CHAPTER 3

Universality Versus Cultural Contingency

Introduction

One of the fundamental goals of cross-cultural research relating to leadership is to determine whether attributes of leadership are perceived in the same way—positively or negatively—across all societal cultures (i.e., universally) or whether the perception of those attributes varied across the range of societal cultures (“culturally contingent”). The universalistic perspective is based on the proposition that although there are probably some differences across cultures with respect to leadership in general there are more similarities such that it is appropriate to expect that leaders around the world will rely upon a common toolkit of management practices and structures. Proponents ...

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