How Leadership Gets Affected by the Presence of Different Cultures Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1825 Words
Date:  2022-07-18

There are many situations in which people have to interact across cultures in most of their daily activities. These could be at their places of work, in institutions and social or political settings. It is working on the basis that the interaction between one culture and the others are becoming a necessity for our survival. No one community is self-sufficient and hence the need to move across the region or borders in accessing them. At the same time when it comes to leadership, it will be difficult to find a place where one is leading members from only one given cultural grouping. This paper is a research proposal to study leadership cross-culturally, and the research question will hence be whether leadership gets affected by the presence of different cultures.

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There are different cultures around the world each of which has its beliefs and a set of many other aspects that do interfere with their smooth interaction. Their differences lead to various issues that cause conflict which is counterproductive in their performance (Lingenfelte, 2008). There are present situations that can lead to misunderstandings due to their differences, cultural ignorance and insensitivity, lack of awareness of their lifestyle practices. They are likely to have differences in their cultural practices, the perception of illness and others like miscommunication and misinterpretation. Ao and Penley (2006) assert that most of these differences are quite distinct and will form the basis of the variance that prevents them from agreeing on an issue or working together in harmony and unison. In addition to having different languages, Minkov (2013) acknowledges that they will also have different words and phrases where there is a universal language between them. A simple word like 'yes' could stand for 'maybe' or even not imply anything other than acknowledgement of getting the instructions (Erbe, Normore & IGI Global, 2015). Therefore with such diversity, it will not be easy for the teamwork required for effective service delivery. Gundemir et al. (2014) agree that the nonverbal communication will also be different for the different cultures where facial expressions, gestures and sitting arrangement will be interpreted differently. It goes further to even impact on the personal distance between members of the same or different sexes and the sense of time.

The cultural differences go-ahead to portray in the individual attitudes, approached competing tasks and decisions making styles. According to Den (2016), there are those that are ready for conflict at the slightest chance, and some chose to avoid it at whatever cost. There are those who insist on developing a relationship first before they can engage together in a single given task (Kippenberger, 2002). In this line, there are those who will start the work and have the relationships develop along the way. The decision making styles will also vary with some delegating it to other members and others preferring to have each one of the individuals representing themselves (Plueddemann, 2009). There are still others who insist in consulting clan members before getting to a solution. Iqbal (2011) observes that all these imply that for one to lead these diverse groups, then he will need to have foreknowledge of their cultures. It is against this background that there will be a problem with the leadership style and the experience for the one who will deal with them effectively for productive work and service delivery.

Literature Review

Several theories assist in explaining the cultural dimensions and how they relate to their behavior. Derr, Roussillon and Bournois agree that Hofstede's cultural dimension theory deals with the communication between people from different cultures. It was to give employees values whenever they are interacting in a working environment that is encompassed with employees from diverse cultures (Rhein, 2013). This theory looked at them from six different dimensions which are individual collectivism, power distance index and uncertainty avoidance. Also, there is masculinity versus femininity, long-term versus short-term orientation and lastly indulgence versus restraint (Wildman, Griffith & Armon, 2016). With power distance, the less powerful members of the society agree that power is distributed equally which is not the case as one goes higher the ladder. According to Exantus (2012), there are cultured where the degree of collectivism is higher compared to individualism. The ones with collectivism are tightly knit and will rely on each other in most of the activities (Smith, 2014). There are societies whose cultures are concerned about the events of the future and will work hard towards avoiding the uncertainty that is associated with the same (Adeniyi, 2007). They will hence have laws in place and a strict code to follow for the sake of averting any disaster related to the future. Dolan and Kawamura (2015) argue that in the past and currently there are societies that have a higher regard for men as compared to women and therefore the word of the former will be taken and more seriously than the later. Depending on the cultural values Saidi (2013) agrees that there are those who will make a much shorter time to embrace change and have it part and parcel of their activities. There are societies in which the individual members are free to express happiness and joys related to what takes place in the community, but there are some that have some strict code that they control the degree to which people celebrate and indulge in fun and emotional events.

There are various leadership styles some of which may be accommodative to the cultural differences. Whereas some allow a higher degree of freedom for people to express themselves this aspect may be abused to the extent of interfering with others with diverse opinions (Marques, 2007). It may give rise to it being debatable whether the ones that are stringent will be better as they prevent the free expression of diverse individual opinions (Chin, Trimble, & Garcia, 2017). They will hence force people with various views to work together having suppressed the forum for them to express that which they think is not in one with their cultures. There is paternalistic leadership which places the father at the top of the matters related to families (Flynn et al., 2018). Unfortunately the same appears to get its way to organizations some of which do not allow women to be in positions that are senior to men (Blickle et al., 2014). House and Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program (2014) observe that Transformational leadership takes then views of subordinates and rallies them around what is perceived as common goals that affect everyone in the firm. Mehrotra (2005) observes that since they know that leadership is about them by themselves, then they participate enthusiastically in a better working environment. They believe that when things improve it will be for the benefit of everyone in the organization (Hye, Sangmin & Hyung, 2018). All that is critical is a means of bringing the subordinates together, and hence they know that any one of them can be their leader as they believe that they enjoy an equal status (Rueden et al., 2014). It is one of the best leadership styles in accommodating different cultural views. Transactional leadership focuses on supervision, the management and work output at the individual level (Thomas, Peterson & Thomas, 2014). It means that it is subject to a system of rewards where the ones working hard will be motivated through promotions and increments and the ones with dismal performance may be demoted or even get sacked for the same (Dimmock & Walker, 2005). It is summarized as a system of giving and taking and therefore when it comes to different cultural views the employees will be encouraged in bringing in what is acceptable and restraining from involving themselves with what has negative consequences.

Proposed Method

The research focused on participants in several companies that had people from different cultures where their views were taken into account. Moodian (2009) notes that they were to fill in questionnaires that were asking questions related to the effect that the different cultures had on the leadership. The participants in question were from different organizations that were perceived to have people from different cultural backgrounds (Peng, 2017). There was focused on the subordinate and the leaders of the respective firms. It was on the understanding that they were going to give different experiences depending on their positions (Popper, 2016). There were those who had experiences on these effects first hand and some who have heard stories from their friends and workmates.

Some of the questions that they were asked ranged from their cultural backgrounds and what constituted the differences between them and the other people. King (2010) notes that they were also asked their views on want they thought was the best leadership styles and what their opinions were in resolving conflicts involving various cultures (Elmer, 2006). They gave their views on the different leadership styles proposed and their effects when it came to dealing with cross-cultural issues. According to Oliveira (2016), this was to be looked at conclusively to gauge the impact of the different diverse cultures on the effect of leadership. The same questions were extended to other spheres in life to assess on the impact at home and to lead the nation at the political level, but the primary focus was the workplaces and institutions of learning which had the most significant presence of such groups.


The focus of the research proposal was on the study of leadership whenever multiple cultures were involved. It was mainly the case in places that called on gathering individual in teams to achieve some objectives which were mostly factories and business organizations. When it came to the culture, there was a discussion on Hofstede's dimensions that assisted in understanding the divergent views presented. This was not only prevalent at the family level but also beyond the homes in schools and other private and public entities. There was a proposal for a research method that was used in gathering data from a sizeable number of participants to validate the research question.


Adeniyi, M. A. (2007). Effective leadership management: An integration of styles, skills & character for today's CEOs. Bloomington, IN AuthorHouse.Ao, L. M., & Penley, D. R. (2006). Cross-cultural leadership: Ministering to a multicultural community. Longwood, FL: Xulon Press.

Blickle, G., Meurs, J. A., Wihler, A., Ewen, C., & Peiseler, A. K. (2014). Leader Inquisitiveness, Political Skill, and Follower Attributions of Leader Charisma and Effectiveness: Test of a moderated mediation model. International Journal Of Selection & Assessment, 22(3), 272-285. doi:10.1111/ijsa.12076

Chin, J. L., Trimble, J. E., & Garcia, J. E. (2017). Global and culturally diverse leaders and leadership: New dimensions and challenges for business, education and society.

Den, D. W. (2016). Global Mindset and Cross-Cultural Behavior: Improving Leadership Effectiveness. (Springer eBooks 2016 [recurso electronico].)Derr, C. B., Roussillon, S., & Bournois, F. (2002). Cross-cultural approaches to leadership development. Westport, Conn: Quorum Books.

Dimmock, C., & Walker, A. D. (2005). Educational Leadership: Culture and Diversity. London: SAGE Publications.

Dolan, S. L., & Kawamura, K. M. (2015). Cross-Cultural Competence: A Field Guide for Developing Global Leaders and Managers. Bradford, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Elmer, D. (2006). Cross-cultural servanthood: Serving the world in Christlike humility. Downers Grove, Ill:...

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