Differences in Managerial Leadership Across Cultures
Cultural Contingencies and Productivity
The international context of organizational behavior is becoming increasingly
significant as organizations expand beyond their national boundaries.
Managers of multinational firms have to manage a variety of social, political
and economic environments as well as unique individual differences. The
differences at the level of the individual include
individualism/collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and
masculinity/femininity, which are different in different countries.
Managers need to be sensitive to cultural differences across different
countries to achieve their goals in the global economy. The various aspects
that differentiate cultures are people's perceptions, their relationship with
their environment, the time dimension, and the importance attached to public
and private space. Differences between countries in these cultural aspects
affect the way business can be conducted across the globe.
Employees who travel to a foreign country for work find it difficult to adapt
to the new culture because of factors like parochialism, ethnocentrism and
culture shock. Although culture shock acts as a potential barrier to
globalization, it can be overcome through careful selection, training and
assistance for employees on foreign assignments.
Managerial leadership is the process of influencing others to direct their
efforts towards the achievement of specific goals. There are many factors
that influence the way in which managers lead their employees. Some of these
factors include personal values, interpersonal skills, background and the
decision-making skills of the manager.
In some countries, the emphasis on production rather than productivity
becomes a barrier to the improvement of the performance of the organization.
It is not possible to transfer business practices directly from one country
to the other. It is also not possible to use either the home country
practices or the traditional practices of the host country. In such a
situation, the best approach for expatriate managers would be to operate
within the scope of home office policies, after adapting them to fit the
culture of the host nation. Theory Z is an example of an organizational
approach that integrates American and Japanese management styles.
The traditional and conservative approach to leadership cannot be used for
organizations with a global presence. Globally competent managers have a good
understanding of the worldwide business environment from a global perspective
and try to learn about various cultures in order to carry out business
operations in different countries successfully.