It may be a small world, but are we worlds apart?” Wibbeke (2009 “
Diversity of nations or the different ways in which people perceive or perform leadership in their business, work or daily life have been always the focus of academics, researchers and professionals on the filed of leadership. Debate developed against universal leadership and to how global leadership competences can be developed. Some believe that leadership is a culturally contingent phenomenon in which people are strongly associated with their social and cultural identity and therefore leadership reflect that society and culture. Whereas other scholars argue that there are certain attitudes and behaviours of leadership can be universally accepted
For example Hartog et al (1999) have examined a number of 62 cultures as part of the GLOBE Project (GLOBE) and states that “Although cross-cultural research emphasises that different cultural groups likely have different conceptions of what leadership should entail, a controversial position is argued here: namely that attributes associated with charismatic/transformational leadership will be universally endorsed as contributing to outstanding leadership” and the result of their study indicates that “specific aspects of charismatic/transformational leadership are strongly and universally endorsed across cultures” (Hartog et al, 1999).
What need to be understand is that leadership todays required more than adaptation of certain behaviors, and complexity, differences and change facing organizations makes it even harder. What can be a good attitude or effective on one organisation or situations might not be at any other organisations. This clarify that leadership need to developed within the organization it self and reflecting the organizational culture as well as the social culture in which it take place. Although, this issue has been discussed for many years it still one of the most controversial topics and represent real challenge especially to international organizations and global leaders
Challenges of todays required more understanding of what and how leadership can be effectively practiced. One critical issue is the understanding of the context with all its surrounding conditions. Secondly is the quality of leadership can represent that specific context, and thirdly the required competence of leadership to interface with the other national and international organisations
NOTE: Below video that visualizes the results of the Global Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness Research Project (GLOBE study) which studied the properties of different cultures around the world. The project measured the values and beliefs of more than 17.000 people in 62 countries. The GLOBE study describes differences between the studied countries and cultures with the help of 9 so called cultural dimensions
- Effective Leadership Style: Both Universal and Contingent? Arvonen (2002) Creativity and Innovation Management. Available on line at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8691.00143/abstract#.VADW5Vm-d_g.twitter
- Culture specific and cross-culturally generalizable implicit leadership theories: Are attributes of charismatic/transformational leadership universally endorsed? Hartog et al (1999). Available online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984399000181