Chapter 15

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Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
HROB 2010
Casey Cosgrove

Chapter 15: Culture and Leadership Description • Alder and Bartholomew (1992), contended that global leaders need to develop five cross- cultural competencies: ◦ 1. Leaders need to understand business, political and cultural environments worldwide ◦ 2. They need to learn the perspectives, tastes, trends and technologies of many other cultures ◦ 3. They need to be able to work simultaneously with people from many cultures ◦ 4. Leaders must be able to adapt to living and communicating in other cultures ◦ 5. They need to learn to relate to people from other cultures from a position of equality rather than culture superiority • Ting-Toomey (1999), said that 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 • Today's leaders need to acquire a challenging set of competencies if they intend to be effective in present-day global societies Culture Defined • Culture is defined as the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols and traditions that are common to a group of people • It is a shared qualities of a group that make them unique • Culture is dynamic and transmitted to others • Culture is the way of life, customs and script of a group of people • Multicultural implies an approach or a system that makes more than one culture into account ◦ It refers to the existence of multiple cultures such as African,American,Asian, etc ◦ It can also refer to a set of subcultures defined by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or age • Diversity refers to the existence of different cultures or ethnicity within a group or an organization Related Concepts Ethnocentrism • The tendency for individuals to place their own group (ethnic, racial or cultural) at the center of their observations of others and the world • People tend to give priority and value to their beliefs, attitudes, and values, over and above those of other groups • Ethnocentrism is the perception that one's own culture is better or more natural than the culture of others • It may include the failure to recognize the unique perspectives of others • Ethnocentrism is a universal tendency • It is like a perceptual window through which people from one culture make subjective or critical evaluation of people from another culture • Ethnocentrism accounts for our tendency to think our own culture values and ways of doing things are right and natural • Ethnocentrism can be a major obstacle to effective leadership because it prevents people from fully understanding or respecting the viewpoints of others • The more ethnocentric we are, the less open or tolerant we are of other people's cultural traditions or practices Prejudice • Is a largely fixed attitude, belief, or emotion held by an individual about another individual or group that is based on faulty or unsubstantiated data • Refers to judgments about others based on previous decisions or experiences • Prejudice involves inflexible generalizations that are resistant to change or evidence to the contrary • Prejudice often is thought of in the context of race (e.g. EuropeanAmerican vs.African American) but it also applies in areas such as gender, age, sexual orientation, or other independent contexts • Prejudice can be positive (e.g. thinking highly of another culture without sufficient evidence), it is usually negative • Sometimes our prejudice allow us to keep our partially fixed attitudes undisturbed and constant • Sometimes our prejudice can reduce our anxiety because it gives us familiar way to structure our observations of others • One of the main problems with prejudice is that it is self-oriented rather than other-oriented • Attitudes of prejudice inhibit understanding by creating a screen that filters and limits our ability to see multiple aspects and qualities of other people • Prejudice often shows itself in crude or demeaning comments that people make about others ◦ It helps use to achieve balance for ourselves at the expense of others • To fighting their own prejudice, leaders also face the challenge of dealing with the prejudice of followers • It is not uncommon for the leaders to face followers who represent several culturally different groups and these groups have their own prejudices toward each other Dimensions of Culture • Hall (1976) reported that a primary characteristic of cultures is the degree to which they are focused on the individual (individualistic cultures) or on the group (collectivistic cultures) • Trompenaars (1994) determined that organizational cultures could be classified effectively into two dimensions: ◦ Egalitarian vs Hierarchical ◦ Person vs Task orientation • The Egalitarian – hierarchical dimension refers to the degree to which cultures exhibit shared power as opposed to hierarchical power • Person-task orientation refers to the extent to which cultures emphasize human interaction and not tasks to accomplis h • Hofstede identified five major dimensions on which cultures differ: ◦ Power Distance ◦ UncertaintyAvoidance ◦ Individualism-Collectivism ◦ Masculinity-Femininity ◦ Long Term – Short Term orientation • The GLOBE research program, which was initiated by Robert House in 1991, is an ongoing program that has involved more than 160 investigators to date ◦ The purpose of the project is to increase our understanding of cross-cultural interactions and the impact of culture on leadership effectiveness ◦ GLOBE researchers identified nine cultural dimensions: ▪ Uncertainty avoidance ▪ Power Distance ▪ Institutional Collectivism ▪ In-group Collectivism ▪ Gender Egalitarianism ▪ Assertiveness ▪ Future Orientation ▪ Performance Orientation ▪ Humane Orientation Uncertainty Avoidance • Refers to the extent to which a society, an organization, or a group relies on established social norms, rituals and procedures to avoid uncertainty • Uncertainty avoidance is concerned with the way cultures use rules, structures, and laws to make things more predictable and less uncertain Power Distance • Refers to the degree to which members of a group expect and agree that power should be shared unequally • Power distance is concerned with the way cultures are stratified, thus creating levels between people based on power, authority, prestige, status, wealth and material possessions Institutional Collectivism • Describes the degree to which an organization or a society encourages institutional or societal collective action • Institutional collectivism is concerned with whether cultures identify with broader societal interests rather than with individual goals and accomplishments In-Group Collectivism • This dimensions refers to the degree to which people express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organizations or families • In-groups collectivism is concerned with the extent to which people are devoted to their organization or families Gender Egalitarianism • This dimension measures the degree to which an organization or a society minimizes gender role differences and promotes gender equality • Is concerned with how much societies deemphasize members biological sex in determining the roles that members play in their homes, organizations, and communities Assertiveness • Refers to the degree to which people in a culture are determined, assertive, confrontational and aggressive in their social relationships • Assertiveness is concerned with how much a culture or society encourages people to be forceful, aggressive and tough, as opposed to encouraging them to be timid, submissive, and tender in social relationships Future Orientation • Refers to the extent to which people engage in future-oriented behaviors such as planning, investing in the future, and delaying gratification • Future orientation emphasizes that people in a culture prepare for the future as opposed to enjoying the present and being spontaneous Performance Orientation • Describes the extent to which an organization or a society encourages and rewards group members for improved performance and excellence • Performance orientation is concerned with whether people in a culture are rewarded for setting and meeting challenging goals Humane Orientation • Refers to the degree to which a culture encourages and rewards people for being fair, altruistic, generous, caring and kind to others • Is concerned with how much a society or an organization emphasizes sensitivity to others, social support, and community values Clusters of World Cultures • To test whether the clusters or groups of countries were valid, researchers did a statistical analysis of questionnaire data collected from individuals in each of the clusters • Their results indicated that the scores of respondents within a cluster correlated with one another but were unrelated to the scores of respondents in different clusters Characteristics of Clusters • Look at Table 15.1 Anglo • Anglo cluster consists of Canada, United States,Australia, Ireland, England, SouthAfrica, and New Zealand • These populations were high in performance orientation and low in in-group collectivism • This means it is characteristic of these countries to be competitive and results oriented, but less attached to their families or similar groups than other countries Confucian Asia • This cluster includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and Japan • Exhibit to have high scores in performance orientation, institutional collectivism, and in-group collectivism • These countries are results driven, and they encourage the group working together over individual goals • People in these countries are devoted and loyal to their families Eastern Europe • This cluster includes Greece, Hungary,Albania, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan • These countries scored high on assertiveness, in-group collectivism, and gender egalitarianism • They scored low on performance orientation, future orientation, and uncertainty avoidance • People in this cluster tend to be forceful and supportive of their co-workers and to treat men and women equally • They are less likely to be achievement driven, to emphasize strategic planning, and to stress rules and laws as a way to maintain order Germanic Europe • This cluster includeAustria, Netherlands, Switzerland. Germany • They scored high in performance orientation, assertiveness, future orientation, and uncertainty avoidance • They were low humane orientation, institutional collectivism, and in-group collectivism • They value competition and aggressiveness and are more results oriented than people oriented • They enjoy planning and investing in the future and using rules and laws to give them control over their environment • More likely to be individualistic and less group oriented • Tend not to emphasize broad societal groups Latin America • This cluster is made up of Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Mexico • They score high on in-group collectivism • Low on performance orientation, future orientation, institutional collectivism and uncertainty avoidance • They tend to be loyal and devoted to their families and similar groups but less interested in overall institutional and societal groups Latin Europe • Israel, Italy, Francophone Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and France • Exhibit more moderate and fewer high scores on any of the cultural dimensions • They scored low on humane orientation and institutional collectivism • It is characteristic of these countries to value individual autonomy and to place less value on the greater societal collective • Individuals are encouraged to watch out for themselves and to pursue individual rather than societal goals Middle East • Cluster includes Qatar, Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, and Turkey • Scored high on in-group collectivism and low on future orientation, gender egalitarianism, and uncertainty avoidance • Tend to show great pride in their families and organizations • They are devoted and loyal to their own people • It is common for these countries to treat people of different genders in distinctly different ways • Women are often are afforded less status than men, and fewer women are in positions of authority than men Nordic Europe • This cluster includes Denmark, Finland, and Sweden • Score high on futur
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