There has been a substantial amount of research that has demonstrated what is expected of leaders, what leaders may and may not do, and the status and influence bestowed on leaders vary considerably as a result of the cultural forces in the countries or regions in which the leaders function.
For instance, Americans, Arabs, Asians, English, Eastern Europeans, French, Germans, Latin Americans, and Russians tend to glorify the concept of leadership and consider it reasonable to discuss leadership in the context of both the political and the organizational arenas. People of the Netherlands and Scandinavia often have distinctly different views of leadership.
Consider the following statements taken from interviews with managers from various countries:
? Americans appreciate two kinds of leaders. They seek empowerment from leaders who grant autonomy and delegate authority to subordinates. They also respect the bold, forceful, confident, and risk-taking leader, as personified by John Wayne.
? The Dutch place emphasis on egalitarianism and are skeptical about the value of leadership. Terms like leader and manager carry a stigma. If a father is employed as a manager, Dutch children will not admit it to their schoolmates.
? Arabs worship their leaders--as long as they are in power!
? Iranians seek power and strength in their leaders.
? Malaysians expect their leaders to behave in a manner that is humble, modest, and dignified.
? The French appreciate two kinds of leaders. De Gaulle and Mitterand are exs. De Gaulle is an ex of a strong charismatic leader. Mitterand is an ex of a consensus and coalition builder, and an effective negotiator.
1. Are there leader behaviors, attributes, and organizational practices that are universally accepted and effective across cultures?
2. Are there leader behaviors, attributes, and organizational practices that are accepted and effective in only some cultures?
3. How do attributes of societal and organizational cultures affect the kinds of leader behaviors and organizational practices that are accepted and effective?
4. What is the effect of violating cultural norms relevant to leadership and organizational practices?