Chapter 20: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in Australia
David Lamond INTRODUCTION The central thesis advanced by Hofstede (2001, 2005) and Trompenaars (1994; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997) is that nationality-based cultural differences influence differences in work values, beliefs and orientations held by organizational members in different countries. In their GLOBE study of 62 societies, House et al. (2004) demonstrated that these differences are reflected also in the leadership styles of the middle managers they surveyed. Subsequent studies (see, for example, Braithwaite et al., 2007; Kakabadse and Kakabadse, 2007) reinforce the view that differences in leadership styles are informed, at least in part, by the culture in which the leader is embedded. As Borgelt and Falk (2007: 127) point out, leadership exists, not in a vacuum, but in a particular socio-culturally and chronologically situated context. Indeed, they maintain that, even in thinking about leadership, we bring our socio-culturally derived preconceptions to bear. The GLOBE study described leadership as ‘the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members’ (House et al., 2004: 56). We can think of leadership styles then as how an individual influences, motivates and enables others. The purpose of this chapter is to consider managerial leadership styles in Australia and how Australian myths and legends may have shaped them. In Doing Leadership Differently, Sinclair (2005) identifies Australian leadership values as heroism, physical and emotional toughness, and self-reliance, all the hallmarks of the traditional picture of the ‘bronzed Aussie’, a suntanned, rugged...
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