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Influence Of African Culture On Leadership

1037 words - 5 pages

INTRODUCTION

People of different regions hold different work-related values. Norms and values which form the culture of a people create assumptions and expectations of the leaders. There has been a number of studies to examine the relationship between culture and leadership styles. The literature points to a varied views regarding the universal uniformity or cultural specificity of leadership attributes and effectiveness. Many researchers have argued for a direct impact of culture on leadership styles, arguing that specific cultural traditions and norms are bound to differentiate leadership styles. The leadership profile in a country is strongly influenced by its cultural values. This ...view middle of the document...

An ideal leader is expected to be a modest, compassionate a leader should be relatively charismatic/value-based, team oriented, participative, and self-protective. Leaders should be inspirational, collaborative, and not excessively self-centered. Those who act independently are viewed as less effective .The African characterizes effective leadership as caring leader-ship.
Hofstede (1980) and his colleagues have suggested that power distance- The degree of inequality that the population of a country considers as normal, is the most important determinant of leadership styles. Countries with a high power distance readily accept autocratic leadership while countries with a low power distance prefer a more participative style. The African culture of high power distance will expect autocratic leadership due to the belief that leaders and their followers have a distant relationship and are not equal. High power distance is characterized by those in authority openly demonstrating their ranks. Subordinates are not given important work and expect clear guidance from above. Subordinates are expected to take the blame for things going wrong. Politics is prone the concept that the citizen should be totally subject to absolute state authority. Class divisions within society are accepted.

Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which people in a country prefer structured over unstructured situations. The African culture has high uncertainty avoidance which relates to the transactional based leader. This type of leadership is characterized by being directive and dominating. Leaders motivate their followers by appealing to their self-interest stressing the link between reward and goal achievement. There is exchange of rewards for compliance. African nations fight with corruptions because the leaders expect rewards for what they do for their people and therefore have tended to abuse the rewards in the African culture to show gratitude. The coalition government formation in Kenya is an example where the discontent parties were rewarded with positions for compliance with earlier disputed election results.
Masculinity describes the degree to which tough values like assertiveness performance, success and competition prevail over quality of life, maintaining warm personal relationship, service, care for the weak and solidarity. The African...

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