Globe Summary: Culture and Leader Effectiveness

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Culture and Leader Effectiveness: The GLOBE Study

Background: The "Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness" (GLOBE) Research Program was conceived in 1991 by Robert J. House of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, its first comprehensive volume on "Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies" was published, based on results from about 17,300 middle managers from 951 organizations in the food processing, financial services, and telecommunications services industries. A second major volume, "Culture and Leadership across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies" became available in early 2007. It complements the findings from the first volume with in-country leadership literature analyses, interview data, focus group discussions, and formal analyses of printed media to provide in-depth descriptions of leadership theory and leader behavior in those 25 cultures. Cultural Dimensions and Culture Clusters: GLOBE's major premise (and finding) is that leader effectiveness is contextual, that is, it is embedded in the societal and organizational norms, values, and beliefs of the people being led. In other words, to be seen as effective, the time-tested adage continues to apply: "When in Rome do as the Romans do." As a first step to gauge leader effectiveness across cultures, GLOBE empirically established nine cultural dimensions that make it possible to capture the similarities and/or differences in norms, values, beliefs –and practices—among societies. They build on findings by Hofstede (1980), Schwartz (1994), Smith (1995), Inglehart (1997), and others. They are:

Power Distance:
Uncertainty Avoidance:

Humane Orientation:

Collectivism I: (Institutional)

Collectivism II: (In-Group)
Assertiveness:

Gender Egalitarianism:

The degree to which members of a collective expect power
to be distributed equally.
The extent to which a society, organization, or group relies on social norms, rules, and procedures to alleviate
unpredictability of future events.
The degree to which a collective encourages and rewards
individuals for being fair, altruistic, generous, caring, and kind to others.
The degree to which organizational and societal
institutional practices encourage and reward collective
distribution of resources and collective action.
The degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty, and
cohesiveness in their organizations or families.
The degree to which individuals are assertive,
confrontational, and aggressive in their relationships with
others.
The degree to which a collective minimizes gender
inequality.

Future Orientation:

The extent to which individuals engage in future-oriented
behaviors such as delaying gratification, planning, and
investing in the future.
The degree to which a collective encourages and rewards
group members for performance improvement and
excellence.

Performance Orientation:

This first step allowed GLOBE (see Figure 1) to place 60 of the 62 countries into country clusters, similar to those by Ronen and Shenkar (1985), Inglehart (1997), and Schwartz (1999). Cultural similarity is greatest among societies that constitute a cluster; cultural difference increases the farther clusters are apart. For example, the Nordic cluster is most dissimilar from the Eastern European.

Country Clusters According to GLOBE

Spain
Portugal
France

Lat in European

Th A
e
u
Sw Ne str

er it the ia
mz
r
Ge an S erla lan
rm pea nd ds
an kin
y g)
(French Speaking)

ian

le Ea

stern

ce
Gree ry
ga
Hun nia
Alba nia
e
Slov nd
Pola ia
Russ ia
rg
Geo stan
akh
Kaz

ern E
East

an

ple
)

Turk
e
Kuw y
a
Egyp it
Mor t
occ
Qata o
r

Af
ric

an
Am
eri
c

E
El cuad
S
o
Co alva r
lum dor
Bo
liv bia
Gu Braz ia
i
Ar atem l
Co gent ala
Ve sta R ina
n
ic
Me ezue a
xic la
o

La
t in

Philippines
Indonesia...
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