Seminar Paper, 2017
17 Pages, Grade: 2,0
2. Intention of the Globe Study
3. Structure and findings
3.2. Cultural Dimensions
3.3. Clustering of Societal Cultures
3.4. Results of the Globe Study
4. Criticism of the GLOBE study
7.1. Printed Bibliography
7.2. Internet Bibliography
1 Part of the cultural questionnaire
2 Colored World Map of Culture Groups
3 Cultural Clusters
4 Cultural Practices and Values of the Germanic European Cluster
5 Leadership Scores for Outstanding Leadership in the Germanic Europe Group
Globalization nowadays is far advanced in its development. Especially in the business sector we are used to consume goods from all over the world. We can buy these just around the corner and for low prices, since transport costs and production times are shrinking in times of Modernization. This is one of the reasons why collaboration and interconnection with different people from a variety of countries has got increasingly important over the last years. In comparison to earlier times, we can travel around the world in no time. Languages and cultures are often the only barriers left. This is evident when thinking about different companies working together as well as multinational corporations with subsidiaries all over the world. Accordingly, most superiors face problems when they lead employees from distinct societies and cultures. But perception of good leadership differs in various cultures.
The GLOBE study is a 10-year research program that examines the sphere of influence which varying cultures have on managerial staff and on organizationaleffectiveness (House et al. 2004: 3). The word GLOBE itself is an abbreviation for ‘Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness’ (House et al. 2004: 9). To be able to construct and comprehend the survey-based research project GLOBE, all participants and readers should have the same understanding of the term culture. According to House (House et al. 2004: 15) culture is defined as follows:
‘Shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that result from common experiences of members of collec- tives that are transmitted across generations.’
House had the idea for GLOBE first in 1991 (House et al. 2004: xxvi) and from thereon recruited so-called ‘country co-investigators (CCIs)’ (House et al. 2004: xxii) who, as specialists of a country, are responsible for its GLOBE data. These have been more than 160 researchers from 62 different countries studying superiors on account of the Globe 2004 study (Globe Foundation: About the Studies).
Since then, this research program has continued in three different but still correlated phases (Globe Foundation: 2004 Data): The first phase corresponds with the aforementioned one released in 2004, named ‘’Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The Globe Study of 62 Societies”. The results of the second phase were released in 2007 (“Culture and Leadership across the world: The GLOBE Book of In-Depth Studies of 25 Societies”) This research pursued the former one further with regard to more detailed portrayals of leadership qualities within the 25 cultures and recommendations for managerial behavior towards other cultures. The findings of the latest phase three appeared in 2014 (“Strategic Leadership across Cultures: The GLOBE Study of CEO Leadership Behaviors and Effectiveness in 24 Societies”). The latter study shows the significance of CEOs matching their behavior to the respective society’s leadership expectations (House et al. 2004: 3).
However, the Globe 2004 study is “ground breaking in scale and scope” (Globe Foundation: About the Studies). As reported by House (2004: 3) its findings are based on responses to surveys from 17,300 middle managers from 951 in the food processing, financial services and telecommunication sectors (Globe Foundation: About the Studies). That is why this paper focusses on the Globe 2004 study.
The purpose of this work is to give a short summary on the structure and on results of the GLOBE research program, as well as on a few critics’ opinions picked out of the large amount of criticism it received from others. But first the aim of such determined effort for research is explained.
The pivotal idea was to examine the influence of national culture on “societal, organizational, and leader effectiveness” (Hoppe 2007: 1). That way the GLOBE team established how culture and leadership are influenced by national culture (Globe Foundation: About the Studies).
The main objective of Project GLOBE is to raise human awareness and fill a considerable knowledge gap that concernscross-cultural encounters (House et al. 2004: 3, 25-26). Thus, the objective of GLOBE’s findings is to support and benefit interactions between individuals from different cultures (House 2004: 1). These individuals for example are “negotiators, managers, members of joint ventures, or expatriates working in foreign cultures” (House et al. 2004: 7). Hence, the study’s results can be beneficial for choosing, advising, and training those individuals. Also, Managers who have to deal with persons from other cultures on a professional level can beforehand have a look at the Globe findings with respect to the most and least effective leader attributes and demeanors (House et al. 2004: 25). Above all, knowing what is regarded effective or ineffective in the other culture is likely to make problem solving easier. It helps with adapting mutual expectations and can thereby improve decision making processes, management practices and performance (House et al. 2004: 6). Moreover, GLOBE findings can be used for comparisons of cultural values, organizational, or leadership practices of a country with its trading partner or even with its significant competitors. These comparisons can help to develop strategies for enhanced commerce or more productive relationships across borders (House et al. 2004: 26).
For the purpose of archiving these goals, quantitative data was collected in the first phase of the study through surveys, for example (Grove n.d.: 1). Therefore, the GLOBE team first developed 735 questionnaire items and then scrutinized the answers of the questioned middle managers (House et al. 2004: 11). These responses from the food industry, financial services and telecommunication sectors were collected in two pilot studies. The objective of the first was to identify suitable factor structures for the societal, organizational, and leadership questionnaires. They developed 9 cultural dimensions and 6 leadership dimensions. The aim of the repeated second study was to collect data and find out whether the results are steady and reliable (House et al. 2004: 20). These answers were afterwards analyzed and evaluated. The findings were visualized as nine crucial attributes of culture, also called cultural dimensions and as “six global leader behaviors of culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership (CLTs)” (House et al. 2004: 11).
The GLOBE team defined the word leadership as follows (House et al. 2004: xxii) :
…“the ability to motivate, influence, and enable individuals to contribute to the objectives of organizations of which they are members”. The GLOBE team’s assumption that people from distinct cultures and societies have varying expectations from their managerial staff was tested through surveys (Globe Foundation: 2004 Data).
Hoppe states: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do." That adage is meant as a guiding principle for outstanding and effective leaders (Hoppe 2007: 1).
In their survey, the GLOBE team included items that refer back to collected data ”relevant to leadership resulting from focus groups, interviews, and analysis of media“ as well as to well-known leadership literature (House et al. 2004: 21). The respective survey was expanded by 112 items to characteristics, particular abilities, manners and skills that are most likely important to leadership appearance and effectiveness (e.g. attributes like modest, decisive, autonomous …). The possible rating scale of these varied between 1 (“This behavior or characteristic greatly inhibits a person from being an outstanding leader”) to 7 (“This behavior or characteristic contributes greatly to a person being an outstanding leader”) (House et al. 2004: 21). The results of this part of the GLOBE 2004 study identified different leadership styles. According to House, those findings show qualities that can either contribute to outstanding leadership or prevent it (House et al. 2004: xvii). Finally, evaluation of this data yielded identification of 21 primary dimensions of leadership. As shown in the following table, these were also arranged in the order from the best scored average of all participating countries to “the least universally desirable” leadership scales (Hoppe und Eckert 2012: 3).
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
As reported by House, with a second-order factor analysis these leadership scales were diminished to six global leader behaviors called leadership dimensions. All cultures rated the first two styles as supportive part for outstanding leadership, whereas they were in disagreement on the role of the remaining four styles. According to Hoppe, some cultures saw these as contributive to outstanding leadership, whereas others rated them as impediment of leadership effectiveness (Hoppe & Eckert 2012: 4).
Hereafter, pursuant to House, the six leadership dimensions are ranked in the order of least to most cultural variation (House et al. 2004: 14). They are briefly described with each range of ratings received in the distinct countries in brackets:
1. The charismatic/value based style (4.5 – 6.5) indicating a motivated, passionate type of leader with high standards who firmly holds on to core values and therefore also expects a lot from others. This style also includes the attributes “visionary, inspirational, self-sacrificial, integrity, decisive, and performance-oriented” (Hoppe & Eckert 2012: 4).
2. The team-oriented style (4.7 – 6.2) stresses the importance of common goals and collaboration amongst team members. It encloses the attributes “collaborative team orientation, team integrator, diplomatic, (reverse scored) malevolent, and administratively competent” (Hoppe & Eckert 2012: 4).
3. The participative style (4.5 – 6.1) demonstrates how much leaders involve others in decision-making and implementation. It incorporates two subscales: autocratic (reverse scored) and non-participative (reverse scored).
4. The Humane-Oriented Leadership (3.8 – 5.6) points out attentive, thoughtful and supportive leadership as well as compassionate and generous leader qualities. This dimension includes modesty and humane orientation.
5. The S elf-protective (2.5 – 4.6) leadership focusses on the individual and group being safe and secure with the support of rank enhancement and through maintaining the reputation. Its subscales are named “self-centered, status-conscious, conflict inducer, face saver, and procedural” (Hoppe & Eckert 2012: 5).
6. The autonomous style (2.3 – 4.7) reflects independent, individualistic, autonomous and unique leadership attributes.
The remaining part of the GLOBE questionnaire referred back to the aforementioned cultural dimensions.
The respective item pool consisted of approximately 300 questions regarding Hofstede’s dimensions of culture and three additional ones. Since all of these make a distinction between one society to another depending on the significance they have for each, they are used to compare different cultures (Deresky 2014: 101). They are briefly described by House in the following (House 2004: 11–13):
- Uncertainty Avoidance is the level to which members of an organization feel threatened by unclear situations and thus try to alleviate unpredictability of future events (Deresky 2014: 104).
- Power Distance is the extent of societal acceptance of the unequal bedding and centering of power at higher levels of an organization. An autocratic leader is probable to not be favored in low power distance cultures (Deresky 2014: 104).
- Collectivism I (Institutional) shows how much organizations encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action.
- Collectivism II (In-Group) is the level of expression of pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness of individuals.
- Gender Egalitarianism is the extent to which a collective promotes and maximizes gender equality.
- Assertiveness refers to how much individuals are tough, confrontational and competitive in social relationships. Less assertive cultures sympathize with the weak and appreciate solidarity and loyalty (Deresky 2014: 101)
- Future Orientation portrays the societal importance attached to future-oriented behaviors like delaying gratification, planning, and investing in the future.
- Performance Orientation shows the level of encouraging and rewarding team members for performance improvement and excellence.
- Humane Orientation displays the degree to which individuals are encouraged and rewarded for being fair, altruistic, generous, caring, and kind.
As reported by House, for each of the nine independent variables there were two forms of questions. The first one was about actual practices and values in the respective society. The other form of questions asked for “what should be (values)” in the organization of the middle managers. (House 2004: 11)
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