This paper suggests that values, attitudes and behaviours are strongly culture specific. Therefore, it is contended that if culture exerts an influence in behaviours and attitudes of people it will be evident in the way leadership is perceived or traits of effective leadership is distinguished in organisations around the world. In the Western leadership literature, effective leadership appears to be correlated with organisational performance and profitability, subordinate extra effort and subordinate satisfaction with the leader. The Western literature also suggests that the measure of effective leadership at an individual level involve rating “by subordinates, superiors and peers and leaders themselves” (Eagly, Karau, & Makhijani, 1995, p. 128). However, there is limited knowledge and specific details of leadership characteristics that may constitute effective leadership practices outside the West, nor how universal the Western theories and models may be beyond the Western settings. There is a need to expand the existing knowledge and findings to understand whether Western leadership behaviours and practices are acceptable, appropriate or relevant in other cultures. In order to address this broad topic, the present paper will explore the perceptions of effective leadership in two diverse cultures of Malaysia and Australia. The middle managers in four industry types participated in the present research and the study found differences within and between female and male middle managers in both countries in terms of how leadership effectiveness is perceived and evaluated.
Field of Research
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
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