Global Leadership And Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project Essay

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A key approach to understanding culture in international management has been to study work-related values as expressed through national culture (a national culture approach assumes that members of a nation share a common ancestry and identity, thereby establishing the basis for a shared culture). Initiated by Robert J. House in 1993, the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project (GLOBE) is a multi-phase study that examines the impact of culture on leadership and organizational practices. The GLOBE team consists of over 200 researchers in 62 cultures/countries collaborating to gather data through multiple research methods. One aim of the project has been to validate and build upon Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture, while yet another has been to measure cultural perceptions of leadership.

GLOBE Dimensions Of Culture

The GLOBE project presents both societal-level and organizational-level results on nine cultural dimensions. Middle managers were asked to answer questions based on what they perceived in relation to society (a “societal-level” score) and what they perceived in relation to their organization (an “organization-level” score). The GLOBE project also measures culture in two ways, by looking at what is actually done in a society/organization (the culture “as is” or “practices”) and by looking at what should be done in a society/organization (the culture “as it should be” or “values”).

Nine cultural dimensions were found: Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Institutional Collectivism, In-Group Collectivism, Gender Egalitarianism, Assertiveness, Future Orientation, Performance Orientation, and Humane Orientation.

  1. Uncertainty Avoidance is the extent to which members of an organization or society strive to avoid uncertainty by relying on established social norms, rituals, and bureaucratic practices.
  2. Power Distance is the degree to which members of an organization or society expect and agree that power should be stratified and concentrated at higher levels of an organization or government.
  3. Institutional Collectivism is the degree to which organization and societal institutional practices encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action.
  4. In-Group Collectivism is the degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organizations or families.
  5. Gender Egalitarianism is the degree to which an

organization or a society minimizes gender role differences while promoting gender equality.

  1. Assertiveness is the degree to which individuals in organizations or societies are assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in social relationships.
  2. Future Orientation is the degree to which individuals in organizations or societies engage in future-oriented behaviors such as planning, investing in the future, and delaying individual or collective gratification.
  3. Performance Orientation is the degree to which an organization or society encourages and rewards group members for performance improvement and excellence.
  4. Humane Orientation is the degree to which individuals in organizations or societies encourage and reward individuals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, caring and kind to others.

GLOBE Dimensions Of Leadership

The GLOBE project also relates dimensions of culture to six global leader behaviors in order to examine in which cultures certain types of leadership styles would be favored. The study shows that there are culturally based shared conceptions of leadership, which the GLOBE team refers to as the “culturally endorsed implicit theories of leadership” (CLT). While they found some leadership styles culturally contingent, the GLOBE team also found evidence for universal support of the charismatic/value-based dimension.

The six global leadership dimensions found are: Charismatic/Value-Based, Team Oriented, Participatory, Humane Oriented, Autonomous, and Self-Protective.

  1. Charismatic/Value-Based leadership portrays the ability to inspire and motivate others to perform well based on deeply held values.
  2. Team Oriented leadership demonstrates the effective working toward a common goal among members of a work group or team.
  3. Participatory leadership suggests the degree to which mangers involve others in making and implementing decisions in an organization.
  4. Humane Oriented leadership encompasses a supportive and compassionate stance toward others.
  5. Autonomous leadership suggests an independent and individualistic leadership style.
  6. Self-Protective leadership is concerned with safeguarding the well-being and security of individual members and the group as a whole.

The GLOBE project provides additional knowledge on cultural dimensions and helps establish cross-cultural leadership as an independent field of inquiry. Until the GLOBE project, such multi-level cultural and leadership data on a large number of countries were not available.


  1. Nancy J. Adler, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, 5th ed. (Thomson/South-Western, 2007);
  2. Nakiye Boyacigiller, Jill Kleinberg, Margaret E. Phillips and Sonja A. Sackmann, “Conceptualizing Culture in International Cross-Cultural Management Research,” in Betty Jane Punnett and Oded Shenkar, eds., Handbook for International Management Research (Blackwell, 1996);
  3. Robert J. House et al., Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies. (Sage, 2004);
  4. Steven A. Y. Poelmans, “Review of Culture and Leadership Around the World: The GLOBE Book of In-depth Studies of 25 Societies,” International Journal of Cross Cultural Management (v.7/3, 2007);
  5. Terri Scandura and Peter Dorfman, “Leadership Research in an International and CrossCultural Context”, Leadership Quarterly (v.15, 2004).

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