), intellectual stimulation (IS), charisma
(CHA), and inspirational motivation (IM). Transactional leadership includes contingent
reward (CR) behavior and management by exception (ME). A series of studies reviewed
by Bass (1996) support the distinction between transformational and transactional
leadership. There is also considerable evidence that transformational leadership
is effective, and is positively related to subordinate satisfaction, motivation, and
performance (Lowe et al. 1996).
Transactional and transformational leadership styles are contrasted with laissez-faire
leadership. Laissez-faire leaders abdicate their responsibility and avoid making decisions
(Bass 1990b). Subordinates working under this kind of supervisor basically are left to
their own devices to execute their job responsibilities. Although laissez-faire leadership
is observed infrequently in the US businesses (Bass and Avolio 1989), managers still
exhibit it in varying amounts (Bass 1990a). Prior research has found that laissez-faire
leadership has an adverse effect on work-related outcomes of employees (Bass 1990a;
Yammarino and Bass 1990).
Most of the extant leadership research is based on data collected in the North
American context (Northhouse 1997). Regarding leadership styles of German
managers, Kuchinke (1999), in his comparison of US and German telecommunications
employees, has found that the US respondents ranked higher than Germans on two
dimensions of transformational leadership (charisma and inspirational motivation).
The majority of studies dealing with leadership styles of managers in Russia are based
either on consulting or teaching experience of the authors, or on a limited number of
case studies (e.g. Berger 1999; Clarke 1996). Attempts were made at developing lists
of leadership traits or management styles of business people in the transitional
economies. For example, a framework developed by Puffer (1996) suggests that
contemporary Russian managers tend to share power, are inclined to delegate decision
making (largely to avoid the responsibility for unforeseen consequences), prefer to
concentrate on strategic decision making, are tenacious and energetic, and have strong
collectivist attitudes. As in the case of socio-cultural dimensions, literature on leadership
styles of managers in the other three countries of the former USSR could not be found. Hofstede’s framework ranks among the most popular and frequently cited theories
of culture in international management and international HRD research and teaching.
Though not without critics (see S??ndergaard 1994), the description of national cultures
in terms of power distance, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and
long-term orientation has been used many times in international comparative research.
In this study, however, only three dimensions showed appropriate internal reliability
while a fourth approached the generally acceptable level. The construct of uncertainty
avoidance, the tendency to fend off ambiguity, proved unreliable and had to be excluded
from the analysis, raising questions about the factor structure of this construct. Further,
the fact that several dimensions scored outside the theoretical range of 0’100 found
by Hofstede suggests the need to re-evaluate the weighted formulae and distribution
of the dimensions. For the reliable dimensions, differences between the US and
Germany had been reported previously (Kuchinke 1999) and these differed sharply
from Hofstede’s original research published in 1984, suggesting that cultural values
might not be stable over time and might differ by population within a given country.
Far from presenting a homogeneous picture, the four former USSR countries, as might
be expected from their history, differed from each other in substantial ways. Georgia
ranked lowest with respect to power distance, followed by Russia, Kazakhstan, and
Kyrgyzstan. All four countries ranked substantially lower on this dimension than
Germany or the US, indicating a much higher level of egalitarianism and the expectation
that positions of social power be distributed equally or, at a minimum, be within reach
of everybody. Low levels of power distance are associated with respect for individual
equality and power based on expertise and knowledge rather than on position and
influence. Low PDI scores further indicate respect for the individual and the recognition
of mutual interdependence. Political power is based on a system of representation and
it is accepted that authority be questioned and criticized. In low PDI countries,
organizational pyramids are ‘at, there is a smaller proportion of supervisory personnel,
wage differentials are comparatively small, and manual and technical labor is accorded
a similar level of respect to managerial and intellectual work. Countries with historically
low levels of this dimension have included Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Great
Britain (Hofstede 1984).
The six countries differed less on the dimension of individualism. While the US
routinely ranks highest among the world’s nations, this sample showed individualism
in four of the remaining .ve countries to be equal and quite high. 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,
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 1994), but no conclusive
answer has been advanced to date.
The study results indicate that two dimensions ‘ contingent reward and inspirational
motivation ‘ produced the highest scores in all four countries of the former USSR. 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
1997). In some cultural contexts (especially more collectivistic ones), responses are
given in a more socially desirable way to please the researcher (Aycan et al. 2000).
These problems in cross-cultural studies are minimized to a certain extent by employing
data standardization (van de Vijver and Leung 1997). 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.
Second, the .ve dimensions used in this study may not cover the whole universe of
socio-cultural dimensions relevant to leadership. For example, the fact that individualism
did not emerge as an important predictor may be due to the use in this study of
Hofstede’s (1984) conceptualization of this phenomenon, which views individualism
and collectivism as polar points of a single continuum. In contrast to this approach,
Triandis and his colleagues (1988) 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 1998; Ralston et al.
1999). Additionally, both individualism and collectivism may be multifaceted
dimensions consisting of more than one component (Triandis 1995). 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
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. The benefits of using existing theoretical frameworks ‘
reliability, validity, comparison with previous studies ‘ come at a price that consists in
the likely omission of important local facets of culture and leadership that were present
but not captured by the research design. 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, 2002).
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??influential. 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.g. percentage of agricultural industry, income per capital,
life expectancy) and in political, educational and social development (e.g. educational
level, public health care and social security), can also determine cultural
values such as individualism, uncertainty avoidance or gender equality (Hofstede,
1980). The cultural clustering for European countries into Nordic, Anglo,
Germanic, Latin and Near East reported by Ronen and Shenkar (1985) awaits
replication (Brodbeck, 2000).
Different epochs produce different kinds of leadership ‘ with different patterns of hierarchical authority, different skill sets and attitudes, and different institutional incentives. Societies today are experiencing significant changes potentially as far reaching as the transition from agricultural to industrial societies. Today’s epoch is in the early stages of a transition from an industrial based society to a post industrial, digital society, and leadership patterns are beginning to reflect that transition. The new society — variously called information society, knowledge society or networked society — is marked by four key structural changes reshaping leadership [Masuda; Bell; Castells]: rapid and far reaching technological changes, especially the digitalization of information and communications technology. (ICTs); accelerated globalization; a shift toward knowledge as the central factor of production (i.e. from brawn to brains); and more distributed, less hierarchical organizational forms with greatly accelerated movement within and across organizations and sectors. In this highly dynamic environment, leadership innovation and adaptability are critical, especially the leader’s capacity to channel the right knowledge to the right people at the right time in the right place. 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 (1999) 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. In line with these studies, Rauch, Frese, and Sonnentag (2000) compared the success of planning for small business leaders in Germany (high UA) and Ireland (low UA). 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).
Thus, UA has an impact on the characteristics associated with outstanding leadership and
leaders’ typical career patterns. 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.Stewart et al. (1994) also found that British managers expected resourcefulness and
improvisation from their subordinates, whereas German managers expect reliability and
punctuality.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 are expected to be more prone to identify with their leaders’ goals and the
common purpose or shared vision of the group and organization and typically exhibit high
levels of loyalty. 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, 2003).
international researchers that effective management and leadership processes must reflect the culture in which they are found. 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, 1997).
There are 3 fundamental categories to be developed in order to be an effective global leader. The first category is ‘core global leadership competencies’, which includes self-awareness, engagement in personal transformation and inquisitiveness. The second category is ‘desired mental characteristics of global leader’. They are the characteristics that affect the way individuals attempt to influence other and approach a certain task. These characteristics consist of optimism, self-regulation, social judgment skills, acceptance of complexity, and its contradiction. The third category is ‘desired behavioral competences of global leaders’. They are the outcomes of those two categories and more explicit in nature. They consist of social skills, networking skills, knowledge. Besides those three categories, there are also fourteen dimensions which define competencies and characteristics of global leaders (Chen, 2011).
Historically, four main leadership styles have been present in societies: authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, and sometimes all three combined (Nazari, 2012).
The performance-oriented style (called “charismatic/value-based” by GLOBE) stresses high standards, decisiveness, and innovation; seeks to inspire people around a vision; creates a passion among them to perform; and does so by firmly holding on to core values.
The team-oriented style instills pride, loyalty, and collaboration among organizational members; and highly values team cohesiveness and a common purpose or goals.
The participative style encourages input from others in decision-making and implementation; and emphasizes delegation and equality.
The humane style stresses compassion and generosity; and it is patient, supportive, and concerned with the well-being of others.
The autonomous style is characterized by an independent, individualistic, and self-centric approach to leadership.
The self-protective (and group-protective) style emphasizes procedural, status-conscious, and ‘face-saving’ behaviors; and focuses on the safety and security of the individual and the group.
Where does this leave us with developing leaders?
About where it has left us with developing countries.
Outside programs no more develop leaders than
outside institutions develop countries. Indeed, the
more we try to develop leaders, the more we seem to
Perhaps that is because singling people out to be
developed as leaders encourages that heroic view of
leadership, out of context instead of rooted in it. We
have had quite enough of self-indulgence in the name
of leadership lately.
Jay Conger published an interesting book entitled
Learning to Lead about short leadership development
courses. He took four of them himself, in each of the
main approaches, which he labelled personal growth,
conceptual understanding, feedback, and skill building.
He found that all had significant flaws, but concluded
that together they may be effective. Perhaps he should
have concluded that the very notion of developing
leaders is flawed.
If leaders cannot be developed, then what can be
done? Three things, I believe.
First, leadership can be fostered, much like economic
development. In other words, we can foster the conditions
that give rise to indigenous leadership, particularly
those of thoughtful self-reliance. A key reason
why globalisation is dysfunctional for developing
countries is that it fosters a kind of dependency antithetical
to the emergence of indigenous leadership.
Fostering leadership depends significantly on context:
it is the person in the situation gives rise to leadership.
As Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador
to the United Nations, put it, ‘Kofi Annan is the right
man at the right time from the right place.’ Of course,
right places can be encouraged. Morgan McCall of the
University of Southern California, who has written
extensively on how leaders learn in their jobs, stresses
that people should be offered challenges in a variety of
difficult jobs, which leaves them ‘little chance but to
learn and develop new abilities.’
Second, people can be developed. Not as leaders, but
as human beings, in their beliefs and behaviours,
their thoughtfulness and self-respect. But that probably
happens mostly in the early years, at home and in
school. We do, after all, raise children, not just have
them. And this requires a culture that prizes basic
human values and educates children to think for themselves,
to do what seems fundamentally right rather
than to accept some pat dogma. Dr. Bediako would no
doubt say that Kofi Annan is the product of a society
that takes its Christian beliefs seriously.
Third, we can develop managerial practice, not separate
from leadership but intrinsic to it. That separation
just encourages the heroic view of leadership, up
on a pedestal, disconnected from the daily functioning
of the organisation. True leaders are in touch, on the
ground: they have to manage, just as managers have to
lead. We can encourage management development in
a classroom that brings managers together with their
colleagues to reflect thoughtfully on their own experience.
They can, in other words, just show it to each
other! Ghana certainly needs to develop
economically; perhaps the ‘wealthy’ West could stand
to develop socially (Mintzberg, 2010).
The results of the GLOBE research project support the idea that leadership behaviour is influenced by societal cultural norms of shared values. Cultural universal attributes as well as culturally contingent attributes were found forming implicit leadership theories in several cultural settings. This means that the perception of what constitutes good leadership is partly
universal and partly dependent on a specific cultural context (Cater, 2011).
The GLOBE research extends Hofstede’s work and finds the following nine cultural dimensions3
(House et al. 2004):
(1) uncertainty avoidance: the extent to which members of a society strive to avoid
uncertainty by relying on established social norms, rituals and bureaucratic practices;
(2) power distance: the degree to which members of a society expect and agree that power
should be stratified and concentrated at the top;
(3) institutional collectivism: the degree to which societal institutional practices encourage
and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action;
(4) in-group collectivism: the degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty and
cohesiveness in their families;
(5) gender egalitarianism: the degree to which a society minimises gender role differences
while promoting gender equality;
(6) assertiveness: the degree to which individuals in societies are assertive, confrontational
and aggressive in social relationships;
(7) future orientation: the degree to which individuals in societies engage in futureoriented
behaviours such as planning, investing in the future and delaying individual or
(8) performance orientation: the degree to which a society encourages and rewards group
members for performance improvement and excellence;
(9) humane orientation: the degree to which individuals in societies encourage and reward
individuals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, caring and kind to others (Cater, 2011).
The Czech culture was described as a culture with high power distance, high in-group and
institutional collectivism, with medium performance, assertive orientation, and uncertainty
avoidance as well, further as low gender, future and humane oriented culture. Our respondents
would prefer that the Czechs would act much more performance, human and future oriented,
further more in-group collectivistic, uncertainty avoidant, and gender friendly. On the
contrary, the Czechs should share power much more equally and behave less assertive. The remaining part of the chapter deals with leadership patterns in the Czech environment. An
outstanding leader is seen by the Czech students above all as an effective bargainer that
means that he or she should be able to negotiate effectively, able to make transactions with
others on favourable terms, than she/he is intelligent and always informed. She or he can
inspire emotions, beliefs, values, and behaviours of others, which inspire them to be
motivated to work hardly and even more effectively. As well as she/he could be able to
provide diplomatic and morale booster. She or he has to be decisive; it means to be able to
make decisions firmly and quickly. Further she/he can plan, organize, coordinate, and control
work of large number of individuals effectively. On the tenth place were ranked
communicative skills and then came the ability to identify solutions which satisfy individuals
with diverse and conflicting interests so called ‘win/win problem-solver’. She or he should
deserve trust, can be believed and relied upon to keep his/her word, be interested in temporal
events and acts logical, but dynamic which means highly involved, energetic and enthused.
The portrait of a leader who is viewed as effective in the Czech Republic from the university
students’ perspective is following: the person should be an effective bargainer, intelligent,
always informed, should inspire others, to be motivated to work hard, acting diplomatic, be
morale booster, make decisions firmly and quickly, and possess communicative skills as well.On the other hand the negative attributes inhibiting outstanding leadership are hostility and
the leaders shouldn’t be dishonest, arrogant, non-cooperative or asocial, cynical and irritable
or provocateur. As ineffective is perceived egocentrism as well as tenderness.
As for the cultural values, the Slovak culture should be particularly: 1. in-group collectivistic,
2. performance oriented and 3. gender egalitarian. The Slovak culture shouldn’t be power
distant and should be less assertive than it is nowadays.
A brief interpretation of these results refers to cultural characteristics like: high importance of
friendly, supportive and kind relationships among in-group members, nepotism, paternalistic
attitude of the leader toward in-group members, the tendency to maintain harmonic
relationships within the group and offering social support to in-group members. People should
work hard to become proficient in what they do to the best of their abilities and skills.
Rewards should be linked to fulfillment of group goals rather than individual goals. Initiative
should be taken by groups not individuals. Central idea should be that through working in and
for a group the individuals work for themselves, too. In the leadership dimensions framework the answers of Slovak students showed that the most
effective and worthy to follow is a leader whose characteristics are kindness toward others,
the ability to unify people, diplomacy. The effective leader is visionary, inspirational, and
administratively competent, with personal integrity. According to young Slovaks it is
important for a leader to be performance oriented and decisive. It is clear that majority of our
respondents will work as employees and managers in Slovak as well as international
organizations. They will probably less respect and not voluntarily follow a leader who is selfcentered,
face saver, bureaucratic and conflict inducer. Such leadership behavior is labeled as
ineffective and incompetent. We assume that due to the collectivistic nature of the Slovak
culture the autonomous type of leader is assessed as rather ineffective by our Slovak
respondents. Values of individualism, uniqueness, and independency are not typical for a
successful leader according to our respondents (Carter, 2011).
Japan is the second largest trading partner with the United States, and it may be a unique
culture within the Pacific Rim, being higher in masculinity and uncertainty avoidance and
only medium on collectivism in comparison to South Korea and Taiwan. Confucianism in Japan requires respect and obedience to
leaders who have historically responded with highly paternalistic attitudes toward their
organizations are extremely hierarchical and are rigidly organized. Japanese sempai-kohai mentor relationship system reinforces a close personal bond
between supervisors and subordinates.The ideal leadership model in Japan comes from early village leaders who were skillfully
unassertive and who led by implicit consensus, nonverbal communication, and indirect
discussions (‘Too much talk was bad’). Japanese managers typically outline general
objectives, make vague group assignments, and generally let subordinates use their own
approaches to achieve overall objectives. The phrase omakuse (‘I trust you, you can do it’)
reflects this approach. Although only medium on collectivism, Asian scholars describe the
Japanese as placing strong emphasis on group harmony and collective (not individual)
responsibility. An emphasis by managers on equality of all group members also supports group
harmony, which is usually considered more important than making money or overall
In Japan, directive, supportive, contingent reward and participative
leader behaviors will positively affect mediators and/or outcome measures;
contingent punishment will have no positive impact, and may have a negative
impact on the same criteria. Charismatic leader behaviors will have no
Centralized planning and control and strong directiveness are clearly evident in the
chaebols, which are large diversified companies, primarily owned and managed by
founders and/or family members, which dominate South Korean business. Perhaps because
of highly centralized and formalized organizational structures, key information is normally
concentrated at the top organizational levels in South Korea. Top-down decision making
style is typical with subordinates taking a passive role in communications. There is a clear emphasis on collective, rather than individual, achievement in South Korea and differentiating rewards among individuals
is believed to disturb the needed harmony. In South Korea, directive, supportive, charismatic, and contingent
reward leader behaviors will positively affect mediators and/or outcome
measures; contingent punishment and participative leader behaviors will have
no significant impacts.
Chinese managers distinctly more authoritarian and autocratic than Western
managers, especially regarding sharing information with subordinates and allowing them
to participate in decision making. Open discussion about decision making processes tends
to be viewed as a challenge to the leader’s authority and is therefore not done. In Chinese organizations, control is achieved through conformity, nepotism and
obligation networks (guunxi), not through performance contingent rewards and
punishments.In Taiwan, directive, supportive, and contingent reward leader
behaviors will positively affect mediators and/or outcome measures;
contingent punishment will have a negative impact on mediators and/or
outcome measures. Participative and charismatic leader behaviors will have no
significant effects.Mexico’s high collectivism, paternalism, power distance, and masculinity seems to
resemble the Asian culture cluster more than its neighbor the United States. Mexican culture is highly collectivist, nontrusting, and elitist without a history or
framework for wide participation in organizational processes.We therefore predict that
participative leadership will not be impactful in Mexico.We therefore predict that
participative leadership will not be impactful in Mexico. Leaders’ contingent reward and punishment behaviors seem well suited for
individualistic cultures like the United States, not collectivist cultures like Mexico. In organizations, control of rewards and punishments are major reflections of
one’s power. Mexican history is filled with revolutionary charismatic leaders whose names are
continuously honored and celebrated. Current political leaders often adopt key Mexican
charismatics from the past as ‘spiritual’ advisors (Riding, 1985). These historical figures
are strongly masculine and possess a high degree of power. Bass (1990) predicted that
charismatic leadership would be especially impactful in collectivist cultures. We therefore
expect charismatic leadership to have a strong impact on Mexican followers. The
following hypothesis is based on the information presented above:
Hypothesis 4. In Mexico, directive, supportive, contingent reward, and
charismatic leader behaviors will positively affect mediators and/or outcome
measures. Participative leadership and contingent punishment will have no
significant effects. The United States is culturally unique in comparison to the other countries sampled in
this study. United States is highly individualistic, low on
power distance and uncertainty avoidance, and medium on masculinity. Rewards and punishments contingent on individual performance also reflect the high
individualism and high achievement motivation that characterizes USA. Leader contingent reward and punishment behaviors are
therefore expected to have positive impacts in the U.S. sample, although contingent reward
will likely have the strongest impact.Much of the leadership research conducted in the United States in the last decade has
focused on charismatic leadership. Numerous books and empirical studies have
demonstrated its importance and prevalence at all levels in U.S. organizations. We thus expect charismatic leader behavior to be highly impactful in the U.S.
sample. The following hypothesis summarizes our predictions for the United States.
Hypothesis 5. In the United States, supportive, contingent reward, contingent
punishment, participative, and charismatic leadership will positively affect
mediators and/or outcome measures. Directive leadership will have no
Over the past several decades, researchers have been trying to determine whether a set of leadership styles is universal or whether cultural values in a particular country influence certain leadership styles (Gibson, 1995).
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