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Measuring Culture Effect size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency?

Measuring Culture Effect size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices:... This paper measures the cultural effect size across five types of leadership practices by using the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) instrument and drawing on the GLOBE research project framework. It tests cultural universality vs. con- tingency in five LPI leadership practices in an East-West EU comparison, both with an ex-socialist past. It employs four different effect size statistics. The paper contributes to the narrowing of the empirical gap in researching leadership practices in a small, East-West European country context. Only two of the five leadership practices show statistically significant effect sizes. Furthermore, the leadership practice Encouraging the heart is the only one to display a relatively moderate effect size. Thus, the evidence seems to support the universalist perspective over the contingency perspective. Key words: leadership practices, LPI instrument, GLOBE project, culture effect size, Slovenia, Portugal Acknowledgement: I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Špela Kržišnik, who collected the data as part of her master’s thesis at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. JEL classification: M00, M120, Z100 1. INTRODUCTION The emergence of cross-cultural leadership builds on the between national culture, leadership and organizational Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT ) (Lord and Maher 1990), and behavior, and which has re-established the question of the the evolution of the so-called Culturally-Endorsed Implicit relationship between culture and leadership as a central fu- Leadership Theory (CLT ) (Bullough and Sully de Luque, 2014; ture research direction (Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon, House et al. 2004). Furthermore, issues of cross-cultural lead- 2012; Dickson et al., 2012). This call has also gained new mo- ership, and the questions of universality vs. cultural contin- mentum in the face of the aftermath of the 2008 global and gency of leadership practices, are often associated with the economic crisis, which has caused leadership scholars to re- so-called contextualist perspective in the leadership litera- examine traditional leadership theory (Mabey and Morrell, ture (Dickson et al., 2012; Javidan et al., 2010; Avolio 2007). 2011). This research explores the relationship between na- Despite the fact that cross-cultural leadership research has tional culture, and the use of particular leadership practices. gained momentum since the 1990s, House, Wright and It is based on the GLOBE methodology framework, which Aditya (1997) have pointed to a plethora of theoretical, meth- has recently celebrated its twentieth research anniversary odological, and empirical questions still to be addressed. as the premier research platform for cross-cultural leader- Similarly, Avolio (2007) also pointed to research on specific ship research (Dorfman et al., 2012), and the self-reported leadership practices, where questions regarding universal- ity vs. the cultural contingency of leadership practices still need more research, particularly in small, East-West cultural * Matevž Rašković, PhD comparisons (e.g. Steyrer, Hartz and Schiffinger 2006). The Assistant professor of international business importance of cross-cultural universality vs. contingency of University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics leadership has been more recently revisited within a special E-mail: matevz.raskovic@ef.uni-lj.si issue of the Journal of World Business focusing on the link Copyright © 2013 by the School of Economics and Business Sarajevo 7 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? version of the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) developed distance, have been most strongly associated with manag- by Kouzes and Posner (1993). The main purpose of this pa- ing employees and engaging their motivation. per is to outline the applicability of power analysis and to employ four different types of effect size measures in order to measure culture effect size differences across five lead- 2. POWER ANALYSIS AND ITS APPLICABILITY IN ership practices in Slovenia and Portugal within the GLOBE MANAGEMENT RESEARCH methodology. An important empirical contribution of the research lies in its East-West, small country cultural comparison, where Cohen (1988, pp. 9-10) defines effect size as “the degree particular attention is paid in the research to why compar- to which the phenomenon is present in the population or ing Slovenian and Portugal is valid. In this regard, it must be the degree to which the null hypothesis is false”. Due to the noted that the bulk of traditional leadership theories, and underlying complexity of most psychological and social the various types of leadership practice typologies devel- phenomena Van de Vijver (2003) points out that statistics oped, have been based on large, highly individualistic west- should in these contexts look beyond testing merely for sta- ern national cultures (Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon, tistical differences. Cankar and Bajec (2003) believe the use 2012; Kabasakal et al., 2012; Hofstede 1993, House 1995, of significance testing to be actually more harmful than ben- Mellahi 2000). Thus, the bulk of contemporary traditional eficial to scientific research, since it is not complemented by leadership theories offer few, if any, possibilities for assess- an evaluation of sizes (Thomson 1999), and is influenced by ing cross-cultural validity across the globe. This is a concern, sample size (Breaugh 2003). particularly because the concept of leadership seems to be Despite the substantive value of measuring effect size culturally embedded through the social construction of not Cohen (1992, p. 155) noted that even with psychological re- only value, but also expectations (Dorfman et al., 2012). search most “researchers continue to ignore power analysis” In this regard, Grachev and Bobina (2006) emphasize the leading to a “low level of consciousness about effect size”. specific value of small and Eastern cultural contexts with a While more recently this trend has started to improve, it has socialist history. Conducting cross-cultural leadership prac- been employed in a too “simplistic manner” (Breaugh 2003, tice research in these contexts is valuable, because such p. 79). cultures are usually characterized by high degrees of power Given a careful overview of the literature and various ef- distance, and low degrees of individualism (Ergeneli, Gohar fect size measures, as well as based on the recommenda- and Temirbekova 2007). According to evidence from in- tions by Breaugh (2003) four different effect size measures ternational management projects provided by Low and are employed in the research as summarized in Table 1. Shi (2001) these two dimensions, and in particular power Table 1: Effect size measures and their methodological background Measure Type Formula Reference values �� ������ Partial eta squared 2 Young (1993): effect size as a η = Explained variance p �� 2 2 �� ������� ��� ������ ����� (η ) percentage η = p p �� ������ �� ���� ������ ����� η = �� ���� ������ ����� d=(M –M )/ σ 1 2 pooled d=(M –M )/ σ 1 2 pooled Cohen (1988): �� d=(M –M �� )/ ��� σ � 1 2 pooled η = � Cohen’s d Std. mean difference small: 0.2, medium: 0.5 �� ���� σ = � ���� ����� � �� � ��� pooled � � σ = � ����� and large: 0.8 pooled � � σ = � ����� pooled � � d=(M –M )/ σ 1 �2 pooled ��� –�������� 2 ����������� ����� ω = � � ��� – ������ 2 ���� ����������� ��� ������ ����� ����� ω = ��� –�������� 2 ����������� ����� ��� ���� � ����� ����� Omega squared ω = Cohen (1988): small: 0.01, σ = � ����� pooled � � ��� ���� � Explained variance � ��� � ����� ����� 2 � � (ω ) Z = medium: 0.06 and large: 0.14 CL � ��� ����������� � � Z = CL � ��� � � ��������� ��� � –���� � ���� 2 Z���� = ������� ����� CL ω = �������� � � ��� ���� � Z score translated to a probability ����� ����� Effect size converted into distribution: Common language � ���   � � probability(based on mean See McGraw and Wong (1992) Z = CL effect size (CL) ��������� � � difference) Note: SS =sum of squares for effect of interest; SS = sum of squares for error term; σ = standard deviation; σ = variance; SS = sum of squares between effect error treatment groups; SS = total sum of squares; MS =mean square of the error term total error 8 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? 3. THE LPI INSTRUMENT 4. COMPARING SLOVENIA AND PORTUGAL Addressing particular leadership practices associated The comparison of Slovenia and Portugal is based on with the six outlined leadership types the GLOBE research the fact that both countries are small European countries, project measures five key neo-charismatic leadership prac - with important geo-strategic positions (Udovič and Svetličič tices outlined by Kouzes and Posner’s (1987) LPI instrument, 2012). Both are important trading hubs in the region. Both shown in Table 2. are also very much export-oriented, with most of their ex- The LPI instrument has time and again shown its “psy- ports linked to the EU market and other neighboring non- chometric soundness” (Huber et al. 2000, p. 251), and pro- EU countries. They also share a recent history of socialist duced consistent validity and reliability statistics (Kouzes rule, ending in Slovenia in 1991 and in 1974 in Portugal. and Posner 2001). It has further importantly proven its lead- Portugal became member of the EU in 1986, Slovenia in ership practices to be unrelated to either various respond- 2004. They are quite similar with regard to average EU-28 ents’ demographic or organizational characteristics. GDP per capita and have been similarly hard hit in the after- Particularly important to cross-cultural leadership re- math of the 2008 global economic and financial crisis. These search, the LPI instrument has been employed in a series characteristics provide a match on several important coun- of cross-cultural comparisons. Backed by over 20 years of try socio-economic indicators, as pointed out by Häder and research and application, this paper employs the LPI instru- Gabler (2003). Furthermore, Slovenia’s cultural similarity to ment both because it is “one of the most well-developed other Western Balkan countries may mean that the results of and used instruments for examining leadership behavior” such comparisons can be used as a “yard stick” for the wider (Chen and Baron 2007, 8), and in particular its proven useful- region of the Western Balkans (Udovič 2011; Zupančič and ness in cross-cultural leadership comparisons ( Tang, Yin and Udovič 2011). Nelson 2010.). Table 2: Leadership practices within Kouzes and Posner’s LPI instrument Leadership practice Short description Searching for opportunities to change status quo. Looking for innovative ways of Challenging the process organizational improvement. Experimentation and risk taking, accepting possible (CP) disappointment as learning. A passionate belief for making a difference. Envisioning the future, creating a unique Inspiring a shared vision image of what an organization can become. Enlisting employees in leader’s vision (ISV ) through magnetism and persuasion. Enabling others to act Fostering collaboration and team spirit. Active involvement of others. (EOA) Creating a atmosphere of trust and dignity. Modeling the way Creating standards of excellence and setting examples to follow. (MW ) Creating a context of small wins to achieve large objectives. Encouraging the heart Recognizing individual contributions. Celebrating accomplishments. (EH) Making people feel like heroes. Source: Kouzes and Posner, 2001, p. 4. Table 3: Comparison of the Slovenian and Portuguese culture based on GLOBE typology SLOVENIA PORTUGAL Practice Value Practice Value Performance orientation 26 90 23 89 Future orientation 32 58 38 59 Egalitarianism 92 83 73 98 GLOBE Assertiveness 41 67 18 32 project Institutional collectivism 45 30 34 81 In-group collectivism 67 49 70 63 Power distance 75 33 81 21 Human orientation 30 48 36 51 Uncertainty avoidance 36 75 41 52 Source: House et al. (2004). Note: Hofstede scale between 0 and 120; GLOBE scores on a scale between 0 and 100. South East European Journal of Economics and Business 9 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? In addition, the national cultures of Slovenia and data actually offers a more realistic insight into the leader - Portugal share some similarities, mainly in terms of high ship practices of the two countries. While the samples may power distance, low degrees of individualism and masculin- not be large in terms of size, they are based on the very ity, and high uncertainty avoidance. Table 3 displays a com- small MBA populations in both countries. parison of the Slovenian and Portuguese cultures within the The sample data was collected based on a matched GLOBE (2004) cultural typologies. sample approach (Van de Vijver and Leung 1997), where re- According to empirical evidence from managing interna- spondents were matched according to level of education, as tional projects, power distance “seems to have the greatest well as displaying similar age and gender structures. The use influence” while uncertaincy avoidance “seems to have little of matched sampling, with corresponding control variables or no influence” on international managerial contexts (Low (age, gender, work experience, etc.) has been outlined as and Shi 2001, p. 284). These findings can be extended to valid in cross-cultural research by Cavusgil and Das (1997), testing cross-cultural differences in leadership practices and and Schwartz and Sagie (2000). Furthermore, all respond- the estimation of culture effect sizes across different cultural ents were offered a report on the obtained results in order contexts. Given the high degree of similarity of Slovenia and to increase respondent involvement, which in turn increas- Portugal in terms of their power distance, uncertainty avoid- es survey participation (Kolar 2008). ance and individualism within the GLOBE cultural compari- While Bello et al. (2009) point to the ‘scrutinized valid- son (as well as Hofstede’s typology), one would thus expect ity’ of student samples in cross-cultural comparisons most no significant score differences in leadership practices be - of these critiques are directed towards undergraduate stu- tween the two countries. dent samples. According to Bello et al. (2009, p. 363) MBA Furthermore, the empirical evidence presented by student samples may be “justifiable, because they typically Zagoršek, Jaklič and Stough (2004) has in general shown have some working experiences”. They continue by saying only very limited support for the cultural contingency of that “typically part-time [working MBA] students, should not leadership practices, even in very different cultural settings. pose a significant threat to external validity”. Additionally, This may in turn indicate a higher degree of cultural uni- the cross-country comparison in Central and Eastern Europe versality of transformational leadership practices (Ergeneli, (CEE) by Čater, Lang and Szabo (2013) within the so called Gohar and Temirbekova 2007). Thus, one would expect non- GLOBE Students project – a direct extension from the origi- significant culture effect sizes between the two countries. nal GLOBE project – has also shown students to be good proxies of future leaders in terms of their values and lead- ership expectations. A similar conclusion was also made by Mihelič and Lipičnik (2010) in a comparison of manager vs. 5. SAMPLING AND MEASUREMENT student values in Slovenia. In their research, values have 5.1 Sample been established not only as a good predictor of peoples’ behavior (Ferić 2007), but as good predictors of economic The sample included 211 working (part-time) MBA stu- outcomes (Potočan, Mulej and Čančer 2008). Table 4 pro- dents from Slovenia and Portugal. The data was collected vides a more detailed summary of the key sample character- in 2007 through a standardized self-reported version of the istics. Most of the respondents (74%) work in a middle-sized LPI instrument (Kouzes and Posner 1987), administered in a or large privately owned company. local language. Thus, the data represents a pre-crisis leader- In terms of work experience, 37.2% had work experience ship practices comparison between Slovenia and Portugal. in finance and accounting, 24.6% in sales and marketing, Values tend to be fairly stable over the short run and change and 13.6% in IT. As we can see from Table 3, over a quarter only across generations. On the other hand, “normal” prac- of Slovene respondents and a third of Portuguese respond- tices and behavior may become significantly distorted in a ents already occupied some sort of managerial-level posi- time of crisis (Mabey and Morrell, 2011); thus the pre-crisis tion, either bottom or middle-level positions. Table 4: Sample characteristics (n=211) Slovenia Portugal Number of respondents 115 96 Share of female / male respondents F: 50.4%; M:49.6% F: 49%; M: 51% Average respondent age 28.9 years 31.9 years Share of respondents up to 30 years old 73.9% 48.9% Average work experience 4.46 years 10.03 years Share of respondents in bottom or middle management 27.7% 37% 10 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? 5.2 The LPI instruments reliability been shown to be unrelated to demographic characteris- In 1993 the LPI instrument was cross-validated in an ex- tics, such as age, gender, years of work experience, and even tensive sample of over 36,000 managers across various com- educational level (Kouzes and Posner 2001). pany management development programs, similar to MBAs Table 5 reports the results of a one-way ANOVA testing (Kouzes and Posner 1993). The testing proved the “sound for differences across all five leadership practices compos- psychometric properties” of the instrument (Zagoršek 2004, ite scores due to gender, age, and years of work experience. p. 134), good construct and concurrent validity and internal Despite differences in the average number of years of work reliability (Kouzes and Posner 1993.). experience in the Slovene and Portuguese samples, no sta- Within the Slovenian and Portuguese sample the overall tistical differences in the scores across all five leadership reliability of the LPI survey instrument was 0.86, as meas- practices have been detected within one-way ANOVA. The ured by the Cronbach alpha. While all five practices satisfied same holds also for gender and age of respondents. the 0.60 Cronbach alpha criteria, as proposed by Hair et al. Next, Table 6 displays the average composite scores and (1998), the value was borderline for the practice Enabling their standard deviations for all five leadership practices in- others to act. Because of this, the reliability of the LPI instru- dividually, as well as jointly for the whole LPI instrument. It ment was also alternatively tested as a measurement model is also complemented by the level of statistically significant within a structural equation model (Bollen 1989), using the differences within ANOVA. statistical software package Mplus. It produced the following As we can observe from the corresponding scores, two goodness-of-fit statistics: χ /df=3.13, p=0.000, RMSEA=0.054, out of five leadership practices are statistically significant CFI=0.94, TLI=0.91. between Slovenia and Portugal. Thus, based on the sample data, the Portuguese respondents on average displayed sta- tistically significantly higher scores for the leadership prac - tice Modeling the way, while the Slovene respondents on 6. RESULTS average displayed statistically significantly higher scores for 6.1 Impact of demographic variables on leadership the leadership practice Encouraging the heart. In both sam- behaviors and practices ples the highest average cumulative scores pertained to the leadership practice Enabling others to act, and the lowest for One of the key advantages of the LPI instrument is that Inspiring a shared vision. leadership practice scores obtained with it have consistently Table 5: Testing for differences in leadership practices based on demographics MW ISV CP EOA EH F p F p F p F p F p Gender 1.6 0.211 0.05 0.831 0.4 0.529 0.3 0.575 0.2 0.649 Age 1.5 0.195 1.57 0.170 0.3 0.934 0.7 0.647 0.4 0.834 Years of work experience 1.5 0.199 1.75 0.124 0.4 0.884 0.4 0.856 1.64 0.151 Note: F= F-test value; p= level of statistical significance; CP=Challenging the process; ISV=Inspiring a shared vision; EOA=Enabling others to act; MW=Modeling the way; EH=Encouraging the heart. Table 6: A comparison of leadership practice scores for Slovenia and Portugal Slovenia Portugal F value p Mean SD Mean SD Modeling the way (MW ) 42.4 6.6 44.8 6.7 7.1 0.008* Inspiring a shared vision (ISV ) 39.1 7.3 40.8 9.3 2.2 0.140 Challenging the process (CP) 44.4 6.5 44.1 7.2 0.8 0.775 Enabling others to act (EOA) 48.1 5.2 47.6 5.9 0.4 0.531 Encouraging the heart (EH) 47.9 6.2 44.9 6.3 12.2 0.001* Total LPI 44.4 5.0 44.4 6.0 Not applicable Note: SD=standard deviation; *statistically significant. South East European Journal of Economics and Business 11 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? Table 7: Effect size statistics for a Slovenian-Portuguese leadership practice comparison 2 2 η ω CL p p |d| Overall effect size Value p Value Value % Modeling the way (MW ) 0.033 0.008* 0.028 0.367 0.579 57.9% Negligible Inspiring a shared vision (ISV ) 0.010 0.140 0.006 0.202 0.540 54.0% Negligible Challenging the process (CP) 0.000 0.775 - 0.004 -0.041 0.500 50.0% Negligible Enabling others to act (EOA) 0.002 0.531 - 0.002 -0.087 0.500 50.0% Negligible Encouraging the heart (EH) 0.055 0.001* 0.051** 0.484** 0.618 61.8% Small to moderate Note: |d| refers to an absolute Cohen’s d statistic value. *Statistically significant at p < 0.05. **Moderate effect size according to Cohen (1988). 6.2 Culture effect sizes phenomena, it is impacted by a complexity of causal and interrelated variables and antecedents, which in turn call Based on the measures of effect size described above for multi-level measurement and analytical approaches and the argument for their use Table 7 displays a summary (Yammarino et al. 2005). The LPI instrument or any other ty- of the effect size results across all four effect size statistics pology based instrument may not capture the complexity used. While the partial eta squared (η ) measure of effect of such behavior. The LPI instrument has in turn also been size shows two significant effect sizes for leadership prac - criticized for being groundbreaking two decades ago, but tices Modeling the way (3.3% effect size) and Encouraging not anymore. According to Scherbaum et al. (2006) classi- the heart (5.5% effect size), both omega squared (ω ) and cal psychometric techniques should be complemented by Cohen’s d statistics show the leadership practice Encouraging more recent psychometric advances, such as, for example, the heart to be the only one with a moderate effect size. This item response theory and models. While these issues may is complemented by the fact that picking any of the re- be valid, the LPI instrument in its current form is today still spondents from the Slovenian sample will result in a 61.8% one of the two most extensively used and empirically vali- probability of displaying a higher score of the Encouraging dated measurement instruments in the study of leadership. the heart leadership practice compared to the Portuguese The analyses have aimed to address the issue of culture sample. effect size across different leadership practices, given the Having said this, I conclude that the leadership practice concerns raised about classical significance testing (Breaugh dimension of Encouraging the heart to be the only one out 2003). While I have employed several different effect size of the five LPI leadership practice dimensions to display measures to provide more robust solutions, Yammarino relatively moderate effect size differences between the et al. (2005) and Javidan et al. (2010) still point to a lack of Slovenian and Portuguese respondents. This finding may multi-level analyses in research of leadership phenomena, have important theoretical implications – of course pend- which is also valid here. ing broader cross-validation – which may signal a need to Lastly, it also needs to be acknowledged that while return to the earlier universalist perspective on leadership, Slovenia and Portugal were chosen as two small states in a since most of the current research on cross-cultural lead- West-East European comparison, they do have completely ership has advocated a pure contingency perspective or different languages (bearing in mind that language is a cul- a domination of contingency over universality (Moan and tural vehicle (Hofstede, 1986)) have different historical em- Hetland, 2012). beddedness (particularly Portugal’s strong political power in the middle ages) and different neighboring influences (Slovenia has four EU neighbors; Portugal has only one). 7. LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH MBA students are still proxies for real managers and 8. DISCUSSION OF LEADERSHIP PRACTICE SCORES leadership behavior. They are themselves subject to strong self-selection criteria and display certain common personal First, while not disregarding the concerns raised over characteristics, and are subject to fairly universal western both Hofstede’s methodology (Schwartz 1999, McSweeney, education on effective leadership behavior and practices 2002) and the methodology of the GLOBE project (Hofstede (Blunt and Jones 1997). We see this fact, and the fact that 2006), I believe that, based on the work of Low and Shi (2001) our data was collected in 2007, as the biggest limitations of the large degree of universality between the two countries the research. Nevertheless we have already acknowledged can be explained by the level of similarity between Slovenia that the pre-crisis data may provide more realistic insight and Portugal in terms of power distance. This in turn indi- into leadership practices. cates that the cross-cultural validity of leadership theories The second set of limitations may be applied to the LPI in- may hold across East-West contexts with comparable cul- strument itself. As with all complex social and psychological tural backgrounds. 12 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? Table 8: A comparison of the Slovenian and Portuguese national character dimensions Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness Slovenia 54.7 41.4 44.2 46.9 55.6 Portugal 47.5 56.7 55.1 53.0 48.2 Source: National Character Survey, Terraciano et al. 2005. Second, I believe the degree of cultural contingen- In such a setting the Slovene worker does not tend to cy with regard to the leadership practice dimension of stand out, is hidden by the collective, always does the “right Encouraging the heart can be explained by looking at both thing”, and does not like change (Mühlbacher, Nettekoven the individualism and masculinity contexts in the two coun- and Kovač 2011). In turn, he or she looks for emotional tries, as well as at the differences in their national characters. validation and recognition as an individual, and displays With regard to the former, Low and Shi (2001) have shown a strong tendency towards transformational leadership both individualism and masculinity dimensions to be linked (Zagoršek, Dimovski and Škerlavaj 2009), leading to a sig- to employee motivation in international projects. With re- nificantly higher importance for Encouraging the heart. Such gard to the latter, the evidence from the National Character leadership behavior not only fuels conscientiousness and Survey (Terracciano et al. 2005) helps us better understand motivates the worker, but also compensates his ambiva- the ‘psychological profiles’ of their national characters, from lence between assertive behavior and standing out from the which a greater need for mobilizing emotions in leadership collective, at the same time alleviating neurotic elements of for Slovenia also emerges. Having said this, Table 8 provides his or her national character. Furthermore, the results for a brief comparison of Slovenia and Portugal within the five the importance of the leadership practice Encouraging the psychological dimensions of their national characters. heart for Slovenia, vis-à-vis Portugal, seem also to be con- I believe that in a highly egalitarian cultural setting, sistent with the results obtained by Ergeneli, Gohar and Slovenians need to practice institutional and in-group col- Temirbekova (2007), which show higher power distance lectivistic behavior much more than they actually value it, and higher level of collectivism to be closely related to resulting in high levels of importance for trust (Kovač and this leadership practice. Furthermore, according to Šverko Jesenko 2010). This is not the case in Portugal, where insti- (2009), higher levels of collectivism are also associated with tutional behavior is actually considerably more valued than a higher importance for emotions in human behavior; which practiced, and where the practice and valuation of in-group can be closely related to the importance of the leadership collectivistic behavior is more closely aligned. While both practice Encouraging the heart. countries score very low on masculine values, the level of This research has aimed to show the applicability of pow- practiced and valued assertive behavior is considerably er analysis and various effect size statistics in cross-cultural higher in Slovenia than in Portugal. I believe this indicates management research, as well as to provide a brief discus- a much stronger existence of “self” in Slovenia vis-à-vis sion of the obtained results. In terms of the results, they indi- Portugal. This self has however a stronger propensity to- cate that a large degree of leadership universality can be at- wards neuroticism associated with higher levels of anxiety, tributed to the cultural similarity of the compared countries, hostility and depression (Terraciano et al. 2005). It is con- where power distance seems to be a key cultural dimension strained by higher degrees of introversion and much more with regard to the universality of leadership practices. This limited openness compared to the Portuguese national has important implications for leadership practice, where character. It is split between a high propensity towards special attention should be paid to this cultural dimension. conscientiousness and doing the “right thing”, while at the The results of the employed research also support towards same time being less agreeable, trusting and compliant per a cross-cultural validation of the LPI instrument in an East- se compared to the Portuguese. 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Measuring Culture Effect size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency?

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Abstract

This paper measures the cultural effect size across five types of leadership practices by using the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) instrument and drawing on the GLOBE research project framework. It tests cultural universality vs. con- tingency in five LPI leadership practices in an East-West EU comparison, both with an ex-socialist past. It employs four different effect size statistics. The paper contributes to the narrowing of the empirical gap in researching leadership practices in a small, East-West European country context. Only two of the five leadership practices show statistically significant effect sizes. Furthermore, the leadership practice Encouraging the heart is the only one to display a relatively moderate effect size. Thus, the evidence seems to support the universalist perspective over the contingency perspective. Key words: leadership practices, LPI instrument, GLOBE project, culture effect size, Slovenia, Portugal Acknowledgement: I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Špela Kržišnik, who collected the data as part of her master’s thesis at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. JEL classification: M00, M120, Z100 1. INTRODUCTION The emergence of cross-cultural leadership builds on the between national culture, leadership and organizational Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT ) (Lord and Maher 1990), and behavior, and which has re-established the question of the the evolution of the so-called Culturally-Endorsed Implicit relationship between culture and leadership as a central fu- Leadership Theory (CLT ) (Bullough and Sully de Luque, 2014; ture research direction (Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon, House et al. 2004). Furthermore, issues of cross-cultural lead- 2012; Dickson et al., 2012). This call has also gained new mo- ership, and the questions of universality vs. cultural contin- mentum in the face of the aftermath of the 2008 global and gency of leadership practices, are often associated with the economic crisis, which has caused leadership scholars to re- so-called contextualist perspective in the leadership litera- examine traditional leadership theory (Mabey and Morrell, ture (Dickson et al., 2012; Javidan et al., 2010; Avolio 2007). 2011). This research explores the relationship between na- Despite the fact that cross-cultural leadership research has tional culture, and the use of particular leadership practices. gained momentum since the 1990s, House, Wright and It is based on the GLOBE methodology framework, which Aditya (1997) have pointed to a plethora of theoretical, meth- has recently celebrated its twentieth research anniversary odological, and empirical questions still to be addressed. as the premier research platform for cross-cultural leader- Similarly, Avolio (2007) also pointed to research on specific ship research (Dorfman et al., 2012), and the self-reported leadership practices, where questions regarding universal- ity vs. the cultural contingency of leadership practices still need more research, particularly in small, East-West cultural * Matevž Rašković, PhD comparisons (e.g. Steyrer, Hartz and Schiffinger 2006). The Assistant professor of international business importance of cross-cultural universality vs. contingency of University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics leadership has been more recently revisited within a special E-mail: matevz.raskovic@ef.uni-lj.si issue of the Journal of World Business focusing on the link Copyright © 2013 by the School of Economics and Business Sarajevo 7 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? version of the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) developed distance, have been most strongly associated with manag- by Kouzes and Posner (1993). The main purpose of this pa- ing employees and engaging their motivation. per is to outline the applicability of power analysis and to employ four different types of effect size measures in order to measure culture effect size differences across five lead- 2. POWER ANALYSIS AND ITS APPLICABILITY IN ership practices in Slovenia and Portugal within the GLOBE MANAGEMENT RESEARCH methodology. An important empirical contribution of the research lies in its East-West, small country cultural comparison, where Cohen (1988, pp. 9-10) defines effect size as “the degree particular attention is paid in the research to why compar- to which the phenomenon is present in the population or ing Slovenian and Portugal is valid. In this regard, it must be the degree to which the null hypothesis is false”. Due to the noted that the bulk of traditional leadership theories, and underlying complexity of most psychological and social the various types of leadership practice typologies devel- phenomena Van de Vijver (2003) points out that statistics oped, have been based on large, highly individualistic west- should in these contexts look beyond testing merely for sta- ern national cultures (Steers, Sanchez-Runde and Nardon, tistical differences. Cankar and Bajec (2003) believe the use 2012; Kabasakal et al., 2012; Hofstede 1993, House 1995, of significance testing to be actually more harmful than ben- Mellahi 2000). Thus, the bulk of contemporary traditional eficial to scientific research, since it is not complemented by leadership theories offer few, if any, possibilities for assess- an evaluation of sizes (Thomson 1999), and is influenced by ing cross-cultural validity across the globe. This is a concern, sample size (Breaugh 2003). particularly because the concept of leadership seems to be Despite the substantive value of measuring effect size culturally embedded through the social construction of not Cohen (1992, p. 155) noted that even with psychological re- only value, but also expectations (Dorfman et al., 2012). search most “researchers continue to ignore power analysis” In this regard, Grachev and Bobina (2006) emphasize the leading to a “low level of consciousness about effect size”. specific value of small and Eastern cultural contexts with a While more recently this trend has started to improve, it has socialist history. Conducting cross-cultural leadership prac- been employed in a too “simplistic manner” (Breaugh 2003, tice research in these contexts is valuable, because such p. 79). cultures are usually characterized by high degrees of power Given a careful overview of the literature and various ef- distance, and low degrees of individualism (Ergeneli, Gohar fect size measures, as well as based on the recommenda- and Temirbekova 2007). According to evidence from in- tions by Breaugh (2003) four different effect size measures ternational management projects provided by Low and are employed in the research as summarized in Table 1. Shi (2001) these two dimensions, and in particular power Table 1: Effect size measures and their methodological background Measure Type Formula Reference values �� ������ Partial eta squared 2 Young (1993): effect size as a η = Explained variance p �� 2 2 �� ������� ��� ������ ����� (η ) percentage η = p p �� ������ �� ���� ������ ����� η = �� ���� ������ ����� d=(M –M )/ σ 1 2 pooled d=(M –M )/ σ 1 2 pooled Cohen (1988): �� d=(M –M �� )/ ��� σ � 1 2 pooled η = � Cohen’s d Std. mean difference small: 0.2, medium: 0.5 �� ���� σ = � ���� ����� � �� � ��� pooled � � σ = � ����� and large: 0.8 pooled � � σ = � ����� pooled � � d=(M –M )/ σ 1 �2 pooled ��� –�������� 2 ����������� ����� ω = � � ��� – ������ 2 ���� ����������� ��� ������ ����� ����� ω = ��� –�������� 2 ����������� ����� ��� ���� � ����� ����� Omega squared ω = Cohen (1988): small: 0.01, σ = � ����� pooled � � ��� ���� � Explained variance � ��� � ����� ����� 2 � � (ω ) Z = medium: 0.06 and large: 0.14 CL � ��� ����������� � � Z = CL � ��� � � ��������� ��� � –���� � ���� 2 Z���� = ������� ����� CL ω = �������� � � ��� ���� � Z score translated to a probability ����� ����� Effect size converted into distribution: Common language � ���   � � probability(based on mean See McGraw and Wong (1992) Z = CL effect size (CL) ��������� � � difference) Note: SS =sum of squares for effect of interest; SS = sum of squares for error term; σ = standard deviation; σ = variance; SS = sum of squares between effect error treatment groups; SS = total sum of squares; MS =mean square of the error term total error 8 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? 3. THE LPI INSTRUMENT 4. COMPARING SLOVENIA AND PORTUGAL Addressing particular leadership practices associated The comparison of Slovenia and Portugal is based on with the six outlined leadership types the GLOBE research the fact that both countries are small European countries, project measures five key neo-charismatic leadership prac - with important geo-strategic positions (Udovič and Svetličič tices outlined by Kouzes and Posner’s (1987) LPI instrument, 2012). Both are important trading hubs in the region. Both shown in Table 2. are also very much export-oriented, with most of their ex- The LPI instrument has time and again shown its “psy- ports linked to the EU market and other neighboring non- chometric soundness” (Huber et al. 2000, p. 251), and pro- EU countries. They also share a recent history of socialist duced consistent validity and reliability statistics (Kouzes rule, ending in Slovenia in 1991 and in 1974 in Portugal. and Posner 2001). It has further importantly proven its lead- Portugal became member of the EU in 1986, Slovenia in ership practices to be unrelated to either various respond- 2004. They are quite similar with regard to average EU-28 ents’ demographic or organizational characteristics. GDP per capita and have been similarly hard hit in the after- Particularly important to cross-cultural leadership re- math of the 2008 global economic and financial crisis. These search, the LPI instrument has been employed in a series characteristics provide a match on several important coun- of cross-cultural comparisons. Backed by over 20 years of try socio-economic indicators, as pointed out by Häder and research and application, this paper employs the LPI instru- Gabler (2003). Furthermore, Slovenia’s cultural similarity to ment both because it is “one of the most well-developed other Western Balkan countries may mean that the results of and used instruments for examining leadership behavior” such comparisons can be used as a “yard stick” for the wider (Chen and Baron 2007, 8), and in particular its proven useful- region of the Western Balkans (Udovič 2011; Zupančič and ness in cross-cultural leadership comparisons ( Tang, Yin and Udovič 2011). Nelson 2010.). Table 2: Leadership practices within Kouzes and Posner’s LPI instrument Leadership practice Short description Searching for opportunities to change status quo. Looking for innovative ways of Challenging the process organizational improvement. Experimentation and risk taking, accepting possible (CP) disappointment as learning. A passionate belief for making a difference. Envisioning the future, creating a unique Inspiring a shared vision image of what an organization can become. Enlisting employees in leader’s vision (ISV ) through magnetism and persuasion. Enabling others to act Fostering collaboration and team spirit. Active involvement of others. (EOA) Creating a atmosphere of trust and dignity. Modeling the way Creating standards of excellence and setting examples to follow. (MW ) Creating a context of small wins to achieve large objectives. Encouraging the heart Recognizing individual contributions. Celebrating accomplishments. (EH) Making people feel like heroes. Source: Kouzes and Posner, 2001, p. 4. Table 3: Comparison of the Slovenian and Portuguese culture based on GLOBE typology SLOVENIA PORTUGAL Practice Value Practice Value Performance orientation 26 90 23 89 Future orientation 32 58 38 59 Egalitarianism 92 83 73 98 GLOBE Assertiveness 41 67 18 32 project Institutional collectivism 45 30 34 81 In-group collectivism 67 49 70 63 Power distance 75 33 81 21 Human orientation 30 48 36 51 Uncertainty avoidance 36 75 41 52 Source: House et al. (2004). Note: Hofstede scale between 0 and 120; GLOBE scores on a scale between 0 and 100. South East European Journal of Economics and Business 9 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? In addition, the national cultures of Slovenia and data actually offers a more realistic insight into the leader - Portugal share some similarities, mainly in terms of high ship practices of the two countries. While the samples may power distance, low degrees of individualism and masculin- not be large in terms of size, they are based on the very ity, and high uncertainty avoidance. Table 3 displays a com- small MBA populations in both countries. parison of the Slovenian and Portuguese cultures within the The sample data was collected based on a matched GLOBE (2004) cultural typologies. sample approach (Van de Vijver and Leung 1997), where re- According to empirical evidence from managing interna- spondents were matched according to level of education, as tional projects, power distance “seems to have the greatest well as displaying similar age and gender structures. The use influence” while uncertaincy avoidance “seems to have little of matched sampling, with corresponding control variables or no influence” on international managerial contexts (Low (age, gender, work experience, etc.) has been outlined as and Shi 2001, p. 284). These findings can be extended to valid in cross-cultural research by Cavusgil and Das (1997), testing cross-cultural differences in leadership practices and and Schwartz and Sagie (2000). Furthermore, all respond- the estimation of culture effect sizes across different cultural ents were offered a report on the obtained results in order contexts. Given the high degree of similarity of Slovenia and to increase respondent involvement, which in turn increas- Portugal in terms of their power distance, uncertainty avoid- es survey participation (Kolar 2008). ance and individualism within the GLOBE cultural compari- While Bello et al. (2009) point to the ‘scrutinized valid- son (as well as Hofstede’s typology), one would thus expect ity’ of student samples in cross-cultural comparisons most no significant score differences in leadership practices be - of these critiques are directed towards undergraduate stu- tween the two countries. dent samples. According to Bello et al. (2009, p. 363) MBA Furthermore, the empirical evidence presented by student samples may be “justifiable, because they typically Zagoršek, Jaklič and Stough (2004) has in general shown have some working experiences”. They continue by saying only very limited support for the cultural contingency of that “typically part-time [working MBA] students, should not leadership practices, even in very different cultural settings. pose a significant threat to external validity”. Additionally, This may in turn indicate a higher degree of cultural uni- the cross-country comparison in Central and Eastern Europe versality of transformational leadership practices (Ergeneli, (CEE) by Čater, Lang and Szabo (2013) within the so called Gohar and Temirbekova 2007). Thus, one would expect non- GLOBE Students project – a direct extension from the origi- significant culture effect sizes between the two countries. nal GLOBE project – has also shown students to be good proxies of future leaders in terms of their values and lead- ership expectations. A similar conclusion was also made by Mihelič and Lipičnik (2010) in a comparison of manager vs. 5. SAMPLING AND MEASUREMENT student values in Slovenia. In their research, values have 5.1 Sample been established not only as a good predictor of peoples’ behavior (Ferić 2007), but as good predictors of economic The sample included 211 working (part-time) MBA stu- outcomes (Potočan, Mulej and Čančer 2008). Table 4 pro- dents from Slovenia and Portugal. The data was collected vides a more detailed summary of the key sample character- in 2007 through a standardized self-reported version of the istics. Most of the respondents (74%) work in a middle-sized LPI instrument (Kouzes and Posner 1987), administered in a or large privately owned company. local language. Thus, the data represents a pre-crisis leader- In terms of work experience, 37.2% had work experience ship practices comparison between Slovenia and Portugal. in finance and accounting, 24.6% in sales and marketing, Values tend to be fairly stable over the short run and change and 13.6% in IT. As we can see from Table 3, over a quarter only across generations. On the other hand, “normal” prac- of Slovene respondents and a third of Portuguese respond- tices and behavior may become significantly distorted in a ents already occupied some sort of managerial-level posi- time of crisis (Mabey and Morrell, 2011); thus the pre-crisis tion, either bottom or middle-level positions. Table 4: Sample characteristics (n=211) Slovenia Portugal Number of respondents 115 96 Share of female / male respondents F: 50.4%; M:49.6% F: 49%; M: 51% Average respondent age 28.9 years 31.9 years Share of respondents up to 30 years old 73.9% 48.9% Average work experience 4.46 years 10.03 years Share of respondents in bottom or middle management 27.7% 37% 10 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? 5.2 The LPI instruments reliability been shown to be unrelated to demographic characteris- In 1993 the LPI instrument was cross-validated in an ex- tics, such as age, gender, years of work experience, and even tensive sample of over 36,000 managers across various com- educational level (Kouzes and Posner 2001). pany management development programs, similar to MBAs Table 5 reports the results of a one-way ANOVA testing (Kouzes and Posner 1993). The testing proved the “sound for differences across all five leadership practices compos- psychometric properties” of the instrument (Zagoršek 2004, ite scores due to gender, age, and years of work experience. p. 134), good construct and concurrent validity and internal Despite differences in the average number of years of work reliability (Kouzes and Posner 1993.). experience in the Slovene and Portuguese samples, no sta- Within the Slovenian and Portuguese sample the overall tistical differences in the scores across all five leadership reliability of the LPI survey instrument was 0.86, as meas- practices have been detected within one-way ANOVA. The ured by the Cronbach alpha. While all five practices satisfied same holds also for gender and age of respondents. the 0.60 Cronbach alpha criteria, as proposed by Hair et al. Next, Table 6 displays the average composite scores and (1998), the value was borderline for the practice Enabling their standard deviations for all five leadership practices in- others to act. Because of this, the reliability of the LPI instru- dividually, as well as jointly for the whole LPI instrument. It ment was also alternatively tested as a measurement model is also complemented by the level of statistically significant within a structural equation model (Bollen 1989), using the differences within ANOVA. statistical software package Mplus. It produced the following As we can observe from the corresponding scores, two goodness-of-fit statistics: χ /df=3.13, p=0.000, RMSEA=0.054, out of five leadership practices are statistically significant CFI=0.94, TLI=0.91. between Slovenia and Portugal. Thus, based on the sample data, the Portuguese respondents on average displayed sta- tistically significantly higher scores for the leadership prac - tice Modeling the way, while the Slovene respondents on 6. RESULTS average displayed statistically significantly higher scores for 6.1 Impact of demographic variables on leadership the leadership practice Encouraging the heart. In both sam- behaviors and practices ples the highest average cumulative scores pertained to the leadership practice Enabling others to act, and the lowest for One of the key advantages of the LPI instrument is that Inspiring a shared vision. leadership practice scores obtained with it have consistently Table 5: Testing for differences in leadership practices based on demographics MW ISV CP EOA EH F p F p F p F p F p Gender 1.6 0.211 0.05 0.831 0.4 0.529 0.3 0.575 0.2 0.649 Age 1.5 0.195 1.57 0.170 0.3 0.934 0.7 0.647 0.4 0.834 Years of work experience 1.5 0.199 1.75 0.124 0.4 0.884 0.4 0.856 1.64 0.151 Note: F= F-test value; p= level of statistical significance; CP=Challenging the process; ISV=Inspiring a shared vision; EOA=Enabling others to act; MW=Modeling the way; EH=Encouraging the heart. Table 6: A comparison of leadership practice scores for Slovenia and Portugal Slovenia Portugal F value p Mean SD Mean SD Modeling the way (MW ) 42.4 6.6 44.8 6.7 7.1 0.008* Inspiring a shared vision (ISV ) 39.1 7.3 40.8 9.3 2.2 0.140 Challenging the process (CP) 44.4 6.5 44.1 7.2 0.8 0.775 Enabling others to act (EOA) 48.1 5.2 47.6 5.9 0.4 0.531 Encouraging the heart (EH) 47.9 6.2 44.9 6.3 12.2 0.001* Total LPI 44.4 5.0 44.4 6.0 Not applicable Note: SD=standard deviation; *statistically significant. South East European Journal of Economics and Business 11 Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? Table 7: Effect size statistics for a Slovenian-Portuguese leadership practice comparison 2 2 η ω CL p p |d| Overall effect size Value p Value Value % Modeling the way (MW ) 0.033 0.008* 0.028 0.367 0.579 57.9% Negligible Inspiring a shared vision (ISV ) 0.010 0.140 0.006 0.202 0.540 54.0% Negligible Challenging the process (CP) 0.000 0.775 - 0.004 -0.041 0.500 50.0% Negligible Enabling others to act (EOA) 0.002 0.531 - 0.002 -0.087 0.500 50.0% Negligible Encouraging the heart (EH) 0.055 0.001* 0.051** 0.484** 0.618 61.8% Small to moderate Note: |d| refers to an absolute Cohen’s d statistic value. *Statistically significant at p < 0.05. **Moderate effect size according to Cohen (1988). 6.2 Culture effect sizes phenomena, it is impacted by a complexity of causal and interrelated variables and antecedents, which in turn call Based on the measures of effect size described above for multi-level measurement and analytical approaches and the argument for their use Table 7 displays a summary (Yammarino et al. 2005). The LPI instrument or any other ty- of the effect size results across all four effect size statistics pology based instrument may not capture the complexity used. While the partial eta squared (η ) measure of effect of such behavior. The LPI instrument has in turn also been size shows two significant effect sizes for leadership prac - criticized for being groundbreaking two decades ago, but tices Modeling the way (3.3% effect size) and Encouraging not anymore. According to Scherbaum et al. (2006) classi- the heart (5.5% effect size), both omega squared (ω ) and cal psychometric techniques should be complemented by Cohen’s d statistics show the leadership practice Encouraging more recent psychometric advances, such as, for example, the heart to be the only one with a moderate effect size. This item response theory and models. While these issues may is complemented by the fact that picking any of the re- be valid, the LPI instrument in its current form is today still spondents from the Slovenian sample will result in a 61.8% one of the two most extensively used and empirically vali- probability of displaying a higher score of the Encouraging dated measurement instruments in the study of leadership. the heart leadership practice compared to the Portuguese The analyses have aimed to address the issue of culture sample. effect size across different leadership practices, given the Having said this, I conclude that the leadership practice concerns raised about classical significance testing (Breaugh dimension of Encouraging the heart to be the only one out 2003). While I have employed several different effect size of the five LPI leadership practice dimensions to display measures to provide more robust solutions, Yammarino relatively moderate effect size differences between the et al. (2005) and Javidan et al. (2010) still point to a lack of Slovenian and Portuguese respondents. This finding may multi-level analyses in research of leadership phenomena, have important theoretical implications – of course pend- which is also valid here. ing broader cross-validation – which may signal a need to Lastly, it also needs to be acknowledged that while return to the earlier universalist perspective on leadership, Slovenia and Portugal were chosen as two small states in a since most of the current research on cross-cultural lead- West-East European comparison, they do have completely ership has advocated a pure contingency perspective or different languages (bearing in mind that language is a cul- a domination of contingency over universality (Moan and tural vehicle (Hofstede, 1986)) have different historical em- Hetland, 2012). beddedness (particularly Portugal’s strong political power in the middle ages) and different neighboring influences (Slovenia has four EU neighbors; Portugal has only one). 7. LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH MBA students are still proxies for real managers and 8. DISCUSSION OF LEADERSHIP PRACTICE SCORES leadership behavior. They are themselves subject to strong self-selection criteria and display certain common personal First, while not disregarding the concerns raised over characteristics, and are subject to fairly universal western both Hofstede’s methodology (Schwartz 1999, McSweeney, education on effective leadership behavior and practices 2002) and the methodology of the GLOBE project (Hofstede (Blunt and Jones 1997). We see this fact, and the fact that 2006), I believe that, based on the work of Low and Shi (2001) our data was collected in 2007, as the biggest limitations of the large degree of universality between the two countries the research. Nevertheless we have already acknowledged can be explained by the level of similarity between Slovenia that the pre-crisis data may provide more realistic insight and Portugal in terms of power distance. This in turn indi- into leadership practices. cates that the cross-cultural validity of leadership theories The second set of limitations may be applied to the LPI in- may hold across East-West contexts with comparable cul- strument itself. As with all complex social and psychological tural backgrounds. 12 South East European Journal of Economics and Business Measuring Culture Eec ff t Size Differences in Slovenian and Portuguese Leadership Practices: Cross-Cultural Leadership Universality or Contigency? Table 8: A comparison of the Slovenian and Portuguese national character dimensions Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness Slovenia 54.7 41.4 44.2 46.9 55.6 Portugal 47.5 56.7 55.1 53.0 48.2 Source: National Character Survey, Terraciano et al. 2005. Second, I believe the degree of cultural contingen- In such a setting the Slovene worker does not tend to cy with regard to the leadership practice dimension of stand out, is hidden by the collective, always does the “right Encouraging the heart can be explained by looking at both thing”, and does not like change (Mühlbacher, Nettekoven the individualism and masculinity contexts in the two coun- and Kovač 2011). In turn, he or she looks for emotional tries, as well as at the differences in their national characters. validation and recognition as an individual, and displays With regard to the former, Low and Shi (2001) have shown a strong tendency towards transformational leadership both individualism and masculinity dimensions to be linked (Zagoršek, Dimovski and Škerlavaj 2009), leading to a sig- to employee motivation in international projects. With re- nificantly higher importance for Encouraging the heart. Such gard to the latter, the evidence from the National Character leadership behavior not only fuels conscientiousness and Survey (Terracciano et al. 2005) helps us better understand motivates the worker, but also compensates his ambiva- the ‘psychological profiles’ of their national characters, from lence between assertive behavior and standing out from the which a greater need for mobilizing emotions in leadership collective, at the same time alleviating neurotic elements of for Slovenia also emerges. Having said this, Table 8 provides his or her national character. Furthermore, the results for a brief comparison of Slovenia and Portugal within the five the importance of the leadership practice Encouraging the psychological dimensions of their national characters. heart for Slovenia, vis-à-vis Portugal, seem also to be con- I believe that in a highly egalitarian cultural setting, sistent with the results obtained by Ergeneli, Gohar and Slovenians need to practice institutional and in-group col- Temirbekova (2007), which show higher power distance lectivistic behavior much more than they actually value it, and higher level of collectivism to be closely related to resulting in high levels of importance for trust (Kovač and this leadership practice. Furthermore, according to Šverko Jesenko 2010). This is not the case in Portugal, where insti- (2009), higher levels of collectivism are also associated with tutional behavior is actually considerably more valued than a higher importance for emotions in human behavior; which practiced, and where the practice and valuation of in-group can be closely related to the importance of the leadership collectivistic behavior is more closely aligned. While both practice Encouraging the heart. countries score very low on masculine values, the level of This research has aimed to show the applicability of pow- practiced and valued assertive behavior is considerably er analysis and various effect size statistics in cross-cultural higher in Slovenia than in Portugal. I believe this indicates management research, as well as to provide a brief discus- a much stronger existence of “self” in Slovenia vis-à-vis sion of the obtained results. In terms of the results, they indi- Portugal. This self has however a stronger propensity to- cate that a large degree of leadership universality can be at- wards neuroticism associated with higher levels of anxiety, tributed to the cultural similarity of the compared countries, hostility and depression (Terraciano et al. 2005). It is con- where power distance seems to be a key cultural dimension strained by higher degrees of introversion and much more with regard to the universality of leadership practices. This limited openness compared to the Portuguese national has important implications for leadership practice, where character. It is split between a high propensity towards special attention should be paid to this cultural dimension. conscientiousness and doing the “right thing”, while at the The results of the employed research also support towards same time being less agreeable, trusting and compliant per a cross-cultural validation of the LPI instrument in an East- se compared to the Portuguese. 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Journal

South East European Journal of Economics and Businessde Gruyter

Published: Nov 1, 2013

Keywords: leadership practices; LPI instrument; GLOBE project; culture effect size; Slovenia; Portugal

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