Cross-Cultural Leadership Style

Topics: Leadership, Sociology, Culture, Individualism / Pages: 5 (1080 words) / Published: Nov 8th, 2013
Society and culture are viewed in many different ways. It is believed that these factors influence beliefs, emotions, behavior and success. It is imperative for companies to be aware of cultural differences in order to be successful. Managers should explore how culture affects leadership styles and practices.
There are many cultural value concepts that influence leadership style. In Hofsted’s ground breaking cultural study he defined four different dimensions of culture, one of them being Power Distance. “Power distance refers to the extent that power differences are accepted and sanctioned in society (Thomas 50).” High power distance cultures are highly status conscious and respectful of age and seniority. In a high power distance culture organizations will be more hierarchical and centralized. Authoritative leadership approaches are more likely to be accepted in high power distance cultures (Thomas 161). In contrast to high power distance a low power distance organizational setting is one where employees accept that their boss has more power only when he or she knows the best way to do something and knows the correct answer (Hoecklin 28). A British study concluded that Germans are more comfortable in a high power distance culture and Dutch members in a low power distance environment. (Hoecklin 28). There are few societies that are high on power distance and femininity.
Feminine cultures value cooperation, nurturing, relationships and solidarity with modesty and quality of life. In contrast, masculine societies have a more rigid division of sex roles. Scandinavian countries tend to be one of the most feminine countries. (Hendon 19). In feminine societies women are viewed as more of an equal. Yugoslavia and Guatemala are one of the few countries that according to Hofsted’s study are both high in power distance and high in femininity (Thomas 52). The leadership style that would be effective in a high masculinity and feminine society would be a participative or

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