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Discuss culturally inappropriate leadership behavior that might be counterproductive

Discuss culturally inappropriate leadership behavior that might be counterproductive

Leadership works differently depending on national context. It is suggested that managers cannot assume that the leadership styles or traits that worked successfully in their home countries will result equally successful leadership in a foreign country. When leaders do not adapt to local conditions, they will not work well in other cultural settings. A possible reason that many managers fail in international assignments may be their inability to modify their behavior and adopt leadership styles to be congruent with cultural setting. This difficulty in adaption is harder than most think. Without adequate cross-cultural training and awareness, many previously successful managers will continue to apply their native countries leadership behaviors in their international assignments. The uncertainty avoidance norm also affects the range of acceptable leadership styles. In high-uncertainty-avoidance national cultures, both leaders and subordinates often feel more comfortable when the leaders remove ambiguity from the work setting. Ultimately, multinational managers must diagnose the institutional, organizational, and cultural situations that may affect the success of their leadership style. Too many contingences exist to predict what may work in all situations, but successful global leaders remain flexible and highly sensitive to national context.


Cullen, J.B., & Parboteeah, K.P. (2014). Multinational management: A strategic approach (6th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.

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