Transformational Leadership: Its Relationship to Culture Value Dimensions

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TITLE: Transformational Leadership: Its Relationship to Culture Value Dimensions
RESEARCHER: Azize Ergeneli, Raheel Gohar, & Zhanar Temirbekova
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Vol 31 (2007): 703-724

This study examines the relationships between overall transformational leadership, as well as its five aspects (modeling, inspiring, challenging, enabling and encouraging), and Hofstede’s cultural value dimensions by investigating the responses of Pakistani, Kazakh and Turkish business students.

Questionnaires were given to MBA students in Pakistan (N=118), Kazakhstan (N=117) and Turkey (N=154) who volunteered to participate in the study. Females represented 54 percent of the sample, and the majority of the respondents had less than three years of work experience, with 57 percent in the age ranges 20-24. The questionnaires were presented in English for Pakistan and in the native languages in Kazakhstan and Turkey. There are differences between the three countries (e.g., level of economic development, language, historical background, cultural clusters, etc.), although all are predominantly Moslem countries. The five leadership practices were measured using the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) and the five culture dimension constructs (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, and long-term orientation) using Hofstede’s (1980, 2001) values survey module (VSM). Confirmatory factor analysis resulted in deleting four items from the LPI (6, 12, 15, and 17) and the entire index was summed to create a measure of transformational leadership.

There was no empirical support for the hypothesis that either collectivism or power distance are related to overall transformational leadership. When uncertainty avoidance scores increase the use of overall transformational leadership decreases.

  • Challenging the process was not found to be related to any of the culture value dimensions.
  • Inspire a shared vision was negatively related with uncertainty avoidance.
  • Enabling others to act was not related to collectivism.
  • Modeling the way was negatively related with uncertainty avoidance.
  • Encouraging the heart was not related to collectivism but was positively related with power distance.

The author’s content: “According to these results, the challenging the process and enabling others to act aspects of transformational leadership seem to be universally relevant, whereas the inspiring a shared vision, modeling the way, and encouraging the heart aspects are culture dependent. However, in order to assert this, similar results ought to be gathered from studies involving participants from different countries” (p. 721).