Project GLOBE II: Overall FindingsA month ago I marked Bastille Day by noting what Project GLOBE a massive research investigation of how cultural factors influence the nature of effective leadership in different countries1 found concerning the cultural dimensions of leadership in France.
To do justice to this important research, I'd like to summarize its overall findings today, and then home in on its results concerning the cultural profile of the US tomorrow.
Project GLOBE's key overall findings:
- In all 62 societies studied, the leadership attributes viewed as facilitating effective leadership are: trustworthy, just, honest, foresight, plans ahead, encouraging, posiive, dynamic, motive arouser, confidence builder, motivational, dependable, intelligent, decisive, effective bargainer, win-win problem solver, administratively skilled, communicative, informed, coordinator, team builder, excellence-oriented.
- In all 62 societies studied, the leadership attributes viewed as impeding effective leadership are: loner, asocial, noncooperative, irritable, nonexplicit, egocentric, ruthless, dictatorial.
- The leadership attributes that are culturally contingent (i.e., they are viewed as facilitating effective leadership in some societies, but as impeding effecive leadership in others) are: able to anticipate, ambitious, autonomous, cautious, class conscious, compassionate, cunning, domineering, elitist, enthusiastic, evasive, formal, habitual, independent, indirect, individualistic, intra-group competitor, intra-group conflict avoider, intuitive, logical, micro-manager, orderly, procedural, provocateur, risk-taker, ruler, self-effacing, self-sacrificial, sensitive, sincere, status-conscious, subdued, unique, willful, worldly. (The attributes in bold are those for which there were the largest measured differences across the 62 societies.)
- In all 62 societies, the charismatic/value-based, team-oriented, and participative leadership styles are seen as contributing to effective leadership.
The US is the only culture in which participative leadership was measured as having a positive influence on employee performance. The US also registered the highest actual level of participation.2
- "A major finding was that the Performance Orientation cultural dimension3 is the most important predictor of the Charismatic/Value-Based leadership dimension. Societies and organizations that value excellence, superior performance, performance improvement, and innovation will likely seek leaders who exemplify Charismatic/Value-Based qualities, and such leaders are likely to be effective."4
Societies placing high value on performance orientation also viewed participative and autonomous leadership5 positively.
1 Project GLOBE defines leadership as "the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of organizations of which they are members."
2,5 Definitions of the leadership dimensions are here.
3 Performance orientation is the extent to which an organization or society encourages and rewards group members for performance improvement and excellence. The quote is taken from Cornelius N. Grove's invaluable summary of the Project GLOBE results, which is divided into three articles you can access here, here, and here.
4 House, Robert J. et al., Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies (Sage, 2005), p. 711.