Leadership and Culture

Leadership is culturally bound’ (Robbins, 2006). Evaluate this statement and the extent to which you agree or disagree in relation to relevant leadership theory and research.

The study of leadership is deeply attached to culture.   Both the leader's actions and followers' responses inevitably reflect the forms of behavior which are regarded as legitimate and appropriate within their society. Owing to the crucial role played by culture, cross-cultural leadership studies have caught the attention of many researchers in the last 40 years (Shahin & Wright, 2004)   Nevertheless, most leadership theories are North American in origin. These theories might not be appropriate to be applied on a worldwide basis, especially in cultures, which differ significantly from the American culture. Studies of leadership styles have revealed that there are not only differences in the styles preferred by followers in different cultures, but the specific behaviors which reflect these styles may vary from culture to culture (Smith and Peterson, 1988).
Many prominent cross-cultural management and leadership researches such as Hofstede, (1980, 1984, 2001), House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfinan & Gupta (2004) and Javidan & House (2001) have indicated that culture has an impact on leadership concepts, behaviors and styles. Laurent (1986) even quantified the phenomenon and said that culture has three times more influence on key managerial assumptions and values than any other distinguishing characteristic, such as gender, level of education, or occupation.
The literature offers many different definitions of culture from the perspective of several scientific disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, and communication (Doney et al., 1998) One of the most widely used definitions of culture is the one suggested by Hofstede (1980, 1991,and 2001) as a "collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one group from those of...