Morgan K. Williams Weekly Reflection Paper – 11/30/15 Chapter 14: Cross-cultural Leadership and Diversity Introduction According to Yukl (2013), one major concern with diversity in leadership is whether or not leadership theories that are effective in one culture, can be generalized as effective to other cultures. Additionally, it is relevant to look at the diverse background of the leaders themselves. Does gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, or physical appearance affect ones ability to be an effective leader? Perhaps a question worth asking to take the above stated question a step further is, where on the globe, would the definition of an effective leader, change? Based on leadership around the world, I think it is safe to say that what we, as Americans define as an effective leader, may be very different than what is considered effective in China, Cuba, or other countries around the world. Introduction to Cross-Cultural Leadership The research on cross-cultural leadership is important because leaders “are increasingly
confronted with the need to influence people from other cultures, and successful influence requires a good understanding of these cultures” (Yukl, 2013, p. 361). I whole-heartedly agree
with this statement. There is so much that people from other cultures bring to the table, that we cannot possibly understand without a deliberate effort to learn and understand. Many miscommunications can occur within an organization, simply based on ignorance or a lack of communication. As Yukl (2013) points out, cultural values and traditions can also unconsciously influence leadership behavior and attitudes. What one culture considers a social norm may not be the social norm in the culture that they are leading. If not handled professionally and in a culturally sensitive fashion, this could cause more harm than good in a leadership situation.
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Cultural Value Dimensions and Leadership One interesting topic of discussion in this section was looking at cultures with high avoidance of uncertainty. In these cultures, it is important to note that there is more fear of the unknown; therefore the people within the culture require more security, stability, and order. Leaders in such places need to be selected carefully and demonstrate reliability, and be orderly and cautious. Risk-takers are not valued in these situations. Also of interest in this section of the reading, was the topic of gender egalitarianism. This refers to the idea of men and women getting equal treatment and being considered equally important and desirable. Some countries have high gender egalitarianism, so there is little differentiation between men and women and their roles in the workplace and leadership. Other cultures with low gender egalitarianism, would have more clearly defined roles that
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