GLOBE: A twenty year journey into the intriguing world of culture and leadership

Peter Dorfman, Mansour Javidan, Paul Hanges, Ali Dastmalchian, Robert House

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since its inception in the early 1990s, the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) project has investigated the complex relationship between societal culture and organizational behavior. The focus of this paper is on leadership, specifically what we know and have learned from the GLOBE project so far. Among other findings, we demonstrate that national culture indirectly influences leadership behaviors through the leadership expectations of societies. In other words, executives tend to lead in a manner more or less consistent with the leadership prototypes endorsed within their particular culture. In turn, leaders who behave according to expectations are most effective. We also found that some leadership behaviors are universally effective such as charismatic/value-based leadership; others are much more culturally sensitive such as participative leadership. Finally, we identified truly superior (and also truly inferior) CEOs by the degree to which their behaviors exceed (or fail to meet) their society's expectations. All in all, understanding national culture gives us a heads-up as to which kinds of leadership will likely be enacted and effective in each society. We believe that the GLOBE journey has helped us understand the complex, tricky, and fascinating relationships among societal culture, organizational behavior, and leadership processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-518
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of World Business
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Culture
  • Executive leadership
  • GLOBE
  • Leadership
  • Multinational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing

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