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2.13 Chapter Summary

  • Culture is comprised of both tangible and intangible things you see, hear, feel, and perceive. It consists of the shared beliefs, values, and assumptions of a group of people who learn from one another and teach to others that their behaviors, attitudes, and perspectives are the correct ways to think, act, and feel.
  • Culture is a process of learning and sharing, and it is dynamic and symbolic.
  • Cultural issues are systemic and understanding this helps leaders to appreciate culture in its fullest sense.
  • Awareness helps to eliminate the stereotypes that are derived from cultural misunderstandings, which limit the positive ways in which culture is viewed. However, generalizations about cultures can help serve as a framework for interacting with unfamiliar cultural systems.
  • Culture is multidimensional, consisting of multiple layers. There are five main levels—national, regional, organizational, team, and individual—that are most useful in cultural contexts.
  • Each cultural layer, when peeled apart, reveals the “roots” of culture, which consist of the values, assumptions, and symbols of the culture. These three ground cultural systems, often making it hard for cultural shifts to occur.
  • Familiarity with Hofstede’s model of value dimensions (identity, power, gender, uncertainty, and time) in the workplace helps leaders to realize the impact of values and beliefs in cultural settings.
  • The GLOBE study of 62 societies is the most comprehensive research, to date, that analyzes how leadership is perceived by cultures.
  • Nine cultural value dimensions, including the five proposed by Hofstede in the 1980s, illustrate the importance of understanding value dimensions in the context of leading.
  • There are six global leadership categories that emerged from the GLOBE data: charismatic, team-oriented, participative, humane-oriented, autonomous, and self-protective.
  • The GLOBE data points to universally positive and undesirable attributes of leaders. All cultures agree that the following are negative attributes: a leader who is a loner, irritable, ruthless, asocial, nonexplicit, dictatorial, noncooperative, and egocentric.
  • Leaders have a role in creating business cultures that make employees feel valued and included regardless of their cultural backgrounds.