Ethical Leadership as a Cross-Cultural Leadership Style Laurie A. Yates, DMgt (ABD), MBA Eastern Oregon University March 30, 2011 What is Leadership? No universal definition Many different definitions Leadership is complex and thus hard to define A Working Definition “Leadership is the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change” (Lussier & Achua, 2010, p. 6). Globalization: The Collapse Of Time & Distance Globalization refers to a phenomenon in which people and organizations become more interconnected and freer to traverse previously established borders and national barriers (Thomas, 2002). The global economy refers to the increasing tendency of the economies of the world to interact with one another as one market instead of many national markets (Hill, 2002). National Cultural Differences A nation’s values and norms determine attitudes and behaviors acceptable or appropriate People are socialized into national values as they grow up Significant differences between national cultures exist and make a difference in how leaders and employees behave in organizations The Importance Of Understanding Cultural Differences Geert Hofstede (1993) identified five dimensions along which national cultures vary 1. individualism/collectivism describes how loosely or tightly people are socially bonded 2. power distance refers to how much people accept inequality in power 3. uncertainty avoidance describes how strongly people desire uncertainty 4. masculinity/femininity refers to how much people embrace stereotypical male or female traits 5. short/long term orientation Framework of Value Dimensions for Understanding Cultural Differences High High Long-term Individualism Uncertainty Power Masculinity Avoidance Distance Orientation Low Low Short-term Femininity Collectivism Uncertainty Power Avoidance Distance Orientation Source: Based on G. Hofstede, “Cultural Constraints in Management Theories,” Academy of Management Executive (1993), pp. 81–94. The GLOBE Project Global leadership and organizational behavior effectiveness Culture: “shared motives, values, beliefs, identities, and interpretations or meanings of significant events that result from common experiences of members of collectives and are transmitted across age generations” (House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla, Dorfman, Javidan,Dickson, et. al,1999, p. 19) Universally desirable and culturally contingent leadership attributes Ethics and Ethical Leadership A search for ethical leadership in today’s climate. Ethics is a wide-ranging topic and a term that invokes different meanings for different people. Ethics can broadly be defined as a “set of principles used to decide what is right or wrong” (Thomas, 2002, p. 107) Ethical Leadership Leader Characteristics and Traits Leader’s Motivation Leader’s Influence Strategies Ethical Leadership Ethical leadership is “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decisionmaking” (Brown, Trevino, & Harrison, 2005, p. 120). Ethical Leadership Character or traits of individual leader Integrity and honesty Fairness Competence Humility Leader influence High need for power, moderate need for achievement, low need for affiliation Use of power for the benefit of others, not self advancement Altruistic Leader’s influence strategies Encourage ethical behavior among followers (role model, communication, accountability, part of org. culture, reinforcement of ethical conduct). Use transactional leadership style as well as transformational (to further enforce ethical outcomes) Link between EL and organizational outcomes Ethical Leadership as a Cross-Cultural Leadership Style Research Question #1: Is ethical leadership a viable cross-cultural leadership style? Research Question #2: Do the transformational and transactional dimensions of ethical leadership parallel universally desirable and culturally contingent leadership attributes respectively? Method Study Participants Six participants, three female, three male, with citizenship in U.S., Canada, and India MBA graduates with minimum of five years international management experience. Industries: supply chain management, information technology, energy solutions, and manufacturing.. Companies: French, German, American Country experiences: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. Findings Significance of individual leadership style Familiar problems, more complex environment “Even Palo Alto is a different culture.” EL: Traits, motivation, influence strategies Research questions Conclusions Instead of applying theory to practice, use practical experience to help fine-tune leadership theory A call for additional research on ethical leadership in a global setting Is there a place for ethical leadership in cross-cultural business and management? Thank You Questions? Research Questions A few questions about your educational background and work experience. What was the most difficult cultural issue that you faced as a leader/manager? How did you resolve it? Would you change anything if you found yourself in the same situation again? What leadership traits were considered highly desirable in _______ (country/countries)? Do you consider them to be different than one would find in the U.S.? Did you alter your leadership style to adapt to other country cultures? If so, how? Are there leadership traits that you consider to be universal, effective across cultures? Were employees/clients in ______ (country/countries) motivated by the same incentives that might be found in the U.S.? In dealing with other cultures, what had the strongest influence on your leadership style: organizational culture, your personal leadership style, or country culture? In ________ (country) culture, would leaders be held in higher esteem if they were driven by personal achievement or a need to care for others and contribute to “the common good”? What advice would you give someone newly assigned to a leader/manager position in ____ (country) to help him/her succeed? 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