Culture not a factor in management styles globally

December 19, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Geert Hofstede's "Culture's Consequences" is one of the most influential management books of the 20th century. With well over 80,000 citations, Hofstede argues that 50 percent of managers' differences in their reactions to various situations are explained by cultural differences. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has determined that culture plays little or no part in leaders' management of their employees; this finding could impact how managers are trained and evaluated globally.

"We all want a higher quality of life, a desirable workplace environment and meaningful work -- no matter our home country," said Arthur Jago, professor of management in the Robert J. Trulaske College of Business at MU. "In management theory, we focus more on leaders' differences rather than their similarities. By analyzing the data in a new way, I found that managers across country borders and across cultures are more alike than different."

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jago surveyed more than 6,500 managers in 14 countries. All managers were participating in management development seminars around the world. Leaders were given 30 case studies; their reactions to each scenario were recorded.

The case studies ranged from relatively trivial decisions to more complex, unstructured judgments. Because each case was different, the researchers were able to measure behavioral intent, or the likelihood that a manager would engage in a given behavior. Jago recently reevaluated this data in a more comprehensive manner and found that, more often than not, managers from different countries responded to the scenarios in the same way.

"We have all worked for managers that are more autocratic or more participative," Jago said. "Newer research is discovering that the differences we see in these types of managers are more determined by the circumstances at hand than individual or cultural differences. Leaders, it seems, vary their responses to certain situations. Up until now, the study of these various scenarios focused on cultural differences and not necessarily on our 'sameness.' This interpretation not only exists in the U.S. but also in other countries where management styles are studied."

Jago suggests that patriotism and love of country may contribute to skewed interpretation of data and that cultural differences should not be exaggerated, inflated or overemphasized as a result. He says cultural differences--whether good, bad or neutral--may be less important than most scholars believe.

The study, "A contrarian view: culture and participative management," was accepted for publication in the European Management Journal.
-end-


University of Missouri-Columbia

Related Data Articles from Brightsurf:

Keep the data coming
A continuous data supply ensures data-intensive simulations can run at maximum speed.

Astronomers are bulging with data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy's bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way's formation and history.

Novel method for measuring spatial dependencies turns less data into more data
Researcher makes 'little data' act big through, the application of mathematical techniques normally used for time-series, to spatial processes.

Ups and downs in COVID-19 data may be caused by data reporting practices
As data accumulates on COVID-19 cases and deaths, researchers have observed patterns of peaks and valleys that repeat on a near-weekly basis.

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.

Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.

Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.

Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.

Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.

Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.

Read More: Data News and Data Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.