Leadership Dimensions as a Function of Cultural Imperatives

This report explores the efforts of two researchers, Muczyk and Holt, to suggest how leaders might select between “democratic” and “autocratic” styles in different cultural contexts.  In general, Muczyk and Holt observed that “democratic” leadership with respect to making decisions and setting goals may be suited for cultures that are low on power distance, high on individualism and femininity, low on uncertainty avoidance and characterized by internal environmental orientation and might also be suitable in societies whose members have a low regard for hierarchy and an inclination to bypass the chain of command.  On the other hand, Muczyk and Holt speculated that “autocratic” leadership might be more appropriate in societies that are high in power distance, collectivism, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance and that are characterized by external environmental orientation and in societies whose members have a high regard for hierarchy and are reluctant to bypass the chain of command.  The observations made by Muczyk and Holt were similar to those made by Hofstede, who argued that large power distance and collectivism were closely related and typically associated with developing countries while small power distance and high individualism were closely related and typically associated with industrialized countries.

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