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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: January 2010

4 - Leadership in a global organization: a cross-cultural perspective

from Part I - Leading the global organization

Summary

How do the qualities of leaders vary across national cultures? In this chapter, the authors draw upon the GLOBE research program, a large-scale study of culture and leadership in sixty-two cultures, to offer insights on differences in leadership across three nations: Singapore, Denmark, and Argentina (with the United Kingdom as a reference point). Using a framework of value-based leadership, they show that, on average, employees in these cultures have different characteristics along the following dimensions: in-group collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, humane orientation, gender egalitarianism, institutional collectivism, assertiveness, future orientation, and performance orientation. The authors then explore the implications of these differences for leadership approaches in each country. For example, a leader might emphasize quick wins in Argentina because of its culture of short-term orientation, but might emphasize a longer-term view in Denmark. Finally, they examine a set of core capabilities needed by global leaders, and strategies for cultivating these capabilities.

Jack Brown (disguised name), the newly appointed chief executive of a large business unit in a global corporation beamed with excitement as he looked out of the window of his office, overlooking Singapore's bustling shopping belt, Orchard Road. Later that afternoon, he would be giving his managers and staff in Singapore the good news that the board had decided to relocate the business unit's headquarters from the United Kingdom to Singapore, reflecting the critical importance of Asia Pacific to the company's global strategic objectives.

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