two females buying a new home

Practicing leadership

This step is an exercise in CQ knowledge: leadership which suggests there are often leadership styles in different cultures. For example, Germans may find it challenging to follow a leader who talks mostly about the big picture and avoids detailed analysis.

In 2004, “Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies” and in 2007 “Culture and Leadership Across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies” researched various leadership styles. This research produced a list of different leadership styles.

A partial list of culturally contingent leader characteristics includes ambitious, cautious, class-conscious, compassionate, evasive, formal, indirect, individualistic, intuitive, micro-manager, orderly, and risk taker. Culturally contingent means that a specific characteristic may work well in one culture but may not work at all in another culture. It means it all depends on the specific culture value and the culture of the individuals involved.

Your assignment is to reflect on a culturally contingent characteristic of leadership you have experienced. This can be one that worked successfully or one that did not work successfully. This may include one of the culturally contingent leader characteristics listed above or another characteristic you recognize from the ten cultural value dimensions.

For example, the culturally contingent characteristic of leadership that I picked from the list above is micro-manager. The context is one of a university in an Anglo country which prefers individualism and low power distance. The academic department cultural context is independence and autonomy. However, the leader practiced micro-management.

In the next assigned discussion step, we will ask you to share an example or story of how you experienced or witnessed this culturally contingent characteristic of leadership working successfully or nor successfully in a diverse setting.

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This article is from the free online course:

Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

Purdue University

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