Brought to you by GROVEWELL LLC: Genuinely global in mindset and values as well as in its worldwide reach.
The GLOBE Project: A 1000-Word Précis
The Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania was the home of the GLOBE Research Project, which investigated variations in business leadership worldwide. GLOBE comprised 170 researchers in 62 societies over 11 years. The research team’s stated objective was...
The team is attained this
objective. GLOBE’s findings present to us all a breakthrough in our
ability to think about business leadership in a way that is accurate, action-oriented,
and - most importantly - genuinely global.
The first report from the GLOBE team is an 818-page book published by Sage (R.J. House et al., 2004). A second report is in press. The other three articles at Grovewell.com/GLOBE (total 8,500 words) provide all those responsible for leadership development with an overview and interpretation of the findings so far.
The first question addressed
by the team was which measurement standards (“independent variables”) to
use to be precise about the similarities and differences among various
societal and organizational cultures. Their efforts yielded nine “cultural
dimensions” that serve as their standard of measurement.
The ultimate question addressed
by the GLOBE team concerned the extent to which the values and practices
associated with leadership are either universal (worldwide) or specific
to just a few societies. In the process of finding answers, the team
explored many leadership “attributes,” human qualities that have a positive
or negative impact on effective business leadership. The team discovered
A key finding of the GLOBE
Project is a set of “culturally endorsed leadership theory dimensions.”
These dimensions (continua) are the summary indicators of the characteristics,
skills, and abilities that are perceived around the world as contributing
to, or as inhibiting, outstanding business leadership (scroll
down for details):
In one of their most significant
statements about global business leadership, the GLOBE team wrote:
Specific Findings re "Culturally Endorsed Leadership Theory Dimensions" (CLTs)
The “culturally endorsed leadership theory dimensions,” or CLTs, are the key findings of the GLOBE project. They are similar to what laypersons refer to as “leadership styles.” They identify the abilities, characteristics, and skills perceived around the world as contributing to, or as inhibiting, leadership.
CHARISMATIC / VALUE-BASED: This CLT captures a leader’s ability to inspire, to motivate, and to expect high performance outcomes on the basis of his/her firmly held core values. Statistically this CLT was associated with “self-sacrifice,” “integrity,” “decisive,” and “performance oriented.” (Charisma means to inspire devotion to group goals via a leader's aura, dynamism, and persuasiveness.)
A key finding is that all cultures saw this dimension as very substantially contributing to outstanding leadership. Anglo cultures most strongly associated it with outstanding leadership. Middle Eastern cultures least associated it with outstanding leadership – yet their mean was well above the mid-point.
TEAM ORIENTED: This CLT emerged in second place in capturing what many business people worldwide commonly associate with outstanding leadership. It is described as emphasizing effective team-building and implementation of a common purpose or goal among team members.
Again, all cultures saw “team orientation” as contributing substantially to outstanding leadership. Latin American cultures most positively associated it with outstanding leadership. Middle Eastern cultures least associated it with outstanding leadership, but again their mean was above the mid-point.
PARTICIPATIVE: This CLT reflects the degree to which managers involve others in making and implementing decisions. Statistically it was the opposite of “autocratic” and “non-participative.”
Germanic Europe most positively associated “participative” with outstanding leadership. The least positive association was in the Middle East, where its association was modestly above the mid-point.
HUMANE ORIENTED: This CLT reflects supportive and considerate leadership, but also includes compassion and generosity. Statistically it was positively associated “modesty.”
Worldwide, this CLT was viewed as only moderately contributing to outstanding leadership. Southern Asia gave it the highest of the moderate scores; Nordic Europe gave it a score just at the mid-point.
SELF-PROTECTIVE: This CLT, newly revealed by the GLOBE research, is difficult to define. The researchers write: “From a Western perspective, this dimension focuses on ensuring the safety and security of the individual or group.” It also can reflect “being status- and class-conscious, evasive, ritualistic, procedural, normative, secretive, indirect, self-centered, and asocial.” Statistically, this CLT was associated with “self-centered,” “status conscious,” “conflict-inducer,” “face-saver,” and “procedural.”
Worldwide, this CLT was viewed as not contributing to outstanding leadership. The highest score, by South Asian cultures, was just below the mid-point; Nordic Europe associated it with lack of leadership.
AUTONOMOUS: Also a new leadership dimension that’s difficult to understand, this CLT is discussed by the researchers thus: “It refers to independent and individualistic leadership.”
this CLT was viewed as
not contributing to outstanding leadership.
Eastern Europe ranked it highest, barely above the mid-point. Latin America
ranked it lowest, not far below the mid-point.
Also available are three substantial articles, a bullet-point list of GLOBE highlights, and a 12-item interactive Business Leader Attribute Quiz based on GLOBE. Links to everything are at www.grovewell.com/GLOBE.