Appendix B Leadership Test

Each culture has its own concept of leadership and status. Top managers are respected and obeyed by their subordinates according to different criteria: education, achievement, birthright, wealth, and so forth.

Business leaders adopt a management style that is deemed appropriate to historical tradition and to deeply rooted national values.

Descriptions of twenty-two such styles are given below. Identify each style with one of the listed nations. Words that would give away the answer(s) have been replaced by dotted lines.

Arab Countries


















Hispanic America

United Kingdom


United States

  1. ..........leaders are often..........and people connected with royal families. There is consequently a lot of nepotism in..........companies where sons, nephews, and brothers hold key positions. This applies particularly in the..........States. In other..........countries dictators influence business leadership; often the military is involved.
  2. Nepotism is rife in traditional..........companies. Family members hold key positions and work in close unison. Policy is also dictated by the trade group, for example, fruit merchants and jewelers. These groups work in concert, often develop close personal relations (through intermarriage, etc.), and come to each other’s support in difficult times.
  3. executives and middle managers are not always clearly distinguishable to foreigners. Managers of all levels mingle for decision making, and democratic procedures are mandatory. Though top managers can exert considerable pressure,..........are skillful in maintaining a decidedly congenial atmosphere in discussion. Horizontal communication is widespread and generally successful.
  4. ..........leadership symbolizes the vitality and audacity of the land of free enterprise. Management structure is pyramidical, with seniors driving and inspiring people under them..........are allowed to make individual decisions but usually within the framework of corporate restrictions. Managers are capable of teamwork and corporate spirit but value individual freedom more than company welfare. They are very mobile. If they make mistakes, they get fired.
  5. ..........managers are the least autocratic in the world and sit in the ring of executives consulting with everyone at that level and often with quite subordinate staff members as well. It is said..........managers wield power by appearing non powerful. This style, ubiquitous in..........and popular with.........., is hardly conducive to rapid decision making.
  6. The class system persists to some extent in..........and in some companies’ managers, though not entirely. Managers are autocratic and maintain considerable power distance between themselves and their staff. More common today, however, is the rather casual manager who sits just outside the ring of executives but is in close contact with them and well able to conduct effective supervision of their employees without interfering unduly with their daily routine.
  7. ..........leaders, like the French, are autocratic and charismatic. Unlike the French, they work less from logic than intuition and pride themselves on their personal influence on all their staff members. Having very powerful personalities, they are able to persuade and inspire at all levels. Nepotism is also common in many companies. Declamatory in style,..........managers often see their decisions as irreversible.
  8. ..........leadership is basically autocratic but shows more flexibility than Spanish, as managers mingle easily with staff and intersperse themselves at many levels. There are many “clan” and group interests in the southern half of the country, and loyalty to the leader is automatic and mandatory. In the largest cities, there is a growing tendency to select managers on merit. In the north professional competence is generally valued, though connections remain important.
  9. In.........., authority is centered around the chief executive. Top managers, who have usually been groomed in one of the top business schools, are well trained, charismatic, and extremely autocratic. They often appear to consult with middle managers, technical staff, and even workers, but decisions are generally personal and orders top-down. Managers at this senior level are rarely fired when they make blunders.
  10. The basic principle is that you put the most experienced, best-educated person at the top, and he or she meticulously instructs and guides his or her immediate inferior. Orders are passed down through the management structure in this manner. Though leadership is consequently hierarchical and autocratic, ..........leaders do listen to suggestions “from the factory floor,” as..........workers are generally well educated and inventive. In this way, consensus plays a part
  11. executives have great power in conformity with Confucian hierarchy, but they actually have little involvement in the everyday affairs of the company. On appropriate occasions they initiate policies that are conveyed to middle managers and to the rank and file. Ideas often originate on the factory floor or with other lower-level sources. Signatures are collected among workers and middle managers as suggestions, ideas, and inventions make their way up the company hierarchy. Many people are involved. Top executives take the final step in ratifying items that have won sufficient approval.
  12. The leadership concept is undergoing profound changes in........... Efforts made by managers to promote business through official channels only are likely to founder on the rocks of bureaucracy and..........apathy. Key people, with their personal alliances, often bypass the “system” and achieve results.
  13. Consensus is generally highly valued in.........., but in companies controlled by the state a leadership group (often invisible) will decide policy. In the developing expansion of capitalist-style companies, leaders with reputations of competence are emerging; also, locally elected officials (e.g., mayors) are becoming influential in the business sphere and may have only loose ties with the capital. businesses (and there are many), the senior male is the patriarch, and the usual nepotistic structure is observable.
  14. Conglomerates control a lot of business in........... These were, and are, family-owned, and nepotism is very common, with all sons, brothers, nephews, and so forth holding key positions. The very size of these conglomerates has, however, necessitated the introduction of a class of professional managers. These are now ubiquitous and growing in importance. Decision making is therefore largely hybrid.
  15. ..........leaders are low-key (compared with Americans) but are often dynamic and action oriented. They normally sit in the ring of executives, with whom they confer democratically. A combination of professional competence and personal modesty makes them good leaders and, in international teams, good chairs.
  16. ..........managers, like Swedes, must sit in the ring with the “mates.” From this position, once they have proven that they will not pull rank, they actually exert much more influence than their Swedish counterparts, as the semi-Americanized nature requires quick thinking and rapid decision making.
  17. Leadership in most..........countries has traditionally been centered around a strong dictator, military figure, or, in some cases, dominant political parties. Nepotism is common, and staff are manipulated by a variety of persuasive methods ranging from (benign) paternalism to outright exploitation and coercion.
  18. Leaders in..........have often been military officers or civilian strongmen ruling with the approval of the army. The huge size of the economy has in recent years generated a large professional class that regulates the business operations on a day-to-day basis. The volatility of the economy often necessitates state interference.
  19. Leadership based on merit, competence, and achievement. Managers are vigorous and decisive, but consensus is mandatory, as there are many key players in the decision-making process. Long “..........debates” lead to action, taken at the top, but with constant reference to the ranks. Ideas from low levels are allowed to filter freely upward in the hierarchy.
  20. In colonial times leadership came from the Dutch. Later, leadership was exercised principally by the military and was therefore autocratic. The indifferent nature of the business process has, however, resulted in a lot of business management being entrusted to a resident Chinese professional class, who have the commercial know-how and international connections. Overseas Chinese shareholding in many..........companies encourages this situation.
  21. ..........leaders, like many British, exercise control from a position just outside and above the ring of middle managers, who are allowed to make day-to-day decisions. executives have the reputation of being decisive at crunch time and do not hesitate to stand shoulder to shoulder with staff to help out in crises.
  22. In democratic..........the boss is very much in the center of things, and staff enjoy access to him or her at most times. Middle managers’ opinions are heard and acted upon in egalitarian fashion, but top executives rarely abandon responsibility and accountability.

Answers to “Leadership Test” can be found at

Cultural Imperative
Cultural Imperative: Global Trends in the 21st Century
ISBN: 1877864986
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 108
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